Bayern celebrates upset win with 80-79 triumph over Efes

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FC Bayern's basketball team pulled off the big upset and ended the winning streak of EuroLeague favorite Anadolu Efes Istanbul: The team of head coach Andrea Trinchieri defeated the Turkish champions who are coming off an eight game win streak with an impressive performance that ended with a final score of 80-79. It was their 19th win on gameday 30, the second against Efes, and Bayern remain in fifth place with four games still to play (at Valencia, against Fener and Kaunas, and at Barcelona). So far, no German team has ever reached the playoffs.

Munich trailed by 15 points against the favorites shortly before the break (46-31/19th). But the FCBB took away from the star ensemble's offense with clever defense and took the lead for the first time in the third quarter, 56-55 (26th). Twelve seconds before the end, Efes was ahead 79-78 before top scorer Vladimir Lucic (18) hit two of three free throws. In Efes' last attack - Wade Baldwin (12) had long since fouled out - James Gist blocked Istanbul's superstar Shane Larkin (16) - and Bayern went crazy.

There is not much time left: On Sunday, the FCBB will play Crailsheim, the fourth-placed team in the BBL, who recently defeated league leader Ludwigsburg; on Tuesday, they will play a home game against the MBC.

FC Bayern Basketball – Anadolu Efes 80-79 (37-46)


Vladimir Lucic (18 Points/4 Rebounds), Jalen Reynolds (14/9 Rebounds), Wade Baldwin (12), Paul Zipser (12), D.J. Seeley (10/ 4 Assists), James Gist (5), Zan Mark Sisko(4), Nick Weiler-Babb (2/4 Assists), JaJuan Johnson (2), Diego Flaccadori, Leon Radosevic und David Krämer

Top scorer Efes:

Vasilije Micic (19 Points)


Olegs Latisevs, Emilio Perez, Milos Koljensic

Stats: Two-point shooting: 44% (FCBB) // 60% (Efes); Three-point shooting: 46% //34%; Free throw shooting: 90% // 88%; Rebounds: 29 // 26; Assists: 18 // 13; Turnovers: 10 // 15.

Andrea Trinchieri: "The last few days our GM was walking up and down in the Audi Dome before this big game, saying to the coaching staff, 'If you don't have a chance, this is the chance you have.' He was right. We were playing against the best European team at the moment, and I felt that way during the game. They punish every mistake you make, they are so efficient. We had to go over our limits. We had problems, but we didn't want to give up. And slowly, very slowly, we were able to change some things, change players and make a comeback again. We had big plays at the end, but so did they. Our last one was unbelievable: it was a double block by Nick and James on Larkin's drive. That's a perfect reflection of our game. A game where we were behind the whole time but left no room for frustration after big shots.  This is a great win for us. I don't know the standings, I just know that we beat a team that won eight games in a row and destroyed everyone. I am proud of my players and I want to congratulate them for their great effort and this incredible victory. (...) I have no idea if we will make the playoffs. Every time I come home from practice, I lie down on the couch and think about what could happen. And every time, exactly something different happens. I don't want to waste my energy on that."

Ergin Ataman, Coach Efes: "Congratulations to Bayern, they stopped our regular game. We had 15 turnovers, that has been the key for me against a switching man defense.  Bayern had a good game, we didn't play our basketball. Bayern made very smart decisions on defense." 

Marko Pesic: "Sometimes you don't have a chance and then that's your only chance. We have a crazy team in a positive sense, I have to take my non-existent hat off in view of what they are capable of. Again, we were clearly behind, plus Wade had foul trouble the whole game, Sisko too, so we played the second quarter virtually without a point guard. I'm overwhelmed and proud. You can't forget where we were in the summer, so a performance like this from the team and their commitment today is much, much more important to me than possible playoffs. Unfortunately, our fans were not in the Audi Dome and hopefully watched plenty on MagentaSport. What we also must not forget: We still have two games in the Bundesliga before the next EuroLeague game in Valencia. That's why we have to stay in the present. We are all incredibly proud of this team."

Paul Zipser: "Efes has played well lately, making it eight wins in a row, but at some point a streak like that ends. We are a very unpleasant team. They play with a lot of movement. We wanted to counter with a big lineup, but that didn't work out so well at first. I'm very proud of us today. I think we proved that we belong in the EuroLeague. Now is an important phase and everyone is stepping it up a notch, and that's what we have to do. That's what matters. That's how we have to continue. We are extremely motivated. Every game is extremely important. It's about preparing for every game with a lot of energy. Taking the next step; whether it's with good set-up or coordination. I don't know if I've won in Valencia before, but I honestly feel like it. (...) That (Gist's block) is exactly what we need. That second and third effort from everybody. Larkin always beat us down the left side. Then for us to be there like that on the last play is strong, very strong."

Jalen Reynolds: "For us, it's important to take it one step at a time. That's the way we practice, too. We always try to find the right effort and passion for each game. Everyone was 100 percent in the game today and gave their best. Everyone is trying to beat us, but we always stay focused. That's our strength right now. Everyone wants to stay focused and help the team with that."

Game recap:
Wade Baldwin, Vladimir Lucic, Paul Zipser, JaJuan Johnson and Leon Radosevic, started for Bayern. The offense of the guests was immediately at operating temperature and it came fast via Rodrigue Beaubois and Krunoslav Simon (13-4/5th). Initially, the Munich team could only get their shots from the unpopular middle distance - until Lucic took over and worked his way to the basket with a lot of energy (13-10/7th).  From this point on, the home team was also in the game. Nick Weiler-Babb took over Shane Larkin on defense, but Efes remained dangerous  and led 23-18 after ten minutes.

In the second quarter, the Turks' entire game shifted to their top star Larkin, who poured in ten points in a row, too much for Trinchieri  who took a timeout (33-25/14th). The hosts tried their best to get a grip on the great guard duo (Micic and Larkin together 21 points in the second quarter) but offensively Bayern struggled to find open shots. Zipser's four-point play made the deficit just single digits (46-37).

The fire lit by Zipser stayed for a few minutes and they went on a 13-0 run across two quarters, including a fantastic block by Weiler-Babb against Sertac Sanli. The hosts continued undeterred as Zipser drove to the basket, Seeley hit a three-pointer and Reynolds ensured the first lead since the first minute with a three-point play (54-53/26th). But slowly carelessness crept into the play of the Munich squad but thanks to Lucic's buzzer beater, the damage was limited and they trailed only by four (63-59).

The Bayern attitude was, as always, good in the final quarter but they took a gut punch with Baldwin's fourth foul (63-63/32nd). Whenever it seemed that Anadolu was wobbling, the Turks found the right answer, as in this case with threes from Beaubois and Micic to take the lead again.The Bayern defense was playing to their strengths and forcing difficult shots. A miss by Micic ended in a monster Lucic dunk to take the lead to 77-73 (38th). But Efes came back and took the lead by one point 12 seconds before the end (79-78).  Lucic got another chance for three free throws and made it 80-79. Larkin had the ball for the last attack and was stopped with full force by a massive block by James Gist. The upset was complete (80-79/40th).


Photo credit: Eirich, Stickel, Pahnke

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