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Alba Berlin is crowned champion in Munich

What does a champion react to a home loss by thirty points? Alba Berlin showed it on Sunday: With a 96:81 in Munich (26:17, 26:19, 24:18, 20:27). The triumph brought Germany’s outstanding national basketball team their third championship in a row, their eleventh overall. The special spice: Berlin won the last three championships in the hall of the rival in Munich. However, the team did not win the 2020 title in a dispute with Bayern, but as the winner of the championship tournament in the Corona Protection Bubble. The most recent championship that Alba wanted to win in game three on Friday is the first of Spain’s Alba coach Israel Gonzalez, Aito Reneses’ assistant for years, his second success after winning the cup.

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It could have been the game of Johannes Thiemann, who has developed impressively in four years in Berlin. The national player was a fixture of the Berlin game right from the start and scored 15 points, 4 rebounds and, remarkable for a 2.05 meter long athlete who can take on any heavyweight under the basket, four assists. His teammate Jaleen Smith scored better, scoring 23 points. Only Luke Sikma (four points, eight assists) and point guard Maodo Lo (2/5) passed more successfully. His counterpart Tamir Blatt scored 14 points. On the Munich side, Augustin Rubit (15) and Dashon Thomas (12) scored the most points.

Center Thiemann with an outstanding start

“Thiemann has ten points!” screamed Bayern coach Andrea Trinchieri during the first time-out. Felt maybe. In reality, after just three minutes, it was seven plus two assists. Everything revolved around the robust center, which made for a brilliant start for Berliners: the first goal, two passes to Jaleen Smith, who scored from the outside.

The alarm worked. Bayern were suddenly present, scored 7:0 points and were four – until Thiemann alluded to Blatt, who extended the lead to 16:9 with a three. After the first quarter, Maodo Lo came into play for a nine-point lead by cornering four Munich players and putting the ball in the basket to make it 27:17. By then, Bayern had hit just one of six long-range shots.

Bayern wake up too late

Alba also dominated in the second quarter. Apparently sobered by the defeat on Friday with a deficit of thirty points, the Berliners defended consistently, went after every ball, won it much more often than Bayern and played it with speed, ingenuity and determination. If they didn’t get to the goal with finesse, the 2.21-meter-long Christ Koumadje attacked, happily with a pass played high over the basket. He scored eleven points. Two minutes before the half-time break, the Berliners had almost wiped out the gap from Friday. They led by twenty points (48:28). Bayern, on the other hand, looked as if they would be satisfied with one evening’s triumph. The break was 36:52.

Best player of the final series: The Berlin center Johannes Thiemann


Best player of the final series: The Berlin center Johannes Thiemann
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Image: dpa

Less than two minutes after the restart, Trinchieri called the first time-out of the second half. Thiemann was still unstoppable. Shortly thereafter, Smith increased Alba’s lead to 24 points (40:64) with a three pointer. His accuracy, 85.7 percent with six hits in seven three-point attempts, always gave Alba the calm on the way to the title.

Only in the last quarter did Bayern gather their strength for a run of 10:0 points (62:76). For a few minutes, the dominance of the Berliners seemed to have vanished. But they bit through. With another long-range shot to make it 81:62, Smith destroyed Bayern’s hopes of a turnaround. The final goal of the game, a three-pointer, came from former NBA pro Paul Zipser, who is struggling to return to his former level after suffering a brain hemorrhage and emergency surgery last year. In the joy of the Berliners, it was a moving final on the Munich side.




read more  Alba Berlin is waiting for Sikma and is counting on its fans
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