Created on 11-06-2021 at 07:11 AM
The Bayern basketball team fought back just 22 hours after the close loss at the start of the playoff finals against Alba Berlin (89-86): The team of head coach Andrea Trinchieri, which was weakened by injuries, won the no less contested second duel by a a strong team performance 76-66 and thus stole a game away from home despite injuries to equalize 1-1. The Cup winner was again missing Leon Radosevic, Paul Zipser and Nick Weiler-Babb.
This means that after Game 3 in Munich's Audi Dome on Saturday - finally with fans again - there will in any case be a second home game on Sunday (both 15:00).
The guests started in front of 2,000 fans highly concentrated and aggressive in defense and took a 22-7 lead (11th) only Berlins offensive rebounds kept them even that close. However, after the highest lead of 29-10 (14th) Bayern lacked a little patience in attack and Alba came back with a 12-0 run. After the break, the duel turned into an intense roller coaster ride as Alba took a 46-42 lead after five Munich turnovers (27th). But the FCBB fought back with a 10-0 spurt despite the short bench and went into the final quarter with a 52-50 lead. There, the outstanding top scorer Vladimir Lucic (26 points, nine in the last four minutes) put his team in front 69-63 with 95 seconds to go - and sealed the win.
Vladimir Lucic (26/4 Rebounds), D.J. Seeley (16), Wade Baldwin (9/7 Assists), Zan Mark Sisko (7/5 Rebounds/5 Assists), Nihad Djedovic (6), Robin Amaize (6), Jalen Reynolds (4), James Gist (2), David Krämer, Sasha Grant, Leon Radosevic, und Jason George.
Ben Lammers (15 Points)
Anne Panther, Martin Matip, Steve Bittner
Points per quarter Bayern - Berlin: 20-7, 15-19, 17-24, 24-16
Stats: Two-point shooting: 50% (FCBB) // 54% (Berlin); Three-point shooting: 53% // 20%; Free-throw shooting: 92% // 85%; Rebounds: 27//36; Assists: 16//18; turnovers: 14//19.
Andrea Trinchieri: "This is back-to-back: yesterday we lost because of details, today we were better. I think apart from two moments when we didn't keep the tension high, we did a good job. My players played hard and covered their mistakes. We are where we want to be right now. It's 1-1, back-to-back is new for all of us, we have to navigate through that. My team knows how to play. Today we somehow found the energy and fought back. (...) All the games we won, we defended well. Now we are going to the next duel in not even 48 hours. It's less than a day's break. We will regenerate now and wait and see what happens until Saturday. (...) The only technical foul today was on me, so I can't be happy, but the players did better. The story of our season is to get a punch in the mouth before we start playing; and Alba really beat us yesterday. My goal today was to find a team that can move on the court for 40 minutes. Because without defense, you can't win against Alba. (...) Lucic is our leader and in the most important game in Germany you saw that."
Vladimir Lucic: "With this game plan, it's important to come back after we lost yesterday. It's a huge difference if it's 1-1 or 2-0. The series is back in Munich now. We are back, it is even and we have to prepare for the upcoming game. I always try to help my team. It's a win for the team. With two important German players missing, games like today are extremely important, especially in back-to-back games. We know what the situation is and we try to make the best of it. We did a good job, we stole a game. Now the series comes to Munich. We have to recover now and stay focused. We will do what the coach asks us to do. There won't be any big surprises. Especially the players who have been playing here for a while also know the Berliners very well. It's a crazy schedule, so it's just a matter of recovering as best we can. We're really looking forward to the crowd in Munich now."
Berlin coach, Aíto Garcia Reneses: "Bayern played very well. They performed with excellent energy. We played poorly at first, but that had a lot to do with their strong defense. There was no penetration in the offense at first, but we recovered from that and came back. In the decisive moments, however, Bayern then scored every time they took a shot."
Trinchieri again started with a small lineup, sending Wade Baldwin, Robin Amaize, Nihad Djedovic, Vladimir Lucic and Jalen Reynolds onto the floor. The starting five showed right away that they had something to make up for after game one. Baldwin let returnee Peyton Siva run into space with an elegant turn and finished confidently with a jump-shot. A three-pointer by Lucic in Niels Giffey's face forced Berlin's early timeout (11-6/5th). But that was just the start of a 14-1 run by Bayern. A compact defense (five Berlin turnovers in the first quarter) resulted in repeated opportunities that Lucic and Amaize converted into points. Two free throws by D.J. Seeley put the finishing touches on an impressive quarter, which went to the guests 20-7.
Seeley now took over the offense and scored five points. While the Albatrosses continued to look for a way into the game and had to digest an airball from sharpshooter Marcus Eriksson, Reynolds made the ring vibrate with a monster slam (29-12/14th). It was the duo of Siva/Sikma, who have been playing together for years, that breathed life back into the hosts and initiated a 12-0 run of their own - time-out Trinchieri. Bayern woke up again in the last two minutes of the first half and secured a nine-point lead (35-26) with a buzzer-beater by Lucic.
In the second half, the Berliners came out of the locker room with a lot of pressure, which was especially noticeable in Baldwin's two quick turnovers. Trinchieri reacted immediately and brought back Sisko, who together with Lucic found answers to weather the storm (42-34/24th). Alba was now playing at full speed and were dangerous from the three-point line, from which Eriksson and Simone Fontecchio gave Berlin its first lead (46-42/27th). But the visitors stuck to their strategy, found their way back to their EuroLeague-proven defense and regained a narrow lead (52-50).
The final quarter was pure drama and a Fontecchio three-pointer from the side put Alba in front, Gist countered with a strong drive to the basket (62-61/36th). Two minutes before the end, it was again Lucic who showed nerves of steel and sent a three-pointer through the net - 67-63! Berlin tried again via Maodo Lo but this time the defense was ready for the ex-Munich player's solo efforts. The result: two turnovers (69-63). However, Sisko conceded his fifth foul and Baldwin an unsportsmanlike one before that. However, FCBB still had Lucic and the Serb had scored nine points after the score was tied 61-61 (36th). A three-point play by Fontecchio made it exciting again but time was running out now and the guests finally earned the victory at the free throw line.
The 2021 playoff finals (best-of-five):
Saturday, June 12, 15:00.: Game 3
Sunday, June 13, 15:00.: Game 4
Tuesday, June 15, 19:00.: Game 5*
*= if necessary
Photo Credit: Eirich, Stickel, Wiedensohler