Baldwin and Lucic push Bayern to huge road win in Belgrade


FC Bayern's basketball players ended another thriller with a happy ending as Head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team passed the test at Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday night with a big 78-76 road win. This was their 17th victory in 27 games. As a result, they moved up to fourth place in the standings for the time being. For a long time, the Munich team lacked offensive rhythm and struggled against the Belgrade guards. Shortly before the final quarter they were trailing 57-47 against the physically strong Serbians (30th). But then Wade Baldwin took over scoring 16 of his 27 points in the final ten minutes. He was assisted in the finish by the long luckless Vladimir Lucic, who collected his ten points in the last three minutes.           

For Bayern they already face the Greek champion Panathinaikos Athens in the Audi Dome at 20:30 on Thursday. The week ends on Sunday (15:00) with the BBL road game at Rasta Vechta.

Roter Stern Belgrad – FC Bayern Basketball 76-78 (35-31)


Wade Baldwin (27 Points), Jalen Reynolds (13), Vladimir Lucic (10/4 Rebounds/3 Steals), Zan Mark Sisko (9/3 Threes), James Gist (6), Nick Weiler-Babb (6), D.J. Seeley (3/4 Assists), Paul Zipser (2), Leon Radosevic (2), JaJuan Johnson (4 Rebounds), David Krämer und Robin Amaize

Top scorer Red Star Belgrade:

Jordan Loyd (26 Points)

Points per quarter Bayern - Belgrade: 15-10, 16-25, 19-22, 28-19

Stats: Two-point shooting: 62% (FCBB) // 55% (Belgrade); Three-point shooting: 4 7% // 36%; Free-throw shooting: 6 3% // 87%; Rebounds: 24 // 31; Assists: 13 // 11; Turnovers: 14 // 15


Andrea Trinchieri: "It was a very difficult game, Red Star gave a strong performance. We had a good first quarter. The two after that were bad, but there is always an opponent on the court, that is often forgotten. They had very good phases, hit tough shots, played smart and moved the ball well. In contrast, we completely lost our balance on defense in the second quarter. But in the last quarter we found a lineup again that worked and ran the right plays. We didn't give up, even when Loyd hit an unbelievable three-pointer that can hit you a lot emotionally. But we kept playing and hitting big baskets with Baldwin and Lucic. This is an important road win for us."      

Wade Baldwin: "We played well at the end, the guys stepped up in crunch time, especially defensively. We then hit some tough shots and I'm happy I was able to contribute as well. In the end, we ended  well with free throws and stops."

Vladimir Lucic: "This is a very important win for us. We want to attack the playoffs of the EuroLeague and that's why it was important to stay on this path. We expected a tough game, as always against Red Star, which plays a physical defense under coach Radonjic, whom we all know. We fought again until the end, like many times this season we didn't give up. That's why I think we deserved the victory. We didn't hit open shots for a long time, starting with me, because of that we also lost focus on defense several times. But the most important thing is that again we didn't give up until the last minute."

Game recap:

Trinchieri relied on Baldwin, Nick Weiler-Babb, Lucic, JaJuan Johnson and Leon Radosevic to give the team a good start. The scoring output from both teams was weak in the opening minutes - 4-0 from Bayern's perspective after five minutes. Jalen Reynolds, the Munich center, "Mr. Reliable" came off the bench and hit every shot (8-4/7th). Sisko proved his renewed self-confidence since the long injury break with a three-pointer for a 13-7 lead (9th). Two turnovers prevented a bigger lead than 15-10.

Belgrade used a bad few minutes by Munich to go on a 10-2 run and took the lead for the first time (20-17/13th). The FCBB lost to many turnovers due to a lack of concentration. Baldwin fought back and scored seven points in a row to tie it up but then took a seat on the bench due to his second foul. Sisko stepped into the breach, sinking two more three-pointers and forcing Bayern's former coach Radonjic to call a timeout but Bayern still trailed by two, 33-31. Bayern nevertheless longed for the halftime siren to rally and refocus and trailed 35-31 after 20 minutes.

At halftime Trinchieri stressed the absolute necessity of better defense and his team heard the message. Up front, Reynolds was unstoppable and single-handedly took care of the lead change (36-35/22nd). However, the pleasure was short-lived and the referees were not necessarily helpful as Red Star went on an 8-0 run. After the FCBB timeout, Weiler-Babb sank an important shot from beyond the arc but there was still no rhythm - especially defensively. The deficit sank to double digits (51-41/28th). Munich played poorly but at least Baldwin hit the long buzzer-beater three-pointer to make it 57-50 after the third quarter. 

The Serbians took advantage of gaps in Munich's defense and kept the lead. But then, as if out of nowhere, the guests turned a lever and slowly crept back into the game (62-59/33rd). Jordan Loyd, Belgrade's one-man show (26 points), continued to cause problems - but Lucic's first bucket brought FCBB to within two at 68-66 (37th). Two minutes before the end, Lucic put Bayern ahead 72-70 but Loyd countered with a practically impossible three-pointer to retake the lead for Belgrade, 71-70 with 108 seconds to play.  Lucic then sank another three-pointer (73-71/ with 90 seconds left). After a defensive stop by Weiler-Babb  time was cleverly played off the clock and Baldwin hit the decisive three-pointer from a good nine meters out (76-71/ 39 seconds left). Misses from the free throw line made it unnecessarily tense once again, but the FCBB celebrated the important victory in the end.

Photo credit: Metlas | EuroLeague