Alba thrills fans with huge fourth-quarter comeback
Alba Berlin thrilled the fans at O2 World in the German capital with a come-from-behind 74-71 victory over Elan Chalon to improve to 2-0 in Group B. The hosts trailed for much of the game and were behind 53-66 early in the fourth quarter, but Heiko Schaffartzik helped lead a 21-2 charge, capped by a DaShaun Wood triple with 39 seconds to go, to soar ahead and claim the win. Deon Thompson kept Berlin in the game early and finished with a Euroleague career-high 24 points plus 8 rebounds. Wood added 19 points and Schaffartzik tallied 13 points and 5 assists. Steed Tchicamboud scored 20 to lead the French champs, who slipped to 1-1. Shelden Williams posted 14 points and 13 rebounds and Blake Schilb also scored 14 in defeat.
First quarter: Big men highlight exciting start
Thompson showed his aggressiveness from the start by scoring the opening basket on the offensive glass. Chalon went inside to Williams, who responded with 4 points – the second a powerful slam – to give the French champs the lead. Thompson and Williams traded baskets again at 7-8. Tchicamboud was fouled shooting a three-pointer and made the resulting 3 free throws for a 9-11 lead. The red-hot Thompson tied the score, however JBAM soon had the visitors back on top. Nihad Djedovic’s steal and layup tied the game at 15-15, but JBAM remained strong underneath with a slam for the visitors. The lead switched hands as Wood nailed a three and JBAM dunked again. Thompson’s 10th point of the night made it 20-19. Tchicamboud free throws helped Chalon secure a minimal 24-25 lead through 10 minutes.
Second quarter: JBAM and Tchicamboud lift Chalon
Chalon kept Berlin scoreless for over two minutes while JBAM converted a three-point play and Nicolas Lang drilled a triple. Thompson, on the offensive glass, ended Berlin’s mini-drought. But after scoring again, he was called for an offensive foul and returned to the bench. Blake Schilb and Albert Miralles traded baskets to get to 30-33 midway through the second quarter. Chalon got a chance to pad its lead when Zach Morley was called for an unsportsmanlike foul for stopping Tchicamboud on the fast break. But after the 2 free throws, Morley recovered to block Joffrey Lauvergne. Wood drew the hosts back within 1, but Tchicamboud connected from downtown to make it 34-38. Brion Rush further extended the lead before Wood settled the halftime score at 36-40.
Third quarter: The confident visitors extend their advantage
Woods opened up the scoring in the second half, but the combination of Williams inside and Tchicamboud from behind the arc made it 40-45. Schilb put the visitors up 7 with a fadeaway, baseline jumper. Thompson made his presence felt with 4 of his team’s next 5 points in closing the gap, but Chalon responded convincingly. While the hosts committed turnovers on three consecutive possessions and then missed their next three shots, Rush drilled a triple and Tchicamboud scored before setting up Williams for a nice basket to make it 45-54. After a Berlin timeout, Schaffartzik fired in a triple. But the momentum slipped away as Miralles fouled Williams and then was called for a technical, which forced him to the bench. After 5 made free throws between Schilb and Williams, the French champs led by 11. Schaffartzik gave the fans something to cheer about with a second triple, but it remained 51-59 through three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Berlin goes on wild 21-2 run for victory
Tchicamboud’s third three-pointer of the night gave him 20 points and restored Chalon’s 11 point edge. Rush added a tough jumper as the pressure mounted for Alba. Thompson inside and Schaffartzik with a frantic three got the hosts closer and Brian Randle scored a fast break layup to make it 60-66, causing Chalon coach Gregor Beugnot to use a timeout. However, Schaffartzik picked up a loose ball and Thompson scored and drew JBAM’s fifth foul as the Berlin charge continued. Schaffartzik capped an 11-0 run to make it a 2-point game midway through the fourth quarter. Williams finally got Chalon back on the scoreboard with a tip-in. Randle tied the score at 68-68 with a layup over Williams. Djedovic completed the comeback with a free throw for Alba’s first lead since the first quarter. Schaffartzik connected twice from the line to make it 71-68 with 1:27 remaining. Berlin denied Williams at the other end before Wood practically iced the win with a triple with 39 seconds to go. Schild ended a seven-minute Chalon scoring drought with a big three with 27 seconds left. Chalon stopped Berlin on the final attack, but did not have enough time to shoot for the victory.
Thursday, October 18, 2012