ALBA BERLIN advanced to the Semi-Finals of the easyCredit BBL Final Tournament 2020 but only after barely surviving a valiant comeback attempt by BG Göttingen, who came back from 27 points down only to see Berlin win 88-85.

Berlin came into the game having taken Game 1 by 25 points so their spot in the Semi-Finals was not really in danger. But Aito Garcia Reneses’ men held on to remain undefeated and finished off with a 181-153 aggregate win.

Martin Hermannsson paced Berlin with 19 points and 7 assists while Marcus Eriksson scored 13 points with 3 assists and 4 steals and Landry Nnoko and Luke Sikma both chipped in 10 points. Berlin will next take on EWE Baskets Oldenburg in the Semi-Finals, a re-match of the German Cup Final, which Berlin won earlier this season.

Dominic Lockhart was Göettingen’s top scorer with 19 points while Bennet Hundt scored all 18 of his points in the second half to help his team get back into the game and Terry Allen ended with 16 points.

Hermannsson and Eriksson combined for 11 points as Berlin raced ahead 13-3. Allen did hit a trey at the other end but Niels Giffey countered for ALBA as the lead grew to 20-8 and was 22-16 after 10 minutes.

A Jonas Mattisseck triple helped Berlin move their lead to 27-16 and Eriksson’s next three-pointer finished off an 11-2 run to put Berlin up 40-23. Yet another Eriksson bomb made it 50-27 and the margin was 52-31 at intermission.

Berlin scored d the first six points of the second half to extend the lead to 27 points at 58-31 lead. Göttingen went on an 11-0 run to get the gap down to 58-42. The advantage was 68-48 after a Stefan Peno triple but Göttingen was not done, trailing 73-57 after 30 minutes.

The advantage was still 80-65 when Berlin went scoreless for 3 minutes and Goettingen scored 11 straight points to make it 80-76. Hundt kept charging and the playmaker made a free throw to trim the deficit to 84-83. Goettingen missed three three-pointers in the final 62 seconds and Berlin picked up the win.

QUOTES: Berlin’s Niels Giffey: “It is aggravating because we told ourselves that we want to play this thing 80 minutes straight through. We weren’t quite able to do that in this game. That is aggravating. We had a couple of lineups that would be atypical in a normal game. That’s a little strange but that’s also because of the tournament. But we have to do a better job finishing games.”
(About Oldenburg): “Tough games. I have a lot of respect for those guys. They are similar to us, pretty accustomed to one another coming here with a full team and full roster.”

Berlin’s Jonas Mattisseck: “I wasn’t surprised because I know what he (Hundt) can do. It was a little bad that he scored the first points all against me. I was happy for him. But it was important that we won the game. We want to win every game. That is our philosophy, regardless of the score from the first game.”

Göttingen’s Bennet Hundt: “It feels a little like a victory for sure. We didn’t want to give up. At halftime we said this will be the last halftime we play as a team. We want to give everything we have. And it worked out pretty well.”


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