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Bayern on brink after game 3 loss

FC Bayern Basketball lost Game Three of the BEKO Basketball Bundesliga semifinals 101-88 against ALBA Berlin. 

The defending BBL champions now trail the best-of-five series 2-1 after a fast-paced and intense game that was even until Berlin ran away in the final quarter. ALBA's long distance accuracy - especially Reggie Redding (8-for-9 from the field, 4-for-4 from 3-point range) - and rebounding edge were the keys to victory. Nihad Djedovic led Bayern with 17 points while Vasilije Micic added 15 points (8-for-8 FTs).

The semifinals will return to Munich on Tuesday, June 2nd for Game Four. Tip-off is at 20:00 CEST at the Audi Dome.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - ALBA): 21-26, 23-24, 30-24, 14-27

FC Bayern team: Nihad Djedovic (17 points), Vasilije Micic (15), Bryce Taylor (14/7 rebounds), John Bryant (12/8), Dusko Savanovic (8/5), Vladimir Stimac (7), Anton Gavel (6), Lucca Staiger (5), Paul Zipser (2), Jan Jagla (2), and Robin Benzing. DNP: Yassin Idbihi.


BEKO BBL Playoffs, Semifinals
Berlin lead best-of-five series 2-1

Game 1 - FCBB 55, at ALBA 81

Game 2 - at FCBB 85, ALBA 73

Game 3 - FCBB 88, at ALBA 101

Game 4 - Tuesday, June 2nd, 20:00 CEST, Audi Dome

Game 5* - Thursday, June 4th, 20:00 CEST, in Berlin

*if necessary


Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "I am very satisfied with how we played today. That was 35 minutes of very good basketball. From both sides, that was excellent basketball, of course with emotion but that comes with (this type of game). If this was the last game of the season, I would comment on the final minutes. But I won't. I will concentrate on preparing the team and helping them for the game on Tuesday."

Sasa Obradovic, Head Coach, ALBA: "I believe the better team won. This was a display of team spirit. We now lead 2-1 and we know what awaits us in the next game. I hope everyone knows that character will be required for that game."


1st Quarter

For the tip-off of pivotal Game Three of the BBL semifinals, FCBB Head Coach Svetislav Pesic called on Anton Gavel, Bryce Taylor, Nihad Djedovic, Jan Jagla and John Bryant as the starting five. Pesic's orders to this lineup were to 'act not react', however the zone defense did not have any effect on Berlin. BBL MVP Jamel McLean, who struggled at the beginning of Game 2, came out hot this time, starting the scoring right off the tip with a slam dunk. Both teams took a cue from that, starting a fast and furious run that lasted for much of the game.

Djedovic's three-point-play gave Munich the 9-7 lead (5' minute). ALBA countered with their first run of the game, an 8-0 run built a 15-9 lead for the host (7'). Bayern stayed close thanks to every made free-throw by Vladimir Stimac and Vasilije Micic (15-19, 8'). Bayern's transition game got rolling after Taylor's rebound, he dished to Djedovic who raced down the court for a fastbreak layup. Micic followed to tie the game (19-19, 9'). ALBA ended the first quarter with a 5-0 run to grab the lead after the first ten minutes (21-26, 10').

2nd Quarter

Berlin continued the run to start the second quarter, in total a 10-0 run between the quarters put Bayern in a double-digit hole (21-31, 12'). The champs were not going down as easily as in Game One. Captain Taylor with a three-point-play and Stimac added consecutive buckets that forced Berlin Head Coach Sasa Obradovic to call timeout (28-36, 15'). The rest only gave both teams a chance to catch their collective breaths and take the game to another level.

Last year's finalists exchanged blows like two prize fighters. Lucca Staiger from downtown for three, followed by a Reggie Redding score. Paul Zipser with a drive and a bankshot for a score. Again Redding had another answer as he hit a trey ball. Djedovic with a drive and reverse layin. Alex Renfroe for another three-ball (40-50, 19'). Bryant and Gavel closed out the quarter with buckets to cut the Munich deficit at halftime (44-50, 20').

3rd Quarter

The 13,133 fans in the capital city would have been content with the action from the first half, but both Bayern and Berlin displayed the quality from their respective European seasons and took it up a notch in the third. McLean again to start the scoring, but Taylor countered with a three-pointer. Djedovic with wonderful baskets around another Redding three (51-55, 22'). Taylor with a jumper then drove strong to the hoop, finishing with a two-handed jam (57-60, 24'). Bryant scored two consecutive baskets to get Munich within one point (61-62, 26').

After Alex King's three-pointer gave Berlin some much-needed breathing room, Micic pump-faked and threw up a three-pointer and made it! Munich came all the way back to tie it up at 66-all (28'). Berlin were not phased, as Niels Giffey answered with a trey but Staiger came right back with a baseline jumper to tie it up again (70-70, 29'). Taylor scored off a steal for the first Munich lead since 9-7 and Micic extended it to 74-71. At that point of the game, Munich were 21-for-22 from the free-throw line and poised to take the all-important lead into the final quarter. However Marko Banic grabbed the halfcourt miss from McLean for the put-back before the buzzer to tie the game at 74-all.

4th Quarter

Leon Radosevic this time came up with the huge offensive rebound score and was fouled. The three-point-play gave ALBA the lead (76-77, 31'). The BBL-Heavyweight fight was into the final round and both clubs exchanged shots that would normally take down a lesser opponent. King for three. Savanovic from beyond-the-arc. Redding of course good from distance. Savanovic once more for three! (82-85, 35'). King ended the back-n-forth with a three-pointer and the 88-82 lead. 

The following minutes were decisive for Berlin and back-breaking for the Reds. Bryant earned a technical unsportsmanike foul, giving Akeem Vargas two free-throws and he converted both. Berlin got the ball back and MVP McLean effectively ended Game 3 with consecutive scores to build the lead back up to double-digits (84-94, 37'). Berlin hold homecourt advantage with the 101-88 win. Bayern will host Game Four on Tuesday to keep their title defense alive and force a deciding Game 5.