Bayern loses 72-68 in Berlin: Game 5 on Saturday in Munich
Bayern Munich Basketball couldn't close the door on the Finals series in Berlin and lose Game 4, 72-68. The final game of the season will be played on Saturday at 20:30 CEST at the Audi Dome and will be "win-or-die" for both teams as only one will leave as champion.
In fron of 11,722 fans in Berlin, the game turned into another ugly, defensive battle and though Bayern led for chunks of the game, they could never pull away from the stingy Berliners. This time, the turnovers really cost Munich and they will need to clean some things up if they want to win Game 5 and the championship. Danilo Barthel and Jared Cunningham each had 11 points which led the team.
Points per quarter Bayern-Berlin: 14-12, 20-17, 19-22, 15-21.
FCBB Stats: Danilo Barthel (11 points), Jared Cunningham (11), Stefan Jovic (10), Reggie Redding (8), Devin Booker (8), Maik Zirbes (8), Vladimir Lucic (7), Nihad Djedovic (5), Alex King, Anton Gavel, Karim Jallow (dnp) and Amar Gegic (dnp).
Dejan Radonjic, head coach of FCBB: "Congratulations to Berlin on their victory. It was a very intense game and we had the chance of an even better result in the first half. But we had problems with their points after offensive rebounds and we gave away some lay-ups. In the second half we played a way I didn't like: We lost the ball and Alba scored at will on offense. In the end we had the chance to win, but now we have another game at home and I think we'll win the championship."
Coach Dejan Radonjic started Game 4 with Stefan Jovic, Jared Cunningham, Vladimir Lucic, Danilo Barthel and Devin Booker as his starting five and it was a nice start for the fearsome fivesome. Barthel and Jovic teamed up for a sweet bucket to start the game and it was a nice start with momentum immediately in Bayern's favour. Berlin didn't let this slow them down though and after five minutes the game was close at 8-6, a slight lead for the visitors. Barthel provided reliable offense under the hoop and the defense was tight on the Berliners and by the end of the first quarter, the score was a defensive 14-12.
Cunningham made his presence felt after 90 seconds of play in the second quarter by slamming the ball home over top of Berlin's Joshiko Saibou and the score was brought to 18-12 for Bayern. The score bounced back and forth but neither team could build a large lead and with four minutes to play the score was tied at 26. Bayern really struggled shooting but their defense was stifling enough that it wasn't a game breaker and the defensive slug fest continued. The half ended with a bang for Munich as Vladimir Lucic drilled a three-pointer with five seconds remaining and Bayern headed to the locker room with a five-point lead and the momentum.
The second half started just as well as the third had ended for FCBB and Devin Booker helped take the biggest lead of the night at 36-29. The good feelings for the visitors quickly turned though as they committed some costly turnovers and Berlin's 8-0 run led to a one-point lead for the home team. The score ping-ponged back and forth and the defense for both teams was still the story of the game. Bayern would hit a jump shot and Berlin would come right back and hit two free-throws. Berlin would hit a three and Bayern would hit back with a dunk of their own. It was a very evenly matched third quarter and by the end, Munich had snuck out with a two-point lead and a score of 53-51.
The game which had already been a dirty, grind fest of defensive prowess but in the 4th quarter it took a whole other step towards unwatchable. There were more fouls than could be counted and the flow of the game was nearly unbearable. The offenses were out of rhythm and clunky and it was more of a question of who would hit a few shots than who would miss a few. The game was within two points for nearly the entire segment of the game but with one-minute remaining, Berlin managed to hit a few shots and Bayern didn't and the game was put out of reach when the home team hit their free-throws to finish things off. Game 5 at the Audi Dome is next.
Game 1: FCBB - Berlin 95-106 OT
Game 2: Berlin - FCBB 69-96
Game 3: FCBB - Berlin 72-66
Game 4: Berlin - FCBB 72-68
Game 5: Saturday, June 16th, 20:30 (Audi Dome)