77-67 defeat in Athens
The basketball team of FC Bayern Munich lost 77-67 at Panathinaikos Athens on the 17th gameday of the EuroLeague. In front of 9,319 spectators at the Olympic Sports Centre, Bayern fell behind after another poor first quarter, and failed to make a possible comeback in the decisive moments. Only seven out of 31 threes made it past the rim for both teams and the German club only hit 57 percent of their free throws (8/14). Munich who had only one player score in double-digits in Derrick Williams (21 points) now sit below .500 with a record of 8-9 an 8:9.
Next Friday, January 11th, the Italian champion from Milan will be making a guest appearance in Munich. Tip-off in the AUDI Dome is at 20:30 CET. Two days later, on Sunday, January 13th, Frankfurt will again be at home in the Audi Dome (tip-off 18:00).
Points per quarter Bayern-Athens: 11-22, 21-21, 18-16, 17-18.
FCBB Stats: Derrick Williams (21 points), Petteri Koponen (9), Vladimir Lucic (8), Danilo Barthel (7/6 rebounds), Maodo Lo (5), Leon Radosevic (5), Nihad Djedovic (4/7 assists), Alex King (3/4 offensive rebounds), Braydon Hobbs (3/4 ass.), Stefan Jovic (2/4 rebounds), Robin Amaize, Nemanja Dangubic.
FCBB head coach, Dejan Radonjic: "Congratulations to Panathinaikos on their well-deserved victory. At the beginning they played much, much better than we did. In the second quarter we improved and in the third we played as we intended. After the break we really had some chances with a few open shots to make the game really tight but we didn't hit them and were too hesitant overall today."
Petteri Koponen: "It's never easy to play here. If you want to beat Panathinaikos here, you have to have a perfect game. In the first half we were just too passive. We played better defensively after the break but then we couldn't hit our threes offensively."
Maodo Lo, Nihad Djedovic, Vladimir Lucic, Derrick Williams and Leon Radosevic started for the Bavarians. It took three trips down the court on offense before they could find the bottom of the basket when Derrick Williams finally hit the first three of the game. As in the first matchup against the star Greek team, a tight game developed, in which both teams at the beginning scored consistently on second chance baskets. The duo of Calathes/Gist were hot early and made sure that the hosts found their way to the basket at an absurd rate. The Bavarians, on the other hand, lost their way offensively in the middle of the quarter and were almost exclusively chucking up bad shots as the shot-clock expired. Danilo Barthel ended the almost five-minute offensive lull but Bayern's gap had grown steadily and at the break they were down 22-11.
After Derrick Williams' three to start the game Bayern missed seven straight attempts from beyond the arcand because the Bavarians also had problems getting positioning in the pain, the gap grew bigger. Bit by bit though, FCBB started to find their rhythm thanks in large part to an improved defense and with three minutes to play they were within reach again. The two teams now played on an even surface and Derrick Williams kept the Bavarians alive offensively (13 points). Still there were too many easy points for Panathinaikos (69%) and poor rebounding (10-18 rebounds) confirmed a near double-digit deficit at half, 43-32.
Vladimir Lucic put his first points on the board in the first trip down the court in the second half by forcing a foul while hitting a three to complete four-point play. Similar to the week before in Istanbul, FCBB were able to close the gap at times but did not make the right decisions in the decisive moments pn offense and could never complete the comeback. Defensively, the German champions had further problems with the penetration of the Greek guards. As usual, the Munich team fought undauntedly - Alex King alone secured three offensive rebounds but the team continued to miss open shots and remained behind by nine heading in the final quarter, 59-50.
Panathinaikos contined their strong play on offense and forced an early timeout from the visitors. Whenever the Germans were on the verge of coming within striking distance through stops, they offensively missed out on the opportunities because they had almost zero success from the three-point line. Two minutes before the end, Bavaria's best offensive player, Derrick Williams, provided the microcosm of the evening when his three attempt rattled around the rim just to spin out at the end. Thus Bayern lacked what was needed for a comeback and in the end fell to the Athens team by a score of 77-67.
Fri, 11.1., 20:30: FCBB - Olimpia Milan (EuroLeague)
Sun 13.1., 18:30.: FCBB - Frankfurt (easyCredit BBL)
Thu., 17.1., 18:00: ZSKA Moscow - FCBB (EuroLeague)
Tue, 22.01., 20:30: Göttingen - FCBB (easyCredit BBL)
Fri, 25.01., 18:00: Khimki Moscow - FCBB (EuroLeague)
Sun 27.01., 15:30: Bayreuth - FCBB (easyCredit BBL)
Thu., 31.01., 20:30: FCBB - Fenerbahce Istanbul (EuroLeague)
(Photo-Credit: Stickel & EB via Getty Images)