Bayern triumphant at Efes thanks to a great finish

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The fantastic start of the Bayern basketball team into the EuroLeague season is one step farther. After an incredible 24-14 finish in the last quarter, head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team triumphed with a 74-71 win against Anadolu Efes Istanbul, perhaps the best team from last season. It is the first success ever against the Turkish title candidates. After this small upset, the FCBB now have seven wins in nine games. After a tight first half, the FCBB fell behind by a double-digit margin for the first time after 30 minutes (62-52), before Jalen Reynolds took the game over and scored the last seven points for Bayern. Top scorer was guard Wade Baldwin, who scored 15 points and managed a rare double-double with eleven assists.

After leaving Istanbul early on Wednesday evening ZSKA Moscow will visit the Audi Dome already on Thursday. ZSKA won 87-78 in Kaunas on Tuesday and after four wins in a row, have a 6-3 record. On Sunday, the Final10 revenge game against Ludwigsburg, who also won their first two BBL games will finish Munich's crazy four-game week.


Anadolu Efes Istanbul - FC Bayern Basketball 71-74 (37-42)


Nick Weiler-Babb 8, Wade Baldwin 15/11 Assists, TJ Bray (dnp), Jalen Reynolds 14/4 Rebounds, Malcolm Thomas, Vladimir Lucic 7/9 Rebounds, Diego Flaccadori, Nihad Djedovic 10, Paul Zipser 12/7 Rebounds, JaJuan Johnson, Zan Mark Sisko 4, Leon Radosevic 4/4 Rebounds.

Top scorer Efes

Tibor Pleiss (19 Points)


Juan Carlos Garcia, Saso Petek, Artem Lavrukhin

Points per quarter Bayern - Efes: 22-23, 20-14, 8-20, 24-14.

Stats: Two-point shooting: 53 % (FCBB) // 53 % (Efes); Three-point shooting: 33 % // 24 %; Free throw shooting: 94 % // 85 %; Rebounds: 30 // 36; Assists: 19 // 17; Turnovers: 10 // 11.

Andrea Trinchieri: "You shouldn't really expect such a comeback. But I did expect it, because my team always tries everything to stay in the game. This was a victory because we believed in it. Because we believed in it, believed, believed!  Efes had a very good third quarter and we still had to fight for half of the quarter. But as soon as their performance slowed down a bit, we were there and ready to work on the possibility of a big away win. And that is a big win. We won because a Nick Weiler-Babb improved in the fourth quarter in the last six minutes, because Reynolds made some big plays and because Lucic, who didn't have his best day on offense, did important little things on defense. So we got better and hit very important shots. Some of the rebounds went very far off the rim today, so we had a complicated evening. But we have this comeback mode because we stay in the game." 

Wade Baldwin: "This is a really big win. Efes is so strong, last season they only lost four games and Larkin and Micic are great players; their center also played very well. But in the end we did it with defense and got some decisive rebounds. That's what it was all about. I wanted to find each of the guys, Zipser, Lucic, Nick, they were all in the rhythm in different times. But we have to keep up now, because CSKA Moscow is coming and it will be another fight."

Jalen Reynolds: "We stayed together as a team again and in the end we did the right things. It was just a matter of always staying on the ball, then you can do something like that - and comeback.  

Game Recap:
Superstar Shane Larkin returned to the Turks after a two-week break. The US Guard destroyed Bayern with his 49 points in a 104-75 victory in Istanbul a year ago. Larkin was also the one who scored early with a three for Efes. But Bayern is a different team now, they have the recently dominant Vladimir Lucic, who responded with a triple, and they have Wade Baldwin, who equalized with a fast break dunk and then a jump shot - against Larkin - to tie it at 12-12 (6th). Captain Djedovic minutes later hit from deep to take a 17-16 lead (8th) and Paul Zipser also hit a three to take a 20-18 lead (9th). The guests were in the game and were finding success on the boards but a Sisko foul of Larkin in the final seconds, the lead ended with Efes, 23-22.

Larkin's next three-point attempt was an airball followed by a missed dunk by Singleton. Surprisingly, Efes seemed to be unfocused coming out of the break. Djedovic poured in some buckets and brought Munich up 27-23 (13th). Reynolds and Zipser then increased the lead from the line, for a 32-23  score (14th). Efes-Guard Simon and center Tibor Pleiss (19 points) held their own and the FCBB suffered the first of only four turnovers before the break. This was followed by another Baldwin dunk, a Micic-three on the opposite side and a Radosevic alley-oop. the game had become quite the show on offense and Bayern headed into the half with a 42-37 lead.

It took a good three minutes before Efes was back on top (45-44/24th) and Trinchieri asked for time out. Efes defended much better in this second half and sent their guards to the basket with more force. Nick Weiler-Babb collected his fourth foul in his seventh minute of play and Pleiss continued to have success at the rim for Efes who led 53-48 with one minute to play in the third quarter. Djedovic had to leave because of adductor problems and the third quarter whimpered to a close with the FCBB only scoring eight point and now down 57-50.

But it wasn't over. Moerman brought the first double-digit lead of the game for Efes at 62-52 but Mr. Weiler-Babb came out of the time-out with a smooth triple and Reynolds quickly narrowed the gap to 64-58 (34th) with an And-One, the until then unlucky Weiler-Babb brought Bayern to within six. The previously quiet Lucic to 66-62 scored followed by Baldwin to get to within two. Larkin countered, but Weiler-Babb still had a three up his sleeve 67-68 before being forced to leave with five fouls (38th).

From the bench, he had a good view of a memorable drama: Reynolds scored five points in the zone (including an incredible effort to secure the ball by Lucic) equalizing at 70-70 and exactly one minute before the end took a 72-70 lead! Baldwin's eleventh assist from the backcourt found an open Reynolds in the midst of a double-team and the clock continued to tick - 73-70, eleven seconds left! The final Efes three attempt bounced off the rim and was rebounded by Lucic. Win, Bayern. Again!


Photo Credit: Adanali