Alba Berlin loses cup final: The one turn too much

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  • Christian Kattner

Joshiko Saibou can not stop Tyrese Rice from throwing.


imago / Jan Huebner

Bamberg –

First of all, congratulations. Aito Garcia Reneses is a fair sportsman, the coach of the basketball players of Alba Berlin praised the opponent from Bamberg in his hall for his game and the cup win by an 82:83 defeat in the final. “I’m sorry for my team and the traveling fans,” the coach continued afterwards. “It was difficult for us today.”

Next door, Luke Sikma said that it was annoying him to be so close to winning the trophy. “We missed a big shot,” said the forward. Sikma had started despite a flu. That was one of the shortcomings the guests from Berlin had had to deal with. “Peyton Siva is not in the best shape yet,” added coach Reneses. Playmaker Siva has to fight back after injury.

Reneses had Dennis Clifford as the seventh foreigner not set up, but access Derrick Walton, who had trained only on Thursday for the first time with the team. Even Jonas Mattisseck, who was the match winner in the quarter-final against Bayern Munich, was not allowed to play.

Several ball losses

The Alba players, who were allowed to play for the first title of the year, seemed nervous at the beginning. They made many ball losses. Alone nine were in the first quarter. The hosts seemed more aggressive, more alert. This was also expressed in the numbers: The Bamberg collected five offensive rebounds and thus gained second throwing chances. Alba had no effect on the opponent’s board and could not collect a rebound there. Two quick fouls for Landry Nnoko, only nine throws – it was only 16:20 after ten minutes, was Alba Berlin’s great luck.

At least a few statistics could turn the Berlin in the second quarter. Suddenly there were the offensive rebounds, suddenly there were throwing situations. Alba shortened, Alba stayed tuned, but Alba could not take the lead. In the crucial moments Bamberg seemed more purposeful, tougher and softer. And when Sikma 90 seconds before half-time break with his lay-on to 35:34 then but the first Alba leadership since the 6: 4 scored, had Bamberg with a 10-2 run the right answer.

Combative final spurt

The problems with the Bamberger intensity initially remained after the page break. Two consecutive threes let the hosts sink further (50:59). Also, because Sikma could not do what he wanted. The American made four points and two rebounds. Because of the flu infection, he had missed the final training.

But even without a Sikma in top form, the Berlin could reduce the gap in the last quarter again, were 28.9 seconds before the end even with 82:80 lead. But a Bamberger had something against a Berlin success: Nikos Zisis met just under three seconds before the end to 83:82. Once again, Alba could not do that. “We have to accept the defeat,” said Reneses. “We have to improve by the end of the season.”