Basketball: premiere champion wanted: Bonn against Ulm

Basketball: premiere champion wanted: Bonn against Ulm

The basketball players from Alba Berlin and Bayern Munich have long been on their summer break. Others are playing for the title. One thing is certain: There is definitely a master of premieres.

June 25, 2009 is still a traumatic day in the history of Telekom Baskets Bonn. In the final seconds, the Rhinelanders conceded victory in the decisive fifth final game in Oldenburg and thus the first German championship in the club’s history.

14 years later, the Bonn basketball players are reaching for the championship title again – and want to finally forget the bitter defeat of that time. A first step towards coming to terms with the past was made by winning the Champions League in mid-May, now the next and decisive step should follow in the final series against ratiopharm Ulm starting on Friday (8.30 p.m. / Magentasport).

Ulm as a favorite fright

“Now we also want to become German champions,” said Bonn’s outstanding playmaker TJ Shorts after winning the Champions League title. But the task in the final could hardly be more difficult. It’s not against one of the two Euroleague teams Alba Berlin or Bayern Munich, which surprisingly are already on the summer break. But the conqueror of the two top favorites is waiting in Ulm.

“We’ve been preparing all year to play against Alba or Bayern Munich in the finals. But I’m 100 percent sure that the two best teams at the moment will be in the final,” said Bonn coach Tuomas Iisalo. “Ulm plays incredibly beautiful basketball. The two strongest collectives face each other. The fans can look forward to this final.”

The supporters in both cities have long been electrified by the successes of their teams. It took less than a minute in Ulm to sell the tickets for the third final on Wednesday. The Telekom Dome in Bonn was also sold out in a very short time for the first two games on Friday and Sunday. “The euphoria is great,” said Iisalo.

Iisalo: “100 percent trust” in the team

The Finn, voted coach of the year in the Bundesliga, formed a team in Bonn that has been flying through the season like a whirlwind since the start of the season. The Bonners have lost just two games in the league this season, and the Rhinelanders are still completely undefeated at home. The fact that there are many question marks about the future due to the withdrawal of the namesake Telekom and Iisalo is about to move to Paris does not seem to bother the Baskets professionals. Fueled by league MVP TJ Shorts, they simply rush from victory to victory with exhilarating offense basketball. “It’s an incredible feeling when you can always trust your team 100 percent,” said Iisalo.

But now Ulm’s coach Anton Gavel can do that too. After a complicated upheaval in the summer and a false start to the season, Ulm is playing its best basketball at exactly the most important time. Also because there were additional commitments like the two ex-NBA players Brandon Paul and Bruno Caboclo.

Alba and Bayern felt that in the previous rounds. The two champions of the past five years didn’t stand a chance against the euphoric team from Ulm. Which is why the confidence in the league’s surprise team is huge. “If we’ve come this far, the best thing would be to reward ourselves,” said coach Anton Gavel, who is doing a fantastic job in his first year as Bundesliga coach. “Everyone involved is longing for a title,” said sports director Thorsten Leibenath, who lost in the final against Bamberg in 2012 and 2016 with Ulm.

Source: Stern

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