Bayern strengthen their hold on top spot in the BBL
FC Bayern's basketball department won 71-60 against Würzburg. With 16 wins in 17 games, the German champions emphatically defended top spot in the Bundesliga. 5,630 spectators were in attendance at the Audi Dome, but saw Bayern face some problems against the play-off candidate, just three days after the EuroLeague game in Milan, but with a strong performance in the last quarter (22-10) they came through with determination. Paul Zipser was the highest scorer For Bayern, with 18 points.
After the EuroLeague away game in Villeurbanne (Tuesday, 4 January, 20:45 CET), the Bayern will play two home games next weekend: on Friday, 7 February, also in the EuroLeague against Valencia at 20:30 CET and on Sunday (9 February) against the Giessen 46ers in the BBL from 15:00 CET.
FC Bayern Basketball - sOliver Würzburg 71:60 (25:25)
Paul Zipser (18 points), Nihad Djedovic (15/7 Rebounds), Petteri Koponen (9/3 three-pointes), Mathias Lessort (8/6 Rebounds), Maodo Lo (7), Danilo Barthel (6), TJ Bray (3), Josh Huestis (3), Alex King (2), Diego Flaccadori, Zan Sisko und Jason George (dnp).
Florian Koch (13 points)
Martin Matip, Toni Rodriguez and Nicolas Brendel.
Points per quarter FCBB: 13-7, 12-18, 24-25, 22-10.
Facts & Figures – Two-point shooting: 55% (FCBB) // 42% (Würzburg); three-point shooting: 30% // 38%; free-throws: 88% // 80%; rebounds: 39 // 32; assists: 18 // 16; turnovers: 13 // 14 - Injured: Vladimir Lucic (foot), Greg Monroe (recovery) and Leon Radosevic (back).
Oliver Kostic, FCBB head coach: "There were ups and downs again, we had good and bad moments. Of course we rotated a lot, which shows in the stats, for example the low throwing rate, especially in the first half. We also weren't aggressive enough on defense. But in the last quarter we showed how we should play and in the end we earned the victory. The most important thing today is to win and now we're looking forward to the tough schedule coming up. Greg Monroe got a break today, he has been playing a lot of games lately. There's a good chance we'll see Lucic back on the team in the next game or the one after that."
Denis Wucherer, Würzburg head coach: "We played well enough in defense to get a chance against a tired Bayern team. I think eight blocked throws by Bayern made the difference. We did have the ball where we wanted it, but they kept us from scoring with great athleticism. The chances were there, even with free throws, to keep it tight until the last minute. But we didn't use them and I wish the coach and Bayern all the best in the EuroLeague against Villeurbanne and Valencia."
Alex King: "In the first half we simply didn't hit the throws and didn't rebound well. The coach gave us more self-confidence in the first half and we played faster. Würzburg is a very good team playing very fast basketball - we are very happy that we won the game".
Maodo Lo, Nihad Djedovic, Paul Zipser, Josh Huestis and Danilo Barthel started for FCBB. Würzburg took the lead, and Bayern needed several attempts and four minutes to score their first points; Zipser made it 3-2 with a three-pointer. This basket heralded a 7-0 run by the Reds, who, to the delight of the fans, increasingly gained confidence and controlled the game on the basis of a solid defence (13-7/8'). In the first part of the game the spectators enjoyed rather little basket success, but the German champions were clearly in the lead – 13-7.
In the first attack of the second quarter, the Reds delighted the fans with a beautiful combination of fine passes, concluded with a three-point score from Josh Huestis (16-7/11'). Mathias Lessort was looked for and found by his fellow players, he thanked them with two spectacular baskets (20-12/13'). But the guests then showed that there was a reason they'd won six of their last seven matches, and quickly approached 17-22. Kostic asked for a time-out (15'). The defence of the Munich team stabilized, with Nihad Djedovic in front with a triple (25-19/16') Bayern had very good chances to score, but couldn't keep up the rate of baskets, which kept the opponent in the game. Würzburg equalize 60 seconds before the change of sides to 25-25 - Alex King's last throw missed the target.
The game picked up speed and the baskets were scores were coming left and right. Paul Zipser was largely responsible for this, playing strongly in this phase and contributing eight points in a row (35-29/23'). Würzburg coach Wucherer reacted to Djedovic's three-pointer with a time-out (38-29/24'). FCBB was in rhythm, and again it was Zipser who was on the offensive board and took leads to double digits (40-29/25'). However, the Würzburg came back with three three-pointers in a row; time-out Bayern (44-40/27'). Würzburg could not be stopped now and took the lead with a 19:4 run, TJ Brays three-point run made the gap to Bavaria at least as small as possible – 49-50.
A Koponen three-pointer at the start of the final quarter was a delight for the fans (52-50/31') Bayern were now focused and defended extremely effectively. The forward ball then came almost by itself: with a 12-3 run, they forced Würzburg's coach to the next time-out (61-53/34'). Würzburg believed in their chance and worked their way back in to it (66-60/38'), but a Djedovic three-pointer made it 69-60; huge from Bayern's point of view, and was worth its weight in gold for the fans (120 seconds left). Bayern left nothing to chance in the defence, and ground out the victory.
Foto-Credit: Stickel, Rauchensteiner