Monaco's unreal shooting leads to 83-78 Bayern loss
Bayern Basketball narrowly missed their second EuroLeague home win within 48 hours: The Munich team lost to the unusually high-scoring EuroCup champion AS Monaco 83-78 and thus remain at eight wins after 19 games.
In the BBL, Andrea Trinchieri's team, in second place in the standings, will welcome first-place Bonn, to the Audi Dome on Sunday (15:00) for the top game.
An interesting positive developed early on with Corey Walden in top form, scoring 17 of his 26 points by the break. However, the visitors answered the 35-28 as the highest lead (16th) with a 12-0 run to lead at halftime.
The Monegasques around top star Mike James (26) scored almost at will from distance for a long time (10 of 12, 71% in the end), the gap thus grew to 66-56 after 32 minutes. Munich's morale and fighting spirit were not quite enough to turn things around in the final spurt.
FC Bayern Basketball - AS Monaco 78:83 (35:40)
Corey Walden (26 Points/5 Assists/4 Steals), Vladimir Lucic (14), Deshaun Thomas (9), Othello Hunter (8/6 Rebounds), Augustine Rubit (6/7 Reb), Ognjen Jaramaz (6), Nick Weiler-Babb (4), K.C. Rivers (3), Leon Radosevic (2), Zan Mark Sisko, Andreas Obst und Jason George
Mike James (26 Points)
Ilija Belosevic, Fernando Rocha, Luka Kardum
Points per quarter Bayern - Monaco: 18-19, 17-21, 19-22, 24-21.
Stats: Two-point shooting: 59% (FCBB) // 51% (Monaco); Three-point shooting: 34% // 70%; Free-throw shooting: 90% // 68%; Rebounds: 29 // 27; Assists: 14 // 12; Turnovers: 9 // 11
FCBB head coach, Andrea Trinchieri: "Congratulations to Monaco. I think we did what we could do. We played 48 hours ago, and when it's Double Week for only one team, you see that. We didn't have enough energy at the end. But we controlled the rebounds, had more assists, less turnovers, and everyone would think we lost because of Mike, who made unbelievable baskets. But when I play against James, I'm ready for his 25 points, plan for them. We defended his tough shots very well. The problem is the 16 points from Andjusic, who made three threes. That was clearly in our gameplan, but we didn't follow it and it cost us the game. Then James' points count double. We had a great effort and played hard as a team and already 48 hours ago, those are factors. (...) We've played months now without four players, others had to step in, we're paying the price now. We were not fresh enough at the end. (...) We are the only team in the EuroLeague without fans, that is also a big problem. There are some things that are bigger than the game, than the coaching, than the players, but I have to deal with that. Fans always have an impact, but what can I do? We're just missing some energetic moments that often come with the adrenaline that fans give you."
Nick Weiler-Babb: "This is a bitter defeat. They hit a lot of difficult shots, especially Mike James. Against that, our defense wasn't good enough in the end. He is one of the best players in Europe. You have to make every shot as difficult as possible for him, but then he also hits the seemingly impossible ones. As a defender, you can't keep a player like that at zero points every night, and it sucks when he still scores against you. But at the end of the day, you have to get through it and move on. Our situation could be a better one, but we still have a lot of games ahead of us, have to stick together as a team and keep fighting."
Mike James: "We have found our rhythm again and are back healthy from the isolation. Our last real EuroLeague game was a long time ago. We are happy to play again and very happy about the win."
FCBB head coach Andrea Trinchieri started with Nick Weiler-Babb, Corey Walden, Vladimir Lucic, Augustine Rubit and Leon Radosevic. The Munich team started off the game a bit rough but they stayed on the heels of the EuroLeague debutants (6-5/3rd minute of the game). Weiler-Babb's defensive performance against Monaco's exceptional Mike James, who was consistently prevented from developing a rhythm, was outstanding. Walden picked up speed offensively and sank his third three-pointer for Bayern's first lead (11-10/7th). The teams neutralized each other, and the score was accordingly close after the first ten minutes - 19-18.
The FCBB showed something worth seeing after the quarter break: First K.C. Rivers steered the three-pointer into the bucket, in the following attack Sisko served Hunter for an alley-oop dunk (23-19/11th). The Monegasques responded with a 5-0 run, timeout Trinchieri (24-23/13th). Bayern recovered impressively, as Walden was on fire and also nailed his fourth and a little later even his fifth three-pointer (31-26/14th). The game gained in tempo and class and the Bavarians built up a somewhat clearer lead and forced Monaco's coach, Sasa Obradovic, who is well known in the Audi Dome, to call a timeout (35-28/16th). Unfortunate decisions on offense brought the quality guests back into the game, and James equalized at 35-35 (19th). Good scoring chances were not used and the Bavarians remained without a basket for four minutes. Monaco used the opportunities for a 12-0 run and went into the lockier room with a lead after the second quarter - 40-35.
Monaco hits everything from the outside - Munich fights to catch up
The deficit was quickly conceded, a three-pointer and a spectacular tip dunk by Thomas got the 40-40 equalizer (22nd). The ball was moved well, but the shots did not fall. Monaco, on the other hand, hit everything and the league rival stole away again (46-50/24th). Nick Weiler-Babb ended the three-minute basket lull of his team with a steal and the following basket (46-42/25th). Munich stabilized offensively, but Monaco was now sinking their three-pointers (52-46/27th). The situation was dicey and therefore made for leader Lucic, but his three-pointer was answered by the guests with a hit from beyond the three-point line (55-49/28th). Rubit was on the offensive boards and converted a rebound to make it 55-51, then another Lucic three-pointer made it 59-54 (30th). Mike James needed only 20 seconds to hit another insane three-pointer - 62-54 before the decisive last quarter.
Bayern fights back, but there's no match for James
The guests played with the self-confidence and a relatively clear lead and extended it into the double-digit range, Coach Trinchieri asked for a time-out (66-56/32nd). The shots that were hit two days earlier against Kaunas just didn't want to fall now. A three-pointer by Jaramaz at 66-61 (34th) was possibly the signal for a turnaround. But Monaco's defense stood extremely well and took away Bayern's strengths while at the other end of the floor James scored seemingly at will (71-61/35th). Corey Walden kept the Munich team in the game, after five points from him Hunter added two and forced AS Monaco to call a timeout (73-68/36th). Towards crunchtime, the shooting chances were there, but the ball refused to drop. With 89 seconds left, Walden converted two free throws to make it 76-72, but Mike James was unstoppable: his three-pointer, with Lucic practically in his socks, found its way into the basket (79-72/68 seconds left). Hunter was on hand for the offensive rebound and dunked to make it 79-74 (34 seconds left), but it wasn't enough, although Bayern fought back until the last second.
(c) Eirich, Pahnke & Stickel