ein a top game in football two days after a heavy Champions League match abroad? Inconceivably. In basketball it was time again on Sunday. German champions Bayern München met Alba Berlin. Both with white waistcoat in the Bundesliga. Both with away defeats from the Euroleague on Friday (Munich in Istanbul) and Thursday (Berlin in Tel Aviv) in mind. But the legs did not seem tired, at best, many minor errors, unnecessary ball losses (16/16) pointed to lack of concentration. They pushed the level of the basketball hit, but the tension did not hurt that. Until the last minute, Berlin stayed in touch, despite a twelve-point lead from Bayern two minutes before the end, lost the prestige duel in Munich but 80:84.
Anyone who competes in the Euroleague needs a deep and high-quality squad. This was also the responsibility of the Bavarians aware, as they put together in the summer of a team that should do justice to the double burden of the European elite class and the Bundesliga. Twelve players may be used per encounter. 14 professionals are under contract in Munich, which can be used at this level. A squad, as it has never been in a German team. Nevertheless, the Bayern feel in the match against Berlin, as exhausting this season will be with at least 67 competitive games. With the new playmaker T.J. Bray and NBA seasoned forward Josh Huestis have not played a single match for two key players because of their injuries.
Huestis is just as the French Center hopeful Mathias Lessort are about to return soon. Finally, the reliable Nihad Djedovic also had to fit. Under these circumstances, the performance in the defeat on Friday in Istanbul (82:90) was passable, the success of Berlin a voucher for the class. “That was an important victory for us,” said Munich's top scorer, the unerring Alex King (19 points), to Magenta TV. Characteristic of the quality that the most successful came from the bank. “It was about holding first place,” said King, “that was important to us.” Alba had to do without the excellent actor Peyton Siva. “We could not maintain the intensity throughout the game,” said young Berliner Jonas Mattisseck (5).
In addition to the leadership in the Bundesliga Bayern try to prevail in Europe's top class. Three away wins, including Real Madrid, have been made. “We are much closer to the best teams,” said Uli Hoeneß on Sunday. The outgoing president of FC Bayern next Friday promised not only to remain a permanent guest in the basketball court, but also a continuation of the commitment of Bayern: “Herbert Hainer will probably be my successor. He loves football and basketball and will support him 100 percent. Marco Pesic (Manager) will always find an open ear with him. “
The quality in the Euroleague is higher than ever. It hurts a lot that with Bray the starter in the king position of basketball is longer. On the other hand, Maodo Lo has seized the opportunity. The national player shows himself in a dazzling condition and reveals that light-footedness that he once seemed to have lost in the meantime. Against Berlin, however, only get him four points and two assists. A first indication that Lo will have a hard time by the end of the year gaining the power to play a dominant role in both competitions. Especially as committed to Bray replacement DeMarcus Nelson (12) so far not convinced.
On the board, however, the Munich are strongly positioned. Greg Monroe (13/9 rebounds) is getting better and better in European basketball. The center, which has been honed in nine NBA seasons, is evolving into a dominant figure and, in addition, has unexpected abilities as a rider. But the squad of Bayern is not completely trimmed to the short-term success. With the French Lessort (24 years) and the Italian Diego Flaccadori (23 years), two foreigners have found their place more promising prospects than current Euroleague level. In the long term, it's about more than a German rivalry: “We need more strong opponents in the league,” says Hoeneß. And more money. The leap to the top in Europe will not succeed without an expansion of the budget. Hoeness relies on an increase in sponsorship amounts, if in two or three years, the new hall in Munich is – and basketball wins a larger audience on television.
The author is two-time coach of the year.
(TagToTranslate) Josh Huestis (t) Uli Hoeness (t) Alex King (t) Maodo Lo (t) NBA (t) Bayern Munich (t) Alba Berlin