A strong 96-69 win in Berlin returns home-court advantage to Bayern
FC Bayern München Basketball won Game 2 of the BBL Finals on Thursday night against Berlin by a final score of 96-69. The win evens the series at 1-1 and Bayern has now regained home-court advantage for the rest of the best-of-five series. In front of 13,251 fans in the Berlin Arena, Munich set a blistering pace on both sides of the ball and was clearly the better team for the night from the first quarter onwards. It was Berlins first home loss since November of 2017 and Bayern set a Finals record with 30 assists. Jared Cunninngham was the leading scorer with 17 points.
Point guard, Braydon Hobbs, was not a part of the victory after he was admitted to the hospital just hours before the game with suspected appendicitis.
On Sunday, June 10th, the next game of the series will follow in Munich. FCBB wants to secure its chance of winning in four games and will tipoff at 18:30.
Points per quarter Bayern-Berlin: 26-9, 18-20, 26-23, 26-17.
FCBB Stats: Jared Cunningham (17 points), Danilo Barthel (16/6Rebounds), Vladimir Lucic (14), Nihad Djedovic (13), Reggie Redding (10), Devin Booker (9), Alex King (9), Stefan Jovic (6/9 Assists), Maik Zirbes (3), Anton Gavel (8 Assists), Karim Jallow.
Dejan Radonjic: "It was a very different game from the first, offensively and defensively. At the beginning we defended excellently and then this time, finally, over 40 minutes. On offense we played cleverly and then controlled the game. What is important is that we now internalize that it is only 1-1. If we do this and prepare well for the next game, we have a chance of winning it."
Berlin head coach, Aito: "Congratulations to the Bavarians, who defended very well and played with a good aggression. I agree with my colleague that it is only 1-1 and the final series is only over when a team has won three times. But of course they have the home advantage again."
Jared Cunningham: "We came out strong. We talked a lot after game one, got back together as a team. We showed the appropriate reaction. We moved the ball well today, played well together as a team. We have to go on exactly the same way. I just have to keep working hard personally and find my teammates."
Danilo Barthel: "We wanted to be aggressive. You can only beat Alba as a team. We did well today and were convincing as a team. Besides, we defended their shooters well. We set ourselves the goal of achieving a better inside-outside balance. We saw that Alba can win in our country, so we have to continue the same way on Sunday."
Dejan Radonjic started Game 2 of the Finals series with the starting five of Stefan Jovic, Jared Cunningham, Vlaidimir Lucic, Danilo Barthel and Devin Booker. The visitors started the game very focused and the only downside to a very good 7-2 start was two quick fouls by Vladimir Lucic. Bayern fought hard for every ball and were outstanding on defense. The were finding success in fastbreak points but also in the half court and with three minutes left in the quarter the score was 16-5. The defense forced six Berlin turnovers and succeeded in shutting down the three-point line. Danilo Barthel was a big part of the early success with seven points and three assists and was clearly in a good head-space for Game 2. At the end of the first quarter the score was 26-9.
Nihad Djedovic came in and took the first 20-point lead of the night with a three ball and Alba Berlin seemingly could find no answer for the physical and fast attack of the visitors. Finally, Butterfield and Grigonis each hit a three to bring the score to 31-15, about halfway through the quarter. This was the kick-start for a Berlin run which saw them confidently scoring in the paint in what resulted in a 13-0 run. Still, Bayern continued to control the game with a double-digit lead and after Lucic committed his third foul, Stefan Jovic took over as the go-to-guy on offense and helped steady the team. At the half Munich was still in control, 44-29.
Jared Cunningham poured in his first three of the game after Devin Booker went two straight times to the free-throw line and the lead was was again approaching 20 points for Bayern. Bayern, which has struggled from the free-throw line through the whole of the playoffs, found its stroke and hit 12/13 and was a big part of the dominance. Berlin did everything it could to keep things within reach and to get their fans back into the game but they never reached closer than a 14-point deficit. Bayern was solidly in control of the game on both sides of the court and at the break the score was a commanding 70-52 for Munich.
Even in the first minute of the quarter there seemed little doubt that Bayern would be the victors of Game 2. This became yet more clear when they went on an 12-0 run which saw the lead balloon to 30 points. The defense was still superb and the offense was in a nice flow of team friendly basketball that was fun to watch (for Bayern fans). The second half of the quarter was a run-out-the-clock scenario for both teams and at the buzzer, the final score was 96-69.
Game 3: Sunday, June 10th, 18:30 (Audi Dome)
Game 4: Wednesday, June 13th, 20:00 (in Berlin)
Game 5*: Saturday, June 16th, 20:30 (Audi Dome)