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Germany BBL: ALBA Berlin wins German Cup

ALBA Berlin
ALBA Berlin clinched the German Cup on Sunday with an 85-67 win over Ratiopharm Ulm. The win marked the German capital’s team’s first peace of silverware since 2009 while it was also the seventh time that ALBA has lifted the German Cup.

ALBA Berlin was hosting the Beko BBL TOP FOUR in the O2 World arena and in front of 14,000 excited fans where they prevailed to the final to play Ratiopharm Ulm.

However, it was Ratiopharm that came out the strongest in the opening exchanges, and by time the first quarter ended ALBA was trailing by two points. For much of the second the game was close and by the half time buzzer ALBA had cut Ratiopharm’s lead to just 1 point, with the Ulm team leading 39-38 at the interval. ALBA had managed to stay within touching distance on the scoreboard despite a slow start, something that was acknowledged by ALBA Berlin’s head coach.

“At the beginning we were too emotional and too excited,” explained Berlin’s head coach Sasa Obradovic.
“Many players have never had the chance to win a title; they lost their calm and did not play with sufficient precision.
“We wanted to make too many things happen too quickly.”

That slow start was quickly forgotten as ALBA emerged for the second half with fresh impetus and had seemed to have found another gear. The two forwards of ALBA Berlin did a lot of work in putting the team on top, the 24 points and eight rebounds achieved by Zach Morley and Deon Thompson’s 20 points and five rebounds secured over 50% of Berlin’s output and paved the way for victory.

Helping out Morley and Thompson was point guard Da Shaun Wood who contributed heavily with an impressive nine assists and 10 points. The result of this high scoring meant that ALBA blew their opponents away in the fourth quarter, managing to outscore them by 23 to 8.

Despite these quality displays, Ratiopharm Ulm managed to keep the game tight, something that pleased their head coach Thorsten Leibenath, although he lamented the 4th quarter collapse.

For ALBA coach Sasa Obradovic, the victory brought a change in a season long trend where his team had lost many games in the final period.

“We have lost this season so many seemingly secure games in the final period and today it was the exact opposite,” said Obradovic.
“I hope my team has learned that lesson and now we can use this experience in the future.
“I certainly hope this is the beginning of a new era [for the club] and that this title is just the first to come.”

The victory means that ALBA Berlin is the undisputed king of the cup since the turn of the century. The club has now won five of its seven German Cup triumphs since 2000.

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