Defending champion Berlin dethroned 83-77
FC Bayern Basketball dethroned defending champion Alba Berlin in the TOP4 semifinals on Saturday evening. In an 83-77 victory in front of 6,200 spectators in Oldenburg - including club president Herbert Hainer - Munich played well defensively and was ahead for almost the entire 40 minutes. The final result was sadly was marred by Augustine Rubit's serious foot injury.
"We now want to win something for Rubit as well".
The top scorers around coach Andrea Trinchieri were Cassius Winston (21), Nick Weiler-Babb (14) and Andreas Obst (11). The outstanding player on defense was Freddie Gillespie, who had eleven rebounds, three steals and two blocks in addition to seven points. Captain Vladimir Lucic also made his comeback somewhat unexpectedly after an injury of almost three months.
Their opponent in the final will be Oldenburg, who beat Ludwigsburg 92-86 in the first semifinal. In the BBL, Oldenburg is fourth in the standing and the direct pursuers of the third-placed Munich team.
The game for Bayern's fourth Cup championship attempt after 1968, 2018 and 2021 will also be broadcast as a public viewing in the Audi Dome, where a good 500 fans celebrated the victory on Saturday evening.
FC Bayern München Basketball – Alba Berlin 83-77
Cassius Winston (21 Points), Nick Weiler-Babb (14), Andreas Obst (11), Isaac Bonga (9), Freddie Gillespie (7/11 Rebounds), Vladimir Lucic (7 Punkte), Augustine Rubit (6/3), Corey Walden (6), Niels Giffey (2), Othello Hunter, Niklas Wimberg (DNP) und Paul Zipser (DNP).
Jaleen Smith (31 Points)
Robert Lottermoser, Gentian Cici, Clemens Fritz
Score per quarter Bayern - Berlin: 21-17, 19-21, 20-13, 23-26
Stats: Two-point shooting: 58 % (FCBB) // 44 % (Berlin); Three-point shooting: 39 % // 46 %; Free-throw shooting: 71 % // 79 %; Rebounds: 27 // 32; Assists: 12 // 13; Turnovers: 14 // 21
Andrea Trinchieri: "This was a tough game against a tough opponent. We managed to play a very solid game overall. We made mistakes but provoked 21 ball turnovers and we got into a groove. That was very important. But we only won one game, it was the semifinal and we have another tough game tomorrow against the home team here. I know what's going on here then, it's going to be tough for us. But I can't sit here without leaving a thought with Augustine Rubit. He suffered a very bad injury and I already told my players in the dressing room at the end: 'He's going to sit out because of a very serious injury - we're going to try to get something for him tomorrow as well .(...) It's part of being a EuroLeague team: You get crushed by injuries - now another important starter out - plus the travel, already more than 40 games, many every 48 hours. You're constantly running into opposition. But we have a chance now in a final. We're going to look at Rubit's loss like a pie that we're now going to cut into pieces, and each player is going to take some of the responsibility. (...) The presence of Lucic was very important."
Andreas Obst: "I think many people didn't expect us to win here or were rather against us. But that was also an incentive for us and I think we pulled it off quite well throughout the game. We stayed cool. Berlin had its runs, but we always had an answer ready. (...) We still have a game ahead of us, nothing is won here yet. But of course we know what we have to face tomorrow and we have to rest now. (...) We noticed, especially in the first half, when we stepped on the gas, that we can score points and also unsettle their game a bit. That's what we did. Obviously that's not what we're used to, but I think we did a good job."
Cassius Winston: "We did a good job getting into transition. Because they are a team that loves to run. That's why we decided we wanted to run with them. A lot of good things came out of that for us."
The tip-off of the second TOP4 semifinal went to the Berliners, with Olinde scoring the first points. But Cassius Winston answered quickly with an easy fastbreak basket for Bayern. This was followed shortly by four more Bayern points. All in all, it was very balanced after the first five minutes Bayern down 9-6. Vladimir Lucic celebrated his comeback on the court much to the joy of FCBB fans. Coach Trinchieri's strategy of playing a fast-paced game was also evident on the court. As a result Munich was able to build up a small 21-17 lead at the end of the quarter, including nine fastbreak points.
Nick Weiler-Babb opened the second quarter with a floater to make it 23-17, and good Bayern defense and a step-back three-pointer by Winston resulted in Berlin's first timeout of the game (13th minute of play/28-19). Quick Munich passing punctuated a nice finish under the rim and a three from Isaac Bonga gave the home team its first double-digit lead in this semifinal matchup (15th/36-26). Nevertheless, Andrea Trinchieri was forced to call a timeout shortly afterwards. The FCBB faltered a bit on offense and Berlin was able to initiate a 7-0 run and the half ended with a 40-38 score.
Lucic with a huge three
In the third quarter the Berliners led again (21st/41-40), but Andi Obst then restored order and the lead. In the following phase, the flow of the game suffered on both sides due to foul whistles, which got Bayern into foul trouble early on (25th/48-45.), because from that point on, the Berliners got to the free throw line with every foul until the end of the quarter. But a block by Freddie Gillespie and a subsequent Obst three-pointer at least brought momentum back into FCBB's offensive game. Nevertheless, the general pace of play slowed down greatly which also meant that neither team was able to pull away. However, the FCBB still managed to end the third quarter with a nine-point lead - 60-51 before the last ten minutes of play.
Rubits suffers a bad injury in final quarter
Cassius Winston and Freddie Gillespie scored the first FCBB points in this one. But a Rubit injury (33rd/64-58) caused a long interruption in play. After that, a private duel developed between Winston and Smith, which made the Bayern guard the man of the quarter (35th/71-63). The last five minutes of the game began with a two-possession gap and Munich with the lead. Again it was "Cash" Winston who drilled a highlight shot to take a six-point lead (73-67). But the real highlights of the game followed shortly after with a Gillespie poster dunk and a Lucic three-pointer to make it 79-70 (with 82 seconds left). Winston then put the lid on the game with two free throws. The score was 83-77 after 40 minutes of play and the Bayern basketball team will meet Oldenburg in the final of the TOP4 on Sunday.