By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Overcoming a brilliant effort by Jaleen Smith and losing Augustine Rubit to injury early in the fourth quarter, FC Bayern Munich dethroned defending champion ALBA Berlin with an 83-77 victory in the BBL-Pokal Final Four Semifinals Saturday.
Cassius Winston (back) returned to action and delivered a team-high 21 points behind 7/11 field goals in Große EWE Arena. Among other players recovering from injury and cleared to play in Oldenburg, captain Vladimir Lucic had seven points over 18 minutes in his first appearance since late November.
Andrea Trinchieri’s side briefly enjoyed double-digit leads in the second and fourth quarters but Smith refused to let go and kept the Berlin outfit close. The New Hampshire product ended up with 7/13 three-pointers and 31 points, a new career-high demoted to a loss in a win-or-go-home contest.
Rubit, 33, was helped off the court but Bayern managed to hold on down the stretch. Elias Harris (foot) and Zan Mark Sisko (personal) were both sidelined along with Ognjen Jaramaz and D.J. Seeley. On the opposite end, Israel Gonzalez scratched Gabriele Procida and Christ Koumadje with Marcus Eriksson (foot) still out.
Earlier, Final Four host EWE Baskets Oldenburg beat MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg, 92-86, advancing to the final for the fourth time in team history. Improving his individual season-high to 26 points, DeWayne Russell was the enforcer.
BBL-Pokal Final Four
EWE Baskets Oldenburg – MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg 92-86
FC Bayern Munich – ALBA Berlin 83-77
EWE Baskets Oldenburg – FC Bayern Munich (15:00 CET)
Photo Credit: EuroleagueBasketball.net