It was not clear whether Israel González was sweaty after the exertion in the sweltering heat of the Munich Hall – or whether he had taken a bath with a cold drink. Probably both, at least the coach of the Berlin basketball team sat at the press conference after the decisive fourth final match of the German basketball championship and smiled happily. The gold championship medal dangled around the neck of the 47-year-old. Gonzàlez had put on the obligatory championship t-shirt and could not stop thanking him.
With the players whose performances he could not be proud of in a difficult season, with his club, which as a novice entrusted him with the responsibility as head coach, with his coaching team and of course with his predecessor. This title is also a bit like Aito Garcia Reneses, the great Spanish coach who, after winning the championships for the past two years, took a sabbatical for health reasons. On Twitter, the 75-year-old immediately sent congratulations to his successor, who continued his legacy so successfully and achieved the greatest possible success with the double – Alba also brought the trophy to Berlin.
It was the eleventh title in the club’s history, the third in a row, with 96:81, the Berliners had won the fourth match in the best-of-five series at the Audi Dome. Ironically, the players celebrated each of these three triumphs in the Munich Hall. They missed the first match point after a 2-0 lead with victories at home and in Munich (86-73 and 71-58) on Friday night and got a good victory of 60-90.
Barely a throw found the goal, the team was impressed by the gasps of the battered guests and seemed insecure. In Munich, however, doubts in the players’ minds quickly disappeared, long-range shooter Jaleen Smith immediately regained his shooting ability, and center Johannes Thiemann, who was honored as the most valuable player in the final series, took the lead with much. of energy and determination. At the break, the visitors were well ahead at 52:36, and the old and new champions knew how to face Bayern’s last upturn in the last quarter – Berlin was the better team.
The Munich squad was too thin in the final series and lacked the necessary energy against such a strong opponent
The Munich team can hardly be blamed, coach Andrea Trinchieri’s squad was very thin in this final series. While Berlin only had to do without a so-called key player in Sweden Marcus Eriksson, the hosts of Darrun Hilliard, Corey Walden, Vladimir Lucic and Leon Radosevic were missing four. Too much for Bayern, who were favorites before the season and had to celebrate their success in international business. There, Bayern had the great FC Barcelona on the verge of elimination in the Euroleague quarter-finals, the best European competition. In the end, however, they were defeated by the Catalans in the decisive fifth match and narrowly missed out on getting into the top four teams on the continent. It required a lot of strength. Alba also played in the European Premier League, after the main round it was over.
After winning the trophy last year, Munich paid the price for their strong international performance for the second time in the championship, but a season without a title is not acceptable for Bayern. President Herbert Hainer openly admitted that consideration would be given to how these burdens could be better controlled. Coach Trinchieri did not want to allow any analysis at all, looking at the floor and the faces of his battered players would prohibit this.
In fact, Bayern were hit harder than Berlin in this second Corona season. The virus overwhelmed the squad in two waves and key players had to be replaced in preparation, leading to constant damage due to the resulting overload. Knowing these problems, says Trinchieri, one can only salute his team’s performance, period!
The evening left two proud coaches whose teams had pushed themselves to the limit in an intense and exciting series of finals. German basketball can also be happy with both representatives: The level in the Bundesliga has probably never been higher than it is now, never before has German basketball been presented better internationally – Munich, which knocked on the door of the European finals for the second. time in a row the Berliners, who with their decades of sustainable youth work are constantly developing new top players.
It is not for nothing that the number of German players in the world’s best league NBA is higher than ever, which makes the prospects for the upcoming European Championships in Cologne and Berlin (September 1-18) appear quite rosy. Then national coach Gordon Herbert – not least thanks to clubs like Berlin and Munich – can look forward to a whole host of top-class players from the NBA and Euroleague. It could also soon make him proud.