By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz led with as much as a 23-point lead at halftime and didn’t let ALBA Berlin’s second-half comeback spoil their momentum as they cruised to an 80-76 victory, their second of this week in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
Simone Fontecchio posted a 17-point performance to lead the efforts of Baskonia on the road, while he also added 4 rebounds and 3 steals. The Spanish side held on to a 52-29 lead at halftime, though the hosts reacted in the second half and even managed to trim the deficit to a single digit (74-70) with a minute remaining in the game.
Jayson Granger added up to the effort with 15 points, including a decisive pair of free throws in the final 24 seconds, while Matt Costello added 10 points Landry Nnoko had 9 points and 6 rebounds for Dusko Ivanovic’s squad.
Granger, familiar with the German team, commented: “We know the way ALBA play, I know especially cause I was here last year. But I think we stayed calm in the last minutes, we knocked down some good free throws and we were solid on defense. Two wins this week are pretty big for us. Starting 0-2 is not easy, especially when you got a brand new team with seven new guys. You got to have patience, keep building. And I think we are on a good way“.
Despite the intense finale, Baskonia moves up to a 2-2 record and will face AS Monaco at home for Round 5 next week.
Luke Sikma scored 19 points along with 8 rebounds for resilient ALBA that now slips to a 1-3 record despite a tremendous comeback in the second half.
Oscar Da Silva added 15 points for the German side and Yovel Zoosman had 9 points. ALBA faces Crvena Zvezda on the road next week (October 22).
“We have to take responsibility for the games. We start the game with a lot of pressure, with a lot of tension. When we see how the game looks like, and we are down 20 or more points, we start to play as we play. We have to learn this lesson. I am happy with the team because they worked for 40 minutes, and right now this is the most important thing for us, to build a team with all the injuries that we have and to try to do better every time, and play for 40 minutes”, said coach Israel Gonzalez after the game.