Bayern loses its coach but keeps the game close

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FC Bayern's basketball players narrowly missed the next memorable EuroLeague comeback as Head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team lost 78-71 at Spanish champion Baskonia Vítoria-Gasteiz. After a 2-27 slump at the start of the second half and a threatening 60-35 deficit (24th), they almost erased the supposedly hopeless deficit with a great fourth quarter. They came within six points in the final minutes and came close to a comeback. Importantly, Bayern kept the important overall score from the two season matchups  (first game: 77-66).

Trinchieri was called for two technical fouls in the third quarter and had to go to the dressing room. Up to that point the Munich squad struggled with the ratio of fouls and awarded free throws (0-18 in the meantime). They remain ahead of their opponent in the standings 18-11 wins, Baskonia is three games behind (15-14).  

After their return scheduled for Saturday afternoon, Bayern has a good 24 hours to tune up for a huge game in the BBL. On Sunday at 18:00 the goal is to consolidate third place against standings neighbor Oldenburg. The duel with Telekom Baskets Bonn follows on Tuesday evening, also at the Audi Dome. On Friday evening, the FCBB will host Efes Istanbul, the current high-flying team in the EuroLeague. And Sunday in a week's time? The next BBL game, starting at 18:00 in Crailsheim who are currently in fifth place.


Baskonia Vítoria-Gasteiz – FC Bayern Basketball 78-71 (33-33)


Jalen Reynolds (18 Points/10 Rebounds/7 Assists), Vladimir Lucic (17), Wade Baldwin (13), Paul Zipser (9), David Kramer (6), D.J. Seeley (4), JaJuan Johnson (4), Zan Mark Sisko (6 Assists), Leon Radosevic, James Gist, Nick Weiler-Babb und Diego Flaccadori

Top scorer Baskonia:

Tonye Jekiri, Rokas Giedraitis, Achilie Polonara (je 15 Points)


Sasa Puki, Tomislav Hordov, Uros Nikolic

Points per quarter Bayern - Baskonia: 15-17, 18-16, 12-27, 26-18

Stats: Two-point shooting: 56% (FCBB) // 45% (Baskonia); Three-point shooting: 35% // 43%; Free-throw shooting: 88% // 68%; Rebounds: 29 // 28; Assists: 21 // 22; Turnovers: 16 // 14.

Andrea Trinchieri: "First of all congratulations to Baskonia, they played excellently, very physical and really aggressive the whole game. We should have done better in the third quarter to stay in the game. But more importantly, in this game I have to take responsibility for the loss. I got two technicals at the wrong moment and I can't deny that: It was my fault. At the first technical I had the feeling like when you park your car in an illegal zone. I tried to talk to the policeman while he was watching the video. I wanted to try to explain to him that we hadn't gotten a free throw until then, even though Baskonia was playing very physically. So for the wrong parking I got the ticket because that was my opinion but not the referee's opinion. For the second technical, I just reacted too drastically and completely deserved it. So I have to take responsibility, I also told my players that."

"To come back after minus 25 and then have a three-point attemt down six, which we unfortunately then didn't take - that's not a win, but it's almost like a win, mentally. It was hard for us to keep going into the zone but not having a free throw and Baskonia was never in the bonus either. But the referees didn't share my opinion, so I can't complain about them - but only about me. It is my fault."

"The fact that we won the direct comparison (total points in two matchups) is very, very important. At the same time, 60-35 looked like the Tourmalet in the Tour de France. But my players have something special: maybe we are not the best team, but we have a strong character. Everything went against my players, the coach then in the dressing room, but we even had the chance to win. Because they are special and the assistant coaches did a great job and the players trust them. So we go home with a big loss on my shoulders, but with a small victory looking at my players and my staff."

Vladimir Lucic: "Here in Baskonia it is always hard to play and to win. We started very badly in the second half and allowed a 17-0 Baskonia run. In the fourth quarter we wanted to come back, but Baskonia is just too good and experienced for that. At least we could win the direct comparison, that could be important again. Now we have to focus on the next game."

Game recap:
Trinchieri relied on Wade Baldwin, Nick Weiler-Babb, Vladimir Lucic, JaJuan Johnson and Jalen Reynolds to start the game. The Munich team lost three turnovers within the first 90 seconds but Johnson and Reynolds didn't let that upset them and confidently sank their shots from within the arc (8-6/4th). Vítoria looked for its big men and got into the game through Tonye Jekiri, who was repeatedly put into good positions by Pierria Henry. Thanks to intense defense, the guests stayed within striking distance in the first quarter but were trailing, 17-15.

In the second period, the home team got into the game with gusto, which is why Trinchieri had to remind his team of help defense during a timeout. This had an effect and Paul Zipser fought for a rebound against Zoran Dragic and followed with a crashing dunk. Lucic also got himself on the scoreboard and put in his own five points on a 9-2 run - 26-26 (16th). A hectic phase developed, in which Zipser continued to add to the score and the guests led 33-29, but conceded the equalizer before the halftime buzzer.

After about 50 seconds, there was a quick timeout from Trinchieri as Baskonia had come out of the cabin hot and scored ten quick points (43-33/22nd). After two technical fouls in a row, head coach Trinchieri had to leave the court. Assistant coach Adriano Vertemati took over and tried to breathe new life into the team but Baskonia now played like in a frenzy and put together a 30-2 run across two quarer. Only the energy of Reynolds sparked a little hhope as Bayern trailed big (60-45).

In the final quarter, however, faith was suddenly restored. David Kramer scored twice from outside and Reynolds even came close to a triple-double (66-57/34th). Inspired by their center, the other memebers of the Munich team also got back into the game. Lucic added a three-pointer and reduced the deficit to seven points (71-64/37th). With a six-point deficit, the Serb had the next open three-pointer, but this time the experienced co-captain missed the shot.The great comeback which sadly ended short did not go completely unrewarded: Thanks to the show of strength, the Munich team at least secured a higher score in the aggregate. 


Photo credit: Arrizabalaga