By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
ALBA Berlin led by five at halftime (42-37) in Valencia, but that didn’t rattle the hosts who ended up getting an easy 91-77 win. With the duo of Jordan Loyd scoring 19 points and Alberto Abalde adding 16 points, things proved to be quite manageable in the second half.
The partial score in the third period was 25-15 for the hosts and 29-20 in the fourth, as Valencia turned the tables quickly and cruised until the final buzzer. Loyd scored 10 of his point during the third quarter and led the charge.
And according to him, after this result, the playoffs are a valid goal: “It is always the goal and this team has been really resilient lately. We showed a lot of fight, no matter what the situation is, what game. We are playing with real confidence.”
Aaron Doornekamp also had 15 points for the winning side, Bojan Dubljevic, a double-double with ten points and ten rebounds, while Sam Van Rossom dished 11 assists.
For the losing side, Marcus Eriksson led a balanced offensive effort with 14 points; however, neither he nor any of his teammates had an answer in the second-half surge of the hosts.
Thanks to this result Valencia got to eight wins and is part of a four-way tie in the eighth spot of the standings with Crvena Zvezda, Khimki Moscow Region, and LDLC ASVEL, while ALBA dropped to 5-12.
“Our reference was Zalgiris“
According to coach Jaume Ponsarnau, Valencia is trying to follow the steps of Zalgiris Kaunas, which emerged as an underdog making it to the playoffs during the last few seasons: “We said at the beginning of the season we needed to improve. We were a team that started the season with only a few players with EuroLeague experience, changing some of our references this season. We want to build a competitive team and had a tough calendar, playing against the EuroLeague champion and the finalist right away, the best teams. We learned from all of that – our reference was what Zalgiris did in the last few years. Zalgiris never had a great start but grew and improved, and that was our challenge. We believed our players could improve and this is what we are doing. We have enough players to turn games around in terms of energy like we did today.”
Photo credit: EuroLeague