The Ulm basketball players also put the third top team in the league in their place. At least in the first final. They dedicate the victory to someone special to them.
At the moment of the next surprise coup, the Ulm basketball players thought of a long-time companion. “Yes, that was a win for Andi.
He was so important to us,” said Ulm’s captain Thomas Klepeisz after the 79:73 in the first final game at Telekom Baskets Bonn. “He was our haven of peace and our heart. Every time we go onto the field, it’s for Andi,” said Klepeisz at Magentasport.
Immediately after the surprising Ulm final entry, long-time team manager Andreas Klee died unexpectedly at the end of last week. In memory of the “coachman”, as Klee was just called, the people of Ulm in Bonn had printed his photo on their warm-up shirts. A large banner “Andi RIP” hung in front of the Ulm fan block.
First step towards the title
“Basketball is entertainment. But of course that takes a backseat at a moment like this,” said Ulm’s coach Anton Gavel after the game in the Telekom Dome, which was sold out with 6,000 spectators. In terms of sport, the success brought the surprise team of the league a first step towards the first German championship. After the Ulmer had knocked out defending champions Alba Berlin and Bayern Munich in the previous rounds, they now also inflicted the first national home defeat of the season on Champions League winners Bonn.
But Gavel immediately tried not to let too much euphoria arise. “It’s only a partial success, just a first win,” said the former international. Game two will take place again in Bonn on Sunday (6 p.m./Magentasport). Three wins are necessary for the championship. It would be the first championship for both Bonn and Ulm.
And that 14 years after the bitter final defeat against EWE Baskets Oldenburg, the people of Bonn absolutely want to win the championship and not be deterred by the false start in the final series, Baskets coach Tuomas Iisalo made it clear immediately after the defeat. “We analyze the game, then we make a plan and then we win game two on Sunday,” said the coach of the year.
Bonn’s winning streak breaks
For Bonn it was the first defeat after 25 league wins in a row. It was only the third defeat in the current Bundesliga season, the Rhinelanders had not lost at home before. The fact that she got caught on Friday evening was mainly due to the low throwing rate. Especially from a distance, the throws of league MVP TJ Shorts and Co. did not want to fall as usual this time. “We hit 24 percent of our threes, they hit 39 percent. You can’t compensate for that,” said Iisalo.
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