Bayern start EuroLeague season with a win

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FC Bayern München opened their highly-anticipated EuroLeague season with a 78-64 win against Olimpia Milano. After an evenly-matched first quarter in front of 5,698 fans in the Audi Dome, Bayern pulled ahead to take a double-digit lead in the second quarter and did not let up against a strong opponent. Despite fading at the start of the fourth quarter, Bayern were able to hang on to the win. Vladimir Lucic was Bayern’s top scorer during the game with 18 points, while new signing Greg Monroe impressed on his debut with ten rebounds.

FCBB will play their second league game of the BBL season this Sunday in Frankfurt (at 15:00 CEST) before traveling to Moscow to face ZSKA on Thursday, 10th October at 19:00 CEST. Their next home game in the Audi Dome will be on Saturday, 12th October against Braunschweig (20:30 CEST).

Points scored in each quarter (Bayern-Olimpia): 22-23, 20-11, 19-16, 17-14

The FC Bayern Basketball roster: Vladimir Lucic (18 points), Nihad Djedovic (16), Maodo Lo (12), DeMarcus Nelson (9), Greg Monroe (6 points/10 Rebounds/4 Assists), Paul Zipser (6), Danilo Barthel (4), Petteri Koponen (3), Leon Radosevic (3), Mathias Lessort (1), Alex King (DNP) und Diego Flaccadori (DNP).

Post-match reaction:

Dejan Radonjic, Bayern München head coach: “It’s an important win against a strong team. We did not start well, and Milano were able to switch things up as soon as Rodriguez stepped onto the court. We started to defend well during the second quarter and created several opportunities. We backed it up with an excellent defensive showing in the final quarter. I’ve very happy with my players; Lo and Nelson did a great job as guards.”

Nihad Djedovic: “We played well for 40 minutes, and were close to perfect on defence. We had some issues on offence during the first half. But, it’s an important win against a strong team from Milan.”

Paul Zipser: “It was a good start, but it’s still early days, nothing more.”

Ettore Messina, Olimpia Milano head coach: “Congratulations to Bayern. Even if we were always able to come back to tie things up, we didn’t have any chance of winning this game. Bayern remained disciplined and our offence was too weak. We weren’t well organised. You can’t win away like that, especially not in the EuroLeague. Bayern deserved to win.”

First quarter:

Maodo Lo, Nihad Djedovic, Vladimir Lucic, Danilo Barthel and Greg Monroe stepped onto the court to play the first minutes of the 2019/20 EuroLeague season for Bayern. Lucic scored Bayern’s first international points of the new season (2-0). Bayern did what they needed to do on defence by forcing turnovers, and had a 8-2 lead after just two minutes, causing Olimpia to use their first timeout. Olimpia’s head coach Ettore Messina got his team’s defence back on track, as they fought their way back point-by-point to draw level in the 6th minute (12-12). Paul Zipser came off the bench to bring some fresh legs to the game, alongside Olimpia’s Sergio Rodriguez. Neither side were able to pull ahead during the minutes that followed (17-17). Petteri Koponen sunk Bayern’s first three-pointer of the night, but Olimpia were able to come back and take a narrow lead at the end of the first (22-23).

Second quarter:

Rodriguez opened the second quarter with a slick alley-oop to Paul Biligha, but Lucic struck back with a three to tie things up at 25-25. Bayern stormed back and thrilled the fans as they outscored Olimpia 12-0 to take their first double-digit lead of the night (37-25). However, Bayern squandered what was already a comfortable lead by EuroLeague standards, giving up several turnovers as the Italians cut the lead to 40-31. The final moments of the second quarter belonged to Bayern, however, as they fought hard for every ball to head into the break with a 42-34 lead.

Third quarter:

DeMarcus Nelson sunk his first three-pointer for Bayern at the start of the third quarter, with Lucic adding another to make it 48-38. Lucic delivered an impressive performance, with 16 points to his name as Bayern held onto a 50-40 lead. But, the home team made things difficult for themselves on offence, allowing Olimpia to net six points to cut the lead to 52-46, before a jump shot from Lo and a layup from Monroe restored their lead to double-digits (56-46). The guests mounted another comeback, but a perfectly-timed three from Lo put Bayern up by 11 points at the end of the third.

Fourth quarter:

Bayern had to wait to score their first points in the final quarter. Instead, it was Olimpia who chipped away at Bayern’s lead to make it 61-59 in the 34th minute. Djedovic finally gave the home fans something to cheer for with a layup in the 35th minute (63-59). Tensions were high on both sides, in what had quickly become a thrilling EuroLeague opener. Bayern showed their quality and upped the pressure on defence, before consecutive baskets from Nelson and Djedovic caused Olimpia to call another timeout (68-60). Danilo Barthel’s jumper from the free-throw line gave Bayern a ten-point lead late in the game (70-60). The fans were on their feet for the final minutes, and the home team did not disappoint. Bayern remained focused right until the end to secure a clear victory in their first EuroLeague game of the season.

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