Injured Bayern can't pull off upset

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The basketball team of FC Bayern Munich lost 77-70 to the title contender ZSKA Moscow on the 19th gameday of the EuroLeague despite a strong performance. In front of 5,297 spectators, the German champions started extremely well and were in the lead until the 34th minute. It was only in the final phase that tthey weakened in terms of personnel and had to admit defeat after an impressive performance against the Russian star ensemble. Especially under the baskets the guests were not able to overcome the big men of the Russians (36-22 Rebounds).

The Bavarians were again weakened, this time an ill Vladimir Lucic was missing as well as the long-term invalids Milan Macvan (Knee) and Devin Booker (Foot). Also missing in the last quarter were Danilo Barthel (5th foul) and Maodo Lo (knee problems).

For the Bavarians it continues on Tuesday, January 22nd (20:30 CET), in Goettingen in the BBL. This game will be followed by another trip to Moscow vs. Khimki on Friday, January 25th at 18:00 CET.

Points per quarter Bayern-Moscow: 20-13, 17-22, 20-17, 13-25.

FCBB Stats: Petteri Koponen (12 points), Nihad Djedovic (12), Leon Radosevic (10/5 rebounds), Derrick Williams (10/7), Stefan Jovic (10), Nemanja Dangubic (8), Braydon Hobbs (4), Maodo Lo (2/5 assists), Danilo Barthel (2), Robin Amaize, Alex King, Marvin Ogunsipe.

FCBB head coach, Dejan Radonjic: "We got off to a very good start, both offensively and defensively we were very solid. We also continued this for a long time in the second half. In the last quarter ZSKA exploited a few minutes of mistakes with their great experience and quality. Of course we missed Lucic on defense against Clyburn today. The most important thing for me today is the comparison with the first game, that was a difference, because we played very well for a long time".

Leon Radosevic: "We played well and had the chance to win today. Unfortunately, a few details in two minutes in the last quarter made it possible for them to turn the game around. A top team like that takes advantage of becoming ice cold if you don't watch the whole 40 minutes."

Dimitris Itoudis, head coach of ZSKA: "We missed a lot of easy chances in the first half today. But we said in the break that we must continue to believe in ourselves, that we must continue to fight. I'm proud that we made such a comeback against a difficult opponent."

1st quarter
Bayern started the difficult road game at the title favourite ZSKA with Stefan Jovic, Nihad Djedovic, Nemanja Dangubic, Danilo Barthel and Leon Radosevic. The game began curiously: Although Moscow grabbed the first four rebounds of the game (three of them on offense), Munich led after two and a half minutes through six Dangubic points . Unlike the last two road games in Istanbul and Athens,  the Munich players were concentrated right from the start. Moscow was forced to take difficult shots and went 1/11 from the field leading to a 14-4 lead for the Germany. Thanks to the weak Russian shooting, the visitors were able to fast break again and again, which they used to take a 20-6 lead with one minute to go in the quarter. A strong Russian finish and two Munich turnovers led to a 20-13 score after the opening quarter.

2nd quarter
Petteri Koponen opened the quarter with his 1,000 career point in the EuroLeague. Otherwise, however, it was clear that the Russian star ensemble had found their rhythm. ZSKA scored from outside and turned up their defensive intensity and were quickly within four.  It was now a duel of equals, in which the Bavarians suprisingly continued to hold onto a slight advantage. But Moscow took the lead thanks to Nikita Kurbanov and three staight three-pointers before the break. Bayern still managed to cling to slim lead and at the break the score was 37-35. 

3rd quarter
The course of the game remained unchanged at the beginning of the third quarter. Moscow dominated the boards (9/1 Offensive-Rebounds) but the guests were the much better team in shooting %. Moscow answered a Munich 6-0 run with a time-out  and the Bavarians quickly lost their offensive rhythm and tried their luck three times in a row unsuccessfully from a distance, which caused Dejan Radonjic to take a time-out. But always in the moments when ZSKA was sniffing the lead for the first time, Munich responded and clung to their lead. So it remained before the final section with the narrow Bayern lead at 57-52.

4th quarter
The final section started badly for the Bavarians: Danilo Barthel took a highly controversial -5th foul and Maodo Lo headed to the locker room with an apparent leg injury. Bayern fought on and Stefan Jovic kept the lead with his first points in the fourth quarter. Six and a half minutes before the end, the home side took the lead for the first time ever at 61-60 with three minutes to play. The weakened Bavarians fought hard for a well-deserved victory but despite a strong defense, the Russian stars managed to put the ball in the basket. Bayern was now visibly dwindling in strength, the game with all its adversities had cost too much energy. In the end ZSKA pulled off the home victory with a final score of 77-70.


(Photo-Credit: Stickel)

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