ALBA Berlin takes third consecutive German crown
Less than 48 hours after losing at home by 30, ALBA Berlin held onto the German League trophy on Sunday with a resounding 81-96 road win at FC Bayern Munich to take their best-of-five final series 3-1.
ALBA reacted to its big home defeat on Friday night by winning each of the first three quarters of Game 4 by at least six points and keeping Bayern at bay through the finish. Jaleen Smith led a three-point onslaught by the guests by nailing 6 of 7 shots from the arc for 23 points. Johannes Thiemann added 15 points, Tamir Blatt 14 and Christ Koumadje 11. Bayern got 15 points from Augustine Rubit, 12 from Deshaun Thomas, and 11 each from Andreas Obst and Nihad Dedovic.
Smith and Thiemann filled all of a 0-11 start that gave ALBA wings for the rest of the game. Bayern drew within 9-13 on a dunk by Thomas before Blatt came off the bench to strike twice from deep, and Maodo Lo beat the first quarter buzzer for a 17-26 advantage. That lead more than doubled in the second quarter that ALBA started with 10-22 run capped by back-to-back dunks from Koumadje at 27-48. Bayern’s 13-4 response to come within 40-52 shortly after halftime was for naught as ALBA scored the next 12 points, including eight by Smith, on the way to a high lead of 47-72 late in the third quarter, from which Bayern could not recover. Three-point marksmanship was very much a factor as ALBA dropped 14 of 27 triples (51.9%) to just 7 of 18 (38.9%) for Bayern. It was ALBA’s third consecutive domestic title and the club’s 11th overall, just three behind leader Bayer Leverkusen, which has not won the trophy since 1996.