Inside the eighthfinals: FC Bayern Munich – ALBA Berlin

Feb 15, 2016 by Print
Inside the eighthfinals: FC Bayern Munich – ALBA Berlin

German League foes

Two of the glamour teams of German basketball, Bayern and ALBA are classic rivals for all the trophies in their country and could potentially clash for another before this series! Bayern has gotten the best of ALBA in the recent German League playoffs; it won the 2014 finals 3-1 and outlasted ALBA 3-2 in last season’s semifinals by winning Game 5 in overtime in the German capital behind 30 points from Nihad Djedovic. ALBA took out Bayern in the 2013 German Cup semifinals and last season’s quarterfinals. They have met only once this season; ALBA won 90-74 in the German League in November led by Elmedin Kikanovic’s double-double. They are next scheduled to meet in domestic action on February 28 – smack in between their two eighthfinals games – and could potentially meet in the German Cup final this weekend; both play other teams in the semifinals on Saturday and would clash in Sunday’s final if both win.

ALBA Berlin makes the most of Mercedes-Benz Arena

Mercedes-Benz Arena in the German capital is among the elite class of multi-purpose sporting venues in all of Europe and will host this season’s Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final four. ALBA Berlin has made full use of its home-court advantage over the years in general and this season in particular. ALBA went 3-0 in the German capital in the Last 32 and held opponents there to 65.3 points per game, which was the second-best home-court defense in that stage of the competition. Likewise its offensive production shot up from 68.7 points and a performance index rating of 60 in Last 32 road games to 80.8 points and an 87.7 index at home.

Bayern and its well-balanced squad

Few teams have such great balance on their roster as this season’s FC Bayern Munich squad. Guards Alex Renfroe and Nihad Djedovic are clearly the team’s offensive leaders, but after them come another eight players who have scored at least a dozen points in a game in the Last 32 alone. Bayern features six players averaging at least 4 rebounds and that doesn’t even include center John Bryant. Coach Pesic used nine players in his starting lineups in the Last 32; veteran guard Anton Gavel was the only player to start all six games. When it comes to a series, Bayern has so many options up its sleeve to find success

Mitchell Watt - ALBA Berlin - EC15 (photo Photo Olimpia Milano-Ciamillo)

The do-it-all stars

Both FC Bayern Munich and ALBA Berlin have one player they can rely on at all times; Bayern guard Alex Renfroe leads his team in index rating (18.8 per game), scoring (14.8 ppg.) three-pointers made (10) and assists (5 apg.) and tied for third in both rebounds (4.2 rpg.) and steals (1 spg.). The team went 4-1 in games where Renfroe scored in double figures. ALBA forward Dragan Milosavljevic is his team’s top scorer (14.5 ppg.) and leads it in index rating (16.1 per game) and three-pointers made (31) and is third in rebounds (4.7 rpg.), assists (2.6 apg.) and steals (1.3 spg.).

German clubs meet in Europe, again

This series will make it eight games between German rivals in the Eurocup this season! ALBA lost twice to vs MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in the Eurocup Regular Season and Bayern split a pair of Last 32 games against ratiopharm Ulm. Fellow eighthfinalist EWE Baskets Oldenburg also split with Telekom Baskets Bonn in the regular season. All told, this series will mark 19 games between German sides in European competition, of which 12 will feature ALBA, Bayern or both. And 14 of them will have taken place in the Eurocup over the past three seasons.