ALBA Berlin heads into its third consecutive season in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague eager to continue working its way up the standings. Slowly but surely, history is playing its role in hyping up games in each new season. Based on previous results and the histories of its players and coaches, some games bring more buzz than others for the team and its fans alike. Here are five such games for the 2021-22 season.
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Round 1: Coach Aito faces his ex
ALBA has lost five in a row against FC Barcelona, with its last victory over the Catalan power coming in January 2015. Last season, Barca won both games by double figures, including a 67-103 smackdown in the German capital. However, what these teams share is great growth under Coach Aito Garcia Reneses. Aito helped build Barcelona into a power in the 1980s and ‘90s and over the last four years has been doing the same with ALBA.
Round 5: Will the run against Zvezda continue?
Since ALBA returned to the EuroLeague in the summer of 2019, it has faced Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade four times. And it has won each of those games. That is the best record ALBA has against any EuroLeague team. Three of those games have been won by double figures, including an 81-58 rout in the final game of last season. Can ALBA make it five in a row?
Round 7: The best in Germany
FC Bayern Munich got the best of ALBA last season in the EuroLeague when it swept their two regular-season meetings and made history as the first German club to make the EuroLeague Playoffs. ALBA, however, had the last laugh when it won the best-of-five German League finals in four games. These teams know each other well and are always geared up for this clash.
Round 20: Back in Tel Aviv
When ALBA visits Tel Aviv this season, it well have two players to serve as its tour guides. Yovel Zoosman spent the past four seasons in a Maccabi uniform, while Tamir Blatt's father, David, guided Maccabi to its most-recent EuroLeague crown in 2014 as its head coach. Many curious eyes will be eager to see how these two bright young Israeli stars perform with ALBA in a place they know so well.
Round 28: Hosting the captain
After seven seasons with his boyhood club – including several as the team captain, Niels Giffey signed with Zalgiris Kaunas over the summer and this will be the first time ALBA welcomes him back home to the German capital. It should be a warm welcome to set the stage for an exciting game as ALBA looks to end a three-game slide against the Lithuanian champs.