The game was over about ten minutes when Marco Baldi stood in the aisle towards the dressing room. Louis Olinde was waiting a meter and a half behind him for an interview and that slowed down Alba Berlin’s manager significantly. “Excuse me if I don’t eulogize the young man here,” said Baldi, pointing to the 24-year-old winger. “Louis is a top boy. We all know that and it doesn’t change if he shoots in all the threes.”
Olinde was undoubtedly the man of the evening in Alba’s 100-76 home win in the second semi-final against the giants Ludwigsburg. With 24 points, the native of Hamburg scored better than ever before in his six years in the basketball league. Five of his six three-pointers landed in the basket, and he got five rebounds. “Of course that’s good, but you have to put it into perspective,” said Olinde. “One game doesn’t change much.”
His gala performance should not be underestimated for self-confidence. This season has been a big ups and downs for Olinde so far. Good performances alternated with very inconspicuous games. At the beginning of February he injured his left thumb and had to take a two-month break. He therefore had to follow the triumph in the cup in civilian clothes. The fact that he now played his best game in the Alba jersey in the play-offs “is very good for self-confidence,” said Olinde.
In particular, his outstanding rate from a distance caused enthusiasm among colleagues and fans. This season Olinde had previously hit a meager 25 percent of his threes, in the narrow home defeat against Ludwigsburg in the main round he had the decisive throw in his hand from the corner, but only hit the ring. “I work a lot with Carlos (Frade, Alba’s individual trainer, editor’s note) on my throw, but that’s still a small weak point in my game,” said Olinde. There was no sign of that on Sunday. The 2.05 meter tall winger scored and scored and scored. “You score best when you’re not under pressure and I can feel the support of the team and coaches here,” said Olinde.
After the clear victory in the second game, Alba now has a few days’ break before the Berliners have the chance to end the semi-final series early next Friday. If the winning streak, which has lasted for 16 games, also lasts in Ludwigsburg, Alba would be in the final for the German championship for the fifth time in a row. “It’s looking good and we couldn’t have done it better so far,” said Baldi. In Ludwigsburg, however, he expects a very difficult task.
Another brilliant performance by Olinde would of course help, but the 24-year-old doesn’t want to put any pressure on himself. “Of course I’d like to build on that, but I can’t want too much either,” said Louis Olinde. “I have to concentrate on my strengths: defend well, get rebounds – then the other things will fall by themselves.”