Bayern wins at the buzzer over Barcelona
The basketball players of FC Bayern Munich pulled off a big upset on the 28th gameday of the EuroLeague. The German champion defeated FC Barcelona on Thursday evening in front of 6,400 spectators in the sold-out Audi Dome by a last-second shot from Petteri Koponen. For most of the game the Bavarians were looking for their rhythm and struggled with their shooting but fought to stay in the game and stayed neck and neck with the Spaniards until the last seconds. The Bavarians thus earned their 13th win in the European premier class, more than any other German team before them. Petteri Koponen and Devin Booker were the top scorers for Bayern with 14 points each.
The Bavarians will travel to Würzburg next Monday, March 26th (19:00). After the away game at Darussafaka Istanbul on Friday, 29.3. (18.15) the next home game in the BBL will be on Sunday 31.3, against Ludwigsburg (16:30).
Points per quarter Bayern - Barcelona: 18-19, 14-17, 17-20, 24-15.
FCBB Stats: Petteri Koponen (14 points), Devin Booker (14), Derrick Williams (11), Stefan Jovic (10), Danilo Barthel (9), Vladimir Lucic (7/6 assists), Leon Radosevic (4), Maodo Lo (2), Nihad Djedovic (1/6 rebounds), Robin Amaize (1), Nemanja Dangubic and Braydon Hobbs (dnp).
FCBB head coach, Dejan Radonjic: "Before the game I said that our goal was to play a better game than we did in Greece at Piraeus. We managed to do that, and in the first half it was good, both offensively and defensively, but we left some easy buckets on the floor. But we controlled the rebounds, which was most important to us and what we didn't do well in the last few games. Barcelona controlled the game in the third quarter, which was a difficult period for us. But we kept on playing and we played especially hard today. In the last quarter we hit some important shots so it came to an interesting final phase. In the end, we won with Koponen's last shot. But he didn't have a great game just because of this shot, he took full responsibility in the second half. Thanks also to the fans for their huge support".
Barcelona head coach, Svetislav Pesic: "We controlled the game, but in the end Bayern deserved the victory. We were too sure in the end that we would bring the game home, so we didn't have any concentration on defense, especially against Koponen. We didn't make good decisions on offense. Since Bayern scored 24 points in the last quarter, it was hard to imagine a win for us. We lost against a very good team."
Coach Radonjic relied on the starters Stefan Jovic, Nihad Djedovic, Vladimir Lucic, Danilo Barthel and Leon Radosevic. The fans in the Audi Dome had to wait more than two minutes before the first basket when Jovic scored. With another three-pointer, Barthel took the first Bayern lead a little later at 8-7 with five minutes down in the quarter. The Catalans reacted with an impressive 7-0 run which forced coach Radonjic to take a time-out. Bayern made a few quick runs but turnovers hurt their chances of taking a lead. Four points from Devin Booker and Maodo Lo within 20 seconds shortened the gap to one point and at the end of the first quarter Barcelona won 19-18.
Due to a 9-1 run for Barcelona, the Munich team fell behind 28-21 and forced a time-out from Bayern. Lucic breathed life into the FCBB game, the Bavarians were right back to one behind at 28-27. Svetislav Pesic, Bayern's coach in 2014 and now on the Barcelona bench, took a time-out just two minutes before half time, and that was a good sign from Munich's point of view - because they stayed on the guests' heels. Barcelona ended the half on top, however, and the score was 36-32 at halftime.
The Germans struggled desperately to find their rhythm, but Barca scored on a regular basis. After two and a half minutes the hosts had not yet scored while the Catalans had already scored seven points. Booker's three finally brought the crowd back into the game, and another three by Koponen brought the crowd to their feet. The Finn brought his boys closer with another bucket to get again with a one possession game at 45-42. Then the fifth placed Spaniards of the EuroLeague went off on another 7-0 run and took a double-digit lead. Bayern showed character though and fought for every inch and at the end of the third the Barca lead was down to six points.
Once again, the guests had a better start in a quarter and though the Munichers had the best looks, the ball refused to fall through. Leon Radosevic and Stefan Jovic broke the spell and shortened the lead to 63-56, time-out Barca. Although luck was definitely not on their side, the Bavarians defended with devotion and sensed that they had a chance to upset the Spanish champs. Derrick Williams elegantly snaked his way to the basket and shortened the lead to 63-62 and Koponen drilled a three to finally take the lead, 67-65. Vladimir Lucic, as in his legendary win against Fenerbahce Istanbul, set the pace and finally sank a triple for a 70-67 lead with ten seconds to play. Thomas Heurtel was fouled and hit both free throws (70-69 seven seconds to play). Nihad Djedovic was fouled, but hit only one of two free-throws. The Munich team fouled Jaka Blazic, who hit both free throws for a 71-71 tie. The remaining six seconds were used by Koponen to perfection as he hit a difficult fall-away jump-shot for an exciting and all important 13th victory in the EuroLeague as the Audi Dome went completely nuts.
Mon., 25.3., 19:00: Würzburg - FCBB (easyCredit BBL)
Fri, 29.3., 18:15: Darussafaka Istanbul - FCBB (EL)
Sun., 31.3., 16:30: FCBB - Ludwigsburg (BBL)
Fri, 5.4., 20:00.: FCBB - Gran Canaria (EL)
Sun 7.4., 18:00.: Frankfurt - FCBB (BBL)
Thu., 11.4., 20:30: Ludwigsburg - FCBB (BBL)
Sun., 14.4., 16:30: FCBB - Braunschweig (BBL)
Fri 19.4 15:00.: FCBB - Crailsheim (BBL)
Sun, 28.4, 18:00.: Berlin - FCBB (BBL)
Tue, 30.4., 20:30: FCBB - Bamberg (BBL)
So., 5.5., 15:30: Casting - FCBB (BBL)
Fri, 10.5., 20:30: FCBB - Ulm (BBL)
Sun, 12.5, 18:00.: Bonn - FCBB (BBL)
Photo credit: Stickel, Rauchensteiner and Albertini