Turk Telekom remained in the battle for first place in Group A with a 73-81 road win at Alba Berlin on Tuesday night. Telekom improved to 8-1, but will need to win next week and for DKV Joventut to lose to earn the top spot and a top seed for the eliminations rounds draw. Meanwhile Berlin has dug itself a hole to reach the next stage and will need to win next week at Bosna and for Siauliai to lose at home to DKV Joventut to ensure third place in the group. Khalid El-Amin was 4-for-5 from downtown en route to 24 points to lead Telekom. The game was close for the first period-and-a-half, but a 2-8 surge with a pair of El-Amin triples helped make it 39-47 at halftime. Telekom continued to pile on the points in the third period as the lead grew to 14. Alba never quit and kept the deficit within single figures. Still triples by Bekir Yaragume and El-Amin made it 57-71 early in the fourth quarter. However Julius Jenkins hit a triple and finished a fast-break to initiate Alba's final spurt. The hosts got to within 72-76 before running out of steam as Telekom celebrated its sixth straight win. Erwin Dudley added 18 points, Chris Williams scored 12 and Haluk Yildirim had 11 for the winners. Jenkins netted 18 for the hosts, Dijon Thompson posted 17 points and 14 rebounds, Patrick Femerling had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Bobby Brown added 11 points and 5 assists.
Alba in the first minutes looked for center Femerling, who scored the first 7 points inside, before Williams answered with a pair of two layups. Telekom followed the example by feeding Dudley under the basket for 4 lay-ups, then Goran Nikolic hit the first triple of the night. But Alba’s 16-12 lead did not last very long, as El-Amin with his first 5 points brought the guests into command 18-19. Jenkins responded with 5 points too, including a triple, before baskets by Dudley and Williams tied the score at 23-23 at the end of the first quarter. Yildirim got hot with back-two-back triples for and then Telekom’s precise passing game created easy baskets for Adem Oren and Tutku Acik. Slavko Stefanovic’s a hook and a Vujadin Subotic drive shortened Berlin’s deficit to 33-36, but Telekom's defense forced several turnovers, which resulted in a 2-8 spurt with a pair of El-Amin triples. Despite a Brown penetration, Telekom took a 39-47 lead into halftime. Yildirim, El-Amin and Dudley opened the second half more focused with 6 unanswered points for the visitors’s biggest lead yet, 39-53. Points by Thompson and a triple by Brown helped Alba crawl back to 48-57, but El-Amin with a triple and 3 free-throws made sure that Telekom' stood up, even though Brown added 2 more to end of the quarter at 57-65. Triples by Bekir Yaragume and El-Amin made it 57-71 early in the fourth quarter, but Jenkins hit a triple and finished a fast-break to initiate Alba's final spurt. Femerling and Thompson scored on the offensive glass and then Jenkins and Thompson with layups brought Alba back to within 72-76. Yildirim's triple restored Telekom’s confidence and when Dragan Dojcin missed a triple and had his next shot rejected, the game was decided.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008