What do you get if you have big robust Jared human dressed in black without the Wil Smith men in Black shades with a broom ready to get busy on a long narrow dark tunnel all prepared to sweep, sweep, sweep? Well you would either have the American Homan fitted to clean a dark and dirty chimney or simply a country boy from Iowa that has been introduced to the real world of Europe as a basketball player doing a commercial on how to sweep a top Beko BBL team with Alba Berlin. Not to forget to spruce up the add with lightening quick Tyrese Rice all dapper in his chimney dirt absorbers aiding Homan with his dirty work would have been the most adequate side kick in the chimney or in front of the camera with his quick hands to get more chimneys spotless or to help brighten up the lens with his smile. Rice did a super job time in and time out getting the Alba defense unrattled, but with next opponent Bamberg ready to square off, the cake walk that Munich had against Alba Berlin most likely won´t happen again as the club most likely will have to keep the brooms in the closet as a sweep in this series will be as unlikely as Borussia Dortmund or FC Bayern Munich winning 4-0 in the Champions League final. The only broom that will be used in this series at the end will be to sweep away the tears as the loser will head home as a loser in the Beko BBL pre final final.
The Fc Bayern Munich-Alba Berlin head to head match up in the quarterfinals was like a final already and the Bavarian team was clearly more prepared. They didn´t hesitate to get going showing the 8 time Beko BBL team their boundries in game one winning easily 88-67. The FC Bayern Munich offense was as smooth rolling as is Arjen Robben when he is dribbling down the wing toward the goal as they shot a hot 54% from the field and 53% from the parking lot and had five players in double figures. They were unable to contain Dashaun Wood or Nihad Djedovic, but kept everyone else in check and held Alba Berlin to under 40% shooting. FC Bayern Munich held their composure and showed mental strength in game two and three winning each game by six points. FC Bayern Munich continued to shoot very well keeping that team balance in scoring intact while Tyrese Rice took charge scoring 41 points in the last two games. FC Bayern Munich also stayed aggressive on defense keeping Alba Berlin to under 40% shooting in game three. One can´t forget that Alba Berlin had the injury bug all season long. “The third quarter really hurt us in the last two games. Munich had some guys step up that made tough shots that usually they would not have made. We played the percentages, but you have to give them credit for having determination and effort to make those difficult shots. Those big shots gave them momentum just to slightly get the lead and hang on. I also think that we had 25 more Euroleague games in our bones and they just had more juice than we did”, stressed 2011 Beko BBL MVP Dashun Wood.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg came into the series against Phoenix Hagen having to play against every bodies darlings and had no cake walk winning the series 3-1. It was a hard piece of work for Chris Fleming and co, but in the end the 5 time Beko BBL team once again showed despite increased criticism this season that they are past their prime that they are still the team to beat and when time comes to shove, can still shove the best and win big games in uncomfortable environments. That Bamberg can defend has always been known, but Phoenix Hagen had to defend very well to make any strides in this series, but averaged giving up 96 points in the four game series. They won game one 99-74 scoring 37 points in the fourth quarter when they had to and having six players in double figures. Phoenix Hagen won game two 95-89 playing their typical run and gun game scoring just a bit more than their opponent and shooting superbly at 49% from the field and 45% from downtown. Adam Hess burned Bamberg with 28 points and eight three pointers and they annoyed Bamberg and forced them to 20 turnovers. Game three will forever be known as the turning point of the series and didn´t shine a bright light on Bamberg or the league as shortly before halftime, there was a skirmish on the court and three Hagen players were disqualified, but no Bamberg player. The Beko BBL then suspended American Mark mr fantastic four three games. Despite this turmoil, Hagen didn´t sink their heads in the second half kept fighting, but lost 104-94. A big 31 point third quarter and the three ex NBA players Casey Jacobsen, Bostjan Nachbar and Sharod Ford contributed 66 points was just too much for the troops of Ingo Freyer. Everybody was awaiting a big battle in game four in Hagen, but instead Bamberg quickly played like they were three classes above Hagen leading 14-2 early, scored 34 points in the first quarter and never looked back. Phoenix Hagen made their runs, but it didn´t help that American Davin White left early in the fourth quarter with an apparent injury. In the end, Bamberg won with their experience, cleverness and constant pressure on offense and defense and it didn´t help that Hagen had a slow shooting day.
The clash between FC Bayern Munich and the Brose Baskets Bamberg is by far the most interesting series in the Beko BBL semifinals. FC Bayern Munich play their second final in a row while Bamberg play their first type final in the playoffs. Both teams are ready for a spirited and hard fought playoff series. FC Bayern Munich will be more rested, but also mentally strong after disposing of tough opponent Alba Berlin, while Bamberg couldn´t pull out the lawn chairs in the series against Phoenix Hagen as they had to play against a very focused and annoying team. Both teams split the season series as Bamberg won at home 76-68. It was a very tight game, but Bamberg had a strong fourth quarter holding on too win as both teams didn´t shoot particular well as it was more of a defensive minded game. FC Bayern Munich won at home 85-71 as they were more in control and easily dominated the boards. In this series, the question is can Bamberg win their only title of the season and fourth league title in a row, or is is the time ripe for FC Bayern Munich to make the next step make an upset and reach the Beko BBL final? Both teams have potent offenses whereas Bamberg has the advantage on defense a part of their game they will need to improve in the Munich series with more talent there than in Hagen as they gave up too many points to Phoenix Hagen. Both teams have enough fire power to have 5-7 players in double figures, but if one had to choose two players that will be key then it will be Tyrese Rice and Casey Jacobsen. Rice was on fire in game two and three and he carries the team no matter what while the ex NBA player Jacobsen is the heart and soul of the team. If there is one player that can make the big shot, rebound, assist or big play than it is Jacobsen. Bamberg will have to be mentally strong and simply out grind FC Bayern Munich. The inside game and rebounding could make the difference in this series.Interesting will see who will get the best of whom with Homan,Troutman and Roberts against Ford, Zirbes and Neumann. The experience factor could be crucial in crunch time situations. Both teams are still searching for their groove on defense and who finds it first will benefit. Bamberg has home court advantage, but winning in Bamberg seems to be getting easier and FC Bayern Munich will have to win on the road. This will be a big battle that will go five games. The time is right for FC Bayern Munich to make the next step while an era will end in Bamberg.