The top spot in the German BBL just got crowded as the No.1 club, FC Bayern Munich, was toppled by Alba Berlin, 94:74, for their first loss of the season. The result brings Munich in line with Telekom Baskets Bonn and the Artland Dragons, all at 7-1. For Alba’s part, they improve to 4-2, while having played two fewer games than most of the league.
In other BBL action on Sunday Bremerhaven picked up a road win over Phoenix Hagen, 89:93, and Brose Baskets narrowly escaped with a home win over New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig, 79:77.
Alba Berlin – FC Bayern Munich, 94:74
The men from Munich came into Week 8 with a perfect 7-0 record and a road trip to Berlin to face 3-2 Alba Berlin. Unfortunately, as the final horn sounded, the last unbeaten team in the German BBL was on the short end of a particularly one-sided contest in which they lost three of four quarters by as many as 10 points. Alba also out-rebounded them 40-27 and committed seven fewer turnovers (17-10). The most important stat was shooting, where Berlin connected on 29 of 52 (56%) from inside the arc, while Munich was only 12 of 30 (40%) and overall (from the floor) Alba was 37 of 74 (50%) and the guests were only 22 of 50 (44%). As the saying goes, you have to shoot to score…
The clubs played evenly through the heart of the first frame, with Alba taking a small advantage near the end to get up 23:19 in front of 14,500 fans at the O2 in Berlin. The hosts put some distance between them and Bayern in the second with numerous second chance baskets solid defense, winning the frame 27:17 to take a 50:36 advantage into the mid-game break. Munich sliced two off the deficit in the third, but couldn’t make any significant headway into cutting the gap and in the fourth Alba turned up the pressure and added another eight for a 20-point win at the expense of the league-leaders.
Vojdan Stojanovski was game-high for Alba with 21, Clifford Hammonds added 20, Reggie Redding scored 17 and turned in an efficiency rating of 26. Malcolm Delaney topped the list for Bayern with 19 points, Nihad Djedovic added 14, and Heiko Schaffartzik scored 11.
Brose Baskets – New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig, 79:77
Brose Baskets stayed near the top of the league after they held off a hard charging visiting club from Braunschweig to pick up their sixth win on the season, 79:77.
The Phantoms led the way in the first half, taking a two-point margin in the first and then adding another point in the second to get up 32:35 at the half. Brose countered after the intermission and covered the difference to send the contest into the fourth frame with the clubs knotted up at 60. The hosts controlled the final period, getting up 73:65 half-way through, only to let the Phantoms back in the with a 2:10 run that brought them even again at 75. In the final minute Brose took the contest by hitting their free throws, while Braunschweig missed several opportunities to take the game themselves.
Anton Gavel and Maik Zirbes led Brose with 15 each, and Zachary Wright added 10. James Florence was game-high for the Phantoms with 20, Kyle Visser added 16 points and 9 rebounds, and Isaiah Swann tallied 13 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
Phoenix Hagen – Bremerhaven Polar Bears, 89:93
The Bremerhaven Polar Bears got their first win of the German BBL Season with a four-point road win over Phoenix Hagan, 89:93. The high scoring contest had the crowd of 3,145 out of their seats often as the clubs battled to the end, exchanging the lead numerous times with neither team ever getting too comfortable of an advantage.
Darius Adams led the visitors with 28 points and an efficiency rating of 25, while Larry Gordon paced the hosts with 25 points, 9 rebounds and also had a rating of 25.
As close as the score was, the stats reflected the tightness of the contest as the Polar Bears held a slight advantage in their shooting performance, connecting on 32 of 60 (53%) of their shots from the floor and 23 of 26 (88%) from the line, while Phoenix Hagen hit 32 of 68 (46%) from the floor and 21 of 24 (88%) from the line. Both clubs knocked down six from behind the arc during the game.
The hosts got the early lead, taking the first frame 27:24, but Bremerton was able to counter in the second with a five-point advantage to take a two-point lead into the break, 48:50. The guests added a point to their lead in the third to head into the final frame up 69:72. The hosts worked through the frame to get the lead back, but a pair of triples by Adams gave Bremerton the advantage back with just under two minutes to play. With both teams hitting their free throws consistently, Bremerton was able to stay out front and the hosts couldn’t make up the ground. In the end the Polar Bears had their first win on the season and Phoenix Hagen dropped to 3-4.
Adams was game-high with 28 for Bremerton, Derrick Allen added 19 points and 7 rebounds, Anthony Smith tallied 14 points and 7 rebounds, and Philip Zwiener scored 12. Gordon led the hosts with 25, Mark Dorris added 15, Dino Gregory and Henry Dugat scored 13 each, and David Bell contributed 10.