The threes fall: Bayern celebrates 74-65 victory over Kaunas
Ognjen Jaramaz (16), Vladimir Lucic (12), Andreas Obst and Augustine Rubit (11 each) scored the most points. Game No. 19 is on Thursday (20:30) against EuroCup champion Monaco, also at the Audi Dome.
The FCBB were looking for their shooting rhythm despite a good start (11-5/5th), Kaunas played hard and asserted themselves more on the boards (29-21/17th). Before the break, however, they freed themselves from shackles and their confidence increased. 52-42 was the score (17th) and with 27 points in the third quarter the FCBB pulled away. The eleventh three-pointer took a 70-58 and finally set the FCBB on their way to an important victory.
FC Bayern Basketball - Zalgiris Kaunas 74:65 (34:33)
Ognjen Jaramaz (16 Points), Vladimir Lucic (12), Andreas Obst (11), Augustine Rubit (11, 7 Rebounds), Corey Walden (9, 5 Assists), K.C. Rivers (5), Deshaun Thomas (4), Nick Weiler-Babb (3), Othello Hunter (3), Zan Mark Sisko, Leon Radosevic, Jason George (n.e.).
Josh Nebo (14 Points)
Damir Javor, Piotr Pastuiak, Robert Vyklicky
Quotes:Munich head coach, Andrea Trinchieri: "Zalgiris defends very well, they hurt you in the zone. So you have to open the court and I think we played a good game, especially on defense. The only thing that wasn't perfect was defensive rebounding. But we didn't give them easy baskets and we guarded Strelnieks very well, who was the best player with them in the last games. This is a strong win for the team and I'm happy for my players: we needed it, we wanted it badly, sometimes even too much. We had a lot of pressure, especially in the first half when the ball didn't go in on good shots. That's why we are happy for the players. In the next game we need others to take a step forward, that's the only way you can manage this crazy schedule. (...) We are improving on defense, now we need to improve more in attack, that's also a psychological thing. We just have to take the open shot with a little more joy and then just run back. when it misses. (...) Jaramaz's game speaks for itself. He played great offense and defense. He was extremely helpful, a guard with a complete stat line." Andreas Obst: "Today is very good for us. It takes a lot of weight off our shoulders after the win. In recent weeks, we have struggled a bit at the back. So it was important for us to start the week with a win. But Thursday is already the next game and we still have a score to settle against Monaco. There we want to look at ourselves, refocus, analyze a few things beforehand and prepare as best we can." Augustine Rubit: "The win today is very important. It's always hard to lose. But we know that we are a good team. We gave the last game away at the end, but today we were strong until the end. That's exactly what we needed. I think we need to play with a lot of energy on Thursday as well. It's not just about getting wins, it's also about how you get them. We always have a chance if we keep the energy level up and play good defense, that's what we're working on." Ognjen Jaramaz: "The key today was good energy from me and the whole team from start to finish. We did a good job defensively and hit important shots. That boosted our confidence. That's a great way to bounce back after a couple of losses in the EuroLeague. It was important for us to start the second half well. We knew that we had problems especially in the first five minutes of the second half last time. We changed that and started the second half with a lot of energy." Jure Zdovc, headcoach Kaunas: "Congratulations to Bayern and their coach for the game. We played a good game, but it wasn't enough against Bayern, who were under pressure to win today. We had our chances, but missed a couple of our open shots. Bayern, on the other hand, hit some tough three-point shots. That was probably the difference. So unfortunately we have to wait a while for our first away win."
The starting five were Corey Walden, Ognjen Jaramaz, Vladimir Lucic, Augustine Rubit and Leon Radosevic. Bayern tried their luck from the three-point line right at the start, from which Jaramaz opened after scoring on his fourth try. Walden followed up with a four-point play from a similar spot and got his team off to a solid start (7-5/3rd). At the same time, Radosevic showed how much he had been missing so far in this EuroLeague season. Zalgiris could not get past the center, neither with the move to the basket nor with shots from the outside. But the hosts' fast-break attacks lacked finishing (33 percent from the field). In a low-scoring first quarter, the Lithuanians thus avoided a large deficit (16-15).
As weak as the Lithuanian serial champions appeared in the first ten minutes, center Josh Nebo started the second quarter impressively with a dunk. The guests used the statement as a wake-up call and now brought the ball more successfully to the basket to take a decent lead (26-19/14th). The Munich team tried to interrupt the small run with their physicality. With hard-fought second chances and two threes in a row by Lucic, they came back to 31-29. With a nicely played, wide-open three-pointer by Andreas Obst, the first half went narrowly to the Trinchieri team (34-33).
The search for offensive consistency continued for both teams in the third quarter. As demanded by the head coach at halftime, however, his team improved their shot selection and especially put Rubit and Thomas in the spotlight under the boards (45-37/23rd). A mercilessly accurate Lucic, together with Obst from downtown, took the first double-digit lead - 55-44. With the help of their 20-year-old talent Marek Blazevic, Jure Zdovc's team remained within striking distance (61-54), despite a dominant quarter from the hosts.
The Munich team also started the final quarter better. While Zalgiris found it difficult to find a means against the stable defense as Jaramaz sank his shots consistently. After Nick Weiler-Babb also entered his name in the scoring list, the guest coach had no choice but to call a timeout (70-58/33rd). The last-placed team once again fought the threat of defeat with a lot of effort. But the Bavarians kept their nerve in a turbulent phase and did not let Kaunas come closer than nine points and secured the eighth victory of the EuroLeague season (74-65).
Photos: Pahnke, Stickel