Scary favorites ratiopharm Ulm won the opening game in the playoff final against Champions League winner Telekom Baskets Bonn and has come a step closer to winning the sensational first title in the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL).
With a 79:73 (42:35), Ulm stopped the Bonn run of 25 league wins in a row and made it 1:0 in the best-of-seven series. On Sunday (6 p.m. / MagentaSport) there will be a second duel in the baskets.
Bonn, who haven’t lost in the BBL since January 15 (76:81 at Alba Berlin) and who won the Champions League in mid-May for the first time in their club’s history, suffered a severe setback on their way to possible double.
In front of 6,000 spectators in the sold-out Telekom Dome, the Brazilians Yago Dos Santos (19 points) and Brandon Paul (18) led the guests to victory. In the main round winner Bonn, which, like Ulm, can become champion for the first time, playmaker TJ Shorts was unable to prevent the opening defeat with 20 points.
Bonn had bought their ticket for the duel with Ulm by beating Niners Chemnitz 3-0 in the quarter-finals and against MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in the semi-finals. The southern Germans threw out two heavyweights in the play-offs, first defending champion Alba Berlin (3-1), then cup winners Bayern Munich (3-0).
Ulm is in the final for the fourth time after 1998, 2012 and 2016, Bonn was even runner-up five times (1997, 1999, 2001, 2008, 2009).
Telekom Baskets Bonn – ratiopharm Ulm 73:79 (35:42). – Best throwers: Shorts II (20 points), Morgan (15), Hawkins (11) for Bonn – dos Santos (19), Paul (18) for Ulm. – Spectators: 6000. – Final play-off score: 0-1