Bayern lose 81-69 and face a do-or-die duel with Alba

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In the merciless back-to-back series for the 2021 BBL title, Alba Berlin has taken the advantage again after Game 3. The Bayern basketball team lost its first home game of the playoff finals on Saturday 81-69 despite the terrific support of 1,300 fans. They now trail the series 1-2. This makes the second home appearance in the Audi Dome in around 22 hours - it will be the 90th game of the season, currently a world record (shared with Olimpia Milan) - a do-or-die duel for the Cup winners. In addition to MagentaSport, Sport1 will also be broadcasting starting at 15:00 on Sunday.

Head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team suffered from a short rotation thanks to injuries. After first a lead for Alba and then for the FCBB (37-29/17th), the visibly depleted FCBB managed only 19 points in the last 16 minutes. Munich's offense didn't create or produce anymore and the defense lacked energy, while Alba skillfully exploited its deep squad and was much more energetic in rebounding (47-35). Bayern's top scorer D.J. Seeley (23) was also ruled out injured in crunch time and joined Nick-Weiler Babb and Paul Zipser on the long list of missing players.


FC Bayern Basketball - Alba Berlin 69-81 (37-37)


D.J. Seeley (23 Points), Nihad Djedovic (12/6 Rebounds), Vladimir Lucic (10), Wade Baldwin (9), Leon Radosevic (7/7 Reb), James Gist (5/5 Reb), Jalen Reynolds (3), Zan Mark Sisko (10 Assists), Robin Amaize, David Krämer, Sasha Grant und Jason George.

Top scorer Berlin:

Marcus Eriksson und Luke Sikma (jew. 13 Points)


Clemens Fritz, Moritz Reiter, Christof Madinger



Points per quarter Bayern - Berlin: 18-19, 19-18, 19-22, 13-22.

Stats: Two-point shooting: 47% (FCBB) // 55% (Berlin); Three-point shooting: 38% // 25%; Free-throw shooting: 57% // 74%; Rebounds: 32 // 47; Assists: 16 // 20; Turnovers: 11 // 8.

Andrea Trinchieri: "This is a tough defeat after a tough game. We played well for 25 minutes, after that the story of the game is simply told: They had 14 more shot attempts than us and grabbed 15 more rebounds. The rest is not so important, because if you give a team 14 more shots to score and 15 more rebounds, you can play hard and it won't matter. In the last ten minutes we lost it on both ends of the court, offensively and defensively. Now we have to think about it and show a different face tomorrow. (...) I am actually very confident, only there is one thing that is different compared to the season so far, and that is the number of healthy players. For tomorrow, I just hope that D.J. Seeley can play (...) We've been in this situation many times and now it's more a question of how we present ourselves tomorrow, with the will to come back, with mental and physical energy. I would say it's almost more a psychological, a mental thing than a physical thing."

Nihad Djedovic: "It was a good and gripping game. Until the third quarter we controlled everything - then we had no energy left and a couple of players got injured as well; then we couldn't parry. But okay, we lost today, but we have to regenerate now and focus on the next game. It was nice to play in front of our home crowd again after so many months. We felt the energy, but unfortunately we didn't have any left in the tank. Tomorrow we will play a good 40 minutes, find strength somewhere and hopefully win. We had a tough season, tomorrow is the 90th game. It's really hard because as we can see, players are getting injured. Hopefully we all stay healthy and have the energy tomorrow so we can win."

Game recap:
Wade Baldwin, Robin Amaize, Nihad Djedovic, Vladimir Lucic and Jalen Reynolds finally got to take the floor as starters in front of their own fans in their own living room after an agonizingly long time. Berlin's giant Christ Koumadje changed things for Berlin, and Munich was faced with a 9-0 run by the visitors after two minutes. To the excitement of the fans, Leon Radosevic, who had been badly knocked down in game one, came on the floor and Bayern got back in it (14-8/5th). But a little later Lucic met the same fate and limped into the locking room. At 14-10, neither side scored a basket for minutes, Baldwin roared into the zone and finished elegantly (14-12/8th). Lucic came back into the hall and was immediately substituted back in - the fans went wild. The roar continued, as Seeley took Bayern's first lead (18-16/10th). At the end of the gripping opening quarter, the Munich team trailed 19-18.

Seeley opened quarter two with points but then it was again rather the visitors who were pressing. But Bayern found an effective outlet against the opponent's zone: fast and smart passes (24-24/13th). The lead changed several times as the fans enjoyed thrilling playoff basketball. Captain Djedovic finished a nice three-point play and brought the lead back (30-29/15th) beginning an exhilarating 10-0 run by Munich. Radosevic, Gist, and Reynolds all played at their highest level and increased the lead (37-29/17th). Alba caught itself and responded in turn with an 8-0 run, as the FCBB suddenly slumped and couldn't buy a basket. However, a lead for Berlin was halted and the teams head into the locker rooms 37-37 at halftime.

Sisko brought control and structure to Bayern's game - his nine (!) assists at this point spoke volumes. In combination with a poisonous defense, the next run for the Munich team took a 50-41 lead (24th). Berlin was not ready to give up on this dramatic basektball game and Djedovic's three-pointer stopped a 6-0 run (53-47/26th). Trinchieri's team couldn't really get a grip on defensive rebounding which gave the Berliners second chances again and again. Lucic was fouled on a three-pointer, and the three free throws made it a seven-point lead (56-49/28th). Eriksson got involved and brought the defending champions back to within one while Tim Schneider completed a 10-0 run for the visitors to make it 59-56 for Berlin after 30 minutes.

Seeley could be relied on and his difficult jump shot against man-defense was spot on. After a Lo three-pointer, Coach Trinchieri took a timeout down five (66-61/33rd). Two catastrophic turnovers led to easy baskets for the Berliners, accompanied by another scare for the fans: Seeley left the court injured (70-64/35th). The momentum was on the side of the guests and Bayern couldn't slow them down. With a 9-0 run, the Berliners had a double-digit lead - time-out FCBB. Seeley tried briefly to come back onto the floor but there was nothing he could do and he limped back into the locker room. Berlin was in the flow and defended well. Lucic converted two free throws to make it 77-67, but there were only 156 seconds left on the clock. The fatigue of the Munich team was now also evident in their free throws- the air was out and the game was lost.

The 2021 playoff finals (best-of-five):
Sunday, June 13, 15:00.: Game 4

Tuesday, June 15, 19:00.: Game 5*

*= if necessary

Photo credit: Eirich, Stickel, Krug