A small streak: Bayern celebrates a win in Berlin
The race to catch up has begun: The Bayern basketball team won the first showdown with rival Alba Berlin 79-77 and celebrated their second win in the top division in front of 8,000 spectators. Andrea Trinchieri's team took Berlin's offense out of the game at times while Rubit and Obst (14 each) were the top scorers. For Alba, it was the first defeat at home and the sixth in the sixth EuroLeague duel with the FCBB.
For Bayern, Zipser (bruise) and Jaramaz (national team) were missing in addition to Sisko. The colleagues started well and looked for Giffey who scored immediately - 26-15 after the first quarter. Six steals and only four turnovers enabled helped them take a lead at the break.
Four minutes and a 13-0 run later and they were suddenly down 54-49, having unnecessarily brought the hosts back into the game. The answer was an 11-0 run to make it 68-58 (30th) and then 76-66 (35th). Giffey caught the last rebound and the official MVP of the game became Walden (+/value plus 21).
The Bavarians now have a week off until their next assignment, the EuroLeague home game against Greek champion Olympiakos Piraeus (Nov. 17th, 20:30). The next BBL home game is the rivalry game vs Wurzburg (Nov. 27th, 15:00).
Alba Berlin - FC Bayern Basketball 77-79 (39-45)
FCBB: Augustine Rubit (14 Points), Andreas Obst (14), Corey Walden (12/6 Assists), Othello Hunter (10), Freddie Gillespie (6/3 Steals), Vladimir Lucic (5), Cassius Winston (4), Elias Harris (4), Nick Weiler-Babb (4), Isaac Bonga (3), Niels Giffey (3) and Niklas Wimberg.
Jaleen Smith (20 Points)
Olegs Latisevs, Uros Nikolic, Alberto Baena
Points per quarter Bayern - Berlin: 26-15, 19-24, 23-19, 11-19
Stats: Two-point shooting: 38% (FCBB) // 62% (Berlin); Three-point shooting: 41% // 35%; Free-throw shooting: 78% // 53%; Rebounds: 33 // 36; Assists: 13 // 20; Turnovers: 10 // 16
FCBB head coach, Andrea Trinchieri: "After a tough start, these two wins against Efes and Berlin are very important. (...) It was a tough game in which we started very well with the first quarter. In the second we were a bit sloppy or rather we didn't understand how to play against their faster lineup. Berlin with Koumadje is one kind of basketball, without him another. But in the end we deserved the victory, despite the thriller in end, because we didn't make open shots. (...) One of our priorities was to control the offensive boards. We managed to do that. (...) We secured rebounds at the end with great intensity. We were solid on defense, that's what got us the win. (...) I would be worried if my team played really well already in November - what should I do the rest of the year, go to Garmisch? No, we are still in the process of putting the pieces of the puzzle together. (...) There is still a lot to do. (...) Niels is a smart player who can play at least two positions. He's two-dimensional, he can shoot, post up against smaller players and get a key rebound; like today, that's why he was on the court at the end. He took a little crazy shot there, too, but I like that because he's a shooter and he's going to help us a lot."
Augustine Rubit: "Against this team, you always have to be ready and also start your own run like we did in the third quarter. The win feels very good after how we started in the EuroLeague - and then against our league rival. It's very important for our fans, but also for ourselves to start a run now."
Niels Giffey: "It was a nice team performance from us. I'm glad that my first game here was won directly. I was well received here in Berlin. It was nice to see some friends and family at the first game. It was a good start."
Andreas Obst: "We got key stops at the end and made the shots. We were a little fresher in the head and made the better decisions. Nonetheless, it was a competitive game. It might not have been the prettiest game, but we won it. I think we still need some time. We have our core, but we also have some new players who haven't played in Europe and we need to integrate them. We are not a team that has been playing together for years. We had a few close games in the EuroLeague. Now we're getting better and finding ourselves as a team. But we're still at the beginning."
Cassius Winston, Nick Weiler-Babb, Isaac Bonga, Vladimir Lucic and Freddie Gillespie made up Trinchieri's front five for the EuroLeague clash in Berlin. The Bavarians started with an excellent defensive mindset and in the first three minutes, they provoked five turnovers and used the resulting disorder to get off to a good start (8-2 from FCBB's point of view). But it didn't take long for the Albatrosses to get going via Luke Sikma. Newcomer Niels Giffey, who Trinchieri sent onto the floor after just five minutes, countered for the Munich team. With his three-pointer, the ex-Berlin member repaid the confidence immediately (18-12/8th). Andi Obst as well as Augustine Rubit added from downtown and added to a strong first quarter, after which the guests led by double digits - 28-15.
It took 100 seconds into the second quarter for head coach Trinchieri to call a time-out. The hosts came out of the break as if transformed with an 11-2 run and evened the score (32-32/14th). Malte Delow led the way, scoring seven quick points. Especially bitter was when Sikma caught Lucic with a hard blow on the shoulder forcing the captain to the locker room. An three-pointer from Obst came just at the right time and Munich's effort was undiminished despite the setbacks as Corey Walden (five assists in the first half) forced a jump ball against Jaleen Smith. Rubit and the fresh Hunter brought the necessary physicality to the floor and secured a small lead at halftime - 45-39.
Alba came out of the break hot but Bayern answered
The second half began with a throw-in by the returning Lucic. In a tough struggle for the next points, Gillespie fought for second chances but they missed as well. Delow, on the other hand, ran away again and again in the fastbreak and put the German champions in the lead - timeout Trinchieri (52-49/24th). The Bavarians lost the thread and suddenly could not score. Only four points were scored in five minutes. The free-throw line and tougher defense proved to be important helpers in preventing the home side from running away. Hunter turned up the heat toward the end of the third quarter and turned the tide again in a tightly contested game (68-58).
Israel Gonzalez's team got into a better rhythm to start the quarter. Obst provided important points with his fourth three-pointer for the Munich team, which already had four team fouls after two minutes (71-62). Sikma arranged the Berlin offense with nine assists as usual, but it was answered by another three-pointer from Walden (76-66/35th). But the game remained close: Alba's top scorer Smith almost single-handedly cut the deficit to three points. Rubit increased the lead to four again with about a minute to go. But after a Smith basket and a stop, Berlin was left with a two-point deficit in the final attack. Again, the ball was supposed to go to the Alba guard, but the Bayern defense adjusted to it and a tough shot went long. 79-77 Bayern.