Upward trend after a weak start to the season: Alba Berlin is getting out of the vicious circle – sport
In recent years, putting theory into practice has been one of Alba Berlin’s great strengths. The gold-plated, of course, on the one hand for the playful element, for automatisms and rehearsed combinations. But that applies at least as much to attitudes. With almost 80 games in one season and minimal regeneration breaks, it is impossible to play with full energy for 40 minutes every other day. Therefore, the dosage is extremely important and the resolution is clear, especially in games against allegedly inferior opponents: start dominantly, develop a lead, save energy. In the last few seasons the Alba did well in the national competitions – and the victory in the cup quarter-finals on Saturday gives reason to hope that this Berlin strength will not be lost.
In Bayreuth, Alba was already leading 30: 8 after the first quarter, and in the end there was an 84:57 success that was never in danger. In addition to making it into the Final Four of the German Basketball Cup, coach Israel Gonzalez was particularly pleased about the very well distributed burden. All twelve professionals were used, Louis Olinde was the longest on the floor with 21 minutes and frequent players like Luke Sikma could watch large parts of the game relaxed from the bench. “Fortunately, we now have almost the entire squad available again and can play with the intensity that we imagine,” said Gonzalez. Only Christ Koumadje was missing – a welcome change from the first weeks of the season, when all centers were injured in the meantime.
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In this phase in particular, Alba had to work hard to win every victory and you quickly get into a vicious circle. Because the team is tired, they don’t play so carefree and intensely. As a result, it has to fight until the last minute, with even greater exhaustion. In the meantime, the Berliners seem to have left these difficulties behind. Nationally, Alba has won the last three games by a total of 59 points and did not have to exhaust himself.
The win against Bayreuth was also very important for morale, because last Thursday’s Euroleague appearance against Anadolu Efes Istanbul did not create a good atmosphere. “We had a shitty game against Efes,” including Olinde at “Magentasport”. But the team got the right motivation from this. “We said to ourselves: This is a do-or-die game, we have to come out with energy – and at the beginning we got the physical advantage.” Marco Baldi praised the team’s strong nerves. “The first thing you can lose in the season is the cup,” said the Berlin manager of the dpa. “We were under pressure and that was really a very, very strong performance.”
With the win, Alba is at least in the semi-finals of the cup for the tenth time in a row – even though the team was almost eliminated in the first round against Bonn. The Final Four is scheduled for February 19 and 20, the draw will take place on Sunday evening after the editorial deadline. The goal of the Berliners is independent of the opponent. “If you want to be a cup winner, you have to beat everyone – and we want to be a cup winner,” said Olinde. Since Bayern Munich were surprisingly eliminated from Chemnitz on Sunday’s defender, Alba is now the clear favorite.
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There is still a long way to go before the Final Four. Not so much in the cup, where only two victories are missing, but in the other two competitions. The Berliners are still in action 31 times in BBL and Euroleague before the first title of the season is on in three months. It is understandable that after the win against Bayreuth, the focus was quickly returned to day-to-day business. There are three away games waiting for this week: on Wednesday the Berliners will be playing in the Euroleague at Zenit St. Petersburg, on Friday in Kazan, before the final on Sunday in the Bundesliga in Ulm. With a program like this, it is very helpful if you don’t start the journey completely exhausted.
Alba will now continue the slight upward trend of the last few weeks. After the mixed start to the season, the team seems to be stabilizing more and more. Baldi also sees it that way, but the manager also warns of possible setbacks: “It’s a long way to go and of course we’re taking steps. But it won’t always go straight forward. ”