2020-21Regular SeasonRound 5
January 05, 2021 CET: 19:00
Local time: 19:00 MERCEDES-BENZ ARENA

Undermanned ALBA takes 95-91 thriller

The first game of 2021 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague was a thriller, going back and forth all night on Tuesday until undermanned ALBA Berlin claimed a 95-91 victory over visiting TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz in a rescheduled game from Round 5. Maodo Lo broke a 91-91 tie with a three-point play with 34 seconds left that decided it, lifting ALBA's record to 7-10 while dropping Baskonia to 8-9. ALBA, who only dressed 10 players due to five being injured, got a season-high 21 points from former Baskonia guard Jayson Granger. Maodo Lo added 19 points, Simone Fontecchio 15, Johannes Thiemann 14 and Jonas Mattisseck 12 as ALBA made 16 of 29 three-pointers, one shy of tying its club record in EuroLeague play. Baskonia got 18 points and 10 rebounds from Achille Polonara. Zoran Dragic added 17 points and Alec Peters 15, while Pierria Henry combined 10 points with 9 assists. ALBA used a 14-0 first-quarter burst to build several double-digit leads but Baskonia rallied to finish the first half with a 3-14 run to get back in the game. The process repeated itself in the third quarter, when a 12-point ALBA lead dwindled until Baskonia led by 77-82 with 6 minutes left, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.

Henry fed Tadas Sedekerskis twice and Ilimane Diop once and Rokas Giedraitis hit the game's first triple for a quick 3-9 Baskonia lead. Thiemann and Ben Lammers steadied the hosts, however, and then Mattisseck drilled a go-ahead triple. Granger added a jumper and a fastbreak layup sandwiched around Fontecchio's three-pointer to complete a 14-0 ALBA run to a 17-9 lead. Giedraitis and Polonara stopped Baskonia's slide from deep, but Luis Olinde and Tim Schneider matched them and Lo banked in a floater for the first double-digit lead, 25-15. Giedraitis bailed out Baskonia again from long distance as the first quarter ended 25-19. Fontecchio and Lo blasted triples early in the second quarter for a new high lead of 31-19. Tonye Jekiri scored twice inside, Luca Vildoza hit from deep and Youssoupha Fall dropped a layup as Baskonia recovered to within 33-28. Thiemann answered from deep – twice – to keep a 39-30 ALBA lead that became double digits again as he spun on the baseline for a reverse. Zoran Dragic and Polonara rescued Baskonia from deep as Fall started dominating inside at both ends before Peters and Henry scored their first points to cut the difference to 45-44 at halftime.

After the break, Fontecchio reignited the hosts from deep before Mattissek turned 2 Baskonia turnovers into 5 points and a 53-45 ALBA lead. Mattissek, Granger and Granger kept it going from deep to make it 64-52. Henry's three-point play and Polonara's free throws gave way to Peters sinking a triple to cut the difference to 66-62. Lo's late three-pointer was answered by Baskonia's fourth three-point play of the quarter, from Peters, who then drilled from deep for a 74-72 score after 30 minutes. Polonara's put-back opened the fourth quarter and his triple gave Baskonia its first lead since the game's fourth minute. He also hit 2 free throws in a personal 7-0 run to a 74-79 Baskonia lead. Granger converted a three-point play to revive the hosts, but Polonara assisted Dragic for a triple and a 77-82 Baskonia lead. Lo soon matched him, however, to tie it up 82-82 with less than 5 minutes to play. Dragic's s go-ahead free throws were answered by Granger with a baseline jumper but Henry then stuck a triple to make it 84-87 for the visitors. Fontecchio kept the hosts close and Thiemman buried a triple to tie it 89-89 entering the next-to-last minute. Peters and Fontecchio traded two-pointers before Lo stole at one end and drove for an and-one layup at the other to reclaim a 94-91 lead for ALBA with 34 seconds left. Baskonia missed and Thiemann made 1 of 2 free throws with 6.8 seconds left to decide it for ALBA.

Pivotal performer

ALBA point guard Jayson Granger, who spent the last three seasons with Baskonia, came into the game averaging 7.3 points and 4.2 assists this season. He met the moment with 21 points and 6 assists against his old team for a PIR of 22. His scoring and PIR were his best yet in an ALBA uniform.

Stellar stats

ALBA came into the game as the only EuroLeague team shooting below 35% from three-point range (34.5%) but proceeded to make 16 of 29 shots from downtown for 55.2%. Seven players helped that happen, making at least one triple each, with Lo's 4-for-6 from downtown leading the way.

Short-handed hosts

ALBA played without five injured players – Luke Sikma, Marcus Eriksson, Peyton Siva, Niels Giffey - and Lorenz Brenneke, and was missing head coach Aito Garcia Reneses, who tested positive for COVID-19 and was being replaced by Israel Gonzales. Siva, Sikma, Giffey and Eriksson, were the leading scorers for ALBA by average, combining for 39.5 points per game in the games they played this season. Their absences left ALBA with a 10-man lineup whose average age was 24 years old.

Jonas and Johannes

Under the circumstances, ALBA needed to step up, and two players, in particular, did that with their best EuroLeague games in two seasons. Center Johannes Thiemann set career highs of 21 PIR and 3 three-pointers made, while guard Jonas Mattisseck shattered his previous highs with 12 points and 18 PIR.

Next Games

Both teams are back in action later this week in Round 18. ALBA stays home to host Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv on Thursday, while Baskonia returns home to play CSKA Moscow the same night.

Jayson Granger - ALBA Berlin - EB20
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Euroleague.net
Referees: ZAMOJSKI, JAKUB; PEERANDI, RAIN; RACYS, SAULIUS
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
ALBA Berlin25202921
TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz19252819
End of Quarter1234
ALBA Berlin25457495
TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz19447291
ALBA Berlin
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 LO, MAODO 22:09 19 2/5 4/6 3/3       4 1 2       4 21
6 DELOW, MALTE 7:34     0/1   1   1   1 1     3 1 -2
9 MATTISSECK, JONAS 19:35 12 2/2 2/2 2/2   2 2 2 2 1     1 2 18
10 SCHNEIDER, TIM 24:38 7 2/4 1/4   1 2 3 1         2 1 5
16 NIKIC, KRESIMIR 8:12   0/1     1 1 2     2     3 1 -3
19 OLINDE, LOUIS 19:56 3   1/3     2 2     1     1 1 2
20 FONTECCHIO, SIMONE 29:36 15 3/5 3/5   1 2 3 2   1     4   11
32 THIEMANN, JOHANNES 25:25 14 1/4 3/3 3/4 3 2 5 5 1 2     3 5 21
33 GRANGER, JAYSON 28:02 21 7/9 2/5 1/1   3 3 6   3     2 2 22
50 LAMMERS, BEN 14:53 4 2/3       2 2 1 1 1     3   3
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 200:00 95 19/33 16/29 9/10 8 17 25 21 6 14 0 0 22 17 100
        57.6% 55.2% 90%
Head coach: GARCIA RENESES, AITO
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 RAIESTE, SANDER DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
3 VILDOZA, LUCA 25:06 3   1/3     3 3 7 1 2     4   6
5 JEKIRI, TONYE 15:01 4 2/3   0/2   2 2 1 1 2     3 2 2
7 HENRY, PIERRIA 26:24 10 1/3 1/3 5/7       9 1 3     3 6 14
8 SEDEKERSKIS, TADAS 15:38 4 2/3 0/1           1 1         2
12 DIOP, ILIMANE 4:32 2 1/1           1             3
19 FALL, YOUSSOUPHA 10:43 9 4/5   1/1 1 2 3 1 2       2 1 13
25 PETERS, ALEC 24:38 15 3/4 2/6 3/3   2 2 2 1         3 18
30 DRAGIC, ZORAN 29:48 17 4/4 2/4 3/4   2 2 2 2 1     1 6 24
31 GIEDRAITIS, ROKAS 14:06 9 0/1 3/4     2 2 1 1 3     1 1 8
33 POLONARA, ACHILLE 34:04 18 2/6 3/5 5/5 5 5 10 2 1 3     4 3 21
47 KURUCS, ARTURS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           2   2     1         1
Totals 200:00 91 19/30 12/26 17/22 8 18 26 26 11 16 0 0 18 22 112
        63.3% 46.2% 77.3%
Head coach: IVANOVIC, DUSKO

Head Coaches

IVANOVIC, DUSKO
TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz

"Congratulations to ALBA. They played a very good game, with great confindence. We started with too many turnovers and in the moment when we had a five-point advantage, we didn't play with patience on offense. In the last two minutes, we didn’t play the way we needed to to win against a good team like ALBA."

GONZALEZ, ISRAEL

ALBA Berlin Assistant Coach

"I feel great. I'm very proud of the players. They had unbelievable faith in the values of the team, playing like a real team, with a lot of effort and a lot of sharing the ball. I am so happy for them because they deserve this for all the effort they made. It's another step to growing up as a team to know that even if the main players are not with us, we can be competitive and believe in the things we do always. This is the way, to improve every day."

Players

LO, MAODO
ALBA Berlin
"It shows our team's character, that we were able to counter Baskonia's late run. It was a great team effort, with many important players missing. Baskonia really put a lot of pressure on us at the end. They have a great defender in Henry, so it was good for us to have two ball-handlers on the court, with Jayson and me. We were thus able to handle their pressure."
THIEMANN, JOHANNES
ALBA Berlin
"With such a small roster, we just have to play with a lot of energy. We did that and we hit the important shots when it counted the most. It is a great feeling to win this game. Maodo is an unbelievable player. He brings so much to the team and is always able to create with his crossovers. His late and-one was super important for us for the momentum."
GRANGER, JAYSON
ALBA Berlin
"We have a great group of guys, you know. The chemistry we have is unbelievable. You saw the injured guys out there cheering for us the whole game. We're missing, of course, our master, Aito. So I think this game was huge for us. We showed this team has more than heart. We had desire for 40 minutes and we never give up. Some days we've been lucky at the end, and I think one of those days is today. I think we controlled the defensive rebounds in the last quarter pretty well. We stopped their fastbreak a little. Baskonia is a great team with a lot of talented players and I think in the end, we were lucky and we took the win. It's one more game. Of course, I was in Baskonia for three years and I couldn't perform my best there because I was hurt for almost three years. But like I always say, I have great friends on that team and have a lot of respect for them. I hope they have a great season."
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