ALBA downs Bayern in the German derby, 75-76
ALBA Berlin brought an end to its curse against FC Bayern Munich in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague with a last-second win at the Audi Dome on Friday night. In a game that saw as many as 15 lead changes, the visitors drew a perfect play with 6 seconds to go, in which Maodo Lo fed Yanni Wetzell for the winning slam. Already eliminated ALBA ended its three-game losing streak and improved to 8-21, while Bayern slipped to 11-18.
Lo was the game's top scorer with 16 points, while he also added 4 assists. He was followed by Wetzell, who provided 11 points in as many minutes, and Tamir Blatt, who tallied 10 points and 7 assists. For Bayern, Cassius Winston had 14 points and 8 dishes, Isaac Bonga collected 12 points and 4 boards, and Niels Giffey added 11 points in the losing effort.
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Lo came up big in the early going, scoring 10 points in a row that allowed ALBA to build a short 8-14 edge. Bayern struggled to score in the first period, displaying a below-par offensive performance that ALBA exploited to finish with a lead of 14-20 after 10 minutes.
The trend continued when the game resumed as the hosts were unable to chain together a couple of productive offenses. The visitors then profited from a Blatt basket outside and one apiece from Luke Simka and Louis Olinde inside to extend the margin to 29-38. But, Bayern reacted well, going on an 8-0 run in the final minutes of the quarter to get the fans off their seats once more. At the halftime break, ALBA led by just 1 point, 37-38.
Christ Koumadje stepped up after the break and provided inside baskets to keep ALBA in front, 41-46, but it didn’t last for long. Bonga showed up to provide a boost for Bayern, who finally found some accuracy from long range. Giffey, Vladimir Lucic and Corey Walden nailed 1 triple each late in the third quarter to turn the tables and put the home team ahead, 58-56, after 30 minutes.
Wetzell took over for ALBA early in the last period to prevent Bayern from escaping, putting his team in charge again, 63-64. The game became an exciting back-and-forth contest, with the lead switching hands on every possession. Jaleen Smith appeared to give ALBA a definitive lead with triple that established a 69-72 advantage, but Cassius Winston had a magic minute in which he scored 4 points in a row that set a 75-74 score for Bayern.
It all came down to the last offensive possession for ALBA. The visitors inbounded the ball with 6 seconds to go, putting the ball in the hands of Lo, who drove to the basket to feed Wetzell for a slam under the rim with just 1 second remaining. Bayern’s final offense wasn’t successful, giving ALBA a chance to earn bragging rights in the German derby for the first time in the EuroLeague.