Bayern soar to victory on Jason George's debut
FC Bayern Basketball defeated the Gießen 46ers 94-75 on matchday 19 of the BBL, extending their lead at the top of the table. With just one loss this season, Bayern continue to lead the way over the rest of the pack. Bayern delivered a strong performance in front of 4,850 fans at the Audi Dome, putting up impressive numbers in the process. FCBB shot nearly 50 per cent from the three-point line, and had 32 rebounds and 26 assists, with five players racking up double-digit points and all 12 players getting on the scoresheet. Eighteen-year-old German talent Jason George also managed to get on the board, netting two free-throws as he added more minutes to his otherwise short list of BBL career appearances (previously just four seconds). Record player Nihad Djedovic was the game's top scorer with 15 points.
This Tuesday (11.2, 20:30 CET), the German champions get set to play BG Göttingen before hosting Turkish champions Anadolu Efes Istanbul (first place in the EuroLeague) at the Audi Dome (21.2, 20:30 CET).
FC Bayern Basketball vs. Gießen 46ers 94-75
Nihad Djedovic (15 points), Paul Zipser (13), Alex King (12/3 three-pointers), Greg Monroe (10/5 Rebounds), Josh Huestis (10/5 Rebounds/4 Blocks), Danilo Barthel (9/6 Rebounds), Diego Flaccadori (6), TJ Bray (5), Vladimir Lucic (5), Zan Sisko (4/5 Assists), Maodo Lo (3/4 Assists) und Jason George (2).
Brandon Thomas (15 points)
Christof Madinger, Nesa Kovacevic, Dominik Bejaoui
Post-match reaction:Oliver Kostic, head coach FCBB: "We played well. Having a EuroLeague match mid-week always has an impact on the Bundesliga. Today, it was important for us to play to our potential, something we managed particularly well on defence. We let the ball do the work and our shooting was more accurate than it was in our last game; we had a much better touch. Congratulations go out to my team, they did a great job at both ends of the court." Ingo Freyer, head coach Gießen: "Right from the start, I could feel that our shooting wasn't as clinical as it should have been. Bayern play solid, hard defence and if you try to run through your second or third option, things start getting very, very difficult. We had plenty of open shots but we're clinical enough. Playing inside the key against Bayern is very difficult. If you come here, you have to be full of confidence, even if things aren't going your way. Nineteen points are a lot, but we can accept the win." Josh Huestis: "We played our game today; we were loose and relaxed. One of our goals was to play quickly. We have a lot of athletic guys on our team who are quick and can jump high – we need to use that to our advantage both here and in the EuroLeague."
Kostic started Maodo Lo, Nihad Djedovic, Paul Zipser, Josh Huestis and Danilo Barthel. Both teams proved themselves to in from from distance, sinking five three-pointers after just four minutes (2 for Gießen, 3 for Bayern). The German champions took a 13-8 lead early on as FCBB fans were also able to welcome back former Bayern players Brandon Thomas and John Bryant, the latter of whom continues to play an important role for Gießen. Bayern defended well and were able to snag several rebounds, while also moving the ball forward and finishing their shots (18-10). Alex King was subbed in and had an immediate impact as he sunk two three-pointers. Bayern ended the first quarter on top, 26-18.
The fans had to wait a bit before being able to celebrate Bayern's first points in the second quarter, as Diego Flaccadori netted a three-pointer over two minutes in. He doubled up by adding another shortly after, causing the 46ers to call for a time-out (32-22). Bayern continued to dominate, going on a 13-2 run to extend their lead to 39-24. The 46ers, who had previously won two of their last BBL games, managed to rally and fought hard to make up the deficit. Barthel, Djedovic and Zipser kept the guests at bay as they kept their cool from the free-throw line to take a 47-32 lead into halftime.
Greg Monroe opened the third quarter by netting his first points of the game: a jumper from the free-throw line to make it 49-32. Bayern extended their lead to 20 points as Monroe added two successful free-throws (54-34). FCBB continued to add to their scoreline as Gießen head coach Ingo Freyer tried to curb their 11-2 run with another time-out after Vladimir Lucic stole the ball on the break and slammed in home (58-34). Kostic's team were clearly enjoying themselves, as Alex King netted his third three-pointer of the night (63-38). Bayern then took their foot off the gas and permitted a few turnovers, allowing the guests to cut their lead to 67-52 at the end of the third.
Danilo Barthel started the fourth with a quick steal and a dunk, winning a foul in the process and extending Bayern's lead to 70-52. A few minutes later, FCBB unleashed a flurry of threes as Huestis, Zipser and Djedovic built up Bayern's lead even more (82-56). Four minutes before the end, Bayern talent Jason George came on to play his first minutes in the BBL. Both teams eased off towards the end, as it became clear that there was no catching up to the home team. The fans got to the feet to celebrate Bayern's performance with resounding applause. Meanwhile, FCBB continued to add to their tally, with Zan Mark Sisko using his speed to sink a lay-up (92-70). George also picked up his first points in the BBL as he kept his cool to sink two free-throws to bring the score to 94-72.
Photo credit: Rauchensteiner, Stickel, Eirich