Despite having a relentless opponent in front of it for 30 minutes, Alba Berlin managed to pull its second win of the season to remain undefeated in Group H.
The German squad defeated KK Buducnost Voli at home by 86-68. With this result, Alba commands Group H with a 2-0 while Buducnost loses its first and drops to
1-1. Alba was ahead during the 40 minutes but a great Cedomir Vitkovac allowed the guests to pull within 31-30 after a 0-12 run. However, Dashaun Wood and
Torin Francis made sure that Alba re-gaines some momentum and the hosts never looked back again. Wood led the winners with 23 points Francis added 15, Marko Simonovic 14, Yassin Idbihi 12 and Bryce Taylor 10. For Buducnost, Vitkovac had 20 points and Aleksa Popovic added 11.
The game started well for Alba. Despite some efforts by Buducnost to stay close in the first plays mainly through Bojan Krstovic, Dashaun Wood started
opening fire soon for the hosts as his quick seven points, with valuable help from Bryce Taylor, boosted Alba to a 18-9 lead. The guests were struggling with
the field goals from the paint as they had only 1 of 5 at this point, so soon they called a timeout. The lead however kept increasing as Torin Francis made
it a double-digit game and Wood punished again for a 22-9 highest leat in the quarter for an 8-0 Alba run. After that, Buducnost reacted and manage to keep
it at 24-13 after 10 minutes. Wood was still Buducnost's worst nightmare as the guests weren't able to trim the deficit below the 10-point barrier. However,
that finally happened with Cedomir Vitkovac's layup-plus-free throw for 31-23. With a stronger defense that forced a few Alba turnovers, the guests pulled
within one single point, 31-30, capping a 0-12 burst with a new three-point play by Aleksa Popovic. Alba saved the situation when Wood blasted two threes to
close the first half with 17 points for him and a 39-32 edge for Alba.
Vitkovac had a good start to the third period when he tried to put Buducnost back on the map, and then Nikola Vucevic joined him for the 41-38. Marko
Simonovic however, tried to save Alba on his own with seven points including a three, and Wood also chipped in to keep a 48-43 on the scoreboard. Francis was
up there helping Alba keep a safe lead, but Vitkovac was soon up to 20 points, after a new three-point play, in trying to make Buducnost complete a comeback
but Francis scored again to leave things at 60-51 after 30 minutes. The 13 assists and 14 offensive rebounds after three periods were hurting Buducnost too
much, who was stuck at 3 of 11 threes. As if it was not enough, Heiko Schaffartzik sent a message with his second three to start the decisive period that set
the stands on fire. It was the signal that Alba needed to make the lead grow little by little in the final minutes as Taylor added his second three for a 76
-62 with four minutes to go that started to seal the deal. Popovic kept trying for the guests but a three-point play by Yassin Idbihi for 81-66 with 97 seconds to go put the game on ice for Alba's second win.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011