By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
ALBA Berlin overcame a career-night for Achille Polonara and 14 steals made by the opponents to defeat TD Systems Baskonia, 84-77, at the Fernando Buesa Arena Friday evening.
Peyton Siva logged a team-high 14 points. Simone Fontecchio and Maodo Lo went for 13 points apiece. Jayson Granger registered a team-high 17 PIR against his former team powered by seven points, eight assists, four rebounds, and four steals.
“I played here for three years, so I know how difficult it is to play here,” noted Granger, “I am so proud of this team, of this family. We have some main guys back from injuries like Peyton [Siva], Marcus [Eriksson], Luke [Sikma]. They did a great job and I think it was a big win for us.”
The visitors controlled most of the second half after several lead changes in the first 20 minutes of the contest completing the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 21 schedule. Lo dialing in the 13th three-pointer of ALBA for the night put the game beyond doubt with 1:13 remaining.
“I think we defended pretty well in the second half,” said assistant coach Israel Gonzalez, “We fought a lot, and could dominate our defensive rebounds after having problems in the first half. We had fewer turnovers and a lot of faith in our offense. And we played like a team. I am proud and happy for my team, for my players.”
Head coach Aito Garcia Reneses recovered from coronavirus and was back on the bench after missing the five previous fixtures. His side still without Niels Giffey snapped a three-game losing streak jumping to 8-13.
The Spanish outlet suffering a second loss to ALBA in January and third in a row in Europe’s premier club competition fell to 9-12. Polonara reset his personal-best in EuroLeague at 23 points and also pulled down nine rebounds but failed to prevent the fifth loss at home this season.
“We lost a chance to win the game but the way we played, it was very difficult.” mentioned Dusko Ivanovic, “We had a lead in the first half but not thanks to our defense. We hit shots and played well on offense but before we played I had it clear, and I hope my players did, too, that our way to win was defense. When we stopped on offense, we didn’t play defense and probably the third quarter in which we only had one assist and eight turnovers marked the rhythm of the game.”
Baskonia leading the league in steals drew 14 more in the losing effort. Luca Vildoza paired his four seals with 10 points. Former ALBA player, Rokas Giedraitis also put up 10 points.
“We lost a couple in the EuroLeague, so it was good to go out there and win,” said ALBA’s top scorer Siva, “The guys out there trust our teammates. Those guys played really hard, made tough shots at the end. I am just glad that we had a chance to beat Rokas.”
The losing side will take on LDLC ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne in France Wednesday and return to Spain bumping into Zalgiris Kaunas Friday.