Bayern loses despite Booker's comeback

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The basketball team of FC Bayern Munich lost 85-79 to the Lithuanian champions Zalgiris Kaunas on the 26th gameday of the EuroLeague despite a strong comeback after halftime. The comeback of Devin Booker after more than a three-month injury was gratifying from a Munich point of view, but Stefan Jovic (back) the game. In front of 15,000 spectators in the sold-out Zalgirio Arena, a weak defensive phase in the second quarter and the hosts' better shooting from three proved decisive. With a record of 12-14, the Bavarians still have an outsider's chance in the fight for a play-off spot.

The Bavarians will now meet the MBC at home in the Audi Dome on Sunday (March 17th, 15:00) and want to maintain their lead in the BBL.

Points per quarter Bayern - Kaunas: 20-22, 15-26, 18-21, 26-16.

FCBB stats: Nihad Djedovic (17 points, 5 rebounds), Derrick Williams, Devin Booker (10), Vladimir Lucic (10), Maodo Lo (10), Nemanja Dangubic (7), Leon Radosevic (7), Petteri Koponen (6), Danilo Barthel (3, 5 assists), Braydon Hobbs (3), Robin Amaize and Alex King (dnp)


FCBB head coach, Dejan Radonjic: "Our start was fine, but in the second quarter we simply played very badly defensively and still had problems at the beginning of the second half. Then we changed the defense, but because of our weak phase our performance at the end was not quite enough for the victory. We're happy about Devin Booker's return after more than three months and I hope Stefan Jovic will be back soon. We now have four more games in the EuroLeague and our goal is to win more than the twelve wins we have so far. We'll see what comes out in the direction of playoffs, but I think we've already had an excellent season in the EuroLeague."

Nihad Djedovic: "It's a pity that we only started to play really well when we were 16 or 18 points behind. We fought well. We only missed a few minutes in the end, probably the minutes we defended badly in the second quarter came back to hurt us. Our defense was ok for 35 minutes. There are still some games to go, we will continue to fight and prepare well for these games."

1st quarter
FCBB coach Radonjic had to give up Stefan Jovic at the beginning, due to back soreness. So Maodo Lo, Petteri Koponen, Vladimir Lucic, Danilo Barthel and Leon Radosevic started the important road game. Devin Booker was back on the floor for the Munich squad for the first time since December 6th after suffering an ankle injury. After two early fouls on Leon Radosevic, the center entered the game early and promptly hit his first shot. The Bavarians offered in the course of the 1st quarter a concentrated performance and did not seem affected by the atmosphere in the Zalgirio Arena. Lucic hit a three from a Barthel pass and took another lead for the German champions at 12-11. The last points of the Munich team were scored by Braydon Hobbs - how could it be otherwise - also from three. Kaunas ended the quarter on top 22-20 after hitting two free-throws.

2nd quarter
In the second game there was unfortunately not much left of the good start for the Munich team as the Bavarians granted Kaunas too many easy points. Nemanja Dangubic equalized the game right at the beginning of the quarter but it would be the last time in the game. Dejan Radonjic's team allowed too many open three points shots. Nihad Djedovic and Devin Booker took over scoring for Munich during the quarter, but received too little support on offense. With his eighth point in the second quarter, the FCBB record player (Djedovic) was able to bring his team back up to within eight points but at halftime, the hosts had a 48-35 lead.

3rd quarter
Derrick Williams opened the scoring in the second half before Kaunas went up again by18 points to 55-37. The Bavarians were able to stop the run of last year's Final Four competitor, but did not get within striking distance before the final quarter. Devin Booker closed the quarter with his ninth and tenth points - a strong comeback for the FCBB center. Bayern was down 16 heading to the final ten minutes of the game.

4th quarter
At the beginning of the last quarter the Bavarians opened the scoring thanks to Vladimir Lucic hitting his free-throws. In the middle of the quarter the Bavarians went on a 19-6 run with a successful punctuated by a three by Petteri Koponen, which brought them within five points with one minute to play. Two free throws by Marius Grigonis put the game away and the big comeback was just too little too late.

The next games of Bavaria:
Sun, 17.3., 15:00: FCBB - Mitteldeutscher BC (easyCredit BBL)
Tue, 19.3., 20:00: Olympiakos Piraeus - FCBB (EuroLeague)
Thu, 21.3., 20:00: FCBB - FC Barcelona (EL)
Tue, 26.3., 20:30: Würzburg - FCBB (BBL)
Fri, 29.3., 18.15:00: 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., 20:00.: 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., 20:00: FCBB - Bamberg (BBL)
So., 5.5., 15:00: Casting - FCBB (BBL)
Fri, 10.5., 20:30: FCBB - Ulm (BBL)
Sun, 12.5, 18:00.: Bonn - FCBB (BBL)

Photocredit: Stickel


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