Bayern wins 86-72 and are in the semifinals for the ninth straight season

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The Bayern Basketball team got the clinching third win in their quarterfinal series against the Merlins Crailsheim on Tuesday night with a final score of 86-72 for a final score of 3-1. After the sixth game in twelve days, the Cup winner thus enters the playoff semifinals for the German championship for the ninth time in a row. They still have to wait for their opponent (Game 1 - 31.5., 20:30) after Bamberg equalized an 0-2 deficit against regular season first-place team Ludwigsburg.

The FCBB for their part, pulled away in the second quarter (24-16) and held the Merlins, who were shorthanded, to a three-point quota of 25 percent (Game 3: 14 threes) until halftime with solid defense. Their top scorer Bell-Haynes (32) kept the struggling hosts in the game until 51-45, but the robust FCBB brought the road victory with an overall strong performance. Wade Baldwin had a double-double of 14 points and eleven assists.

For Bayern Vladimir Lucic, who had been ailing lately, returned to the squad while James Gist and Diego Flaccadori took a break due to the foreigner rule.


Hakro Merlins Crailsheim –FC Bayern Basketball: 72-86 (32-40)


Paul Zipser (18 Points/5 Rebounds), Vladimir Lucic (16), D.J.Seeley (14), Jalen Reynolds (14/8 Rebounds/4 Blocks), Wade Baldwin (14/11 Assists/6 Rebounds), JaJuan Johnson (6), Leon Radosevic (2), Robin Amaize (2), Zan Mark Sisko, Sasha Grant, Nihad Djedovic und Jason George

Topvscorer Crailsheim:

Trae Ball-Haynes (32 Points)


Referee: Martin Matip, Clemens Fritz, Enrico Streit

Points per quarter Bayern - Crailsheim: 16-16, 24-16, 24-21, 22-19

Stats: Two-point shooting: 59% (FCBB) // 52% (Crailsheim); Three-point shooting: 38% // 23%; Free-throw shooting: 91% // 95%; Rebounds: 39 // 31; Assists: 20 // 13; Turnovers: 12 // 13.

Andrea Trinchieri: "First of all, I have to congratulate Crailsheim. They had a wonderful season. They fought and played intensely and athletically. We had a terrible game 48 hours ago and had to come back. That had nothing to do with basketball either, but much more with energy, defense and concentration. I have to look now that the team regenerates after so many games. We have to prepare for a tough matchup. Ludwigsburg and Bamberg are both very strong teams."

Paul Zipser: "Today Crailsheim had only nine people who could play. Great respect for how they performed in the series and during the season. I've followed their journey from the second division and it's just fun to watch. We would have liked to close it out the day before yesterday and have two more days of rest. But they deserved to win at least one game. But today we performed differently. I have no wish for the next round opponent. I think Crailsheim led us well into the playoffs, with a lot of defense and a lot of assignments. I think we are in the playoffs now. We are ready now, no matter who may come in the semifinals."

Tuomas Iisalo, Coach Crailsheim: "We gave everything. But Bayern's three-point shooters were just unbelievable. With Zipser, Seeley, Lucic and Baldwin, they have incredible quality. We fought, but in the end the gas tank was just empty."


Game recap:
Trinchieri started the game with Wade Baldwin, Robin Amaize, returnee Vladimir Lucic, JaJuan Johnson and Leon Radosevic in the starting five. Already after 40 seconds Lucic set the tone and a layup attempt by Jeremy Jones and a little later Radosevic did the same. But while Bayern controlled the zone on both sides, Crailsheim got into the game via Fabian Bleck and the three-point line (8-8/6th). Overall, however, the engines on both sides ran cool and a disjointed quarter ended 16-16.

In the second ten minutes, Paul Zipser started to find his touch, while Reynolds joined the list of shot-blockers (5 Bayern blocks in the first half). On the other side, it was once again top scorer Trae Bell-Haynes who kept the Hakro Merlins in the game with his drives to the basket (24-22/14th). But the Munich team now ran the ball well through their offense and countered as a team. Zipser found Lucic with an extra pass for a three - timeout Iisalo. Six quick points from Maurice Stuckey alone prevented a comfortable halftime lead (40-32).

The second half started with an offensive demonstration by Bell-Haynes, who knew how to create a decent shot from every spot on the floor. For the guests, Seeley found his rhythm and made Stuckey look old twice (54-45/25th). Baldwin put his teammates in the spotlight again and again (11 assists) and kept the Merlins at a distance (64-53/30th).

In the fourth quarter, Tuomas Iisalo's team tried to fight back to keep their hopes alive. Stuckey and Bell-Haynes again reduced the deficit to seven points. But Bayern kept their composure and did not let go of the control they had gained early on. Baldwin, Reynolds and Lucic formed the trio that started a decisive 9-0 run (76-60/35th). Crailsheim's short rotation now finally took its toll. A block by Reynolds was the fitting final punctuation to the game (86-72).



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