By Stefan Djordjevic / firstname.lastname@example.org
Crvena Zvezda gambled away its double-digit lead late in the game and Alba Berlin was the team to come out on top in the end with a 90-84 overtime win. Alba improved to 6-7 compared to Zvezda’s 4-10 record after losing fifth straight.
Maodo Lo led the way with 21 points and Peyton Siva with 19 while Johannes Thiemann added 13. For Zvezda, Jordan Loyd had 21 in addition to Ognjen Dobric’s 13 and Johnny O’Bryant’s 12 points.
Lo was very happy with his as well as his team’s performance: “It was a fight. Zvezda played a great game, so it was very tough. I’m glad we were able to execute in overtime and get the win. I was happy to help the team, but I think we kept our calm in overtime and didn’t shy away from the way we wanted to play. That was effective for us and allowed us to win. It’s super important, every game in EuroLeague is important and every team competes to 100%, so to win on the road is especially big for us.”
Crvena Zvezda led by 14 points (64-50) early in the fourth quarter, however, Alba bounce back with a 15-2 run (66-65) and eventually took over the lead (72-71), using the mistakes made by O’Bryant who made an offensive as well s a defensive foul which forced him out of the game with five.
The sides went back and forth but Luke Sikma’s ice-cold two free throws sent the game into overtime, although Cory Walden was ‘just’ half a second late with his deep three-pointer which went in.
Overtime was almost fully in Alba’s control. The German team outplayed Crvena Zvezda with fast pick and roll combinations which secured direct and easy points in the paint. Jayson Granger’s playmaking was a huge part of that.
Zvezda on the contrary struggled offensively and depended completely on Loyd’s few impressive individual moves. He actually scored all eight points for Zvezda in the extra five minutes.
“We had a lot of difficulties in the game, but we had faith and tried to play as well as possible for 40 minutes…no, 45 minutes! The most important thing was having that faith and knowing how to do what we can,” Alba coach Aito Garcia said.