Bayern wins swing game 72-66
FC Bayern München Basketball beat Berlin in Game 3 of the BBL finals on Sunday evening by a final score of 72-66 and now have a 2-1 lead in the series. In front of a full-house of 6,500 fans in the Audi Dome, the fans watched as Bayern turned the ball over an astounding 27 times and yet managed to pull out the win thanks in large part to outstanding defense. Reggie Redding was the top scorer with 18 points.
Wednesday will be the big day for Game 4 and Bayern's first chance to win their second championship in five years. Should Berlin win, the final game would be played in the Audi Dome on Saturday 16.6 at 20:30 CEST.
Points per quarter Bayern-Berlin: 25-16, 21-13, 15-19, 11-18.
FCBB Stats: Reggie Redding (18 points/5 trio), Nihad Djedovic (11), Vladimir Lucic (10), Danilo Barthel (9), Alex King (6), Devin Booker (6/7 rebounds), Jared Cunningham (5), Stefan Jovic (5), Maik Zirbes (2), Karim Jallow (dnp) and Amar Gegic (dnp).
Dejan Radonjic, head coach of FCBB: "It was an incredibly tough game, just as I had expected. We defended very well and controlled the game over long distances. Berlin also defended excellently and forced many turnovers on our side. It was an important victory for us."
Uli Hoeneß, President of FC Bayern Munich: "Of course, that wasn't a sure thing today, but that hasn't been the case in any game in the series so far. I was particularly impressed by the fighting spirit of our team today. In Berlin, the odds are now 50:50. Berlin will try everything to seize its last chance."
Berlin head coach, Aito: "I have the feeling that we used up all our fuel in the first game of the series. We can't keep up with this bad shooting percentage. The only positive thing today was that we showed team spirit and fought."
Coach Dejan Radonjic sent out Stefan Jovic, Jared Cunningham, Vladimir Lucic, Danilo Barthel and Devin Booker as his starting five for the swing game of the championship series. From tip-off the home team showed strong defense and after a few minutes Cunningham drilled a three to give Bayern their first lead of the game. The defense was stifling for Munich and they dominated the board in what ended up as a 12-4 run in the first half of the quarter. Djedovic hit four free-throws but Munich had a hard time pulling away and the lead was always within single-digits. In the last minute of the quarter FCBB scored four quick points and at the buzzer the score was 25-16 for the home team.
Bayern appeared to not have enough determination to start the next section and though the play was lacking a bit of energy, the tempers were rising and eventually resulted in technical fouls for both sides. Reggie Redding took that fire and brought the fans to their feet with two straight deep balls. This led to the first double-digit lead for Bayern at 32-22 but again the offensive game stalled for the team from South Eastern Germany. That is until Redding caught fire again and hit two more three-pointers and the quarter ended with the momentum fully in favor of the home team who led 46-29 at the break.
The Berliners didn't let the big points gap slow them down and they fought fiercely on both sides of the ball. Danilo Barthel helped in keeping them out of reach at the start of the quarter thanks to his great rebounding and strong scoring under the basket. After the four minute mark of the quarter, Berlin found an answer on offense and went on a 8-0 run and were quickly within 11 points. The Bayern offense was not playing to its best ability in the quarter but fortunately its defense was dominant enough that by the end of the 3rd, they still led comfortably at 61-48.
To start the 4th, Bayern let down their game a bit and Berlin immediately took advantage and after three minutes the score was 61-53. Barthel and Redding gave the fans some room to relax with a three for each of the hot-hands but Berlin came right back and brought the score to within 10 points. Stefan Jovic picked a good moment to hit his first three-pointer of the game and there was a breath for air as it seemed that it may be the nail in the coffin of the Berliners. On the other side of the ball Bayern came out with a key steal and FCBB was able to pull off a hard-fought but well earned victory. Final score 71-66 for Munich.
Game 1: FC Bayern Munich - ALBA Berlin 95-106 OT
Game 2: ALBA Berlin - FC Bayern Munich 69-96
Game 3: FC Bayern Munich - ALBA Berlin 72-66
Game 4: Wednesday, June 13th, 20:00 (in Berlin)
Game 5*: Saturday, June 16th, 20:30 (Audi Dome)