Alba Berlin survived a tough test in its opening game in Group H by rallying to beat Anwil 74-86 in Wloclawek, Poland on Tuesday night. Alba ties for first place with Pepsi Caserta at 1-0, with Anwil and Krasnye Krylia right behind at 0-1. All-Eurocup forward Immanuel McElroy led the winners with 20 points. Derrick Allen added 13 while Bryce Taylor and Sven Schultze each had 11 for Alba. Nikola Jovanovic led Anwil with 20 points. Paul Miller added 16, Chris Thomas had 14 while Andrzej Pluta got 12 for the hosts, that opened the game with a 12-4 run and led 44-39 at halftime. Allen led a 0-7 run that put Alba ahead for good after halftime. Another 0-10 run that bridged between the final two quarters broke the game open, 58-74. Anwil managed to get within 73-79 but McElroy and Tadija Dragicevic took care of business in crunch time to lead Alba to a well-deserved road win.
Marko Marinovic got Alba going with a layup but an unstoppable Pluta had 7 points in a 9-0 run that allowed Anwil to get the lead, 9-2. Allen scored down low but Jovanovic bettered that with a triple, good for a 12-4 score. Allen insisted with free throws and Dragicevic struck from downtown but Miller and Thomas allowed the hosts to stay way ahead, 16-9. Allen sank a jumper and split free throws and Julius Jenkins soon added a three-pointer to bring Alba back to life, 18-15. Jovanovic buried another triple but Taylor and Yassin Idbihi got Alba even closer, 21-20. Free throws by Thomas and Pluta allowed Anwil to get a 26-22 edge after 10 minutes. Jovanovic scored again and Hicks added back-to-back layup but Taylor singlehandedly kept Alba in the game, 32-28, early in the second quarter. Eric Hicks scored again and Jovanovic struck from downtown to boost the hosts' lead to 37-28. Alba improved its defense while Hollis Price and Taylor allowed Alba to get within 37-33. A three-point play McElroy and a foul shots by Jenkins kept Alba within 39-37. Miller sank a triple and Dardan Berisha added a jumper for a 44-39 Anwil edge at halftime.
Back-to-back baskets by Allen ignited a 0-7 run that Marinovic capped with a triple to give Alba a 44-46 lead right after the
break. Jovanovic and Miller tried to change things for the hosts but Schultze struck twice from downtown and Jenkins added a
layup-plus-foul for a 49-56 Alba lead. Anwil found a go-to guy in Thomas, who followed free throws with a triple that got the
hosts within 56-59. McElroy followed a wild three-point play with a big basket but a layup by Jovanovic kept Anwil within
58-64. Schultze downed a three-pointer and Marinovic copied him soon after that for a 58-70 Alba margin after 30 minutes.
McElroy sank a jumper and Taylor capped a game-breaking 0-10 run with a layup, good for a 58-74 score. An 8-0 run highlighted
by Thomas' dunk allowed Anwil to get some hope, 66-74, with under 6 minutes left. Price stepped up with a layup and silenced
the crowd with a three-pointer but Miller, Thomas and Pluta still kept Anwil in the game, 73-79. McElroy scored off a steal and a put-back layup by Dragicevic sealed the outcome, 73-84, allowing Alba to escape with a difficult road win.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010