Playoffs: Top basketball teams start in BBL finals: What matters

Playoffs: Top basketball teams start in BBL finals: What matters

Bayern and Alba are playing for the basketball championship. It is a modern German classic – but this time under somewhat special circumstances.

It’s the new German basketball classic – and once again the Bundesliga crown is at stake. This Saturday (8.30 p.m./Dyn), FC Bayern will host Alba Berlin for the first of a maximum of five final duels and the big showdown after a long season. The home team are favorites – but the capital city team knows only too well how to spoil Bayern’s mood in their own arena.

Initial situation

Bayern finished first in the main round and therefore has five home advantages at the start of the series and in a potentially decisive game. Because the Munich team also won their semi-final against Würzburg in three games, they had a five-day break before the first final. Alba, however, had to go the full distance in the semi-final against Chemnitz, so was still in action on Thursday evening and has to play again just 48 hours later.


Berlin has serious injury concerns, with all three nominal point guards out. To make matters worse, world champion Johannes Thiemann is suffering from serious knee problems, and was only able to play against Chemnitz in great pain. But Alba wants to defy the adverse situation and surprise with a now-more-than-ever mentality. The situation at Bayern is more comfortable – but not ideal either: The Munich team has also recently been missing Nick Weiler-Babb and Sylvain Francisco as point guards. It was unclear whether the duo would be fit in time for the final.

Key to success

When Bayern show their full potential, they are almost unbeatable. In addition to their traditionally strong offense, they have also impressed in the playoffs – led by captain Vladimir Lučić, ex-NBA champion Serge Ibaka, as well as world champions Isaac Bonga, Andreas Obst and ex-Berlin player Niels Giffey – in defense. Due to the many absences, Alba must hope to get into a flow and that one or more players will play themselves into a frenzy – like Sterling Brown or Matt Thomas in the semi-final duels against Chemnitz.


For the sixth time in ten years, the two top German teams will face each other in the final. So far, Bayern have won three times and Alba twice. Curiously, both of Berlin’s championship titles (2021, 2022) were celebrated in the Munich hall, and another (against Ludwigsburg) at the 2020 Corona tournament. This means that Alba has been presented with the championship trophy in the Munich arena more often than Bayern themselves – they only celebrated “at home” twice (2018, 2019), and the decisive success came once in Berlin (2014).

Source: Stern

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