|25 March 2013|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|ALBA Berlin head coach Sasa Obradovic could be satisfied with his point guard DaShaun Wood, as he dished out a game-high nine assists in the German Cup final |
ALBA Berlin won their first title since 2009 on Sunday, by adding a seventh German Cup trophy to their silverware collection.
The German capital's team, who were hosting the Beko BBL TOP FOUR in the O2 World arena, prevailed 85-67 over ratiopharm Ulm in the final game, in front of 14,000 spectators.
ALBA started off a bit slow and trailed their opponents by two points at the end of the first quarter and 39-38 at the half-time interval.
"At the beginning we were too emotional and too excited," explained Berlin's head coach Sasa Obradovic.
"Many players have never had the chance to win a title, they lost their calm and did not play with sufficient precision.
"We wanted to make too many things happen too quickly."
When the Berliners however shifted gears in the second half, Ulm were unable to keep up and Alba outscored them 23-8 in the final quarter to put any expectations of a dramatic finale to rest.
"We have lost this season so many seemingly secure games in the final period and today it was the exact opposite," said Obradovic.
"I hope my team has learned that lesson and now we can use this experience in the future.
"I certainly hope this is the beginning of a new era [for the club] and that this title is just the first to come."
ALBA's duo of forwards paved the way for the triumph by combining for over 50% of their team's offensive output; Zach Morley scored 24 points and corralled eight rebounds while Deon Thompson finished with 20 points and five rebounds.
DaShaun Wood dished out an impressive nine assists to go with his 10 points, while French international Ali Traore, who joined ALBA last month, led all rebounders with nine boards and added five points.
For Ulm, John Bryant finished with 21 points and nine rebounds and Steven Michael Esterkamp had 13 points in defeat.
ALBA have won five of their seven cup titles after the turn of the century and are the most successful club in the Top Four era, which started 20 years ago.
Reigning league champions Brose Baskets Bamberg had won the last three editions of the BBL Cup but did not manage to qualify to the last four of the competition this season.
In the third-place game, Bayern Munich defeated Artland Dragons 88-76, behind a 17-point, nine-rebound display by Jared Homan and 16 points from German international forward Robin Benzing.
ALBA had defeated the Bavarians 92-83 on Saturday to reach the final while Ulm had prevailed 86-77 over Artland in the other semi-final.
DEN BOSCH WIN DUTCH CUP
EiffelTowers Den Bosch have confirmed their dominance in the Netherlands by conquering the Dutch Cup title over the weekend.
Last season's Eredivisie league champions prevailed 73-61 over Zwolle in the final thanks to a strong finish, as they took their first double-digit lead in the clash late in the fourth quarter.
Five Den Bosch players scored in double digits led by Andre Young who finished with 15 points and Will Carter who had 14.
They cancelled out an impressive display by Zwolle's omnipresent Darryl Webb, who collected a double-double of 28 points and 12 rebounds in a losing effort.