The home team missed an upset by an inch

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The FC Bayern Munich basketball team returned to the international stage 210 days after their last EuroLeague game - and lost 81-79 to the top-flight favorite, Armani Olimpia Milan after a big fight and five minutes of overtime. On the first gameday of the premiere league season, head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team showed a splendidly passionate performance. They had the chance for a big surprise in the last attack of the regular season as well as in the overtime with the final possession of the ball.  Even without the support of their not yet admitted fans, the Bayern squad presented themselves in the Audi Dome with an outstanding team chemistry. Center Jalen Reynolds shone after a slow start with a double-double (14 points/11 rebounds), top scorer was Guard Wade Baldwin (18).


FCBB - Armani Olimpia Mailand 79-81 n.V. (31:32, 70:70)


Wade Baldwin 18/4 Assists, Jalen Reynolds 14/11 Rebounds, 9 offensiv, Nihad Djedovic 14/7 Assists, Vladimir Lucic 12/5 Rebounds, Paul Zipser 6/7 Rebounds, JaJuan Johnson 6, Leon Radosevic 6, Nick Weiler-Babb 3, TJ Bray, Zan Sisko, Sasha Grant, Diego Flaccadori.

Top scorer Olimpia Mailand

Delaney (17 points)


Miguel Angel Perez, Saso Petek, Piotr Pastusiak

Points per quarter Bayern - Milan: 14-15, 17-17, 24-22, 15-16, 11-9.

Stats - Two-point shooting: 44.7% (FCBB) // 55.9% (Milan); Three-point shooting: 31.8% // 43.5%; Free throw shooting: 88.9% // 61.9%; Rebounds: 33 // 29; Assists: 15 // 17; Turnovers: 13 // 15. 

Andrea Trinchieri: "Milan won the game because of three strong plays: two from Delaney and one from Shields. We may have lost, but we should not consider ourselves defeated. We fought and played hard. We made a lot of mistakes and have to keep working hard - but we still had our chance tonight and we deserved it. On the one hand I am very proud of how the team fought and on the other hand I am very angry about how we lost the game in the end. Now we'll rest on Saturday and then we'll prepare for the game against Berlin in a week's time. We should then turn the disappointment of the unfortunate defeat today into a lot of energy".

Ettore Messina, Coach Milan: "It was a difficult game, very physical and very organized on defense - that's what Trinchieri is known for. The only thing that surprised me tonight was that we had too many turnovers. 15 turnovers are far too many for us. In the end we played good defense and hit the decisive shot more. Both teams could have won, but we made it."

Paul Zipser: "I am very proud of the team, in the first game we played against such a strong team and we performed so well every minute. We gave everything and played a really good game. In the end, success depended on one shot, and of course defeat is bitter."

Game report:
The FCBB had a strong start, in contrast to some of the games leading up to game 1. Captain Djedovic shoped up big after a long injury break with a three-pointer to take a 3-2 lead (1st). The Munich team defended with devotion and spoiled any possibility of development for the guests and managed to keep the lead at 6-4. But the Italians turned up the heat and a legend named Sergio Rodriguez came off the bench. The Trinchieri team held out thanks to a courageous defensive performance and was razor-thinly behind 15-14 lead for the Italians after ten minutes.

Zipser then opened quarter two with a triple to take the 17-15 lead (11th). The Munich team made a few mistakes but the Milan team proved that they are already in the middle of the season in Serie A with an ease of play which helped take a five-point lead. Another Zipser three came at the right time and Bayern was within two. Both teams kicked it up a notch on defense and  every ball was fiercely fought for.  At half, the FCBB trailed 32-31.

It was Baldwin who scored the 34-34 equalizer after the change of sides by a three (22.) and threes from Djedovic and Lucic each brought the lead - 40-39 (24.). On the offensive board Reynolds worked hard and the home squad edged their way to a four-point lead.

Rodriguez now took over the command and forced a turnover from Munich with his defensive class. But the Bavarians showed character and were rewarded from the free-thow line by Lucic to take a 61-60 lead. Johnson's fifth foul hurt while Reynolds excelled on the defensive boards and Baldwin forced the lead again with his athleticism (67-65/38.) In the last attack Djedovic moved to the basket but his missed layup forced overtime 70-70.

At the beginning of the overtime former Munich hero, Malcolm Delaney took over and took the lead for Milan. After two minutes Lucic hit two free throws and crept to within two at 74-72. The FCBB were up 79-78 before Shields scored from distance. Baldwin had a good look at the winning bucket but it just missed as did the attempt at the upset.


Photo Credit: Eirich, Rauchensteiner, Stickel, Duda


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