Bayern qualifies early for the playoffs
The basketball players of FC Bayern Munich are the first team to qualify for the playoffs on the 25th BBL gameday. The German champions won with a final score of 92-74 against the Giants from Ludwigsburg and are thus safely in the playoffs (starting Saturday, May 18th). In front of 4,982 spectators in the Audi Dome, the well-coached Swabians kept up for a long time, but the leader of the standings took a decisive lead in the third quarter with a 13-0 run. For the Munich team, which rested Devin Booker and Robin Amaize managed to still play well and captain Danilo Barthel was the top scorer with 18 points: The national player was a perfect 12 for 12 on the night.
On Friday (5.4.) the Bavarians will play their last EuroLeague game of the season against Gran Canaria (tip-off in the Audi Dome: 20:00). After that, the champions can finally concentrate on defending their title and are back at it on April 7th at 18:00 in Frankfurt.
Points per quarter Bayern - Ludwigsburg: 21-20, 20-16, 27-20, 23-18.
FCBB stats: Danilo Barthel (18 points/5 rebounds), Derrick Williams (16/5 rebounds), Nihad Djedovic (14/4 three), Braydon Hobbs (11/3 three), Nemanja Dangubic (9/8 rebounds), Petteri Koponen (8), Vladimir Lucic (6), Maodo Lo (3/6 assists), Alex King (2), Marvin Ogunsipe (1) and Stefan Jovic.
FCBB head coach, Dejan Radonjic: "We only had little time to recover from the EuroLeague game on Friday and Ludwigsburg played really well today. But we controlled the game and were able to distribute the minutes well, even to those who might not otherwise see so many. Now we want to say goodbye to the EuroLeague with a win against Gran Canaria on Friday".
Ludwigsburg head coach, John Patrick: "That was a well-deserved victory for the Bavarians, who have had a tough week with three games behind them. We partially implemented our game plan well, but the ball movement and the deep shot for Bavaria was too strong today. Even though we doubled teamed they always found their free players and hit the shots. Karim Jallow got a lot of playing time for the first time and I'm proud of the way he presented himself today, although he was certainly a bit nervous before the game."
FCBB coach Dejan Radonjic started with Maodo Lo, Nihad Djedovic, Nemanja Dangubic, Derrick Williams and Leon Radosevic. A three by Djedovic was a promising start, but the ball wouldn't fall for either team in the next few minutes and Bayern was down one after four minutes, 6-5. A sweet play by Williams and a smooth shot from beyond the arc for Petteri Koponen gave the Munich team a small advantage - time-out Ludwigsburg, 17-13. Konstantin Klein sunk his second three for the Giants and brought his team back to neck-and-neck before Williams let crash a dunk for a 21-18 lead. After the first quarter, the standings leader was up 21-20.
Stefan Jovic came into the game and directed with his usual calmness. After just two minutes, he squeezed a pass into Barthel who slammed it home with no trouble. Bavaria's "loan" to Ludwigsburg, the Munich native Karim Jallow, brought his team back to within two but when it became tight, "Mr. Reliable", Nihad Djedovic, was on the spot, and also sank his third deep ball for a 31-27 lead. Nemanja Dangubic showed a good nose for the offensive rebound and in one case slammed the ball home after a strong fight on the boards. A Hobbs-three finished a short run for the visitors and at half time the Munich team had a small lead of 42-36.
Both teams came out hot to start the second half and the scoring was plentiful. A controversial technical foul by Stefan Jovic in combination with his unsportsmanlike penalty from the first half ensured that his participation in the game was finished. Williams and Djedovic each had a three to slow down the approach of the Giants and this started a quick13-0 run for the Munich team, which resulted in the first double-digit lead which peaked at 59-45. After 30 minutes, the FCBB was ahead 69-56.
In view of the supposedly certain victory, Bayern had a few moments where they lacked concentration and thus Ludwigsburg hung around with a chance to force a suprise ending. Barthel's experience in the immediate vicinity of the basket came just in time when he stopped the run with a bucket and a little later his three-pointer took a 78:65 lead. Seven points by the FCBB captain crowned a strong performance and a Hobbs three put the finishing touch to a nice home win.