Bayern loses opener in Milan in highly dramatic fashion in the final second
Despite a strong performance, FC Bayern's basketball team missed out on an opening win in the EuroLeague playoffs in a most unfortunate manner: The defensively strong surprise team of head coach Andrea Trinchieri lost at the Italian star ensemble of Olimpia Milan after a long comfortable lead and a one-point advantage still in the final second. The winning basket came after a final shot at the boards with 1.2 seconds on the clock. Bayern also had to accept the early injury-related exit of their best defender Nick Weiler-Babb (tendon ligament in the foot) before the break. The toop scorer for the Munich team, which played their first playoff game of a German team in the top division, was D.J. Seeley (23).
The FCBB is thus behind 0-1 in the best-of-five series for a place in the Cologne Final Four (28 - 30.5.). Game two will take place in 46 hours, on Thursday at 20:45 also at Milan's Mediolanum Forum. The series then comes to the Audi Dome in Munich for the first time next Wednesday. Before that, the FCBB will host Alba Berlin in the BBL on Sunday.
Olimpia Mailand - FC Bayern Basketball 79-78 (27-44)
D.J. Seeley (23 Points/5 Dreier/6 Rebounds), Wade Baldwin (10), JaJuan Johnson (10), Jalen Reynolds (7), Zan Mark Sisko (7/6 Assists), James Gist (7), Vladimir Lucic (6), Paul Zipser (5), Nick Weiler-Babb (3), Leon Radosevic, Robin Amaize und Diego Flaccadori.
Zach Leday (17 Points)
Juan Carlos Garcia, Fernando Rochs, Tomislav Hordov
Andrea Trinchieri: "Congratulations to Milan. We were ahead in the game for 39:58.8 minutes, we only missed one possession. We wanted to get into this series and I think we did very well. We could have scored more, but we didn't. A lot of our players had no idea and no experience what a EuroLeague playoff series is all about. Now that was the first game, we have to do some things better in the second. I think we showed a very good game. But that's secondary for me personally today, because my thoughts are with Nick Babb. When a player suffers such an injury at this point of the season, it's just sad. (...) We can stay here after this defeat and lament and curse, or we can think about the next game. I think the latter is the more productive decision."
D.J. Seeley: "We should have done better at the end. That last ball cost us the win. We should have made better decisions on offense in the third quarter. It was a tough first playoff game, as I imagined beforehand."
Zan Marko Sisko: "After that end of the game, it's not easy to say anything smart. I think we played great in the first half, dominated on offense and defense. Then in the second half you saw that they are a very good team; they started scoring and distributing the ball well. What happened at the end, everyone saw. But we should put our heads up and focus on the next game."Game recap:
Wade Baldwin, Nick Weiler-Babb, Vladimir Lucic, James Gist and Leon Radosevic were in FCBB's starting lineup in the first European playoff game in the club's history. The tension was noticeable during the first two minutes but Weiler-Babb released it with the first points for his team, a three-pointer for a 3-3 score. Baldwin shaped the offensive actions and the game was absolutely balanced (8-8/6th). The intensity on defense was evident from the score - after eight minutes, Paul Zipser scored a three-pointer to make it 13-12. The Munich team coped well with the Italians' press defense and led 18-16 after the first quarter.
The FCBB started furiously into the second quarter. Jalen Reynolds hammered the ball into the basket of the Italian record champion, then D.J. Seeley sank the three-pointer for a 23-16 sciore - time-out Milan (12.). Munich was unstoppable, Seeley again hit a three-pointer for a double-digit lead (26-16/12th). The FCBB were unstoppable at the front, at the back the Milanese were put under extreme pressure and forced to make mistakes (32-18/15th). The scary moment of the game was caused by the injury of Weiler-Babb, who had to be carried off the floor. His team remained admirably focused and extended the lead inexorably, the quarter-long run amounted to 24-5 in favor of Bayern (40-21/18th). The expected revolt of the favorites came, Coach Trinchieri reacted with a timeout (40-25/20th). Seeley took the cake with a smart four-point play, scoring twelve points in this quarter alone. At halftime, the Munich team was leading 44-27.
The northern Italians now defended with much more venom and were more consistent up front. After four minutes, the coach took a timeout because the team from his hometown had gone on a 12-3 run to get closer 47-39. Munich stopped the run and held on (53-42/26th). Another three-pointer by Seeley and a basket by James Gist extended the lead again (58-44/28th). However, Olimpia took advantage of every negligence of the Munich team, which still led by double digits after the third quarter - 64-53.
Vladimir Lucic answered a Rodriguez three-pointer with a long-range shot for 67-56 (32nd). Top star Rodriguez now took over with eight points in a row and forced a time-out from Munich (67-61/33rd). The momentum was clearly on the side of the Italians, who worked their way up point by point. Under the pressure of the aggressive defense, Bayern's finishes became more hectic. A 9-0 run brought Milan to within two points, and a three-point play by Gist came at just the right time (70-65/36th). Seely's fifth shot from beyond the three-point line also sfound its way to bottom of the bucket 73-67 (37th). Baldwin was fouled on his way to the basket, but hit only one free throw 74-70 (138 seconds left). Kyle Hines brought Milan back to within two points. A turnover at the worst possible time allowed the Italians to tie the game at 74-74 (56 seconds left). Unfortunately, Gist then missed two chances from the free-throw line, Rodriguez punished that with a three-pointer to give Milan the lead (77-74/36 seconds left). Baldwin was fouled, and hit both free throws (77-76/32 seconds left). Former Bayern player Delaney missed, during the hectic remaining five seconds and Sisko found colleague Gist, who was fouled. The veteran converted: 78-77! But there was still a good second on the clock - and after the timeout Zach Leday was lost, who put the alley-oop into the Bayern basket for the win.
TO THE SCHEDULE
Photo credit: Cottini