Bayern enters the playoff finals for the fifth time
Finals!!! FC Bayern's basketball players are in the playoff finals for the German championship for the fifth time: The Cup winners led by head coach Andrea Trinchieri beat Ludwigsburg 82-73 in a Game 4 that was hard to beat in terms of intensity. The FCBB thus became only the second team since 2010 to eliminate a first-seed in the semifinals. Their opponent in the final will be the winner of Berlin vs. Ulm (2-1).
Bayern started well and led 18-11 (8th) and only an unusually low three-point percentage prevented an even clearer lead before the break. However, specialist Paul Zipser (14.6 ppg playoffs) was missing due to knee problems. In the third quarter, FCBB was ahead 51-41 (25th), spurred on by an energizer block by Robin Amaize against Herzog. But the Giants fought their way back via offensive rebounds (19) to equalize 57-57. Sisko and especially Leon Radosevic also buckled down and Bayern forced the third win in a row with an energetic performance and a total of 13 steals.
FC Bayern Basketball – MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg 82-73 (41-34)
Robin Amaize (16 Points), James Gist (11), Vladimir Lucic (10), JaJuan Johnson (10/8 Rebounds), D.J.Seeley (9/4 Assists), Nihad Djedovic (9), Zan Mark Sisko (7/7 Rebounds/5 Assists), Wade Baldwin (6/5 Assists), Leon Radosevic (4), Paul Zipser, Sasha Grant, und Jason George
Jamel MCLean (17 Points)
Robert Lottermoser, Martin Matip, Johannes Hack
Andrea Trinchieri: "This was a tough series against a tough opponent. In four games we didn't even manage to have less than 15 turnovers. That says a lot about Ludwigsburg. They were deservedly first after the regular season and it took special effort for us to beat them. Of course we are happy because we are in the finals and my team fought for it all season. The finals will be something new for everyone because you have to get through the format: Back-to-back, and properly, with two games in 48 hours, without a break. (...) I will coach these games on the edge, because I want to protect my players for everything. (...) We lost two players today, Zipser with his knee and Radosevic, who twisted something badly. Leon sacrificed himself so much for the team and played a great series. That's why I can't really be happy today. (...) Now I want to let the team rest and regenerate; then we'll see how and with whom we can come back. Whoever it will be (in the final): both teams are very good, we played against both of them in the Cup Final Four. So we know them well and they know us. (...) It was a team win today. We didn't shine, it was too hard for that, with too many mistakes and the pressure of wanting to win the game at home. But I think with Robin's performance on defense and the sacrifice of every player, we deserved to reach the finals today. (...) Nihad did some things well and I try to bring him because we can't practice with this game plan. So he gains rhythm - and today he was good."
Robin Amaize: "Yeah, maybe today was my best game. It was definitely important after Paul Zipser was out. But Nihad Djedovic had important minutes today, especially in the first half, and defensively we all performed well together. We generally defended well the last three games. In the first game we scored 100 points. Then we switched, which helped us a lot. We also had more energy from the start today. But Ludwigsburg never gave up. Congratulations again to them for that, they had a great season. Now it's on to the final. It will be tough. It doesn't matter whether it's against Ulm or Berlin. Especially back-to-back games - that's something new. It's going to be tough."
Ludwigsburg coach, John Patrick: "Congratulations to the Bayern team and the organization, they deserved to win the series. Even though I am very, very proud of the whole season of the team: we had our chances, but 21 turnovers were too much again and I have to praise Robin Amaize, he played a great game and Lucic hits every shot. Bayern deserved to win."Game recap:
Bayern's front five consisted of Wade Baldwin, Amaize, Vladimir Lucic, JaJuan Johnson and Radosevic. In contrast to the first three games Bayern did not let themselves be overrun by the pace of Ludwigsburg this time. Johnson, in particular, was right there in full force and scored regularly from mid-range. But the defense was also stifling as Radosevic blocked Radebaugh on his way to the basket and underlined Munich's strong start (11-5/5th). After a strong put-back dunk by James Gist, only the meager scoring rate from the field (27%) prevented a clearer lead after the first quarter (20-16).
In the second ten minutes, it was the same picture: The FCBB repeatedly put themselves in good shooting positions, but also missed a lot. Ludwigsburg took advantage of this to work their way into the game through Darden and center McLean (26-25/14th). Still, both teams struggled mightily on offense. Every single point had to be fought for. Nihad Djedovic was the first to find the rhythm again and started a small run. A three-point play by D.J. Seeley secured the lead at the break - 41-34.
The second half began with the Swabians trying to light the usual fire. However, this plan succeeded only so long before Amaize scored twice on second-chance points (49-40/24th). What followed then completely tore everyone out of their seats: Amaize blocked Lukas Herzog's shot and followed it with an outlet pass to Zan Mark Sisko who found Johnson for an alley-oop. But Ludwigsburg got off to seven quick points in a frantic final few minutes of the third quarter. Out of nowhere, the game was tied: 57-57.
In the final quarter Bayern's task was to regain control that had been lost for a short time. This succeeded via Amaize and the reawakened Lucic (67-61/35th). But the Giants remained unpleasant and forced turnovers which they converted into quick points. But after threes from Sisko, Amaize and Baldwin the lead grew again to a reassuring ten points (76-66/37th). Unfortunately, Radosevic twisted his ankle and did not return and it did not look good. Time was now the friend of the hosts, however, who once again improved their shooting from the three-point line to a good 40 percent. The Ludwigsburg team, on the other hand, had finally run out of steam.The 2021 playoff finals (best-of-five):
Wednesday, June 9, 20:30.: Game 1
Thursday, June 10, 20:30.: Game 2
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: Stickel, Eirich, Pahnke