Ever since both teams met in the 2003 BBL Finals Bamberg vs Berlin is a BBL classic. In 2004 Frankfurt won the BBL championship but it was Bauermann’s Bamberg that ended Berlin’s championship reign from 1997 – 2003. The fans from the capital city share a big rivalry with the basketball freaks from Franconia and no other win could be sweeter than one against the biggest opponent.
If you ask experts about the teams that could face each other in the finals this year I guess most people will bet their money on Bamberg and Berlin. While Bamberg is still undefeated in the domestic league, Berlin has re-built its roster and still has to work on some aspects. Pavicevic’s team looked pretty competitive in games against Bonn, Frankfurt and Oldenburg. But the game in Bamberg should finally prove if the new Berlin team is on par with the reigning champion Bamberg. But after a close first quarter (18:17) Alba Berlin was simply destroyed by a almost perfect playing Bamberg squad. At the end of the game one had to look twice at the scoreboard. 103:52!
A loss by 51 points???
This was Alba Berlin’s biggest loss in 21 years of team history!
OK, there are days when the opponent hits almost every shot from whatever distance and you just don’t find any answers defensively. And the game was almost out of reach at halftime when Bamberg already led by 20 points.
But one really has to question the pride of Pavicevic’s new team as really no-one could stand up and try to prevent make them look like fools. Some days before the desastrous game Pavicevic praised Bamberg as the team that has advantage on ALBA in the way they play together:
Is it really just the ‘team-in-the-making-argument’ that can explain a loss like this? In my humble opinion it is not a shame to lose in Bamberg. It isn’t even too bad to get a blow out. But it is very disappointing to see how the team fell apart. Neither McElroy, Jenkins nor Allen were able to take control and at least try to make the team fight against such a desastrous loss.
Alba Berlin’s management and fans have very high expectations and if they do not manage to win a title this year Pavicevic’s days should be counted. While Oldenburg’s problem was much easier to detect (replacing Protic and Smith) I am not sure what exactly Berlin’s problem is. It will be interesting to see how the team reacts now. Alba’s next opponent in EuroCup is Krasnye Krylia Samara and then at the Chistmas week-end the team hosts Eisbaeren Bremerhaven.