The Oldenburgers should have another advantage in the decisive phase of the season: together with the leaders from Bonn, they are the only team in the BBL that has played all 28 matches in the season so far. All other teams still have matches to catch up. Gießen, for example, also a direct competitor to Oldenburg in the battle for relegation, played three games less. Crailsheim, who are still in the playoffs, are four games behind.
Mammoth program: Alba Berlin still with twelve BBL games
Alba Berlin, however, awaits the toughest final program: The champions still have twelve games left before the end of the regular season, the first of which is Monday night (April 4, 2022) against Medi Bayreuth. On top of that, there are two more matches in the Euroleague.
Alba is currently in fifth place in the BBL, but has the fewest defeats in the league and was able to roll the pitch up from behind. The table therefore has only limited significance with six matches left.
23 games canceled due to Corona
According to BBL, 23 matches had to be canceled. This further upset the schedule, which is already strained due to many international matches. Since the beginning of the year, almost all teams have had to complain about several absences week after week due to corona diseases and injuries.
Medi Bayreuth was hit particularly hard recently: the Bayreuth team had only six players ready for action in the match in Göttingen and eventually even had to go into extra time – where they ended up losing very narrowly. It was one of six defeats to Bayreuth in March alone. The playoffs, which were at least within reach until then, should no longer be a problem for Bayreuth.
BBL extends season to May 10th
BBL still has to tear down a tight remaining program in the remaining weeks with six excellent playing days plus ten catch-up matches. The season has therefore already been extended by ten days beyond the 34th match day, until 10 May. This is the last possible date before the playoffs, before then all matches in the main round must be played, confirmed league manager Stefan Holz from the sports show. If after the deadline there are still teams that have played less than 34 matches, the table should be recalculated according to the quotient rule – as the German Ice Hockey League (DEL) has already done.
Descent could be suspended
Under certain circumstances, this may also have an impact on the relegation rule: if a team is in a relegation zone with fewer than 34 games at the end of the regular season on May 10, but still has a mathematical chance of rescuing itself in a catch-up match, she would not move down, said league manager Holz. The clubs had agreed on this: “We have clear rules. “
Further arrangements for the planning of the match were now also necessary due to the Euroleague play-off with FC Bayern: On 19 April, the Munich team will start their quarter-final series in Europe’s premier class, which in the most extreme case will last five matches. Should Munich qualify for the Final Four (May 19 to May 21), the playoff series in the BBL, which starts on May 13, would be discontinued.
BBL boss Holz: “Corona program is equally difficult for all teams”
The league has until June 25 to end the season. BBL’s CEO Holz assumes the playoffs will be played to an end according to plan. And with a much lower load than last season, which was also hit by Corona: At the end of the day, the teams had to play back-to-back in the playoffs, ie two days in a row.
“The Corona game plan is wild. But also equally difficult and unpredictable for all teams. It affects championships, playoffs, home game placement, relegationsaid Holz and also defended himself against the allegations of possible distortion of competition, which became loud after Bayern’s guest match in Oldenburg. The match was moved from Sunday to Saturday at the request of FC Bayern, according to Holz. And: It had no other option for agreement than this weekend .
FC Bayern – three matches in the Euroleague until Friday
Bayern general manager Marko Pesic defended himself in the Süddeutsche Zeitung after the Oldenburg match, saying the club also needed to protect the players’ health in the face of the enormous strain.
Bayern have three away games in the Euroleague until next Friday, before continuing on Sunday in the league against Gießen. Giessen is second to last in the table above a relegation zone – and would certainly not mind if Munich rested some of their stars again.