Furious final quarter ensures victory
The FC Bayern Munich basketball team defended their lead in the Bundesliga standings with a convincing team performance just 40 hours after a narrowly missed surprise upset at FC Barcelona. The German champions won their fourth game within eight days in front of 3,400 spectators in the Oberfrankenhalle with a final score of 91-75. In the second quarter, Bayern was already 17 points ahead, before the hosts were able to equalise in the third to make it 60-60. In the final quarter, however, the Munich team mobilized their last reserves of strength once again and, led by Vladimir Lucic and Danilo Barthel, put in a 31-15 finish for their 19th win in 21 games. Vladimir Lucic was the top scorer with 18 points and captain Barthel scored 15.
For Bayern the 29th gameday of the EuroLeague will be on Friday (March 13th, 18:00) against Khimki Moscow. One week later (20.3., 20:30) the next home game will be at the Audi Dome against Fenerbahce Istanbul and old friend, Derrick Williams.
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medi Bayreuth vs. FC Bayern Basketball 75-91 (35-48)
Vladimir Lucic (18/4 Rebounds), Danilo Barthel (15/5 Rebounds), Paul Zipser (14 Points/3 Threes), Greg Monroe (12/4 Assists), TJ Bray (9/5 Assists), Leon Radosevic (7), Maodo Lo (6), Petteri Koponen (4), Alex King (3), Zan Sisko (3/7 Assists) und Diego Flaccadori.
James Robinson (15 Punkte)
Toni Rodriguez, Anne Panther, Dennis Sirowi
- Two-point shooting: 69% (FCBB) // 59% (Bayreuth); Three-point shooting: 44% // 18%; free-throw shooting: 95% // 89%; rebounds: 23 // 33; assists: 18 // 15; turnovers: 9 // 9th - Injured: Josh Huestis (cd), Mathias Lessort (cd) and Nihad Djedovic (torn ligament ankle).
FCBB head coach, Oliver Kostic: "This win is very important for us, especially after the long week we had. The guys really put their best energy into making a good game here. That is also the most important thing for us at the moment. It's very good for us that Koponen is back after three weeks and we have him back for the games and training. Overall, it was a good game from us today and a good win, so congratulations to the players. We wish Bayreuth all the best for their important game in the Europe Cup on Wednesday."
Raoul Korner, head coach Bayreuth: "Congratulations to Bavaria on the well-deserved victory. If you look at the statistics, it's obvious that with 18 percent from the three-point line, we can hardly beat a physically active team like FC Bayern. We fought back very hard in the third quarter and equalized 60-60. But then Munich made very good use of their physical superiority under the basket."
Danilo Barthel: "That was anything but a walk in the park, especially in the third quarter we were unfocused and without energy. Bayreuth didn't make it easy. In the fourth quarter, however, we scraped together our energy reserves after the tough road games and won the last quarter relatively confidently. Now we have a little time to regenerate, but then we will train hard again to prepare for the next games.
Kostic trusted starters Maodo Lo, TJ Bray, Vladimir Lucic, Danilo Barthel and Greg Monroe. Five Lucic points meant a good start for the Bavarians, who also worked well on defense. Halfway through the opening quarter, the Munich team was leading 11-2. The healthy Finn ,Koponen played a big part in the Munich team's 23-14 lead by the end of the quarter.
Alex King breathed additional life into the Bayern game as his triple took the lead into double-digits for the first time (26-14). The Reds were in rhythm, especially Zipser: he worked intensely on defense and made his mark by scoring seven points in a row (33-21/15.). Even a time-out from Bayreuth could not stop the national player- His shooting remained flawless and even his third three reached it's mark. Lucic also scored from outside and so did Bray. After the second quarter, the Munich team led 48-35. In the first half, the FCBB were playing well with a 53 percent three-way shooting and twelve assists.
Monroe, Barthel and Lo scored under the basket but the Franks could not be shaken off. This was mainly due to some unfortunate decisions on defense, which brought Bayreuth closer (56-47/25.). The atmosphere in the hall was intense, the home team now lived mainly thanks to Robinson. On the other hand, Bayern did not score during this phase. Kostic's time out did not help and the hosts equalized to 60-60.
The FCBB now remembered their strengths and looked for their great players under the basket where Barthel and Monroe scorted. A three from Lucic and a tip-in from Barthel gave the FCBB some breathing ropom, time-out Bayreuth (69-63/33.). The Bavarians were now defensively on fire and the reward was a 10-0 run. Bayreuth had nothing more to add and Bray's triple took a 81-65 and made the 19th victory clear early.
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Photo Credit: Stickle & Ox