Bayern takes Barça to the brink of defeat

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The Bayern Basketball team narrowly missed a possible surprise at EuroLeague favorite FC Barcelona: The Munich team (now 11-12) lost a tough defensive duel at the best offensive team in the league by a final score of 71-66. Vladimir Lucic (16) and Ognjen Jaramaz (15) carried the team for a long time in front of 5,300 spectators.

Already in just over 40 hours - Thursday, 20:30 - the FCBB will face Maccabi Tel Aviv (9-11) at home in the Audi Dome, who won 94-78 in Kaunas this evening. On Sunday (15:00), the FCBB has to face Braunschweig in the BBL.


In Barcelona, Bayern led 5-3 after five minutes with youngster Jason George, 20, in the starting five. Both teams initially recorded more mistakes than points. The visitors extended the lead from 9-9 after the first quarter to 15-9 (12th) and all the time Barça defended physically. But despite weaker shooting, the committed guests maintained a lead at halftime. Five minutes before the end, the favorite was in trouble at 61-56 in Munich, but a 15-2 run brought the late turnaround for Kyle Kuric (20), Nikola Mirotic (13) & Co.


FC Barcelona - FC Bayern Basketball 71-66


Vladimir Lucic (16 Points), Ognjen Jaramaz (15), Nick Weiler-Babb (9), Deshaun Thomas (9), Corey Walden (5), Zan Mark Sisko (4), Andreas Obst (3), Leon Radosevic (3), Augustine Rubit (2/10 Rebounds), Othello Hunter (6 Rebounds), Gavin Schilling und Jason George.

Top scorer Barcelona:

Kyle Kuric (20 Points)


Luigi Lamonica, Sreten Radovic, Mario Majkic



Points per quarter Bayern - Barcelona:9-9, 20-19, 12-17, 25-26 Stats: Two-point shooting: 38% (FCBB) / 49% (Barcelona); Three-point shooting: 43% / 50%; Freethrow shooting: 73% / 83%; Rebounds: 31/ 32; Assists: 10 / 12; Turnovers: 7 / 13


FCBB head coach, Andrea Trinchieri: "Congratulations to Barça, that was a very hard, very physical game. Both teams played super hard, it was more like a playoff game than one of the regular season. I think my team put in an excellent performance and I feel we deserved a better result in the end. But Barça had some great plays in the last three minutes. I'm proud of how my team fought. Some bad plays cost us the great momentum, on defense against Kuric and Exum. But again, I think we played excellent and I'm only saddened because of the result. (...) Barça has one of the best defenses ever and both teams wanted to come out hard through the defense. There are a lot of low-scoring games right now because teams are tired because of all the games. But today both defenses were incredible." Augustine Rubit: "It was a very tough, competitive game from both sides. So a lot of shots were missed, it was very physical. At the end they could hit shots and we couldn't Both teams played great defense and we just fell short at the end." Barcelona head coach, Sarunas Jasikevicius: "The game was difficult as expected. I'm not sure I prepared my team properly, as surprised as they were at the beginning. Bayern was really better than us at first, but they didn't hit their shots well. Only when we got better did they start hitting their shots like they used to. We have a lot of good players on the team who saved us in the last quarter."

Game recap:

For the game at Palau Blaugrana, Nick Weiler-Babb, Jason George, Vladimir Lucic, Augustine Rubit and Leon Radosevic were in the starting five. The FCBB started with full commitment. Nick Weiler-Babb won a jump ball against Nikola Mirotic, who is about 15 centimeters taller, and Jason George did not give Nick Calathes any space to develop. Nevertheless, it took three minutes before Corey Walden provided the first points from middle distance. But the defensive effort paid off, with the hosts scoring a meager five points after seven minutes - 5-5. The game turned into a defensive battle, with a combined 12 turnovers and a 9-9 score after ten minutes.

Jaramaz and in the last quarter Lucic as scorers

Barça coach Jasikevicius had to watch just 80 seconds in the second quarter before reprimanding his team after two threes from the visitors. 35 seconds later, Kyle Kuric equalized again - timeout Trinchieri (15-15/12th). After that, Munich was wide awake again, but had to deal with early team foul trouble, which Smits and Mirotic took advantage of. Thanks to a continued tight defense and excellent work on the boards (7-1 offensive rebounds in favor of Bayern), the guests stayed in the game at all times. Ognjen Jaramaz, together with Zan Mark Sisko all played especially well and secured a slim halftime lead against the favorites (29-28).

Bayern leads until four minutes before the end

As in the opening phase, both teams struggled to find a rhythm after the break. Again, it was five early fouls that hurt the visitors in this phase and they fell behind (33-29/23rd). But just when Barcelona threatened to take control, Jaramaz turned it up together with Thomas and they initiated an 8-0 run (37-33/25th). In a phase without any game flow, the Catalans pushed forward again with difficulty under the leadership of Dante Exum. A low-scoring quarter nevertheless left all options open and a small Spanish lead (45-41).

In the final quarter, Lucic sent a clear signal that Bayern was not done with this game with six points in a row. A three-pointer by Walden completed the 9-0 run to take the lead (50-47/32nd). And Lucic just kept going, with the leader putting up twelve points in around three minutes of the fourth quarter. But both Mirotic and Kuric had something against the threat of a second home defeat and brought their team back (63-61/37th). With a nice pass to Rubit, the guests came back to within three points. But the Munich team had no answer against Barca's very physical offense. One of the few offensive rebounds by the home side ultimately decided the game by the narrowest of margins (71-66).


Photos: Stickel

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