The biggest derby from Germany will take place today, between the only two undefeated teams Bayern Munich and ALBA Berlin. Both teams invested a lot during the summer in order to have competitive squads for Euroleague, but in that competition, the record isn’t as good as in the domestic league.
Bayern Munich made a marquee signing this summer, adding to their squad the big men, Greg Monroe, a powerful player with a lot of games in the NBA. In 2012-2014 he was seen as one of the main players of a rebuilding Detroit Pistons team. But the injuries stopped his progress and make him walking between several NBA teams like Boston Celtics or Toronto Raptors. He played very well until now being the top scorer and rebounder for the team. While in the national competition they have a perfect 5-0 record, in Euroleague they have a 3-4 record, with big wins against Real Madrid or Milano, but some ugly defeats against Baskonia or Khimki Moscow. In the last game two days ago, they travelled to Istanbul, where they lost against Fenerbahce 90-82. The only difference was made by shooting percentages, despite Bayern’s 52% from the field they lost to Fenerbahce 60%. The main scorer was Monroe with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists, while Vladimir Lucic (14 points, 7 rebounds) and Maodo Lo (11 points, 2 rebounds and 6 assists) also have big contributions.
ALBA Berlin added some players during the summer, but the most important thing is that they kept their core in order to have a nice chemistry build. In the national league, they have a perfect record, but in Euroleague, they have some problems, with only one win and six defeats. That win came in the first round against another newcomer, Zenit St. Petersburg at home. In the last game, they have to take a long trip to Tel-Aviv, where they meet the Euroleague giants, Maccabi. They were simply smashed and outscored in every stats of the game and the final score was one to forget for ALBA, 104-78. The main contributors were: Peyton Siva (14 points and 8 assists), Tyler Cavanaugh (14 points and 4 rebounds) and Rokas Giedraitis (12 points and 4 rebounds). They used 12 players in this game, letting their starting players some rest before this big clash.
Both teams had a heavy schedule with many km travelled, but I think the first chance to win is on the Bayern side. They have a powerful roster and with a fully fit Monroe, they have a big gun available in the paint. Last time they met was in BBL Finals when Bayern beat ALBA 3-0.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc