FC bayern’s basketball players were only briefly upset about missing their first chance at the title – and are now relying fully on the home advantage in the all-important fifth final against ALBA berlin.
“In the end we had a chance to win, but now there is another game at home. And i think we”ll win the championship,” said munchen coach dejan radonjic ahead of the heiben playoff showdown on 16. June in own hall.
How difficult it will be to win the first double in the club"s history became clear to the cup winners at the last minute when they won 68:72 (34:29) in the german capital. ALBA evened the score at 2:2 in the high-class best-of-five series and travels to the final game of the season with a great deal of self-confidence. "It’s time to win the title. It all comes down to one game, which is exactly what we wanted," said u.S. Pro luke sikma, the most valuable player (MVP) of the bundesliga main round. Matchwinner on wednesday, however, was niels giffey, who recorded a career-best 20 points without missing a shot from the field.
Munich missed the first match point because they made too many simple mistakes and ALBA imposed their game on them. "There’s a bit of a letdown, of course, but we’re all holding our heads high," said national team player alex king. Team-mate danilo barthel gave the order of the day: "regenerate quickly, analyze mistakes and then throw everything into game five."
The "tough match" (radonjic) demanded everything from the two best teams of the season in front of 11,722 spectators. Every ball was fought over, really easy throws were rare and the intensity was enormously high over 40 minutes. Afterwards berlin’s spanish coach alejandro garcia reneses, called aito, spoke of the "rough heart" of his players and praised: "we are in the last game, as in the cup. That is very, very good, but it will be very hard."
Munich won the cup final in february, just as it did in the 2014 bundesliga final. However, the first ALBA championship in ten years is within reach. "The chances are 50 to 50. They have the home advantage, but that also puts them under pressure," said sikma. He could not celebrate the success in game four, before midnight it went from the hall home. The regeneration stood above all.
The main round winner FC bayern was favored to win the final against the runner-up. Just before the season, hardly anyone thought the young ALBA team had a real chance of winning the most important national title. But the berliners grew from their tasks. "It’s great that we didn’t have to congratulate the opponent in our hall, but forced a fifth game. I’m really happy about that," said berlin’s managing director marco baldi.
Munchen has only been to a fifth final once, losing to brose bamberg three years ago; berlin also narrowly missed out on the championship against the franken in 2011. This year, the bamberg team, which had won the title seven times in the previous eight years, had already been eliminated by the bavarians in the semifinals. On saturday evening, there will be a successor for the series champion. "We will win or lose in the last game. But i can say i’m very proud either way," said ALBA coach aito.