Bayern is no longer in playoff contention
On the second-to-last gameday of the regular EuroLeague season, the Bayern basketball team lost 92-87 to Darussafaka Istanbul who sit at the bottom of the league standings. Thus the German champions (13-16 record) missed their small chance to reach the playoffs in the final game against the Spanish representative Gran Canaria (5.3., 20:00) on Friday. In front of almost 4,000 spectators, the Bavarians started strong, led shortly before the second quarter wy 16 points but struggled on defense against the hosts (18/32 threes). Top scorer was Petteri Koponen with 23 points.
For the Bavarians, the task now is to bundle all their strengths for the mission of defending the title. Already on Sunday (31.3., 16:30), the Bundesliga leader will continue at home in the Audi Dome against Ludwigsburg.
Points per quarter Bayern - Darrusafaka: 27-14, 23-30, 17-21, 20-27.
FCBB stats: Petteri Koponen (23 points, 5 rebounds, 5/6 threes), Nihad Djedovic (20, 4/5 threes), Stefan Jovic (10, 7 assists), Vladimir Lucic (9), Danilo Barthel (8), Leon Radosevic (8), Derrick Williams (5), Devin Booker (4), Nemanja Dangubic, Maodo Lo, Alex King, Braydon Hobbs.
FCBB head coach, Dejan Radonjic: "Darussafaka deserved to win, they were ultimately better than us. After a good start we defended the last eleven minutes of the first half very badly and they scored 35 points. So they came back and hit a lot of shots, a total of 18 threes. Before the game our playoff chances were already very small. Our EuroLeague season was good overall despite the defeat today. Now we want to win the last game and get the championship again."
Petteri Koponen: "Our defense was simply bad, they scored 92 points, that was the key. They had very good shots, but they also had a lot of open shots. Of course we're all disappointed now because we don't have a chance to make the playoffs anymore. Nevertheless, no one thought we could do this before the season and we proved that we are competitive and can beat any team in Europe. Of course we wanted to achieve more today, but that's the way it is. Our team still lacks a bit of experience in the tight games at the end of the season. Every victory counts and unfortunately we didn't quite make it. But I still think it was a positive EuroLegaue season for us."
Coach Radonjic started with Stefan Jovic, Koponen, Nihad Djedovic, Vladimir Lucic and Leon Radosevic. Jovic scored the first points of the game from the free-throw line and overall the FCBB got off to a good start - both defensively and offensively. in the middle of the quarter, Jovic, Djedovic and Radosevic contributed and Bayern took a 17-6 lead. Danilo Barthel and Derrick Williams were also able to hit from the outside and completed a 16-0 run for the Munich team to take a comfortable 22-6 lead. But before the start of the second quarter, the EuroCup champion managed to score a quick 13 points and the score was 27:14 after ten minutes. The Bavarians at this time had eleven rebounds, six assists and were 3/4 from outside.
Williams opened the quarter again from the free-throw line but the Bavarians gradually lost their rhythm. The hosts hit several shots from beyond the arc and within a blink of the eye the lead was down to three. All in all, the German champions allowed too many shots from beyond the three-point line in the first half. An amazing 73% of the threes from the Turks found their way into the basket in the first half. In Koponen, however, the Munich team have one of the best shooters of the EuroLeague and he helped keep a nine point lead. Koponen and Barthel finished the first half at the free-throw line and Bayern held a solid lead, 50:44 after 20 minutes of play.
After the break Djedovic ran hot: An 8-0 run for the Bavarians, all points by the veteran who hit every one of his shots. He scored a total of ten points in the third. Djedovic only got help on offense from Koponen, who finished the scoring for the FCBB in the third quarter with two successful threes. 67-65 before the final section.
In the last quarter Koponen again showed up after Darussafaka brought the score to within two. Jovic and Lucic scored again to give the FCBB a four-point lead but then the hosts went on a mini-run of their own and took the lead at 81-77 with three minutes to play. Koponen alone took over, not only on offense but also on defense, and stood with all his strength against the impending defeat. In the final minute he brought the visitors back to within two points and a little later he was strong on defense with a block and then banged home two free throws to stay close at 86-84. The worst team in the EuroLeague promptly found an answer, but Koponen again answered with a three to take an 88-87 lead. The Bavarians sent Darussafaka to the line with 20 seconds remaining. The second free-throw missed but the Munich team failed to secure the rebound. The FCBB had the ball again a few seconds before the end and down three but Koponen's last shot was too well defended and the game was lost.
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 & Adanali