They didn’t have a lot of experience at Alba Berlin and so the club wasn’t really surprised by the rush. “We were expecting maybe 1,000 people,” said manager Marco Baldi. But the game did not even start when it was already clear that there would be more.
Alba only opened the big arena at the Ostbahnhof half an hour before the basketball team’s semi-final second leg match in Berlin against the Rhein-Main Baskets began and when it was already supposed to start on the ground, many fans were still waiting in front of the hall for admission. The queue stretched out to the street, so the transmission of information was a little delayed. Soon, the amphitheater filled up so much that spectators ran into the surrounding blocks. In the third quarter, the lounge announcer announced a crowd of 2,200, but in the course of the final stage there were certainly a few – and the roaring fans wouldn’t regret it hours before the men’s team 78:73 win against. Ulm was in BBL in the hall.
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Because after winning the first leg a week ago, Alba basketball team won the second duel against Hesian team on Good Friday with 99:71 (26:22, 21:13, 22:23) and was promoted to the German Bundesliga for the first. the time. This means that Berlin is again represented at the first DBBL after more than 15 years. “I haven’t been nervous for long, but you can’t imagine it any better than it is today,” said Captain Lena Gulish, who, like her teammates, was excited about the atmosphere in the lounge. “I’ve been feeling a lot more full than in 2019, it’s all still not realistic,” Lucy Royce said.
It is Alba’s fifth promotion since the women’s team was formed in the 2007/08 season. “None of us expected the promotion to take place this year,” Baldy said. “But it is good to see this enthusiasm among the team and the spectators.”
After 84:70 in the first leg, Alba identified two main priorities in preparations. With two practice sessions in the great hall, the Berliners tried to get used to the environment unfamiliar to them and did not want to be affected by the 14-point lead. Both succeeded brilliantly.
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The Berlin players took some losses on the ball, turned fast and fought for every ball. Gohlisch issued with her experience, Stefanie Grigoleit did well under the baskets and when the treble came, Alba gained an early lead. Although Barcelona also acknowledged some unnecessary shifts and coach Cristo Cabrera had to remind his team several times not to overdo the switch to defense despite all the offensive stimulus, the hosts dominated the match.
Only for a while at the start of the second quarter, it looked as though the Hessians could still turn the game around. Led by strong playmaker Pia Dietrich and backed by their small but ardent supporters, they kept falling short.
But in the end they didn’t have much to oppose Alba’s equilibrium. At the break, the difference between the two matches had already grown to 26 points. It became clearer in the second half – thus the faces of Berliners became more relaxed. Every successful move was enthusiastically celebrated on the bench, a hesitant chant of “Never again in the second division” came from the stands and the final minutes of the match were a prelude to the promotion ceremony that followed.