Bayern is back in the Semi-finals

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The FC Bayern Munich basketball team won their third game against the Lions Braunschweig in an exciting final matchup with a final score of 87-77 and entered the semi-finals of the BBL playoffs with a clear 3-0 in the best-of-three series. The opponent will be determined in the as yet undecided duel between Vechta and Bamberg (2-1). The first home game will be played on Sunday, June 2nd at 18:00 in the Audi Dome, the second (game 3 of the series) on Saturday, June 8th at 20:30..

To the ticket shop 

In front of 5,419 spectators in the Audi Dome, the defending champion began again with a lively start against Braunschweig which has been weakened injuries but lost their rhythm again in the second quarter. After a neck-and-neck third quarter, the Munich team defeated the guests, who held the lead for a tme, with a brilliant 10-0 run in crunchtime. Stefan Jovic was rested because of muscular problems. Danilo Barthel was the top scorer for Bayern with 16 points.

Points per quarter Bayern - Braunschweig: 28-16, 14-24, 28-26, 17-11.

FCBB stats: Danilo Barthel (16 points/6 rebounds), Petteri Koponen (15/5 three), Maodo Lo (11), Devin Booker (11/7 reb), Nihad Djedovic (8), Derrick Williams (8), Nemanja Dangubic (7), Vladimir Lucic (7), Braydon Hobbs (4), Leon Radosevic, Alex King and Robin Amaize (dnp).

FCBB head coach, Dejan Radonjic: "First of all my respect for Braunschweig. These were three really good games. They showed why they deserved to be in the playoffs, especially considering that their two best players were missing. Congratulations to the whole team.  In the first quarter everything was again good, in the second quarter we defended badly. Now we have a week break. We have to use next week to make all the necessary preparations for our next opponent. Thanks again to the fans, they were great."

Marko Pesic, Managing Director FCBB: "Respect and recognition to Braunschweig, they had three chances to win, even today, although their best players were missing. It must be clear to everyone that we have to play better, otherwise it won't be enough in the semi-finals. I hope everyone will use this week not only to train, but also to think about why."    

Braunschweig head coach, Frank Menz: "Congratulations to Bayern on the victory and good luck for the rest of the playoffs. It was great for us to be here. It was a huge recognition for us to play against Munich, because we always oriented ourselves towards them during the season. It was great for us to be able to play three more games against them now and to have all of them played closely together. Nobody had playoff experience and now we see what you need to play at the top. For me it was the last game with Braunschweig and the fact that we were able to keep up with it made me very happy and is already a little sensation".

1st quarter
FCBB coach Dejan Radonjic began the third quarter-final encounter with Maodo Lo, Nihad Djedovic, Vladimir Lucic, Danilo Barthel and Devin Booker. On defence, the Munich players were on fire from tip-off and at the other end of the court the attacks worked like clockwork. With an 11-2 run Bayern were off and running  The second  three from Djedovic in the quarter provided the first double-digit lead at 14-4 with six minutes played. In the first quarter Braunschweig were hit by a rain of threes as the Bavarians scored seven shots from beyond the arc. After the first ten minutes the German champions were ahead, 28-16.

2nd quarter
As in games one and two the Lower Saxons played with nothing to lose and made use of the decreasing concentration of the Bayern defence and shortened the lead to 37-29 forcing timout from coach Radonjic. The remarkable 11-0 run of the Lions was stopped by FCBB captain Danilo Barthel with a dunk but the pesky guests had pulled to 39-35. The upstart 8th seed was not about to make this a an easy game for the defending champs and at the break the hosts held a slim 42-40 lead after one half of play.

3rd quarter
The Munichers came out fresh from the locker room and looked for Danilo Barthel under the basket, who knew how to use his size to the team's advantage. Bayern struggled to defend the three-throw line and to the horror of the fans, Braunschweig tied things up at 52-52. After six minutes into the third quarter Braunschweig took their first lead of the night and there was a nervous energy in the Audi Dome. Derrick Williams and Maodo Lo eased the tension temporarily with a few buckets and at the end of three the score was 70-66 in favor of Bayern. 

4th quarter

Vladimir Lucic took the initiative and banged home a three to start the fourth and give some more breathing room. Most people watching the game would have thought that the game was all but over but that was far from the case as a small run finished with a three by Brayon Blake tied the game at 77. Vladimir Lucic took control and hit a free-throw and jump-shot to re-take the lead. An Alley-Oop-Dunk by Danilo Barthel tore the fans from their seats and the Audi Dome was completely over the moon when Derrick Williams stole the ball after a three by Petteri Koponen and completed a 10-0 run with a giganting dunk at the other end. The game and the series were won, next up: Semi-finals.

Playoff semi-final:
Game 1: Sunday, June 2nd 18:00 (Audi Dome)
Game 2: Tuesday, June 4th 20:30 
Game 3: Saturday,  June 8th 20:30 (Audi Dome)
Game 4: Tuesday,  June 11th 19:00 or 20:30*
Game 5: Thursday,  June 13th  19:00 or 20:30*
*if necessary

Photo credit: Stichel, Rauchensteiner, Eirich, Gamel