Barcelona overcomes Alba Berlin; wins eighth straight

2020-03-04T21:57:45+00:00 2020-03-05T02:17:00+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

04/Mar/20 21:57

Barcelona is on a major roll in EuroLeague.

By Eurohoops team/

Barcelona beat Alba Berlin 84 – 80 n Germany to register its eighth straight win in EuroLeague and improve its record to 21 – 6. Alba dropped to 9 – 18.

The game was up for grabs for both teams down the stretch, even though it was Barcelona that entered crunch time with an advantage, thanks to a 3-pointer by Malcolm Delaney for the 81 – 77 with 1:35 remaining. Alba never approached more than two points. After Luka Sikma hit 1/2 from the line with 16 seconds to play, Cory Higgins found Kyle Kuric on the  Cory Higgins found Kyle Kuric on the other end of the floor after the time out and the latter scored the layup that sealed the win of Barcelona.

Delaney finished with 16 points on 4/6 3-pointer while Alex Abrines dropped a team-high 17 points for Barcelona. The former Thunder began scoring with Alba Berlin up 53 – 42 in the mid of the third period and made all of his points in the last 16 minutes of the game.

“Playing hard on defense was the key, especially the second half,” Abrines said. “We know they have a lot of talent, great shooting, and I think we took care of that in the second half which is why we won the game. They shoot a lot of threes and run fastbreaks, so they can go on runs. We just had to stick to our game plan, play aggressive and not forget that we can do the same to them. I got a big hit and felt a bit dizzy, but fortunately, I was able to come back and help the team win the game.”

For Alba Berlin, Martin Hermannssson had 17 points and Landry Nnoko 12 points and nine rebounds. The latter could’ve tied the game with the score 79 – 81 but missed a wide-open hook shot from a close distance.

“We needed 20 minutes to understand where we are”

Barcelona coach Svetislav Pesic appreciated the result but didn’t really like the performance of his players in the first half of the game.

“I’m always happy if we win! Especially an away game. We played against an excellent team that plays team basketball. We didn’t believe they would play with this energy and enthusiasm and we needed 20 minutes to understand where we are. In the third quarter, we started to play basketball without turnovers. That improved our confidence for everything else,” Pesic said.

“We started very well and had respect for our game. When you have respect for your own game, you automatically respect your opponent also. Everything seemed to go as planned, but we knew that ALBA always keeps fighting. I told my team that we should never commit 2 turnovers in a row because that brings ALBA back into the game immediately. But it happened and ALBA picked up its rhythm. At halftime, we had time to talk about it again and my team found more energy in the second half and managed to win the game in the end.”

Photo: EuroLeague Basketball