Bayern clinches the playoffs

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FC Bayern's basketball team will go into Thursday night's tough EuroLeague road game at Valencia Basket with a sense of achievement: head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team won its BBL home game against Mitteldeutscher BC without a problem with a final score of 85-66. For Munich it was the seventh win in a row in the BBL and they now have a 42-8 points record and moved past Alba Berlin (40-8, one game less) into second place. They are now qualified for the playoffs after 25 of 34 regular season games.

The hosts made it a bit difficult after the first quarter (19-13), but Bayern started the final quarter with a 16-2 run to take a 75-57 lead (25th). Top scorers were D.J. Seeley (19), Nick Weiler-Babb (17), Jalen Reynolds (14) and JaJuan Johnson (13), who also had four blocks. Youngster Jason George played well wiith seven points. Trinchieri rested Wade Baldwin, James Gist, Vladimir Lucic and Paul Zipser as well as Nihad Djedovic who has been out injured for a while.

Already on Wednesday, the Munich team travels to the EuroLeague showdown with pursuer Valencia in the fourth-to-last game of the regular season in the top division. On Saturday evening they'll mee the Hamburg Towers, who are on the brink of a playoff spot. 


FC Bayern Basketball – Syntainics MBC 85-66 (38-32)


D.J.Seeley (19 Points), Nick Weiler-Babb (17), Jalen Reynolds (14/7 Rebounds), JaJuan Johnson (13/8 Rebounds/4 Assists/4 Blocks), Jason George (7), Leon Radosevic (5), David Krämer (3), Zan Mark Sisko(3), Matej Rudan (3), Diego Flaccadori (1), Sasha Grant und Robin Amaize.

Top scorer MBC:

Quinton Hooker (20 Points)


Benjamin Barth, Armin Mutapcic, Andreas Bohn

Points per quarter Bayern - MBC: 19-13, 19-19, 21-23, 26-11

Stats: Two-point shooting: 49% (FCBB) // 37% (MBC); Three-point shooting: 48% // 30%; Free-throw shooting: 76% // 84%; Rebounds: 38 // 37; Assists: 14 // 12; Turnovers: 11 // 18.

Andrea Trinchieri: "We had a good first quarter, then were bad and limp in the second and third; the fourth quarter was good. We were able to spread the minutes and still control the game and win. In this insane schedule, I'm glad nobody got hurt and we won. The most I can worry about right now is two issues on defense and two on offense. That's all the preparation I can do between games. That's where you have to take what you've prepared from the preseason. However, there are a lot of options that we can't practice. Our last real practice was 25 days ago. We have to use the games to practice. So only three things matter right now: morale, energy and focus."

JaJuan Johnson: "Basketball remains a game of runs. We played against a good opponent and we had to step it up at the end to win the game. We had to adjust defensively to them and get into a good rhythm. When we managed to play with the right intensity and stop losing the ball, we controlled it. It was alright overall.  I stayed focused defensively; that's what I work on every day to help the team. Against Valencia, we want to show that again as well. Away games are always hard to play, but we hate to lose."

MBC coach, Silvano Poropat: "For us it was a good game for three quarters. What we can do, we did. Defensively, it was absolutely fine by our standards. Offensively, we had difficulties, but always found solutions. The last quarter Bayern played with their strongest five for a while and made the difference under the basket with Johnson and Reynolds."

Game recap:
Zan Mark Sisko, D.J. Seeley, David Krämer, JaJuan Johnson and Leon Radosevic were Trinchieri's starting five. Only two of ten Munich shots initially found their target - 5-5 after five minutes. The game slowly began to pick up speed while Johnson scored from mid-distance and Weiler-Babb hit from the three-point line at the end of the quarter (19-13).

In the second quarter Michal Michalak, the current top scorer in the BBL (13 points), struggled against the aggressive defense and Bayern managed their first double-digit lead (23-13/13th). Meanwhile, Weiler-Babb continued to add to his score (14 points in ten minutes). Slowly, however, small carelessness crept in (31-24/17th). Despite poor shooting (28% from the field), Weissenfels came back to within six points at the break (38-32).

Johnson cleaned up under the basket with three blocks after the half, defending the lead (44-38/24th). Offensively, the Munich team tried to play too much to their individual strengths. The guests knew how to take advantage of that and briefly turned the game around (50-48/17th). It was thanks to Johnson and Seeley in this phase that Bayern went into the final ten minutes with a lead (59-55).

The final quarter began with a statement dunk by Reynolds, who scored a quick six points (65-57/33rd). As so often, you could tell Bayern didn't like to lose. Bayern dominated the boards and let the lead grow back into double digits (72-57/35th). Overrun by the sudden physicality, the guests did not get back into the game. A 14-0 run sealed Bayern's 21st win in the BBL.


Photo credit: Eirich, sampics, Stickel


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