The title favorites prove their class
Fri, 21/02/20, 23:30
Injury weakened Bayern loses 88-63 against Efes Istanbul
On the 25th gameday of the EuroLeague, the basketball players of FC Bayern Munich had to admit defeat against the best team in Europe. League leader Anadolu Efes Istanbul won against the German defending champions with a final score of 88-63. The weakened Bavarians - Nihad Djedovic and Petteri Koponen both had to sit on short notice - are still waiting for their eighth win of the season as the Turkish champions extended their winning streak to ten. In front of 5,537 spectators in the Audi Dome, including 300 loud Efes fans, the FCBB held their ground very well in the first quarter, but then lost confidence on offense as the game went on. Bayern scored only eight points in the second quarter while Efes shone with strong shooting from a distance (15 threes and 50% shooting). Vladimir Lucic and Maodo Lo were the hosts' top scorers with 14 points each.
Bayern will compete in Russia next Thursday (February 27th, 18:00) at Zenit St. Petersburg. The next home game at the Audi Dome will be against Oldenburg on Sunday, March 1st (18:00).
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FC Bayern München - Anadolu Efes Istanbul 63-88
FC Bayern Basketball
Vladimir Lucic (14 points), Maodo Lo (14, 5 Rebounds), Danilo Barthel (7), Zan Sisko (7), TJ Bray (5), Greg Monroe (5, 8 Rebounds), Leon Radosevic (4), Paul Zipser (3), Diego Flaccadori (2), Joshua Huestis (2), Alex King (dnp) und Jason George (dnp).
Rodrigue Beaubois (16), Chris Singleton (14)
Daniel Hierrezuelo, Tomislav Hordov, Marko Juras
Points per quarter Bayern - Anadolu Efes Istanbul: 17-19, 8-18, 23-25, 15-26.
Facts & Figures - Two-point shooting 55% (FCBB) // 59% (Istanbul); Three-point shooting: 31% // 50%; Rebounds: 24 // 25; Assists: 16 // 22; Ball turnovers: 15 // 11 - Injured: Petteri Koponen, Mathias Lessort (both muscular problems) and Nihad Djedovic (ankle)
FCBB head coach, Oliver Kostic: "They are currently the best European team and they proved that tonight. We tried to give our best and play hard. Especially in the first quarter we had good moments, after that we unfortunately missed too many open shots. We defended solidly overall, but that's a top team that hits even the difficult shots. They hit15 threes and we only scored five, which is of course a big difference thanks to their great individual quality. We actually had a good week of training, but unfortunately two players got injured. We can't yet say exactly how long they'll be out.
Istanbul head coach, Ergin Ataman: "First of all I would like to pass on the good news that Bryant Dunston has travelled with us for a final check here in Munich. He will be able to train with the team again after four months starting tomorrow and I expect him back on the court in two weeks. It was another great game from us. After a slow start we played our basketball again. Tactically we defended perfectly inside against Greg Monroe, we closed the zone very well. We were missing our best player Larkin, but you have to say that Bayern also had to do without two important guards."
Maodo Lo: "We were twelve points behind at halftime and had the feeling that we could still manage it. But we weren't focused enough and didn't manage to do that, because this was a very good team. We have to fight our way through now and improve as a team so that we play our best basketball in the playoffs and towards the end of the season."
The starters for FCBB coach Oliver Kostic were Maodo Lo, TJ Bray, Vladimir Lucic, Josh Huestis and Greg Monroe. Bray equalised early at 2-2 before Lucic took advantage of a steal and dunked for a 4-2 lead. Bayern went on an 8-0 run and forced Istanbul to take their first time-out with less than three minutes played. The interruption worked and suddenly the FCBB couldn't score and Efes took the lead, 9-8. A 9:0 run by the guests was stopped by Greg Monroe, who powered his way to the basket and scored. Efes started to hint why they are the current EuroLeague-primus, but the Munich players held back and stayed on the heels of their opponents with a 19-17 deficit after one quarter of play.
Istanbul's Chris Singleton caused problems Bayern and he had already sunk his third three-point shot at the beginning of the second quarter. But the Munich players were not particularly impressed by the Turks' consistent class and fought back with two goals from Maodo Lo to keep the score close at 28-23. The fans repeatedly groaned collectively as the Reds narrowly missed some great chances. The gap was threatening to become double-digit and htough Anadolu did not perform magic, they impressed with solid defense, which pushed them to a 9-0 run made their lead and a big lead. At the change of sides, the Germans were behind 37-25.
The third quarter began with a bang as Monroe and Barthel teamed up for a sweet alley-oop. Maodo Lo extended the promising start of the second half with a triple, but once again it was Singleton who struck back with one of his own. The accuracy of the Turks from beyond the three-point line really hurt the Bavarians and prevented them from shortening the gap - even former Bayern player Vasilije Micic scored with seeming ease and the lead was up to 53-38. Efes had already sunk their eleventh three and were approaching the 50 percent Mark while Bayern had only hit three. Zan Mark Sisko contributed seven points in this phase and after the third quarter the Reds were faced with a 62-48 deficit.
Istanbul's 13th triple opened the final quarter and sobered the fans and the players in red, showing that the favorites for the EuroLeague title were simply too strong. The guests now played the time off the clock and, to the delight of the numerous Turkish fans present, struggled greatly. Coach Kostic took a time-out to get his visibly stricken players back on track. But the momentum remained persistent and ultimately the gap was increased to over 20 points at 76-53. Without Djedovic, Lessort and Koponen, the Munich team had too little to oppose the favorites and suffered another defeat in Europe's top class.
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Photo credit: Stickel, Rauchensteiner, Eirich