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Berlin strike first with win in game one

FC Bayern Basketball lost the first game of the best-of-five semifinal series 81-55 against ALBA Berlin.

The defending BEKO Basketball Bundesliga champions could only keep up in the opening five minutes of the game. By the end of the game, Munich were beaten in all aspects of the game by the hosts: 18% vs 36% 3-point-field-goal, 28 rebounds vs 36 (12 offensive boards), and 16 turnovers (10 for Berlin) were the telling figures highlighting Game One for the Reds.

Bayern will host Game 2 at the Audi Dome on Thursday night, 28th May at 19:30 CEST.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - ALBA): 9-18, 17-21, 13-22, 16-20

FC Bayern team: Nihad Djedovic (13 points), Vladimir Stimac (11/5 rebounds), Heiko Schaffartzik (7), Yassin Idbihi (6), Robin Benzing (5), Bryce Taylor (4), Vasilije Micic (4/4 assists), Paul Zipser (2), John Bryant (2/5 reb), Dusko Savanovic (1), Anton Gavel and Jan Jagla.

FC BAYERN BASKETBALL VS ALBA BERLIN

BEKO BBL Playoffs, Semifinals
ALBA lead best-of-five series 1-0

Game 1 - FCBB 55, at ALBA 81

Game 2 - Thursday, May 28th, 19:30 CEST, Audi Dome

Game 3 - Sunday, May 31st, 16:00 CEST, in Berlin

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

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

*if necessary

POSTGAME REACTION:

Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "Congratulations to Berlin for a well-deserved victory. Alba dominated thanks mainly to their offensive rebounds. They gained their self-confidence with their second chances and we didn't defend the rebounds well at all. We know why we lost. Therefore we will now prepare hard for Game Two in order to respond in front of our own fans." 

Sasa Obradovic, Head Coach, ALBA: "This is only the first victory in a tough series. But we did a good job on both offense and defense today. This significant victory says nothing about the performance of both teams. The key was our aggressive defense, 55 points is evidence of how well we defended. I hope we can continue to be focused."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS:

1st Quarter

FCBB Head Coach Svetislav Pesic sent Vasilije Micic, Nihad Djedovic, Dusko Savanovic, Bryce Taylor and John Bryant onto the court as the starting five against ALBA Berlin for Game One of the semifinals. The Bayern starters found it hard to get going early. On the flip side, Niels Giffey and Reggie Redding got Berlin off to a quick start, connecting for three-pointers (2-6, 3' minute). Djedovic was the most active for the Reds: first a coast-to-coast layup off a steal, he knocked down a three-pointer and his activity on the offensive glass keeping the ball alive to allow Heiko Schaffartzik to tie it up (8-8, 4'). Berlin's offense would go on a 10-1 run led by Marko Banic's two buckets and a buzzer-beater by BBL MVP Jamel McLean, ensured Bayern would be down 18-9 after the first quarter.

2nd Quarter

Akeem Vargas continued ALBA's run starting the second period with a three-pointer and McLean drove easily past Savanovic for a slam dunk to increase the Berlin lead (12-25, 13'). Munich's defense would be the key to start up their offense, and Gavel's steal and outlet pass to a streaking Taylor ended in a two-handed jam by the Bayern captain. Djedovic followed with another three-pointer, Munich were showing signs of getting back into the game (17-25, 14'). ALBA Head Coach Sasa Obradovic called timeout and his team responded.

Giffey came out and connected on another trey to get his team back on track. Taylor found the net after a tough drive (19-28, 16'). But McLean and Redding continued to build the Bayern deficit, thus Coach Pesic called timeout (19-32, 17'). Schaffartzik brought Munich back to within single digits with consecutive scores (23-32, 18') but Redding scored seconds before the end of the first half. Bayern trailed 39-26 heading into the locker rooms.

3rd Quarter

Munich started the third quarter intent on working their big men, and Stimac pounded into the Berlin defense in the paint for the first points (28-39, 21'). However, technical fouls by both Taylor and Savanovic prevented Bayern to chip into the deficit, and allowed Berlin to cash in easily from the free-throw line (30-47, 23'). Munich started to earn free-throws as well, but as they were missing those chances, Berlin continued to make their shots from beyond the three-point line (34-55, 25'). A 12-2 run near the end of the quarter dug Bayern deeper, who were now trailing 61-39 after three quarters.

4th Quarter

McLean could not be stopped this afternoon - the MVP made all his shots from the field, finishing with 14 points, including a dunk to open the final ten minutes. Stimac and Paul Zipser scored to try and make the score respectable (45-66, 34'), however the points were coming from everyone in the home yellow to keep Munich at bay.  Both coaches were happy to give their bench players more minutes at the end of the fourth quarter. For Coach Pesic, hopefully rest and realization that his team needs to win Game 2 to make up for the 81-55 loss in Game 1.