ALBA Berlin holds off Zvezda for valuable victory
In an exciting showdown that went down to the wire, ALBA Berlin bested Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 73-68 in the German capital to improve to 6-6 in Top 16 Group F. ALBA remained strong in the fight for a playoffs spot, while Zvezda dropped to 3-9 and was mathematically eliminated from the playoff hunt.
Marko Banic paced the winners with 18 points on 8-of-10 two-point shooting. Alex Renfroe added 13 points and 6 assists, Leon Radosevic scored 10, while Reggie Redding dished a career-high 11 assists for ALBA. Boban Marjanovic led Zvezda with career-high numbers - 27 points and a performance index ranking of 40. He added 10 rebounds for his 14th double-double this season. Charles Jenkins added 19 points for the guests.
Banic took over early and a three-pointer by Renfroe gave the hosts a 15-6 lead. Jonathan Tabu and Radosevic helped ALBA to a 22-9 lead after 10 minutes. Banic kept pushing ALBA and got help from Redding and Neils Giffey to boost the hosts′ lead to 39-22 at halftime.
Marjanovic took over after the break to bring Zvezda within 59-49 after 30 minutes. Luka Mitrovic and a red-hot Jenkins led Zvezda to tie the game at 61-61 with six minutes left. Radosevic and Renfroe rescued ALBA and a jumper by Redding sealed the outcome, 71-64, with less than two minutes remaining.
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