2015-16Last 32Round 4
January 27, 2016 CET: 18:00
Local time: 19:00 PALAIS DES SPORTS
Jerel McNeal - Aris Thessaloniki - EC15 (photo AEK - megapress)

McNeal, Symtsak lead Aris past ALBA

Aris Thessaloniki recorded its second win in Last 32 Group J by downing ALBA Berlin 73-63 in from of 4,000 diehard fans at home on Wednesday. Both teams have a 2-2 record in Group J, but ALBA has the tie-break advantage of its 15-point win against Aris in the German capital a week ago. Jerel McNeal led the winners with 25 points. Vassilis Symtsak added 18 while Dominic Waters had 11 for Aris. Elmedin Kikanovic led ALBA with 15 points. Dragan Milosavljevic and Will Cherry each added 14 for the guests, who picked up 19 turnovers and only hit 6 of his 26 three-point shots. Kikanovic had 11 first-quarter points to make ALBA get a 15-19 lead after 10 minutes. Symtsak had all points in a 6-0 run which put Aris ahead for good, 21-19. McNeal stepped up for Aris, allowing the hosts to get a 42-34 margin at halftime. Aris managed to keep the lead throughout the fourth quarter but back-to-back triples by Milosavljevic and Cherry brought ALBA within 55-54 after 30 minutes. ALBA still trailed 60-59 on a three-point play by Cherry but Symtsak and McNeal fueled a 12-0 run that sealed the outcome down the stretch.

Dragan Milosavljevic got ALBA going with a quick basket and Kikanovic scored twice to give the guests an early 4-7 lead. Jerel McNeal scored off a steal and Michalis Pelekanos foind his first points but Kikanovic and a three-pointer by Robert Lowery boosted ALBA's margin to 8-12. Okaro White tried to change things for Aris but a three-point play by an unstoppable Kikanovic extended the guests' lead to 10-15. Dominic Waters made free throws and McNeal score again to make ALBA call timeout at 14-15. Free throws by Kresimir Loncar and another basket by Kikanovic restored a 15-19 ALBA lead after 10 minutes. Symtsak stepped up for Aris early in the second quarter with 6 unanswered points that put the hosts in charge, 21-19. Kikanovic kept pacing ALBA but a three-point play by Jake Cohen ignited a 7-0 run which McNeal capped with a put-back basket, making ALBA call timeout at 28-21. Kikanovic got help from Milosavljevic and Mitchell Watt to bring the guests a bit closer, 31-28. Milosavljevic followed free throws with a triple to make it a one-point game, 34-33. McNeal answered from downtown, Symtsak scored again and Waters beat the buzzer with his own three-pointer which gave Aris a 42-34 edge at halftime.

Watt and Waters traded baskets immediately after the break and a three-pointer by Will Cherry gave ALBA hope at 44-39. Jamelle Hagins found his first points but back-to-back baskets by Watt brought the guests as close as 46-43. Haggins scored again, Cherry made free throws and consecutive baskets by McNeal gave Aris plenty of fresh air at 53-45. Alex King and Lowery made free throws but so did McLean for a 55-48 Aris lead. Milosavljevic stepped up with a big three-pointer and Cherry copied him right after that to bring ALBA within 55-54 at the end of the third quarter. Symtsak shined with a three-point play early in the fourth quarter and McNeal scored again to give Aris a 60-54 lead. Cherry tried to change things with 5 unanswered points that brought ALBA as close as 60-59. It didn't last long, however, as Waters made free throws and a layup by Symtsak restored a 64-59 Aris edge with under 4 minutes left. ALBA kept struggling to score when it mattered most when a free throw by Cohen and a wild three-point play by Symtsak sealed the outcome, 68-59, with 2:54 left. White and McLean boosted the hosts' lead to 72-59 already in the final minute, with both teams fighting for the tie-break advantage. Free throws by Loncar and Lowery allowed ALBA to keep the tie-break advantage.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Eurocupbasketball.com
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Referees: CMIKIEWICZ, MAREK (POL), SILVA, SERGIO (POR), BIJEDIC, HARIS (BIH)
Attendance: 4000 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Aris Thessaloniki15271318
ALBA Berlin1915209
End of Quarter1234
Aris Thessaloniki15425573
ALBA Berlin19345463
Aris Thessaloniki
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 XANTHOPOULOS, VASSILIS 16:19   0/1     1 2 3 1 1 1     3 1 1
7 PELEKANOS, MICHALIS 14:12 2 1/1 0/3     1 1 1 1       2    
8 CUPKOVIC, SLAVEN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 FLIONIS, DIMITRIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 WHITE, OKARO 26:53 6 3/6 0/5     4 4   1 3 1   4 2 -1
11 WATERS, DOMINIC 31:57 11 3/5 1/5 2/2       7 2 3   1 2 2 10
13 ZARAS, THEODOROS 8:25     0/6     2 2 2         1   -3
14 HAGINS, JAMELLE 15:35 6 3/3     1 2 3     3 1   4 2 5
15 COHEN, JAKE 17:21 5 1/1   3/5 1 4 5 1 1 1 1   2 4 12
16 MOURTOS, SPYROS 13:30   0/2     1 2 3 1         4 1 -1
17 SYMTSAK, VASSILIS 20:06 18 7/8   4/4 3 1 4 1 1       5 5 23
22 McNEAL, JEREL 35:42 25 7/10 1/2 8/14 1 4 5 1 3 1   1 4 10 28
Team           1 4 5     1         4
Totals 200:00 73 25/37 2/21 17/25 9 26 35 15 10 13 3 2 31 27 78
        67.6% 9.5% 68%
Head coach: PRIFTIS, DIMITRIOS
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
ALBA Berlin
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 LOWERY, ROBERT 24:42 7 0/2 1/5 4/8   5 5   1 1   1 4 5 2
7 KING, ALEX 16:38 1 0/1 0/2 1/2 2 2 4 2 2 3     2 1 1
8 AKPINAR, ISMET 15:48   0/1 0/4         1   1   1 2   -8
9 KIKANOVIC, ELMEDIN 29:36 15 7/12   1/2 3 2 5 1   1   1 3 5 15
10 LONCAR, KRESIMIR 13:33 4     4/6 1 2 3           3 4 6
11 VARGAS, AKEEM 10:19           2 2     1     1    
15 LIYANAGE, MARC DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 WOHLFARTH, JONAS 1:37                   1     1   -2
21 MILOSAVLJEVIC, DRAGAN 37:25 14 1/3 3/7 3/4 4 2 6 3   3     2 2 13
22 CHERRY, WILL 26:36 14 2/7 2/8 4/5 3 4 7 3 4 4 1   5 8 16
50 WATT, MITCHELL 23:46 8 4/7   0/2 1 1 2     3 1   4 6 5
Team           2 3 5     1         4
Totals 200:00 63 14/33 6/26 17/29 16 23 39 10 7 19 2 3 27 31 52
        42.4% 23.1% 58.6%
Head coach: OBRADOVIC, SASA

Head Coaches

PRIFTIS, DIMITRIOS
Aris Thessaloniki
"Congratulations to my team. They tried really hard. They had energy, they fought very hard. This congratulations is even bigger if you see the statistic sheet, which does not always tell the truth, but reflects some things. If we shot a little better than 2 for 21 on three-pointers and missed fewer free throws, we could have covered the difference from the first game. Congratulations to the fans, their support is important for us, it helps us a lot."
OBRADOVIC, SASA
ALBA Berlin
"I want to congratulate Aris, it deserved to win. We missed a lot of shots and you can’t win such games with so many turnovers. If there is something positive, is that we protected the difference from our victory in Berlin. Everything is open in our group now. It's hard to explain the blackout in the end. We made key mistakes. Unexplained turnovers, inexplicable shot choices, an inexplicably ugly percentage in free throws. The Aris fans affected us with the atmosphere they created and we didn’t react properly in the last quarter."

Players

SYMTSAK, VASSILIS
Aris Thessaloniki
"It was a very difficult game. We had twovery difficult weeks. We entered the game a little sluggish, asI could see we had no confidence in the long-distance shots, which followed us for the whole game. Whatkept us alive was defense and some very good decisions on offense. I think the resultis fair. We could cover the difference of the first game if we made some more shots, but we didn’t. We still have our hopes for the qualification and we’re gonna chase it."
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