Alba Berlin equalizes in the final

Led by two brilliant ex-NBA pros, Alba Berlin equalized against FC Bayern in the final series of the German basketball championship. The capital city team won 79:70 (39:32) in Munich on Monday evening and made it 1:1 in the best-of-five series.

The outstanding Berlin player against a largely helpless Bayern was precision shooter Matt Thomas with 21 points. Sterling Brown, who like Thomas has already played in the best league in the world in North America, contributed 17 points to the well-deserved away win.

Bayern were particularly disappointing offensively, with Carsen Edwards being the Munich team’s best scorer with 17 points. The final series of the top German teams now continues with two games in Berlin on Wednesday (8:30 p.m.) and Friday (6:00 p.m./both Dyn). This means that the German basketball champions could be crowned on the evening of the opening game of the European Football Championship.

After the Munich team secured victory in the first final game on Saturday with a strong final quarter against an exhausted Berlin team (79:67), the hosts actually got off to a perfect start this time. After just six minutes, they were 13 points ahead. But the joy in star coach Pablo Laso’s team was short-lived: the tide turned in the second quarter, Alba caught up and overtook the stunned Munich team.

Because the capital city team didn’t allow their opponents to score any more points in the last five minutes before halftime, they went into the break with a seven-point lead. “That was really bad,” said point guard Leandro Bolmaro on Dyn, and Munich club president Herbert Hainer admitted: “The second quarter made me think. I’ve never seen us score only six points in one quarter at BMW Park.”

Berlin’s Tim Schneider (left) and Munich’s Isaac Bonga fight for the ball.

© IMAGO/Kirchner/David Inderlied

Hainer relied on Coach Laso’s halftime speech – in vain: In the third quarter, the guests kept their pace and intensity high, especially in defense. The Berlin team’s captain Johannes Thiemann returned after missing the first duel due to a patellar tendon injury. The world champion is still not in top form, said Alba coach Israel Gonzalez before the match. “But in this phase we need all the support we can get.”

So Thiemann gritted his teeth and repeatedly hobbled across the court with a face contorted in pain. The fact that Alba had to compete in the final series without any nominal guards because all three of Berlin’s point guards were injured – some of them for a long time – was hardly noticeable in this game. Because Alba brought the victory over time.

By Editor

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