Bayern narrowly misses the sensational upset
The FC Bayern basketball team missed the big upset despite the strongest performance in a long time and lost the road game in the EuroLeague against the title favorites, FC Barcelona by a final score of 83-80. The German champions were leading by 17 points and still lead in the last quarter 73-60. But in the last four minutes, the Munich team, who were missing Nihad Djedovic and Petteri Koponen, only managed three points. The Catalans around their star player Nikola Mirotic (28 points), on the other hand, scored six threes in the last quarter and were also lucky with some decisions by the game officials.
After returning on Saturday at noon, the FCBB will immediately take the team bus to the next BBL game on Sunday (15:00) in Bayreuth. The next home game at the Audi Dome is the duel with Fenerbahçe Istanbul and Derrick Williams on Friday, March20th (20:30).
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FC Barcelona vs. FC Bayern Basketball 83-80 (42-41)
Greg Monroe (19 Points, 8 Rebounds), Maodo Lo (14, 4 threes), Vladimir Lucic (12), Zan Mark Sisko (10), Danilo Barthel (7, 6 Rebounds), Mathias Lessort (6, 5 Rebounds), TJ Bray (5), Paul Zipser (5), Diego Flaccadori (2), Alex King und Leon Radosevic.
Nikola Mirotic (28 Points), Cory Higgins (16)
Matej Boltauzer, Milivoje Jovovic, Michele Rossi
Points per quarter Bayern - Barcelona: 21-21, 20-21, 27-15, 12-26.
Facts & Figures - Two-point shooting: 43% (FCBB) // 43% (Barcelona); three-point shooting: 44% // 36%; free-throw: 57% // 81%; rebounds: 34 // 31; assists: 15 // 17; turnovers: 14 // 11 - Injured: Petteri Koponen (in training) and Nihad Djedovic (torn ankle ligament).
FCBB head coach, Oliver Kostic: "That was a great game for all who love basketball. We had the great chance to take a step forward and win. But in the key moments towards the end we gave away two lay-ups and six free-throws. Barcelona has tremendous experience and quality, that's how they turned it around. To win in Barcelona, you need very good play in such crucial situations. I congratulate Barca on the win, but I also congratulate my players for the great fight and a good performance".
Maodo Lo: "In the end we did not finish our attacks. We had the game under control and then we couldn't finish it. We were too sloppy on offense and that cost us the game. We really played a good game here, which is not easy. In the end, we just couldn't take the pressure anymore."
Kostic began with Maodo Lo, TJ Bray, Vladimir Lucic, Danilo Barthel and Greg Monroe. After Monroe contributed the first four points of the Bavarians, Lo scored the first three points from outside to take a 7-6 lead. Former NBA star Mirotic (eleven points in the first quarter) caused problems for the FCBB defense. Further three pointers from Barthel and Bray made for a balanced game (14-13/7.). Barcelona then took the lead but the German champions responded with Zan Mark Sikso, Paul Zipser with hits from deep and Mathias Lessort with a putback dunk - the offensive highlight of the first half - to turn the score in their favour shortly before the first quarter break. The Munich team were again losing the fight on the boards, 11-7.
Lessort, who brought a lot of energy from the bench, took the lead again and after a good quarter of an hour Lucic increased the lead from outside to 33-28. The guests defended aggressively, keeping Barcelona to just seven points in the second quarter. But the Pesic team equalized with two threes just a minute later followed by buckets from Mirotic and Cory Higgins for a 10-0 run. For Bayern, Sisko responded at the end of the first half and brought the score to 42-41 in favor of the Spaniards..
The FCBB took the self-confidence of the first half seamlessly into the second section and took the lead with another Sisko triple, which Barthel and Lo extended the lead to 51-44. Svetislav Pesic tried to interrupt the Bavarians' run with a time out, which his team managed to do briefly. But the guests continued to play free and extended their lead thanks to Monroe and Lucic. Barcelona continued to find no defensive or offensive response to the Bavarians, who continued to play like a unified team. Bray and again captain Barthel and Monroe increased their lead to 24-7 after the break. Barcelona were again early in the bonus and Mirotic and Delaney brought the star team a little closer at the line, 65-53. In the end, after a furious quarter, which the FCBB won 27-15 and the score was 68-57.
Kyle Kuric brought the Catalans back into single digits but the FCBB again found the right answer through Monroe at the line and Lo from deep, who scored a total of four goals from beyond the arc. But the Munich team lost the thread on offense and were also damaged by some 50:50 decisions, which went only in favour of the Catalans. The title aspirant started an 18-3 run for the FCBB and only Lo scored points in this period between the 35th and 40th minute of play (80-77). Lucic scored another difficult triple, but a last attempt by Barthel from the center line missed.
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Photo credit: Franck, Molina/EuroLeague