80:79: Bavaria succeeds in coup in thriller against Panathinaikos
FC Bayern München basketball have brought the favorite, Panathinaikos Athens to their knees with 80-79 in a game of quality and excitement that can hardly be surpassed and thus brought the first victory in the EuroLeague. In the Audi Dome, 5,068 spectators saw a thrilling encounter with many lead changes (nine in the last quarter alone), in which Bayern stood up to the Greek champions and bought the edge in crunchtime. The biggest player of the game was Vladimir Lucic, who kept the lead with big shots and then thwarted the possible winning bucket by stealing the ball with three seconds left in the game. Nihad Djedovic was the top scorer for Bayern with 19 points. Already on Wednesday afternoon Bayern will travel to the next match at FC Barcelona (18.10., 21:00) and then on Sunday (21.10., 18:00) Bonn will come for top BBL game in the Audi Dome.
Points per quarter Bayern - Panathinaikos: 20-20, 20-21, 16-17, 24-21.
FCBB Stats: Nihad Djedovic (19 points), Danilo Barthel (12), Devin Booker (11), Petteri Koponen (10), Derrick Williams (5), Stefan Jovic (4), Leon Radosevic (4), Maodo Lo (4), Alex King, Braydon Hobbs and Nemanja Dangubic.
FCBB Head Coach, Dejan Radonjic: "Congratulations to the players, the whole team and the fans on their first victory in the EuroLeague. I said before the game that the most important thing for us is to play better than we did against Anadolu Efes. In the beginning we had problems with offensive rebounds, on defense we had slight advantages. In the last five minutes of the second quarter there were six turnovers, but after that we continued playing well. In the end it was a tight game and we had a chance against Panathinaikos, one of the best teams in Europe. Today the intensity, focus and greed were decisive. I am very satisfied. It was an important victory."
Xavi Pascual, head coach Panathinaikos: "First of all, congratulations to FC Bayern Basketball on their victory. It was a tough game, a head-to-head race until the end. But in the end we missed too many chances and it is clear that we have to improve in the next game. The first 20 to 25 minutes were very balanced, then Bayern had a run and it was difficult for us to come back."
FCBB coach Dejan Radonjic let Stefan Jovic, Vladimir Lucic, Nihad Djedovic, Danilo Barthel and Devin Booker start against the absolute class of Europe and top favorites from Greece. Bayern seemed a bit insecure at first and missed easy chances, while the Greeks were extremely focused with a 7-0 run were playing at a crazy enormous pace. Stefan Jovic took the initiative and stopped the run of the guests with a great take to the hoop. But the Munich team fought their way point by point to within three 11-8. After six minutes Derrick Williams came into action for the first time and introduced himself a little later with a cracking exclamation mark by hammering home a dunk. Maodo Lo showed a good eye for the clock and a fine touch when he drilled a buzzer beater shot to make the score even at 20-20 after one quarter.
Bayern had a much better start in the second ten minutes as Petteri Koponen sunk a three in distress to take a 26-22 lead. Thanks to a gallant defense, Stefan Jovic carefully directed and served Devin Booker with a clever pass that Book put home. The Munich team maintained the lead narrowly, but three-pointers from Athenian Nikos Pappas shortened the lead to three at 34-31. Panathinaikos took advantage of a Bayern offense gone cold and the Greek team took the lead again with one minute left at 40-36. Four hard-fought points from captain Danilo Barthel brought the German champion to within one 41-40 at the half.
Devin Booker's easy basket was followed by a 6-0 run by Greece but Nihad Djedovic's three came at just the right time, and Devin Booker's fast break was completed by a dunk and Bayern tied it up again 47-47. The game was now a thrilling exchange of blows on a high level but several turnovers led to a short run for the hosts and Dejan Radonjic called a timeout down 53-48 with two to playThe Munich team took the coach's words to heart and fought their way back and at the end of the third quarter they were clos on Panathinaikos heels - 56:58.
A three from Munich's sniper Petteri Koponen the club back into the lead and Bayern fans knew they were in for a ride. The game picked up speed again, the lead changed virtually with every attack and four minutes before the end, Bayern fans rose and pushed their team and the team kicked it up a gear. With some great defense, the Munich team convinced with a brilliant 6-0 run to a 73-68 lead with two minutes left. Three free throws by Devin Booker and Nihad Djedovic brought the home team much closer to the goal of their first victory in the EuroLeague but Athens turned on the afterburners and Keith Langford scored four points in a row and brought his team up to within two points76-74 with 45 seconds left. Panathinaikos fouled Nihad Djedovic, Bayern's top free-throw shooter and sent him to the line. He sunk both attempts and the lead was now four. Six seconds before the end, the game was still on the edge of a knife as Bayern led 80-79 with just seconds left. Devin Booker was fouled and, to the horror of the fans, missed both free-throws and the Greeks had four seconds after the rebound to score the winning basket. Fortunately they had made the calculation without Vladimir Lucic, who stole the pass and assured a huge first win in the EuroLeague.