Basketball Bundesliga: Alba wants to set an example against Bamberg

Alba starts as the clear favorite in the playoff quarterfinals against Bamberg. The first game on Friday is therefore particularly important. But they don’t want to talk about the title just yet.

Alba Berlin can’t wait for the playoffs in the basketball Bundesliga to finally start. “It’s a great feeling. You’ve been waiting for it all season and we’re ready to play now,” said winger Louis Olinde. On Friday, the Berliners will start in the quarter-finals in the best-of-five series at home against Brose Bamberg (7 p.m. / Magentasport).

Now is the time to be there. “Everything you’ve learned and prepared for this season you have to recall now,” said sporting director Himar Ojeda. The goal, of course, is to defend the title. “But we can’t think about that yet. Something can always happen, so we can only watch from game to game,” said the sporting director.

The second game in the series will start on Sunday – also in Berlin. The third game will follow on Thursday in Bamberg. Too long a break for coach Israel Gonzalez. “I’d rather play more games in a row. It’s a strange situation because we had a tighter schedule that season,” said the Spaniard.

And unlike most of her opponents, Alba is used to this rhythm. “That changes a lot. If you’re tired, and the teams will get that in the course of the playoff, the games are completely different. But we can handle it quite well,” said national player Johannes Thiemann.

The opening match on Friday is therefore particularly important. “Obviously that sets the tone for the whole series,” said Olinde. As the leader of the table, the Berliners are also the clear favourite. “It’s important to win the home games and then close the series as quickly as possible,” said Thiemann. That’s why it’s also about setting a sign right away. “If you realize in the first game that nothing works, then the other team starts to think,” said Olinde.

Especially since the past few years have always had surprises in store. “Such series are extremely dangerous,” warned manager Marco Baldi. And Gonzalez doesn’t want to overrate the first game either. “Obviously the team that wins the first game has a tactical advantage. But in the end it doesn’t mean anything, you have to win three games,” said the Spaniard.

And even if Bamberg only goes into the playoffs in eighth place, Alba is warned of the Franconians. Because Bamberg has won five of their last six games. Ironically, against Alba there was the only defeat. “Definitely one of the hottest teams in the league. But we were still the hottest team at the back,” said Thiemann. Because Alba even won the last eleven games. “If we play our game with confidence then hopefully we shouldn’t have any big problems,” said Olinde.

In terms of personnel, Alba is going into the final spurt of the season with a few handicaps. The 2.21-metre-tall Christ Koumadje, who was last rested, should train with the team again when his ankle pain stops. Sweden’s Marcus Erikssonn still has no comeback in sight. “He’s looking better but we don’t know when he’ll be able to train with the team again,” said Gonzalez. At least Tim Schneider should return to team training in the next few days.



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