Bayern beats title favorite Barcelona 90-77
The FC Bayern basketball team ended 2020 with a spectacular upset. The team of head coach Andrea Trinchieri defeated the second-place team and EuroLeague title contender FC Barcelona convincingly, 90-77 after 40 top-class minutes. In the seventh meeting with the Spaniards, it was only the second win for the FCBB, which will now - after the best ever first half of a German team in the EuroLeague - head into the second half of the season with a 11-6 record. In the 48th and last game of the year, both teams (Nikola Mirotic for family reasons) (top scorer Vladimir Lucic and after only two minutes of action, Zan Mark Sisko) had to do without key players. Nevertheless, a duel of high quality developed, which the FCBB took over with an outstanding third quarter (27-10). The hosts showed an excellent team performance, hitting 52 percent of their threes and perfect 23 of 23 free throws. Wade Baldwin shined with a personal best 29 points as well as seven assists.
The tightly-packed schedule continues seamlessly into the new year, taking Bayern to the BBL highlight game in Berlin on Sunday (January 3rd) and to Braunschweig on Tuesday (January 5th).
FC Bayern Basketball - FC Barcelona 90-77 (43-45)
Wade Baldwin (29 Points/7Assists), Paul Zipser (16/4 Threes), Nick Weiler-Babb (14/4 Steals), Jalen Reynolds (12/8 Rebounds), Nihad Djedovic (7), D.J. Seeley (4), James Gist (4/5 Rebounds), JaJuan Johnson (4/7 Rebounds), Diego Flaccadori, Leon Radosevic, Sasha Grant und Zan Mark Sisko.
Alex Abrines (16 Points)
Christos Christodoulou, Sreten Radovic, Amit Balak
Andrea Trinchieri: "I think this was a great game for everyone to finish this year. We had a slow start, were timid and a little too little aggressive, with not enough energy. But from the third quarter to the end, we played with an incredible energy, we were just everywhere. This was a team success, even if some players scored more points, and it's also true that Wade, Paul and Nick were strong. But the work that the whole team did on defense - it was the key of our game. I didn't say anything specific or make anything up at halftime, we just stayed true to our line. Our guards fought with their bigs, our bigs fought with their guards, the whole game. And now it's a nice feeling to finish the first part of the season with an 11-6 record. Anyone you would have said in Europe that Bayern would have an 11-6 record after the first 17 games - anyone would have picked you up in an ambulance and thrown away the door key. I don't look at that record, those are just numbers, I look at the process of our team and this game compensated us for the defeat in St. Petersburg. We know that at this level we have to be super efficient, super focused and super energetic - if we don't do that, which is human, we lose. But today was a great win over a great team. My only wish for the new year is that the fans come back, here and everywhere else. Basketball is great, but with fans, it's the best thing in the world."
Jalen Reynolds: "We knew Barcelona was a very strong team that can put the ball in the basket at a very high level. At halftime we discussed some problems, especially those on defense. After that, we defended excellently and fought passionately for each other like a brotherhood."
Paul Zipser: "The way we came out in the second half, that energy, that was extraordinary and would be worth celebrating on its own. Defensively we switched a lot, up front we also stuck together and played with determination. My main wish for the new year is that we get a handle on Corona as quickly as we can. As a team, we need to continue to improve throughout the season to get some titles."Game recap:
Trinchieri went with Baldwin, D.J. Seeley, Nihad Djedovic, James Gist and Leon Radosevic to start the game. Gist gave thanks for his place in the front five with a jump shot after 18 seconds. The Munich defense, however, was far too sleepy and Barcelona benefited from it and ran away to a 12-5 lead (4th). Reynolds and Paul Zipser came on the floor and provided stability on defense and points, 19-14 (7th). FCBB fought, but the guests showed more overall game intelligence and pulled away into a double-digit lead (26-16/9th). A strong 6-0 final spurt by Munich in the opening quarter had an unpleasant downside: Zan Mark Sisko had to leave the floor after re-aggravating his previous injury. 26-22 Barcelona.
The guests showed their class by mercilessly exploiting every mistake of the FCBB, no matter how small. Baldwin continued his good performance from the first ten minutes (9 points) and led his team in points and assists again to make it close, 32-28 (13th). Finally, Bayern's defense worked more effectively and started to slow the Catalans, who were no longer able to finish so easily. An 8-0 run tied things up at 32-32 but it was not enough to take the lead. A little later, Baldwin scored five points in a row - time-out Spaniards (41-39 Barca/19th). Fouls helped the guests to the free-throw line as Munich had reached the team foul limit. However, Bayern closed the second quarter strongly as well: a poster dunk by Reynolds and points 17 and 18 by Baldwin brought Trinchieri's team to within two, 44-43.
The Munich team needed three attempts to change the lead, but the third three-pointer finally went in from Paul Zipser for a 46:45 lead. Zipser turned up the heat and an 8-0 run was all due to him (51-45/23rd). Barca's coach Jasikevicius skillfully put his 7ft giant Pustovyi in spots to succeed and they squeaked back to within two (51-49/25t). The Munich team ignited the turbo - again for another 9-0 run which brought the lead into double digits (60-49/27th). The basis for this breathtaking turnaround was a tremendous increase in defensive pressure, which hardly allowed any points for the guests and left them looking almost helpless. FCBB maintained the lead at the free throw line - eleven attempts and eleven goals in the third quarter. After three Bayern led 70-55.
Bayern's dominance continued and Barcelona conceded four quick points and actually let their heads hang (74-55/31st). A three-pointer by Nick Weiler-Babb as the shot clock expired and another by Zipser were gut punches and kept the guests at bay (80-62/35th). Of course, the Spaniards were far from giving up and concentration was now crucial. Two rousing energetic three-point plays by top scorer Wade Baldwin meant an early decision (88-69/37th). The surprising success was not in danger at any second in the final phase.
TO THE SCHEDULE
Photo Credit: Rauchensteiner, Pahnke