Balanced ALBA blows out Fenerbahce
ALBA Berlin shrugged off its injury concerns to blow out Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 89-63 on Thursday and remain on a roll. Niels Giffey collected 13 points and 8 assists as ALBA clinched its third win in the last four games to move to 5-7 after a 1-5 start. Peyton Siva added 11 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists and Maodo Lo, Kresimir Nikic and Johannes Thiemann all tallied 10 points for ALBA, which came into the game missing the injured quartet of Marcus Eriksson, Lorenz Brenneke, Simone Fontecchio and Ben Lammers. Fenerbahce came into the game having ended a four-game losing streak but it returned to the loss column and fell to 5-8. Tarik Biberovic led the way with a career-high 13 points in the losing effort. Nando de Colo returned for Fenerbahce from his calf injury but could only contribute 2 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists with 4 turnovers in his first game since Round 7.
Luke Sikma opened the game with a layup and Nikic tipped in a missed and-one free throw for a 4-0 lead. Biberovic hit Fenerbahce’s first basket from long range. Siva made a three-pointer and 2 free throws and Jayson Granger added a three-point play as ALBA surged ahead 18-9. Fenerbahce struggled to solve ALBA’s zone defense, though it scored 5 straight points to pull within 18-14. Two straight Thiemann scores had ALBA up 22-14 and it was 23-16 after 10 minutes. Nikic had a great start to the second quarter with three straight baskets, while a Giffey transition layup pushed the run to 10-4 to start the quarter for a 33-20 lead. Ali Muhammed managed a three-pointer at the other end, but Granger answered it from deep and Lo’s layup made it 40-23 as Fenerbahce was held scoreless for more than 4 minutes. The scoreboard showed 44-27 at halftime.
Fenerbahce tried to be more aggressive to start the second half and Dyshawn Pierre trimmed the deficit to 46-31. Louis Olinde and Tim Schneider answered with back-to-back triples as the advantage grew to 54-33. Fenerbahce cut the gap down to 58-39 only to see Jonas Mattisseck drain a pair of three-pointers and ALBA led 70-41 after 30 minutes. Fenerbahce scored the first 4 points of the quarter to trim the gap to 70-45. But Olinde and Sikma both connected from long range to make it 78-48. Biberovic tried to cut into the final deficit with 2 three-pointers among his 8 points in getting the score to 84-60, but it was too little, too late.
Fenerbahce head coach Igor Kokoskov gave 19-year-old Tarik Biberovic his first start of the season after having played in three of the last five games for the club. The forward had one previous start for Fenerbahce against FC Barcelona in Round 9 in 2019-20. The Bosnia and Herzegovina-born Biberovic collected 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting including 3-of-5 on three-pointers.
One assist from club record
ALBA Berlin dished out 28 assists in the blowout, just missing evening the club’s best mark in the EuroLeague of 29 set in Round 11 this season against Khimki Moscow Region. All 12 ALBA players scored at least 2 points.
ALBA forced Fenerbahce into 20 turnovers, which helped the hosts to a 21-10 advantage on points off turnovers. The guests also made just 6 of 22 three-pointers (27.3%) and ALBA grabbed 14 offensive rebounds which it turned into 17 second-chance points compared to 6 for Fenerbahce.
ALBA heads back on the road for its next game when it takes on Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on Tuesday, December 15 in Round 14. Fenerbahce goes back home and to host AX Armani Exchange Milan the same evening.
Thursday, December 10, 2020