Bayern defense slows down Maccabi 70-52
The team started without any luck and fell behind (12-5/6th), but kept their composure. Center Radosevic took the first lead with a three-pointer (23-22/16th). They came back from the break focused - and after two threes by Walden (13 points), Lucic's free throws and Hunter's dunks it was suddenly 57-41 (34th). The defense of Jaramaz and Weiler-Babb against Wilbekin was excellent all game long and Maccabi had no answer in front.
FC Bayern Basketball - Maccabi Tel Aviv 70:52 (30:29)
Corey Walden (13 Points), Vladimir Lucic (9, 5 Rebounds), Nick Weiler-Babb (8, 6 Rebounds), Leon Radosevic (8), Othello Hunter (7), Augustine Rubit (7), Andreas Obst (6), Ognjen Jaramaz (5), DeShaun Thomas (4), Jason George (3), Zan Mark Sisko, Gavin Schilling (n.e.)
Scottie Wilbekin (20 Points)
Benjamin Jiminez, Tomislav Hordov, Uros Nikolic
Quotes: FCBB head coach, Andrea Trinchieri: "I think the whole team played smart defense. We held Tel Aviv to 52 points and had a very useful day against Wilbekin. (...) This is a very important win and definitely one for the team. Our defense allowed only 16, 13, 12 and 11 points in the last quarter. We were excellent on defense as a team. We accepted the instructions, played hard and that's how we held Maccabi to 52 points. But the most important thing is the only five assist for them. They were coming off a good away win, hitting 14 of 20 threes in Kaunas. We had to adjust to that and we did great. We grinded it out, although it wasn't easy to fight back after the painful loss in Barcelona, where we had a great game, albeit without a win. We had little energy in the first half, but a great start in the second. My players deserved this victory. (...) Physically, this game plan is too much. We are trying to copy the NBA. But you can't do that without the same conditions. In the NBA, it's 82 games in the regular season, you can correct a loss once in a while. Here we have 34 games, out of 18 teams only eight go to the playoffs. That's why it's hard to have everything, good quality, fast game when you play every 48 hours. The importance of one game is not comparable to the NBA. (...) We fight so hard, but the quality of the games is something else. We need a solution. I can't blame my players for low-scoring games. (...) Everyone also forgets that we are missing our best scorer, Darrun Hilliard. That's why we need to find another way - and we are on the right path." Nick Weiler-Babb: "That was a great game. We came out with a lot of energy in the second half and got quite a few stops and buckets. I think we showed a good team effort in the second half. We had a bumpy start to the season and needed to respond with a push for the playoffs. We don't win games when we are tired on defense. We had to come together as a team and develop a concept to win games on defense. Every game is different, every player can run hot. We have to feed those who are playing well offensively, act as a team and shoot the ball when one is free. To prove we belong in the playoffs, we have a lot of games left. We're growing together as a team every game and we still have a good stretch ahead of us. But the direction is right." Vladimir Lucic: "I am very proud of my team today. We showed character today by coming back from a close loss against Barcelona 48 hours ago and winning the game. We played a very good defense again and this was an important win for us." Othello Hunter: "Everyone played hard, everyone played for each other. We lost an important game in Barcelona, but we knew that a new game awaited us. We did everything today to win the game and played with heart. We want to win every game, so today was another important win for us. We continue to go step by step now."
Corey Walden, Ognjen Jaramaz, Vladimir Lucic, Augustine Rubit and Leon Radosevic started the hugely important EuroLeague game. The fans had to stand for almost three minutes until the first basket for Munich - a Walden three-pointer to make it 5-2. The ex-Bayern Derrick Williams and Jalen Reynolds wanted to show up against their former teammates and helped take a 10-3 lead after five minutes. In the seventh game in 14 days, the Bavarians were initially a bit groggy and the play on the court was poor (14-7/8th minute). However, Maccabi, who were twelfth in the standings, did not score much more and FCBB was down only three at 16-13 after the first quarter.
Jaramaz and Weiler-Babb put the brakes on star Wilbekin
As in Barcelona, the Munich team now missed good chances to score. Tel Aviv pulled away a little, Trinchieri took a timeout (20-15/14th). The talk showed some effectiveness and went on an 8-2 run with two threes by Radosevic bringing the first lead - 23-22 (16th). Munich defended with concentration and was alert on the boards and they held the lead (26-24/18th). Lucic thrilled the fans with a fastbreak finished off by a dunk (28-24/18th). The scoring output of reigning Bayern bane, Scottie Wilbekin was - rather uncharacteristical for him - still in the single digits and the Bavarians had him reasonably under control. After 20 minutes, the Munich team went into halftime with a razor-thin 30-29 lead.
They took the guests by surprise with a quick five points after the turn of the page thanks to Rubit and Jaramaz (35-29/21st). The Trinchieri team now played cleverly and Nick Weiler-Babb had Wilbekin under control at the back, leaving him in front to hammer the ball into the basket unchallenged (39-32/25th). Maccabi did not let itself be shaken off and three-pointer specialist Obst set the score at 44-38 (29th). Both teams fought grimly for every basket in a defensive battle that was low on points, with the better end going to the Munich team in the third quarter: Walden scored a three-pointer to make it 49-41.
Defense allows only five assists and hardly any threes
The defense drove Tel Aviv to despair and Walden's next three-pointer marked Bayern's first double-digit lead (52-41/32nd). Lucic was fouled on a three-pointer and calmly sank all three free throws (55-41/32nd). The guests looked completely unsettled and remained without a goal for minutes while Walden served Hunter for an alley-oop dunk - time-out Tel Aviv (57-41/34th). Munich played under control and let the opponent run in the defense and then Jaramaz set up Hunter for a three-point play (60-43/35th). Wilbekin's first three-pointer set all the alarm bells ringing in the Audi Dome and Trinchieri's timeout came promptly (60-46/36th). The threatening situation was clear for leader Lucic - his will and skill sank the three-pointer for a 63-46 (36th). Suddenly, the nerves of the Munich team began to flutter and the turnovers increased. The FCBB remained without a bucket for more than two minutes on the way to crunch time, but the defense continued to stand up properly. Walden and Weiler-Babb closed the game with important buckets.