In a thrilling game that went down to the wire, Alba Berlin survived a do-or-die situation and advanced in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds despite a 78-73 road loss at Hemofarm Stada in Vrsac, Serbia on Friday. Alba had won Game 1 by 73-67 and so needed to win or lose by fewer than 6 points to reach the third and last phase of qualifying. Down 10 points going into the final minute, that seemed impossible. But when Julius Jenkins nailed a three-pointer with 2 seconds left against Hemofarm, Alba won the series on aggregate score by a single point! As such, Alba will battle for a Euroleague regular season spot against Spirou Basket, which upset Unics Kazan earlier on Friday. Hemofarm will play in the 2010-11 Eurocup Regular Season. Jenkins was not only the last-second hero, but led Alba with 22 points. Derrick Allen added 12 while Immanuel McElroy had 11 for Alba. Jerome Jordan led Hemofarm with 16 points. Milan Macvan added 15 but missed a pair of critical free throws in the final minute. Boris Savovic had 11 for the hosts, who led 78-68 already in the final minute. Marko Marinovic scored in penetration and Jenkins sank a shot that became an instant classic for all Alba fans.
Allen followed a layup with a jumper to give Alba an early 3-4 lead. Alba managed to stop Macvan in the early going while Jenkins followed free throws with a layup for an 8-13 edge. Macvan stepped up with foul shots, sank a jumper and fed Danilo Andusic for a three-point play that tied it at 15-15. Patrick Femerling scored down low and Allen stayed on fire but Savovic and Macvan struck from downtown for a 21-21 tie. A layup by Jenkins fixed the score at 21-23 after 10 minutes. Free throws by Savovic ignited a 9-0 run that Ivan Maras capped with a layup to give Hemofarm a one-point lead in the series, 30-23 on the scoreboard, early in the second quarter. McElroy stepped up with a triple and free throws in a 0-7 run that tied the game again, 30-30. Hemofarm struggled to score without Macvan on court. Meanwhile, free throws by Marinovic and a layup by Femerling put Alba back ahead, 34-36. Savovic scored again but a layup by an unstoppable Jenkins and more foul shots by Marinovic helped Alba to keep a 37-40 edge at halftime.
Jordan scored down low right after the break and Marko Sutalo added a jumper but Femerling and McElroy kept Alba ahead, 41-44. Hemofarm found a go-to guy in Jordan, who had all points - including a wild dunk-and-foul - in a 7-0 run that restored a 48-44 lead. McElroy scored in penetration and Jenkins silenced the crowd with a triple that forced Hemofarm to call timeout at 48-49. Jordan dunked it again, and again, and yet again until he made the hosts regain the lead, 55-53, at the end of the third quarter. Miljan Pavkovic stepped up with a big triple and a layup-plus-foul that tied the series, 61-55. Hollis Price sank a shot, collected a steal and found Allen for a jumper in a 0-6 run that tied the game again, 61-61. Macvan scored down low and Sutalo added a three-point play that gave the hosts a 69-63 edge with 4 minutes left. A three-pointer by Mustafa Abdul-Hamid soon gave Hemofarm the lead in the series, 72-63. Marinovic answered from downtown but Macvan joined the three-point shootout for a 76-66 Hemofarm margin. McElroy scored in transition but Milivoje Bozovic dunked it for a 78-68 score. Marinovic found a quick basket and Macvan missed free throws, giving Alba a final chance. Marinovic's shot was blocked out of bounds by Abdul-Hamid with 4 seconds left. Jenkins got the ball and buried a huge three-pointer that allowed Alba to keep fighting for Euroleague glory!
Friday, October 1, 2010