The Bavarians defend the title and are again German champions!
The basketball team of FC Bayern Munich won Game 3 of the Best-of-five series against Alba Berlin and thus won their fifth German Championship and defended their title. In front of 6,500 spectators in the completely sold-out Audi Dome, the Munich team succeeded in mastering the playoffs with a 9-0 record. The season ended in the best way possible with a dramatic over-timer thriller in a hard-fought 93-88 victory. Against an impressive Berlin team who led over long stretches of the game, a remarkable energetic performance was necessary to once again best the 2nd place team in the BBL.
FCBB record player Nihad Djedovic was voted most valuable player (MVP) of the final series, top scorer was the outstanding leader Vladimir Lucic with 23 points.
President Uli Hoeneß: "An outstanding performance".
After exactly 75 games, the FCBB's title defense marks the end of a long but extremely successful season for the FCBB. In the BBL, they only suffered three defeats and secured the championship impressively with three sweeps in the playoffs. In the top European competition, the EuroLeague, the Bavarians achieved their best German result to date with spectacular wins against Fenerbahce Istanbul and FC Barcelona, for and had a total of 14 victories. Including the German U19 and U16 Championships, it is the most successful season in the club's history.
Tuesday from 17:30 at Nockherberg
The team will celebrate the title defense and the end of the season with the fans next Tuesday (25 June) at 17:30 in the Paulaner am Nockherberg. In addition to sufficient autographs and selfies with the whole team, there will also be free beer from Paulaner's "33-liter-per-three" campaign.
Points per quarter Bayern - Berlin: 15-22, 17-24, 19-16, 25-14, 17-12.
FCBB Stats: Vladimir Lucic (23 points/4 threes), Nihad Djedovic (18/6 assists), Danilo Barthel (15), Stefan Jovic (12/6 assists), Derrick Williams (8), Maodo Lo (6), Nemanja Dangubic (4), Devin Booker (4), Leon Radosevic (2), Petteri Koponen (1), Alex King and Robin Amaize (dnp).
Bayern Munich head coach, Dejan Radonjic: "First of all congratulations to my players, the club, all employees, the management and the fans. That was another difficult game. Berlin played great again, but in the last seven minutes we gave it our all and played differently than before. It was a total of three hard games. Berlin had a big lead, but we stayed together, then we really improved on defense and offense and controlled over-time after the first big shot from Lucic. It was a long season with many games, also in the EuroLeague. To stay so constant, with only three defeats in the regular BBL season and the cup defeat here against Alba, and now the playoffs ended with 9-0 - what can I say? Nihad was very important for us in the series against Alba."
Uli Hoeneß, FCBB President: "This was not a game for weak nerves. It was an outstanding performance that can't be overestimated. The team showed great courage."
Nihad Djedovic: "The MVP title is not important for me. The important thing is that we won the championship. And it's really best to win the championship in my city of Munich, this feeling is priceless."
Vladimir Lucic: "It's a wonderful feeling, we've worked for it all season. I'm proud of the team, we've fought so hard for so long."
Stefan Jovic, Nihad Djedovic, Vladimir Lucic, Danilo Barthel and Devin Booker formed the starting five of FCBB coach Dejan Radonjic in the sold-out Audi Dome. In contrast to the first two games, the Bavarians scored early wen Stefan Jovic converted the top of the key to take a very early lead. The Bavarians played focused and together and after four minutes four starters had scored and the defending champion led 11-5. But the Berliners bared their teeth and did not let themselves be shaken off, three minutes later they had moved close to 13-12. Nihad Djedovic once again had a strong performance and scored nine points in the opening quarter. A three from Tim Schneider brought the guests into the lead for the first time at 17-15.
The Bavarians were a bit unlucky especially offense and the team from the capital knew how to take advantage and turned the tide. After the first quarter the Munichers were behind 22-15.
The Berliners moved the ball quickly and hit their free throws and the offensive engine of the Bavarians was stuttering. This led to an 8-0 run by ALBA and forced coach Radonjic to take a time-out. Vladimir Lucic ended the Munich scoring lull with a three to get back within ten at 28-18. The Bavarians tried hard to get back on track and at least push the deficit into the single-digit range. The energy of both teams brought on the floor was particularly remarkable on defense and the players fought tooth and nail for every ball and fought for every centimeter of the court. The difference of the opponents was found on offense: The guests simply scored better (Berlin 58%, Bavaria 38%) and suffered fewer turnovers (Berlin 6, Bavaria 10). Derrick Williams's three gave hope but Berlin's Derrick Walton's three-pointer sealed the Munich side's clear 46-32 deficit after the first half.
Vladimir Lucic opened the third quarter with a big bucket and Stefan Jovic took this as his cue to take over the game. These two led Bayern right back into the game and down only seven points at 50-43. But out of nowhere the Bavarians lost their way again and ALBA shocked the fans of the Reds with another 8-0 run, time-out FCBB. The fact that Berlin went three minutes without a bucket opened the door for Bayern but they also struggled to make their shots and at the end of the third the visitors maintained a double-digit lead with a score of 62-51.
The fans knew of course that they had to push the team now and frenetically cheered on the Munich squad - and whatever they did, it worked. The Bayern defense provoked Berlin turnovers and points from Barthel and Lucic forced Alba coach Aito to take a time-out. Maodo Lo scored a jump shot followed by an Alley-Oop-Dunk by Derrick Williams which caused the Audi Dome to freak out as the Berlin lead was only 64-60. The FCBB was finally in rhythm and the title defense was within reach. A three by Giedraitis gave the Berliners some air but Vladimir Lucic immediately countered with a nice layup to keep things close.
A three by Stefan Jovic brought the Bavarians to just two-points back with two minutes to play when Lucic immediately tied things up at 71. Djedovic got the lead for Bayern but Berlin's youngster, Wagner drilled a shot from deep and after a Munich turnover Peyton Siva scored again, time-out Munich, 76-73 for Berlin. 41 seconds before the end, Vladimir Lucic took the initiative and scored and was fouled, 76-76. The Bavarians had the chance to win in regulation but the shot from Williams rolled back from the ring and forced over- time.
Vladimir Lucic didn't wait long and sank a three after ten seconds to take a 79-76 lead. Danilo Barthel hit two free-throws and Bayern kept the lead at 81-78. and then 71 seconds before the probable end he hit a three for a 84-80 lead. The Bayern defense was rock solid and Derrick Williams was on the post for an offensive rebound and one minutes before the end he slammed home a Djedovic miss to take a decisive 86-80 lead. A three by Nihad Djedovic was the exclamation point in defending the title - FC Bayern Basketball is German Champion 2019.
Photo credit: Stickel, Rauchensteiner, Eirich