Basketball Bundesliga: Bayern Munich after beating Alba Berlin
At football matches, Uli Hoeneß usually sees his fist clenching for a moment, maybe even briefly with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. In basketball, the president of FC Bayern is closer - or the basketball is closer to Uli Hoeneß. Shortly after the final siren of the third final match of the BBL Hoeneß stormed onto the floor of the Munich Hall. He squeezed Marko Pesic intimately, the manager and chief strategist with his basketball players, then he fell around Danilo Barthel's neck, the captain.
"Outstanding," said Hoeneß afterwards, "that was again an outstanding achievement today." He was barely understandable, the audience was still frenzied after this thriller, in the meantime, players, coaches and supervisors doused themselves with wheat beer from three-liter glasses after their third win against Alba Berlin. Some things are like football.
The dramatic 93:87 after extra time was the best advertisement for basketball, in a game that dominated the guests for a long time. 14 points clear at halftime, still eleven before the last quarter, you could already psychologically adjust to a fourth final match on Tuesday in Berlin - before the Bayern forced the extra time with a phenomenal final spurt and won sovereign game and championship there.
The next league is always the hardest
It was immediately after the successful defense of the title already felt that the second championship in series for the self-confident claim of Bayern should have been only the beginning. A next step on the way to Europe's top. They already dominate in the Bundesliga. Now they want to attack internationally and establish themselves in Europe's top in the next two years.
In their first year in the Euroleague, the counterpart to the Champions League in football, the Munich wacker had beaten, but just missed the quarter-final play-offs with 14 wins from 30 games. This is about to change, even on Sunday evening, Uli Hoeneß gave the playoffs as a goal for the next season.
From 2021, in two years, when Bayern play in the Olympic Park in a new hall for 11,500 spectators, they want, as Pesic says, permanently establish in the top eight and then attack the final games of the Final Four. The project Bayern 21. Bayern in a row with Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Fenerbahce, they imagine the long term.
More money, extended contracts
For the Bavarian basketball players from next year, the budget of currently over 20 million euros to increase again, the squad largely together and at most strengthen selectively. The coach, who after a good old Balkan school on a strong defensive Montenegrin Dejan Radonjic, and sporting director Daniele Baiesi have extended their contracts until the end of next season. And also the managing director will remain: Pesic, who already frustrated in a sporting low Bayern 2016 parting thought and yesterday confessed: "It was Uli Hoeness, who had persuaded me then, two years to stay and then continue to look."
The consequences for the Bundesliga are not yet foreseeable, conceivable are two scenarios. Either: The Bavarians continue to dominate the Bundesliga as they like this year. 31 wins from 34 games in the main round, then in the playoffs 3-0 victories against Braunschweig, Vechta, Berlin. Or: The Bayern, who compete in the next two seasons with a wildcard in the Euroleague, get there the A-license. That would guarantee them an automatic start right, completely independent of the placement in the national championship.
It would be conceivable then that the Bayern due to the large multiple load (34 games each in the main rounds of the Euroleague and the Bundesliga, still without playoffs) compete with two different teams, an A- and a B-formation. Something similar could apply to Alba, after all, the Berlin have qualified for the upcoming Euroleague.
It is possible that the Bundesliga will at least get closer together and become more exciting again. In the long term, however, Munich and Berlin should continue to play the title among themselves. Bayern against Alba, that could become the endgame classics of the future for the foreseeable future. It's not boring. But just a few years after the BBL cheered that Bayern are getting in and giving the league its fame, this league is on the verge of becoming too small for FC Bayern. That does not seem strange to you.