Berlin leads 1-0 after 89-86 opening win in Game 1

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After a hectic and in the end dramatic start of the final series for the German championship 2021, the Bayern basketball team is trailing 0-1 against Alba Berlin after an 86-89 defeat. The Munich team, limited in their rotation by the absence of Paul Zipser and Leon Radosevic, failed to score from three and trailed by as many as eleven points. There was some lack of grip in man defense, and they did not fair well with whistles against (27-17 fouls, three technicals). However, Andrea Trinchieri's team never gave up and even took an 82-80 lead before the last minute thanks to a great energetic performance. Small mistakes on defense against Lo and an obvious lack of energy ultimately prevented the win.

Game 2 will already take place on Thursday evening starting at 20:30 in the arena at Berlin's Ostbahnhof. On Saturday, the best-of-five series moves to the Audi Dome (15:00), and a fourth game would also be played in Munich unless Berlin wins in three games. On Wednesday, Bayern was missing Nick Weiler-Babb and Paul Zipser, who are no longer eligible for the finals, as well as Leon Radosevic (ankle capsule), who is still ailing; JaJuan Johnson also did not play.


Alba Berlin - FC Bayern Basketball 89-86 (45-40)


James Gist (19 Points/5 Rebounds), D.J. Seeley (14), Wade Baldwin (13), Vladimir Lucic (12), Jalen Reynolds (11), Nihad Djedovic (9), Zan Mark Sisko (6/9 Assists), Robin Amaize (2), David Krämer, Sasha Grant und Jason George.

Top scorer Berlin:

Marcus Eriksson (23 Points)


Robert Lottermoser, Gentian Cici, Carsten Straube



Points per quarter Bayern - Berlin: 18-24, 22-21, 19-23, 27-21.

Stats: Two-point shooting: 65% (FCBB) // 50% (Berlin); Three-point shooting: 27% // 43%; Free-throw shooting: 76% // 75%; Rebounds: 34 // 30; Assists: 22 // 16; turnovers: 13 // 12.

Andrea Trinchieri: "We are missing two very important players and then three at the end, nevertheless we showed a game with great will and passion We earned the chance to win in great distress. But then two mistakes on defense cost us the game. Because we were ahead by two points with one minute and 20 seconds left and had the game where we wanted it. (...) In the end, small things decide. Tomorrow we can't be bad guys anymore. We conceded three technical fouls. We were treated like bad guys because we got a technical foul for the first word of criticism. We have to go back to school, we were penalized after two minutes, so we have to learn that and do better - that's our fault. In a game like this, where you have to give up a lot of players, we have to avoid technical fouls. This is then a selfish way of playing. (...) That costs a lot of emotions and problems in the rotation, which is already so short. (...) We can't possibly regenerate befrore tomorrow. It is now 1-0 for Alba, in 22 hours it will already go on. (...) Leon couldn't play either, it will be hard to believe he will play if you saw his injury in the video. We'll keep trying and have to see."

Nihad Djedovic: "We lacked a little bit of strength. Alba had two good plays at the end, two threes. We tried, but we had no strength left. That's how we lost today, unfortunately. In the end, we still managed to make a comeback, but in crunch time, no good decisions were made and so we lost. After seven months without spectators, it was a bit loud today, next season we can hopefully play in full halls. Now we start right away with the regeneration, for most of us it's the first time in this crazy rhythm. But we have to go through it."

Game recap:
Trinchieri started Wade Baldwin, Robin Amaize, Nihad Djedovic, Vladimir Lucic and Jalen Reynolds. Baldwin was ready right away and opened the finals with a three-pointer. The Berliners countered with an 8-0 run, which only Amaize managed to stop (8-5/3rd). As in the semifinals, turnovers in the opening quarter were the Munich team's problem, this time there were five after as many minutes. In addition, the FCBB failed repeatedly on the defensive boards and gave up far too many second-chance point. In view of these issues being down only six after ten minutes was better than it could have been.

Captain Nihad Djedovic is clearly starting to find his legs and six points in a row were his statement (31-26/14th). The defense tightened and provided stops, via a Lucic three-pointer and Reynolds dunk - 34-31 (15th). Bayern was on Alba's heels as Djedovic converted Baldwin's clever pass for a three-pointer and tied the game (38-38/18th). After a timeout, however, the Berliners pulled away again with a 7-0 run before Gist converted at the end of the half to stay within reach, 45-40.

Berlin's Eriksson was a thorn in the side of Bayern after the break and hit two quick threes forcing a time-out from Trinchieri. Bayern continued to look unsettled while Berlin appeared more determined. However, two big-time Baldwin threes brought his team back to 56-53 (26th). The Munich team showed what is expected in a final: they fought! Berlin's giant Koumadje caused difficulties for the FCBB, as did foul trouble. Alba used that to take a double-digit lead (68-57/30th) and Bayern trailed nine with ten to play.

An outstanding defensive sequence by Bayern gave hope but it was nipped in the bud when Baldwin was sent out of the game with his second technical foul and a T against the bench. Lucic took the initiative as so often in crunch time and scored followed by a bucket from Seeley (75-70/35th). Eriksson, however, sank his sixth three-pointer but the guests did not give up and came back to 80-77 (159 seconds left) thanks to tight defense. A Berlin timeout did not slow Munich down as James Gist hit a three-pointer to equalize at 80-80, Seeley hit a floater to take the lead (82-80/ 91 seconds left)! But former Munich player Maodo Lo tied it up and sent in a three-pointer after a Seeley miss (8/ 57 5-82/ 57seconds left). Djedovic's three-pointer also missed the target and Lo sealed the loss with another three-pointer. 1-0 Alba.

The 2021 playoff finals (best-of-five):
Thursday, June 10, 20:30.: Game 2

Saturday, June 12, 15:00.: Game 3

Sunday, June 13, 15:00.: Game 4*

Tuesday, June 15, 17:00.: Game 5*

*= if necessary

Photo Credit: Eirich, Stickel, Wiedensohler

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