Bayern basketball's epic season ends in 90th game


For FC Bayern Basketball an epic season came to an end in Game 4 of BBL finals: The Cup winners and EuroLeague quarter-finalists, who were weakened by injuries, lost 86-79 after a tough fight in front of 1,300 fans in the Audi Dome. Thus a gripping series goes 3-1 to Berlin and the FCBB congratulates the winner warmly on the German championship in 2021.

Munich, with whom D.J. Seeley made himself available despite a capsular blister, were behind from the start. The lead of the guests made it all the way up to 16 points, but 16 seconds before the end Vladimir Lucic reduced it to 78-77 with a three-pointer. In the game of free throws at the end Bayern had little luck, but after the very emotional finish the applause was for the winner and an unforgettable season of head coach Andrea Trinchieri.


FC Bayern Basketball – Alba Berlin: 79-86 (30-38)


Wade Baldwin (18 Points/ 5 Assists), Leon Radosevic (16/6 Rebounds), Jajuan Johnson (15), D.J.Seeley (10), James Gist (8), Vladimir Lucic (4), Zan Mark Sisko (3/ 4 Assists), Nihad Djedovic (2), Robin Amaize, Sasha Grant, David Krämer and Jason George

Top scorer Berlin:

Jason Granger (29 Points)


Robert Lottermoser, Gentian Cici, Anne Panther



Points per quarter Bayern - Berlin: 9-21, 21-17, 22-20, 27-28

Stats: Two-point shooting: 46% (FCBB) // 51% (Berlin); Three-point shooting: 36% //42%; Free throw shooting: 81% // 81%; Rebounds: 33//33; Assists: 15//17; Turnovers: 10//12.

Andrea Trinchieri: "This is the last press conference of this very long season. Congratulations to Alba, they had a little more energy than us. But there is nothing to regret from me, we gave everything we had and even more. We had 90 games, and at least 60 were decided in the end. That takes a lot of energy out of you, but again, I'm very proud of my players. This was not a season of rebuilding - this was something completely different. We were in the EuroLeague all the way to the end and just one shot away from the Final Four; we won the Cup and were in the final here. Nobody can take it away from us that this was a great season. Sure, we're not happy, but it's a different feeling when you know you gave it your all. That's why there's no overwhelming disappointment or sadness now, it's more of a rational disappointment. That's part of it and always a possibility. But we played great, we fought, we had team spirit. We would like to have another title, but I think we go home with a lot of values. That's very important to me. They say trophies are surrounded by dust and memories live forever - that's spot on. We've been through so many things, especially in the last ten days - and we've stuck together in a very difficult, incredibly difficult situation. We lost two players with a snap of our fingers for the next game. I'm a proud coach and I want to thank all the players, the coaches, the physios, everybody was incredible, just incredible. (...) I don't know how they handled this situation around Paul, I have no idea. Nothing is more important now than that Pauli gets healthy and finds his way back into life."     

Nihad Djedovic: "We gave everything and fought to the last. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough. Congratulations to Alba, they played a good series and were better. We had our own problems, many injured players, but we can be proud of the whole season. In the end, there were a couple of decisions today that we thought were not correct. It was a bit unfortunate that the referees threw us off track. There was a bit too much emotion at the end. It's not normal to play 90 games. If someone asked us, we would give our opinion. But we gave everything and that's the most important thing. I'm sure it would have gone to our side if we had been complete. We also had success with the Cup win and the EuroLeague Top8 and almost went to the Final Four. Still, congratulations to Alba."

Aíto, Coach Berlin: "I am very happy to have won the BBL and how the players behaved in this difficult season, with so many trips and games. They were very good, even in the finals and in the playoffs. I am very happy for them, my staff and our fans."

Herbert Hainer, club president: "Our team played an incredible season, they were the first German team in the EuroLeague playoffs and almost in the Final Four, won the Cup. What has distinguished them throughout the season is that we have always come back. So also today, after the first quarter it did not look very good. In the end, I don't want to blame it on the referees, but I do think that one or the other foul against us shouldn't have been whistled. Nevertheless, congratulations to Alba."

Marko Pesic, General Manager: "Also from me huge respect and congratulations to Alba for a deserved championship. If we had managed to win this title as well, it would have been almost a perfect season; so in my eyes it's a great season, with many important experiences also for us as a club. But in the end, Alba deserved to be champions. (...) What our team, the coaches and the whole club have gone through in the last seven days is unbelievable."   

Game recap:
In game 90 Zan Mark Sisko, Nihad Djedovic, Vladimir Lucic, JaJuan Johnson and Leon Radosevic were in the starting five and took a while to get into their rhythm. Only one three-pointer by Radosevic was the meager yield before the first timeout from Trinchieri (13-3). The Berliners, on the other hand, were in the game and scored as a unit. Without scoring from the two-point range (0-of-11), the hosts struggled through an unfortunate first quarter (21-9).  

Good luck was also missing in the second quarter, while fatigue was in full effect. Only a dream play from the wrist of Baldwin to Lucic, who took off, brought back a bit of hope. Two quick threes by Jason Granger secured a comfortable Alba lead (29-15/14th) but the Munich team fought its way back into the game through the defense and Gist and Baldwin put in some points thanks to Berlin turnovers - the beginning of an 11-3 run (32-24/18th). With effort and a lot of dedication, the Trinchieri team lifted the deficit into single digits at the break - 38-30.

Bayern came out of the dressing room with a lot of energy and got the ball under the basket via Seeley and Gist. But Coach Aito had also given his team a good re-sharpening. Top scorer and Finals MVP Jason Granger in particular found his hot hand, stifling the attempts to catch up (46-37/24th). Johnson took the next attempt against the zone defense with a statement dunk over Luke Sikma. But despite energetic support from Sisko and Seeley, a narrow Alba lead remained at the end of the third quarter (58-52).

In the final quarter JJ Johnson had something to say against defeat and scored twice in a row from middle distance and blocked Sikma under the basket (63-60/33rd). The guests took advantage of a frantic attack, including an unfortunate technical foul against Baldwin, to answer via Granger (71-65/36th). A three-pointer from the corner by Radosevic brought the Munich team back to within three points with two minutes to go. In crunch time, both the Bayern center and Sikma showed nerves from the free-throw line (76-72/ 60 seconds left). Lammers, however, kept his cool and blocked two shots in a row (77-72/ 40 seconds left). And then came Lucic! Out of nowhere, the Serb drilled a three-pointer against Sikma and cut the deficit to 78-77 with 16 seconds left. With ten seconds on the clock, it became dramatic: After a hard jostle against Fontecchio, Lucic, who had waited in vain for a foul whistle was actually called for a foul of his own and in addition, two technical fouls were given against Radosevic.

When the emotions died down again, Alba made four free throws to decide a contested game and thus the final series.

Photo Credit: Eirich, Stickel, Duda, Sampics