ALBA gets first win in club-record fashion, 89-66 over Limoges
ALBA Berlin used a dominant defense to right its ship in Group B by blasting Limoges CSP 89-66 for its first regular season victory Friday at O2 Arena in the German capital. It marked the biggest victory margin for ALBA in more than five seasons in the competition this century, following a 22-point win over Zalgiris Kaunas in the 2012-13 Top 16. Both teams now have 1-3 records and are tied with Cedevita Zagreb for fourth place the group. A 23-4 run that bridged halftime put ALBA in control for good. Rookie forward Niels Giffey hit 4 three-pointers on the way to 18 points while Jamel McLean did the same damage inside to lead the winners. Alex Renfroe followed with 15 points, Leon Radosevic 12 and Cliff Hammonds 11. Renfroe and Hammonds split 11 of ALBA's 22 assists. Nothing went right for Limoges, which got 17 points from Jamar Smith and 13 from Ramel Curry, but suffered 31% two-point and 27% three-point shooting at the hands of the ALBA defense.
First quarter: ALBA sets the tone on D
ALBA struck early with a back-down basket by McLean and an open three-pointer by Hammonds. Pape Philippe Amagou got Limoges on the scoreboard before Mclean's free throw made it 6-2. Nobel Boungou-Colo buried a triple for Limoges that Radosevic answered with a two-point jumper. When Jonas Wohlfarth tipped in a miss, ALBA was ahead 10-5. After a timeout, Marko Banic added to ALBA's advantage with a three-point play and Hammonds with a free throw. Smith entered to restart Limoges with a triple from the corner that Wohlfarth countered with a low-post layup. Joao Paolo Batista got Limoges within 16-10 before Renfroe answered from downtown for ALBA. After free throws by Curry, Alex King finished the quarter with a jumper to put ALBA in control, 21-12, after one quarter.
Second quarter: McLean keeps ALBA in front
Hammonds connected from the arc to open the second quarter. McLean scored inside to make it 26-12 before Trent Plaisted's free throw and Batista's fall-back shot in the lane trimmed the difference. Then Curry's transition triple made it 26-18. Radosevic stroked a baseline jumper for ALBA before Plaisted matched him with free throws for Limoges. Giffey restored the double-digit difference from downtown before layups by Hammonds, McLean following a steal, and Banic assisted by McLean made it suddenly 37-22. Curry's free throws were offset by Giffey's long two-pointer before Radosevic dunked and McLean scored in close to make it 43-24. Leo Westermann sought to revive Limoges with a triple, but Reggie Redding equaled him at the other end. ALBA kept stealing and scoring, on a breakaway dunk by McLean and free throws by Renfroe, on the way to a resounding 50-27 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Giffey keeps the fire hot
The beat went on for ALBA after halftime as Giffey buried a three-pointer while Renfroe and McLean scored after offensive rebounds for a 57-27 advantage. Giffey blasted another triple that brought down the house and made it 60-27. Adrien Moerman got Limoges 2 points at the foul line that Giffey erased with an easy layup. Free throws were all that Limoges could convert until James Southerland finally canned a basket almost 6 minutes into the second half for a 62-33 scoreboard. By the time Renfroe stroked a three-pointer and Wohlfarth hit a free throw during a four-point possession, ALBA had doubled Limoges again, 68-34. ALBA was content to trade points until the third quarter finished 73-41 with the visitors in need of a miracle to challenge.
Fourth quarter: Limoges can't mount a threat
ALBA's defense, to its credit, continued taking no prisoners by holding Limoges to 6 points over the first 5 minutes of the final quarter. In the meantime, Radosevic supplied the necessary offense for ALBA as he and Renfroe moved into double-digit scoring together. Giffey continued to stroke three-pointers to give himself his biggest scoring night in his rookie Euroleague season. His next one made it 82-49. Limoges kept fighting to limit the difference and was able to knock some points off it, but never threatened ALBA's big first victory of the Euroleague season.
Friday, November 7, 2014