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For the third straight year, the German Basketball Bundesliga BBL will be decided in the final Game 5 as Alba Berlin beat defending champions Brose Baskets Bamberg 87-67 to even the best-of-five series at two games each.

Derrick Allen scored 18 points and Taylor Rochestie had a double-double of 13 points and 11 assists for Berlin, who remained alive for their ninth German league crown and first since 2008.

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Photo from DBB

Yassin Idbihi added 13 points and six rebounds while Julius Jenkins chipped in 11 points and Bryce Taylor collected nine points.

“I want to thank my team and coach for their trust despite a horrible third game,” said Idbihi, who scored just one point in 15 minutes in Game 3 in Bamberg.

“I just tried to do the simple things – defend and try to get easy shots.”.

The key to the game was Berlin’s zone defense in the second quarter, which took the Bamberg offense out of their rhythm.

“I don’t think we reacted well to their zone and then we just struggled with our rhythm on offense,” said Bamberg coach Chris Fleming.

“In the third quarter we had some good looks but just didn’t hit our shots. But we just didn’t perform how we should defensively.”

Bamberg started strong and opened a 21-12 lead in the first quarter. But the southern Germans could not deal with the Berlin zone defense and Alba opened a 44-37 lead at the break.

Bamberg could only get within four points early in the third quarter, which ended with Berlin ahead 59-49.

The hosts did not let Bamberg back into the game and pushed the gap to 16 points, 70-54 with 7:30 remaining. And Bamberg would not get closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

Bamberg were led by 16 points from Kyle Hines while Brian Roberts shrugged off a knee injury to tally 14 points. But the trio of Casey Jacobsen, Anton Gavel, Tibor Pleiss and John Goldsberry combined for just 17 points.

The series will now be decided on Saturday, June 18 in Bamberg, where Brose are 26-0 in German games in the league, German Cup and play-offs.

“There’s a time for everything. The streak has to come to an end some time,” said Idbihi with a smirk.

Bamberg coach Fleming knows what will determine the 2010-11 champion.

“It’s all about emotion. In the two games we won we had it. And the two game we lost Alba Berlin had it,” said the coach.

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