On Alba Berlin home game days, blue and yellow are the dominant colors in front of the arena at Ostbahnhof. That was also the case on Tuesday, but the duel with Fenerbahce Istanbul in the Euroleague was not a normal home game. Long before the first jump ball, Turkish chants could be heard in front of the hall, firecrackers exploded, the police showed their presence and long queues formed. Even if the majority of them were football fans, the supporters of the Turkish multi-discipline club also had an acoustic preponderance in the arena – and perhaps even outnumbered them among the 6,176 spectators.
That only helped her team at times, however. Because after an extremely strong second half, Alba secured their first win of this Euroleague season in the third game. The Berliners defeated the favored Turks with 84:70 (18:19, 9:16, 30:18, 27:17). “It’s good to finally win a game,” said Alba’s captain Luke Sikma, delighted with the atmosphere. “Our fans are always great. It’s nice to see so many Fenerbahce fans too. We’re really looking forward to playing in front of spectators again. ”The next home game against Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz is on the program on Thursday (8pm).
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As with the defeat in Ludwigsburg on Sunday, Alba had to do without the Center Ben Lammers, Christ Koumadje, Johannes Thiemann and three-man specialist Marcus Eriksson. Maodo Lo recovered from his minor injury in time and was able to participate. At Fenerbahce, Ismet Akpinar, a former Alba professional, was in the squad, and Devin Booker is also well known to the Berliners from his time at Bayern Munich.
The center from the USA was also responsible for the early highlights. While Alba’s throws initially landed reliably on the ring and from there into the arms of Istanbul’s Jan Vesely, Booker pushed two failed throws from his colleagues into the basket. It took Alba a few minutes to get into the game. On the offensive, it was the newcomers Oscar da Silva and Yovel Zoosman who scored for the hosts. But apart from a few glimpses of light, as so often in this early phase of the season, the Berliners lacked the rhythm. Alba was often forced to throw badly, but at least the team coached by Israel Gonzalez did not suffer as many ball losses as in previous games.
After it looked very much like the third Berlin defeat in the third Euroleague game in the second quarter, which Alba ended with only nine points, the events took an astonishing turn at the beginning of the second half. Alba came out of the locker room very focused and took the lead with an 11-0 run. Now the home fans could also be heard much louder.
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Overall, the atmosphere became heated and the field became even more intense due to some controversial whistles from the referees. Luke Sikma ensured the end of the third quarter with an alley-oop dunk after a throw-in from Jaleen Smith, which Alba clearly won with 30:18.
So the Berliners went into the last ten minutes with a four-point lead. There they built on their strong performance, while the guests became increasingly nervous. Maodo Lo (21 points) tore the game more and more to himself and after a nice play over Smith and Sikma, top scorer da Silva (22) completed with a lot of contact. For the first time, the Berlin team led in double digits, the volume level in the guest block went down significantly and in the end only the players in the blue and yellow Alba jerseys cheered.