Syntainics MBC has never made it to the Final Four of the DBB Cup. The Krunic team has the chance to do so on Saturday at home against Alba Berlin. Just a few weeks ago, outsiders Weißenfels impressively showed what is possible away from the recently stumbling record cup winners.
One thing is likely to happen at the reunion between the Syntainics MBC and Alba Berlin this Saturday (December 9th, 4 p.m., live on MDR TELEVISION, in the SpiO app and on sport-im-osten.de) in Weißenfels can almost certainly not be prevented – that the eleven-time German champion and cup winner from the capital will enter the parquet of the town hall with some desire for compensation.
Alba Berlin “simply at a loss” with MBC sensation
“We really irritated them,” says MBC center Martin Breunig in an interview Sports in the East, because “you don’t like to lose, especially not that big. I think they’ll come out with a lot of energy.” The reason for the expected separate motivation of the yellow-blues before the upcoming quarter-final duel in the BBL Cup was barely three weeks ago – with 108:75, the actually blatant outsiders from Saxony-Anhalt outclassed the Berliners in the Bundesliga duel in front of over 8,000 spectators own hall.
“The energy of the team, this togetherness, the chemistry, everything was just right. At a certain point they were just at a loss and didn’t even know what was happening to them,” remembers Breunig, who himself had 13 points and four rebounds for their first win Alba contributed to MBC’s almost 18-year Bundesliga history.
Berlin negative series ends against Kaunas
What the 31-year-old Breunig also doesn’t forget to mention: The Berliners, who have repeatedly weakened this autumn, were missing three absolute players in the aforementioned BBL sensation on November 19th in world champion Johannes Thiemann and the two NBA-experienced Americans Sterling Brown and Matt Thomas Top performers and leaders. Head coach Israel Gonzales’ team, which has been so successful in recent years, recently lost six times in a row across all competitions.
Alba coach Israel Gonzales in conversation with his captain Johannes Thiemann, who became basketball world champion with the DBB team in the summer. Image rights: IMAGO / Contrast
Only on Tuesday evening (December 5th) Jonas Mattiseck’s decisive three-pointer with 6.7 seconds left ensured a 64:62 glimmer of hope over Zalgiris Kaunas in the Euro League. The best scorer was Johannes Thiemann (16). “I’m proud that, despite all the challenges, we were able to end our losing streak recently,” said a noticeably relieved Gonzales afterwards.
Predrag Krunic: “…this is our only chance”
Meanwhile, after their memorable sensation in Berlin, the Weißenfels team were brought back to the hard ground of reality – against Würzburg and in Hamburg they finished 15th in the table. BBL defeats six and seven of the season. At least this week the MBC can focus entirely on the highlight game for the first-ever entry into the Cup Final Four. Alba, on the other hand, has to play again in the Euro League on Thursday evening (December 7th). Anadolu Efes Istanbul makes a guest appearance at the Ostbahnhof.
“We have to act as a team” – MBC head coach Predrag with his Weißenfels players. Image rights: IMAGO / Eckehard Schulz
But despite ongoing injury concerns – Brown and Thomas are still out injured, Lois Olinde was also out recently – and the guests’ significant three-competition deadline rush, the Wolves are once again clear outsiders against the current fifth-place team in the Bundesliga. “Berlin is always a special opponent at the top level, so you’re happy when you can compete with people like that,” says Breunig, who recovered in time after recovering from an ankle injury. MBC head coach Predrag Krunic emphasized in Sports in the East-Interview: “We have to perform as a team, give the maximum, reach our limits and use the hall with our fans – that’s our only chance.”
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This topic in the program:MDR TELEVISION | Sports in the East | December 9, 2023 | 4:00 p.m
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