ALBA wins its ninth German League crown
ALBA Berlin was crowned 2019-20 German League champion after it finished off the German League end-of-season tournament with a 74-75 victory over MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg for the club’s ninth domestic championship. Niels Giffey and Martin Hermannsson led the way with 14 points each for ALBA, which captured its first league title since 2008. Marcus Eriksson chipped in 13 points and Landry Nnoko added for ALBA, which won the two-game, total-points series 163-139 on aggregate to secure its first league and cup double since 2003. Thomas Wimbush tallied 19 points and 8 rebounds for Ludwigsburg, which was appearing in its first Finals. Jaleen Smith added 15 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals and Nick Weiler-Babb had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists in the loss. Ludwigsburg once again was playing without Marcos Knight, who also missed Game 1 with an injury after having collected double-doubles in the previous four games. He was named MVP of the tournament.
Weiler-Babb’s three-pointer put Ludwigsburg ahead 9-5 early on. Berlin started to execute offensively with three-pointers from Eriksson and a Giffey three-point play in a 2-16 run to finish the first quarter with an 11-21 lead. A triple by from Kenneth Ogbe helped extend the advantage to 14-26. Wimbush nailed two threes and Lukas Herzog converted a four-point play in a 17-9 surge to pull Ludwigsburg within 39-35. But Malte Delow ended the first half with a three-pointer for ALBA, which led 35-42 at the break. Hermannsson and Eriksson started the second half with back-to-back threes and the gap was 35-48. Wimbush scored 5 points at the other end, but Giffey answered with 9 points to put ALBA up 50-64. The advantage was 54-67 after 30 minutes. ALBA remained ahead 59-71 early in the fourth quarter when Ludwigsburg fought back with the hopes of at least winning the game as Wimbush and Weiler-Babb sparked a 13-2 surge to pull within 72-73. Hermannsson’s layup secured the win for ALBA.
Spain: Barcelona, Baskonia advance to final
FC Barcelona and KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz will meet for the Spanish League title after both teams won their semifinal showdown on Sunday in Valencia. Nikola Mirotic scored 18 points to lead five FC Barcelona scorers in double figures in a 98-84 victory over San Pablo Burgos. Kyle Kuric made 4 of 7 three-pointers for 16 points, Thomas Heurtel tallied 14 points and 11 assists and Victor Claver and Brandon Davies scored 10 points each for the winners. Vitor Benite paced Burgos with 16 points and Pablo Agular added 13. Barcelona used a 9-0 lead to jump out to a 17-8 lead and before long a Claver triple gave it a double-digit lead. The score stood at 23-17 after 10 minutes before Kuric scored twice in a 12-2 push that took the margin to 35-19. Augusto Lima scored three times in a run of 14 unanswered points for Burgos tog et back in the game. Javi Vega tied the game at 41-41 in the final minute of the half. Mirotic ended the first half with a layup that put Barcelona up 43-41. Cory Higgins scored the first three baskets of the third quarter to set the tone and Barcelona rebuilt a double-digit advantage that Burgos never threatened in the final stanza.
Baskonia erased a double-digit deficit to edge Valencia Basket 73-75. Zoran Dragic poured in 21 points, Toko Shengelia scored 17, Shavon Shields 13 and Achille Polonara 12 for the winners. Sam Van Rossom led the Valencia attack with 14 points and Jordan Loyd scored 11. Valencia outrebounded Baskonia 40-26, but was undone by its 20 turnovers. Valencia scored the last 5 points of the first quarter to lead 17-12. Loyd extended the margin to double figures in the second quarter and Louis Labeyrie connected from downtown to make it 41-30 late in the half. The score stood at 42-33 at the break. Dragic scored twice in a 0-8 run to start the third quarter and a Luka Vildoza layup to end the quarter gave Baskonia a 55-56 edge. The score was tied 70-70 with 4 minutes remaining, but Valencia would make only one of its next seven shot attempts, while Shengelia free throws and a three by Shields gave Baskonia just enough points to hold on.