82-77 in front of 14,000 fans in Berlin
The basketball players of FC Bayern Munich won Game 2 of the German championship at Alba Berlin, 82-77 in front of 14,044 spectators in Berlin and are now up 2-0 in the series. The defending champs are thus only one win away from winning consecutive titles. Game 3 takes place on Sunday at 18:00 in the Audi Dome.
To the ticket shop
The Berliners got off to a better start but Bayern turned the tide, took a 12-point lead and remained calm even in hectic final quarter. Top scorer was Center Devin Booker with 16 points.
Points per quarter Bayern - Berlin: 15-25, 30-21, 18-13, 19-18.
FCBB stats: Devin Booker (16 points, 7 rebounds), Derrick Williams (12), Petteri Koponen (11), Leon Radosevic (10), Nihad Djedovic (10), Vladimir Lucic (8), Danilo Barthel (7), Maodo Lo (6), Nemanja Dangubic (2), Stefan Jovic (7 assists)
FCBB head coach, Dejan Radonjic: "Congratulations to my players on winning. Berlin started strongly, especially offensively and also with a difficult defense. Their three-point quota was 67 percent in the first half. We had problems in one-on-one defense and in pick and roll. That was different in the second half, we defended really well and played wisely on offense. In the last minutes it got tight again, but that's the playoffs, that's the finals. We know that Berlin will give another 100 percent on Sunday, we have to adjust to that. There's nothing to celebrate yet."
Alba Berlin head coach, Aíto: "Congratulations to the Bavarians on their victory. They played a very good game. I'm proud of my team because there was maximum effor and a strong commitment. I'm happy about that and you can't always say that after a defeat. Nevertheless, Bavaria won, you have to acknowledge that. I hope that we will give it another 100 percent in the third game."
Devin Booker: "We could have played even smarter in the end. Alba tries to exploit the mistakes of their opponents and gain an advantage. It's a team sport and we tried as a team to do the job, it worked today. The third game will be difficult, it will be a very important game for us."
Leon Radosevic: "We were quiet the whole game. To win here, it was important to be concentrated on offense and defense. In the end, the most important thing for us was to win in this atmosphere. But Berlin won't come to Munich now to go on holiday. We have to stay calm and focused and play our game."
FCBB coach Radonjic started Game 2 with Stefan Jovic, Nihad Djedovic, Vladimir Lucic, Danilo Barthel and Devin Booker. As in Game 1, the hosts started the game better and Rokas Giedraitis and Landry Nnoko poured in seven points. The first points for the German champions were scored by the finals MVP of the previous season, Danilo Barthel, with a very deep three. The Bavarians, however, struggled to find a grrove and had problems controling Nnoko under their own basket - Berlin inevitably took a double-digit lead in the meantime, 20-10. Petteri Koponen shortened the lead with a three before Martin Hermannsson answered and after one quarter the Berlin lead was ten, 25-15.
Munich team started the second quarter with more focus and aggression and it showed with some balls finding the bottom of the net. Derrick Williams and Djedovic opened with threes and Bayern was quickly back to four points behind. In the middle of the second quarter the Devin Booker show began as the big man grabbed several offensive rebounds and stuffed the ball home. He would end up with twelve points in the second quarter alone, plus four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the first half, with a perfect shooting percentage from within the arc. Three minutes before the break Djedovic brought the Bavarians into the lead for the first time at 37-36. Berlin answered but Maodo Lo's three again took the lead for the visitors. The home side then turned the result in their favour before the half but the last points went to the FCBB with Williams serving Booker as nice assist in the fastbreak, which provided a 46-45 score at half, Berlin up one.
After the break Luke Sikma was able to extend the lead of the Albatrosses with a three before the Munich team turned the game around again with a 12-3 run and a seven-point lead. The highlight: an Alley-Oop from Leon Radosevic to Williams. Derrick Walton Jr. finished the quarter with a deep bucket and after a low-scoring period, the score was 63-59 in favor of Bayern.
As in the second quarter, Djedovic and Williams opened the quarter with threes and thus provided the first double-digit lead for the Munich team. Altogether the final ten minutes turned out to be hot and intense. There was foul trouble early on and on the Berlin side, Giedraitis and Sikma, and Barthel for Bayern had to leave the cour early after five fouls. After another putback dunk by Booker and a three from the corner from Lucic the game seemed to be falling out of reach for Berlin with a Bayern lead of 78-72. But Alba hit back with baskets from Niels Giffey and a deep three from Franz Wagner with still 14 seconds on the clock and a one-point lead for Bayern. The Berliners sent Petteri Koponen to the line, who hit both free throws to pull ahead 80-77. With twelve seconds on the clock Alba got the ball, but Hermannssons shot bounced short and Lucic finally decided the game from the charity stripe.
The playoff final against Alba Berlin (2:0):
Final 3: Sunday, June 23rd 18:00 (Audi Dome)
Final 4*: Tuesday, June 25th 20:30
Final 5*: Friday, June 28th 20:30 (Audi Dome)
Photo credit: Stickel and Eirich