At 9:15 on Wednesday evening, basketball players from Bayern Munich still did not know which plane they would board at Cologne/Bonn airport the next day. In their fifth semi-final match at Telekom Baskets Bonn, they were late in the break. If they hadn’t shot the game, they would have had to board a plane to Munich on Thursday and book a vacation. Bayern Munich coach Andrea Trincheri quipped: “Most people thought: it’s over, it’s over, it’s in, it’s vacant!”
The reason for the doubts was not only Bonn’s first-half lead, but rather the fact that Bayern had previously given up their 2-0 semi-final lead at home and had to travel to Bonn for the crucial fifth game 2-2. 40 minutes in the Rhineland decided Ward and Will an entire season. “Hück or Never” was the dialect of the Bonn people’s motto, which also applies to Bavarians: today or never. A possible return flight to Munich has already been selected.
Willpower can now become an advantage
But then the Bavarians boarded a plane bound for Berlin at 12:00 on Thursday. There begins Friday evening, the final series of the German Championship against defending champion Alba Berlin, who won his series in the semi-final against Ludwigsburg a week ago and thus rests in the final series. “We have been under much more pressure from Berlin,” said Uli Hoeness, honorary president of Bavaria, who traveled to Bonn. But he might see an advantage in Munich’s willpower: “A win like that in the fifth game can release strength; the euphoria is great.” His motto as an unwavering optimist: “We can do it!”
On a Wednesday night in the dark on the team bus in front of Bonn Hall, about 36 jubilant Bayern fans chanted Hoeness’s name. One fan gave manager Marco Pesic a 0.33-liter bottle of Augustiner Helles, which Pesic patiently sipped. “I’m not a big beer drinker,” he said apologetically. He still felt festive after reaching the final, which was one of the deciding factors in the question of whether it will be a good or a disappointing season for Bayern Basketball.
Losing the cup in the quarter-finals in Chemnitz in November had a negative impact, but the Euroleague quarter-final against Barcelona’s top side, which had strained to a maximum of five matches, had a positive impact. Reaching the last series of the German League was the minimum goal. Now Bayern Munich has a long-awaited chance to get rid of last year’s winner Alba. Then it will be a really good year.
“My players never complained, they always looked for solutions,” says coach Trenchery.
“It’s been a very difficult season,” summed up Trenchery on Wednesday night and spoke of the injury-related absence as well as the burden that has led Bayern to their 80th game of the season in Bonn. “But my players never complained, they always looked for solutions,” Trenchery said. And so this season brought something other than entering the series finale: “We’ve found a new collective spirit.”
Led by this team spirit, as well as basketball player Nick Wheeler Pap (18 points), ball conqueror Othello Hunter (10 rebounds) and assist provider Vladimir Lucic (6 assists), the Munich team gradually withdrew in the Hardtberg district of Bonn. And he won in the end relatively clearly 87:74. “I don’t want to say we were sure of the win, but we had absolute confidence in the team,” said coach Pesic. “This win can help us in the last series against Alba.”
The fact that they have to play again only 48 hours later while Berliners have had to wait a week could be an advantage. Coach Trencheri thinks so too, but admits: “We just have to rejuvenate somehow; Alba is well rested and has won 157 games in a row – they are the favorites in the final series.”
Bayern’s program before the start of the final: rest and light training
The 53-year-old Italian intentionally exaggerated the Alba series a bit, but Berlin actually had 17 straight wins, winning not only all of the last eleven matches of the main round, but also both of their 3:0 play-off series as the champion. Last two times and this year’s main tour winner, the Berliners are the favorites. The Munich team, the 2018 and 2019 champions with its coach Trincheri, who won the championship three times with Bamberg from 2015 to 2017, will certainly do everything again in the final series, which will alternately play in Berlin and Munich (second match) on Tuesday).. Get out. of their tensed bodies.
On Thursday, after landing in Berlin, there was a rest and light training in the evening. But Munich’s arms were supposed to itch again. “The qualifying streak against Bonn was really tough and gives us an extra boost,” says Munich international Andreas Obst, adding, “Now we want to go home as well.” What is the ‘thing’ about Bayern Munich? That’s what soccer goalkeeper Oliver Kahn once defined with the famous exclamation point: “There’s this thing!” It is nothing less than the master’s cup.