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s.Oliver Würzburg loses to ALBA BERLIN despite three strong quarters

Würzburg, 2017-09-12

Berlin, who was without its regular playmaker Peyton Siva and German international Niels Giffey, produced as good as nothing in offense in the game’s opening minutes. In contrast, the home side moved the ball well and scored off a high percentage of its shots. Center Leon Kratzer opened the encounter with a lay-up and the first two shots from downtown by Robin Benzing and Vytenis Lipkevicius also hit their mark. A little later, s.Oliver Würzburg captured a double-digit lead for the first time after a thunderous slam-dunk by Kratzer.

Berlin’s legendary Spanish Head Coach Aito Garcia Reneses responded by calling his first timeout. Things went better for the visitors from then on: They produced a 13:2 run and went ahead for the first time in the 10th minute through a three by the former Würzburg player Joshiko Saibou. The 3,140 spectators then saw an exciting, evenly poised game where the lead changed hands many times.

After a barren spell of ten successive missed shots from beyond the arc, the home side drained three threes shortly before the break to strike back following two buckets from outside for Berlin through Spencer Butterfield and Marius Grigonis. Maurice Stuckey managed to give the home side a narrow 39:37 half-time lead: He received a pass from captain Kresimir Loncar and buried a three from the left corner in the final tenths of a second in the second period.

The encounter remained evenly contested after the break, with neither side being able to open up a gap of more than four points until the 28th minute. s.Oliver Würzburg first pulled 46:42 in front, then Berlin went 47:51 ahead. Würzburg’s last seven points in the third period were all scored by Robin Benzing, but he was not able to prevent his team from trailing 55:60 after 30 minutes.

The Albatrosses as good as sealed the game with a 21:8 run straddling the periods to stretch their lead to fourteen points (58:72). The home side never recovered from the visitors’ strongest spell in the opening minutes of the final quarter, since Berlin always had the right reply to every successful action by Würzburg in offense in the closing phase. The game thus ended 90:76.

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