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Berlin trump Bayern for Cup

FC Bayern Basketball lost an intense, nail-biting Cup Final 67-65 to ALBA Berlin at the BEKO Basketball Bundesliga Top Four in Munich.

A sold-out crowd at the Audi Dome witnessed close games over the weekend and the finale put a ribbon on the Cup tournament with a dramatic finish. Bayern led by nine points at halftime and by five points early in the fourth quarter. However the team led by Head Coach Svetislav Pesic could not repeat their crunchtime resolve from the semifinals less than 24 hours earlier as Berlin made the key shots including the winner with less than six seconds left.

Munich were led by Bryce Taylor and his 14 points while Dusko Savanovic added 13 points, however ineffective shooting and a lineup missing Nihad Djedovic and the much-needed energy were factors in losing the Cup final at home.

FC Bayern Basketball congratulate ALBA on their Cup victory and thank the fans from Frankfurt, Bamberg, Berlin and of course Munich for a high-class event that was enjoyed by all.

Bayern and Berlin will continue playing each other, first in the Eurocup. The teams travel to the German capital city to play on Wednesday, February 24th. They renew the BBL rivalry on Sunday, February 28th back at the Audi Dome, tip-off at 15:00 CET.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - ALBA): 11-13, 23-12, 9-18, 22-24

FC Bayern Team: Bryce Taylor (14), Dusko Savanovic (13/5 rebounds), Anton Gavel (11), John Bryant (9/6 reb), Justin Cobbs (6/6 assists), Deon Thompson (5), Paul Zipser (4), Maximilian Kleber (3/3 Steals), Alex Renfroe (6 ast). DNP: Sebastian Schmitt, Karim Jallow, and Daniel Mayr.

POSTGAME REACTION

Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "ALBA earned this victory. They increased from minute-to-minute with good defense and made the correct decisions on offense. We didn't have the necessary energy in the third quarter. The boys battled and gave it their all, but the game against Bamberg yesterday required a lot of energy. ALBA made the last shot, we didn't, and that is what happens in basketball. It was a great finale and you must congratulate both teams."

Sasa Obradovic, Head Coach, Berlin: "The fans experienced a great basketball game today, that was an advertisement for our sport. We came to Munich as underdogs, and that feels even better to have won. We showed great character at the right moments and we did it as a team. At the end, we deserved the win."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

1st Quarter

Less than 24 hours after defeating the Brose Baskets Bamberg in the semifinals, FC Bayern Basketball faced yet another tough matchup against their rivals ALBA Berlin in the Cup final. Head Coach Svetislav Pesic sent out Anton Gavel, Alex Renfroe, Bryce Taylor, Deon Thompson and Maxi Kleber to the court as the starting five. Both teams started a bit nervous and out-of-sync in their offense. Finally after a little more than two minutes, Gavel scored to make it 2-0. Elmedin Kikanovic helped ALBA back into the game with consecutive baskets but Gavel countered with a three-pointer to regain the lead (7-6, 6' minutes). Thompson cleaned up the boards with a put-back jam (9-8, 7') but Dragan Milosavljevic ended the quarter with a trey and Berlin led 13-11.

2nd Quarter

After Berlin increased their lead to four to start the second period, Paul Zipser beat the shot clock with a baseline jumper, Justin Cobbs tied the game with a pair of free-throws and Maxi Kleber was spot on for three. Cobbs completed the 7-0 spurt by grabbing the rebound and going coast-to-coast for the nasty dunk (20-15, 13'). John Bryant scored consecutive layups to keep the lead at 26-21 but ALBA were not going away thanks to Kikanovic, Coach Pesic called timeout (26-23, 18'). Taylor and Dusko Savanovic increased the lead to nine points with three-pointers on either side of a Berlin timeout (32-23, 19'). The Reds took a 34-25 lead into the halftime break.

3rd Quarter

Bryant's jumper kept the Reds up 38-30, however Kikanovic and Jordan Taylor brought Berlin back, sparking an 11-0 run (38-41, 28'). Savanovic stopped the bleeding with a baseline "J". Down by two points, Cobbs picked Will Cherry's pocket for the steal, started a fastbreak and dished it off to B. Taylor who slammed it home for the 43-43 tie at the end of the third quarter.

4th Quarter

The final quarter set the stage for the Cup Championship, both clubs battling with instensity in hopes to claim victory. Bryant grabbed the rebound for the putback layup to open up a lead for Bayern (51-46, 34'). B. Taylor's three-pointer regained the five point lead for Munich, but again J. Taylor and Kikanovic grabbed the advantage back. Savanovic kept the back-and-forth going but Kikanovic connected once more from distance, he led all scorers with 19 points - timeout Bayern (56-60, 38'). J. Taylor scored again - he added 18 points - and after Milosavljevic hit the trey, Bayern called yet another timeout (58-65, 39').

Munich climbed back - Gavel with a score, Thompson hit both his free-throws and Savanovic hit the biggest shot, a three-pointer to tie the game with :29.1 seconds left! (65-65). ALBA called the play out of the timeout for Milosavljevic who hit the running floater for the lead with less than 6 seconds left. Cobbs' answer was deflected and fell short, and ALBA claim the Cup with the 67-65 win.

UPCOMING GAMES

Eurocup, Last 16, Game 1:
Wednesday, February 24th, 19:30 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at ALBA Berlin

Beko BBL, Gameday 23:
Sunday, February 28th, 15:00 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs ALBA Berlin

Eurocup, Last 16, Game 2:
Tuesday, March 1st, 20:00 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs ALBA Berlin