80-73 in Berlin: Bayern defends top spot in top game

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Top of the standings maintained and the strong performance against EuroLeague defending champion Efes was repeated a few days later: The Bayern Basketball team also won the prestigious BBL top game at Alba Berlin on Sunday evening with a final of 80-73. Thus, the Munich team is now two losses better than rival Berlin (6-4). Andrea Trinchieri's team also won the EuroLeague duel between the two top German teams at the end of October (82-69).

In front of 2,500 spectators, Alba was 25-16 ahead at the beginning of the second quarter and the rebounding and defense had to be improved. Thus, Berlin initially scored at a high percentage before the FCBB reacted and Lucic and Rubit scored three-pointers to make it 40-36 (19th). Star player Eriksson (4), on the other hand, was perfectly shadowed on defense yet Berlin came out of the break more aggressive overall. Even the 60-52 (29th) lead was not yet the decisive step as Lo kept the hosts in the game.

But with the effort of the last reserves and Lucic's nerves (17 points) and Weiler-Babb's (18) complete game on his 26th birthday, they secured the huge victory. The team hit twelve threes and 54 percent from the field.

Bayern returns to Munich on Monday morning and will hit the road for five days on Tuesday: Olympiakos Piraeus (Wednesday) and Red Star Belgrade (Friday) are the stops of the Double-Week in the EuroLeague, on Sunday the BBL home game against Ludwigsburg (18:00) ends the week.


ALBA BERLIN – FC Bayern Basketball 73:80 (38:41)

Topscorer Berlin:

Maodo Lo (17 Points)


Nick Weiler-Babb (18 Points), Vladimir Lucic (17, 5 Rebounds), Ognjen Jaramaz (14), Augustine Rubit (11, 6 Rebounds), Andreas Obst (9), Othello Hunter (4), Nihad Djedovic (4), Zan Mark Sisko (2, 6 Assists), Gavin Schilling (1), Jason George, Joshua Obiesie (n.e.), Marvin Ogunsipe (n.e.)


Anne Panther, Nesa Kovacevic, Gentian Cici



Points per quarter Bayern - Berlin: 16-22, 25-16, 19-18, 20-17

Stats: Two-point shooting: (FCBB) 59%// 60% (Berlin); Three-point shooting: 36% // 48%; Free-throw shooting: 83%//83 %; Rebounds:  24//28; Assists:  18//14; Turnovers: 18//16


Andrea Trinchieri: "Both teams fought until the end and we were able to produce our best performance in the last five minutes. This was an important away win and of course we know what it means to have a big game in the EuroLeague and then another big game in the BBL on Sunday, just like Alba knows. The game was decided in the end on the lower energy level of both teams, but I think we played very good defense in the last quarter. For that, we were able to stop their shooters; that was very important because they have a lot of good shooters. And we were able to solve a little bit better the rebounding situation, where we were terrible in the first quarter. We did the right things to win the second game of our collective history this season as well."    

Vladimir Lucic: "I had problems at first because they were probably adjusting to my game. You could see that in the first EuroLeague game against Berlin. But in the end I found a way to help the team. This is an important win, especially with the way the BBL season has gone so far. I made a lot of mistakes in the first quarter. I allowed offensive rebounds, which Berlin used to create second chances. They were without Luke Sikma, so they played even more aggressively and physical. After we were able to respond, we gained control. I'm a little tired and I need to regenerate quickly. There are the next three games in four days."

Nick Weiler-Babb: "It's a great birthday for me. We fought as a team and showed a great performance. Berlin started well, but we fought back well together. It's always a special game in Berlin and we always want to win. We wanted to make a statement and we did that. We don't always know before the game who can take over for us. We had to adjust our game plan during the game, adjust to their defense and our chances. We'll celebrate the win and my birthday a little bit today, but we don't have a lot of time to do that with this schedule."

Israel González, Coach Berlin: "Bayern deserved to win, they played very well today. We have to improve, but we also have room to improve. We started with poor transition defense. We have to be more solid on defense if we want to beat good teams like Bayern. We have to improve our one-on-one defense, especially with the guards."

Game recap:

Nick Weiler-Babb, Jason George, Ognjen Jaramaz, Vladimir Lucic and Augustine Rubit formed the first five in the top game in Berlin. Jaramaz showed up big in an intense opening quarter and proved that he had not lost his hot hand from the home win against Efes Istanbul (83-71). The first seven Munich points went to the young guard. Led by the in-form Louis Olinde, the Berliners nevertheless got off to the slightly better start (11-9/6th). Through birthday boy Weiler-Babb and all-purpose weapon Rubit, the guests tried to gain control. But the Capitals did not let their fast game be taken away and won the first quarter 22-16. 

Trinchieri had to look at just 38 seconds in the second quarter before he had to take a timeout. The ensuing few minutes of urgency were interrupted by a moment of shock when Othello Hunter unhappily twisted his ankle and left the court limping (27-23/14th). Still in the second quarter, however, the robust center returned and ensured with a put-back dunk that the league leader stayed in in the game. The consistent defense broke through the firepower of the hosts shortly before the break and secured a narrow lead for Bayern (41-38).

Intensity and foul whistles increase - Bayern keeps its nerve

In the second half, things got uncomfortable right away. In about a minute, the referees evenly distributed six fouls. Weiler-Babb didn't let it bother him and kept the guests in front with great calm (50-44/24th). Jaramaz won back a misplaced ball and served the ball to Lucic for a three-point play. The Albatrosses, on the other hand, took advantage of the emerging foul trouble and collected points at the free-throw line. A thus balanced quarter promised an exciting final ten minutes (60-56).     
A duel of the guards opened the fourth quarter: Jaramaz and Weiler-Babb countered buckets from Maodo Lo and Jaleen Smith (65-61/33rd). Lucic showed legs of steel (35 minutes on the court) and decisively joined the offense - time-out Israel Gonzalez (72-66/37th). Both teams were now clearly tired but the guests still managed with the remaining strength to keep the focus high on defense. A steal by Lo brought Berlin close once again, but as so often, Weiler-Babb had the right answer with a drive (77-70/38 seconds left). Despite a three-pointer by Johannes Thiemann, Berlin was unable to come back decisively, as the guests kept their nerve and did not give the ball away again even after a missed free throw (80-73).           


(c) Camera4 & Stickel

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