By winning the title at the final tournament in munich, alba berlin ended its twelve-year drought and drew level with brose bamberg. Both clubs now have nine german championships each and share second place in the best list behind record champion bayer leverkusen (14). The brose basketball players had the "albatrosses" in their sights the past decade, but now the tide has turned in favor of the capital club again,. Three years after winning the last championship, when alba was only the third power behind brose and bayern munchen, the bambergers are much further away from a tenth title than berlin is. We explain why this is so. The facts since the ninth bamberg championship in 2017 the two teams have faced each other nine times. Of these duels bamberg won only one. After all, it was associated with a title: in 2019, the team of coach federico perego became the winner of the cup with the 83:82 victory. But the numbers clearly speak for the berliners, who have won all of the past seven bundesliga matches. The bamberger 70:107 defeat in the capital at the beginning of march this year, when both teams were still in full juice, reflects the current strength ratio of both teams better than the 88:92 defeat at the final tournament in munich in june after weeks of corona-induced forced rest. After what was probably the most expensive bamberg team of all time finished the 2017/18 euroleague season in 12th place with eleven wins and 19 losses and had already failed to reach the quarterfinals of the bundesliga, michael stoschek, chairman of the supervisory board, declared the expensive bet with FC bayern munchen to be finished. Brose withdrew to the third-tier champions league; in addition, the budget was reduced from an estimated 15 million euros to a current eight to nine million euros as part of an economic consolidation process.
Alba berlin, on the other hand, has increased its budget from eight to twelve million euros in the same period because, according to the trade journal "BIG," the main and name sponsor has been cut has expanded its financial commitment – not least because of the qualification for the euroleague 2019/20. For both clubs, the change in financial circumstances has naturally had an impact on the quality of the team. Staff continuity here, constant change there. With luke sikma, peyton siva, niels giffey, stefan peno, jonas mattiseck and tim schneider, this year's berlin championship team featured five players who have worn the alba jersey since 2017. During the summer break, the capital club only made selective additions to its squad, while bamberg had replaced almost its entire squad in each of the past two years.
It's a similar story with senior employees. Here, too, alba relies on its retained personnel. Coach aito garcia reneses has been in office since 2017 and paid back the trust in his person after losing five finals in bundesliga, pokal (two each) and eurocup jungst by winning the german championship. Coach aito brought his spanish compatriot himar ojeda to berlin. The sports director has been with alba since 2016 and has recently extended his contract until 2023. But at alba the direction is set by marco baldi. The 58-year-old swabian has been managing director since 1990 and has anchored the club in the german top flight for 30 years.
At brose bamberg, the numerous changes in players, sports directors, general managers and, above all, coaches (six in the past three years) made continuous work impossible. The quarter-final exit in the last two bundesliga seasons and missing out on the play-offs in the champions league were the consequences of this. No german club does such intensive work with young talent as alba berlin does. Over 100 coaches challenge more than 5,000 talents in kindergartens and schools all the way to the top of youth performance sports in the NBBL. The commitment pays off. Year after year, talents from our own youth make the leap into the national league team, from niels giffey to the wagner brothers moritz and franz or, as in the youngest days, jonas mattiseck, tim schneider, malte delow and lorenz brennecke. Brose newcomer bennet hundt also comes from the talent pool and got his first taste of bundesliga action in berlin.
Of course, alba can draw from a much larger reservoir than the bambergers in the million-strong city of berlin. In the french province, therefore, one must "buy in" talent, what has also been done. But the fatal thing is that promising young professionals such as andi obst (halle), leon kratzer (bayreuth) and johannes thiemann (trier) matured into bundesliga players in bamberg, but were then sold to other clubs. In addition, the once quite successful youth program suffered from the frequent personnel changes at the management level. It slipped further and further down the priority list and must now be completely rebuilt. The outlook bamberg and berlin, two of the three "big B's", are no longer at eye level. The "albatrosses have outflown their francophone rivals and are the only serious title rivals of the industry's crosse bayern munchen. Alba is also facing upheaval this summer, as seven players, including high performers martin hermannsson, rokas giedraitis and landry nnoko, have left the championship-winning team. But the preserved axis around captain niels giffey, supporting player peyton siva and power forward luke sikma will make sure that the newcomers around the two ex-bamberger maodo lo and louis olinde will quickly internalize the playing philosophy of coach aito, who will probably verlangern.
New bamberg coach johan roijakkers, on the other hand, is faced with the tough task of forming a team that, according to stoschek's wishes, "will at least make it to the semifinals" after the radical reorganization with nine newcomers move in. But even more important is to give the team and the club a new identity. Berlin has been a model of sustainability for years. In this country, fans are asking themselves – now that the good years are over – what bamberg basketball actually stands for.
Power forwards: expensive misunderstandings meet game intelligence
By maximilian glas a stable shot, even from three-point range, is now indispensable: in many clubs, power forwards on the three-point line act as a kind of second game designer, shaping systems with their decision-making qualities. Defensively, a "modern foursome" was needed being quick on his feet to be able to swap opponents briefly on pick-and-roll variations by the opponent and thus keep a nimble build-up player in front of him. A healthy dose of athleticism rounds out the prototype of a power forward.
Nicolo melli (2015 to 2017, meanwhile with the new orleans pelicans in the nba) came very close to meeting this demanding profile in many areas at brose bamberg. After the departure of the italian in 2017, the bamberg team tried different types of players at this position, but never became happy.
In 2017, luke sikma moved to germany and has since played a major role in alba berlin's return to the top of german basketball. With berlin, the u.S. Player has found an environment in which he can get the most out of his abilities. The 31-year-old has internalized the playing philosophy of alba coach aito garcia reneses and intuitively almost always makes the right decisions even outside the systems. In 2019, the american extended his contract early by four years and will give alba stability until 2023, even if his athleticism will continue to suffer. Stability that brose bamberg did not even begin to find at this important position in the past three years. Among others, the contracts with quincy miller, luka mitrovic, stevan jelovac, michael carrera and darion atkins were terminated early. In the summer of 2017, brose tried it with prominent names. Quincy miller was one of the most talented basketball players ever signed by bamberg, but couldn't even begin to live up to expectations. The ex-NBA player only played in one bundesliga game, as he was far too much for the system of basketball and the discipline demanded by coach andrea trinchieri.
Luka mitrovic had to pay tribute above all to his body. Due to persistent knee problems, which had already slowed him down before his time in bamberg, he never found his rhythm in the brose jersey. Calculated risks that did not pay off.
Mitrovic's successor in 2018 was compatriot stevan jelovac. The serbian international is a gifted scorer, but didn't help the team because of his weak defense. In february 2019, he also had to leave early. In the summer of 2019, the little hand of the bamberger responsible did not get any happier. Desired candidate coty clarke signed a contract in july, but only three weeks later it was announced that it would not materialize. His replacement, venezuelan international michael carrera, may have been wearing his last shirt on the floor, but he passed the "trial period not. The substitute of the substitute, darion atkins, should bring more presence under the baskets, but had even less influence on the bamberg team. His contract was terminated during the corona break.
The only bright spot from bamberger's point of view: the signing of national player christian sengfelder last summer. The 25-year-old has what it takes to play a more significant role in the system of new coach johan roijakkers than under roel moors.
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