Alba Berlin tops rival Bamberg for its first Top 16 win
Alba Berlin made history by winning the first Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16 game by a German club with an 82-63 victory at home over fellow German side Brose Baskets Bamberg. Both teams came into game with 0-10 records in Top 16 history – including four losses to start Group E. Nihad Djedovic led the way for Berlin with 20 points along with 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. Yassin Idbihi added 11 points and Zach Morley and DaShaun Wood both chipped in 10 points for Berlin. Bamberg remained winless in the group despite 15 points from Bostjan Nachbar and 13 from Casey Jacobsen.
First quarter: Berlin takes double-digit lead with 11-0 run
Bamberg coach Chris Fleming trusted the same starting five as usual in John Goldsberry, Nachbar, Anton Gavel, Jacobsen and Maik Zirbes. Berlin coach made two changes with Morley and Idbihi coming in alongside Deon Thompson, Wood and Djedovic. Nachbar started the scoring with 2 free throws for the guests and Thompson came back and hit Berlin’s first basket. Back-to-back scores by Wood had Berlin ahead 6-4 before Goldsberry nailed a long ball for a 6-7 lead. Bamberg’s offense went cold and Djedovic answered with a triple of his own to start an 11-0 run, in which he scored two more baskets for a 17-7 lead. Goldsberry’s next three-ball snapped the three-minute scoreless streak to make it 17-10. Bamberg big men Zirbes and Philipp Neumann both scored in the lane to keep the guests within 21-14. But Je’Kel Foster made two free throws for Berlin and Morley nailed a long three-ball just before the buzzer to give Alba a 26-14 lead after one quarter.
Second quarter: Bamberg use three-pointers to get back into game
Heiko Schaffartzik extended the lead to 28-14 with a jumper. Sergerio Gipson answered with a jumper of his own before Albert Miralles’ monster dunk had Berlin up 30-18. But Bamberg used the three-pointer to get back into the game. Karsten Tadda hit a long ball from the right wing followed by Jacobsen’s triple from the right corner to make it 30-24. Miralles threw down another dunk but Gavel came back down with a trey to make it 32-27. Thompson pushed the lead to 34-27 but Nachbar converted a three-point play and Jacobsen knocked down a long triple to bring Bamberg within 34-33. Djedovic hit a layup before Jacobsen’s free throw to send the teams into the half with Berlin ahead 36-34.
Third quarter: Djedovic helps Berlin pull away again
Zirbes knotted the game at 36-36 with the first basket of the second half but Bamberg again went cold, going scoreless for three minutes as Schaffartzik made two free throws and a three-ball followed by a three by Djedovic for a 44-36 Berlin lead. Jacobsen’s jumper snapped Bamberg’s scoring drought to make it 44-38. But Djedovic nailed another long ball, followed by layups from Idbihi and Foster for a 51-38 lead. Jacobsen’s free throws cut the deficit to 51-40 but Wood hit a reverse layup and Berlin used an unsportsmanlike foul against Ford with a Djedovic free throw and a Foster three-point play as the advantage grew to 57-40. The game went to the free throw line the rest of the quarter with Berlin winning the showdown 7-5 to push the lead up 64-45 on Foster’s free throw. Neumann’s jumper in the lane was the final score to cut the margin to 64-47.
Fourth quarter: Bamberg never threatens late
Tadda opened the fourth quarter with a free throw and Zirbes completed a three-point play before Nachbar’s layup brought Bamberg to within 64-53. Djedovic finally scored Berlin’s first points of the final quarter with a layup with 5:19 remaining to make it 66-53. Morley’s driving layup pushed the advantage to 69-53 before Gavel’s three-ball cut the margin to 69-56. Idbihi and Djedovic both hit jumpers and Berlin’s run continued with a Wood layup and a Morley basket inside before Idbihi’s next score as the lead grew to 22 points – 79-57 – with less than two minutes remaining.
Thursday, January 24, 2013