A comeback victory, Paul's return - and first all-clear for Nick
This evening was meant to be a welcome distraction, with some happy news so rare these days: Paul Zipser back in the squad for the first time after 271 days, what an emotional moment for the Bayern basketball players and the fans in the Audi Dome; also the comeback of top scorer Darrun Hilliard, Nihad Djedovic also back on board. And in addition, the joint action with the guests fromHamburg, "NO MORE WAR" was written as a message on team shirts, banners and boards. The evening was then overshadowed, however, by the injury to Nick Weiler-Babbs, who crashed hard with his head on the hardcourt in the 13th minute.
The best defender in the league regained consciousness after minutes and was responsive, in the hospital the examinations then fortunately revealed: at least no fracture in the area of the head, but a severe concussion. Meanwhile, the game against the Towers ended after trailing by 18 points at one point and 58 Munich points in a remarkable second half 86-75. On Friday, 20:45 Olympiakos Piraeus comes to the Audi Dome.
FC Bayern Basketball – Hamburg Towers 86-75 (28-46)
Augustine Rubit (16 Points), Leon Radosevic (14), Vladimir Lucic (13), Andi Obst (12), Jason George (11/7 Rebounds), Othello Hunter (6/5), Nihad Djedovic (6), Zan Mark Sisko (5/14 Assists), Darrun Hilliard (3), Nick Weiler-Babb, Paul Zipser und Gavin Schilling
Caleb Homesley (27 Points)
Robert Lottermoser, Clemens Fritz, Armin Mutapcic
Quotes:Andrea Trinchieri, head coach FCBB: "It's difficult to talk about basketball in these dark times. It's war, and not on another planet, but close to us. People are dying, people are losing hope. There's not much we can do, but we can't ignore it either. I think we showed our support today and the only goal is to stop the war. Unfortunately, we are not learning, although the past should teach the future. All my thoughts go to the affected families, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, who are involved in this tragedy; because it is a tragedy.
The second thing today is what happened to Nick. We are very worried, but the first news from the hospital is okay; not good, but okay. He is conscious, we have to wait and see. We are lucky that we don't have to comment on the next tragedy, although on a smaller scale. [...] A player should not touch the opponent in the air. Because that is dangerous. The referees should at least look at it. [...] A player doesn't fall like that without being touched. We have to protect the players of all teams. [...]
We didn't play for 16 days and it looked like preseason in the first half, we were slow and late. [...] Many of my players were not there after (Babb's fall), only as holograms. Because we live together more than with our families, every day. If something happens to one of us, it affects everyone. We got first good news at halftime that Nick was conscious. We then played for him. [...] In the second half we scored 58 points and forced them to make bad shots. [...]
Paul sort of picked up with the car, his use was not planned and he looked at me with huge eyes: Let's go, Pauli! It's the first small step, but a big step for him: to be alive, to be part of something he's good at, to enjoy it. Privacy is very important, but believe me: I will never forget those days back then. When I called his name and he came (to substitute), I was very moved. This is just the beginning, the best is yet to come."Marko Pesic, CEO FCBB: "When Nick was taken away, he was able to move all his limbs. \[...\] I think there was a little contact that maybe happened at the most unfortunate moment. Things like that happen. \[...\] I didn't see anything from the first half after Nick's injury - except the result. I was not surprised, because something like that logically takes every coach and teammate. All the more, you have to admire the reaction of the team. I think we won the second half by 29 points. No matter what the circumstances, that's a great achievement. Respect to the team that showed incredible character, probably for Nick as well. I'm proud to be a part of this team and club in moments like this." Pedro Calles, head coach Hamburg: "First of all, I hope and wish for a quick comeback of Weiler-Babb. Secondly, I congratulate Bayern Munich on the victory. They showed an expected, much stronger physique in the second half, which we couldn't keep up with offensively and defensively."
FCBB coach Trinchieri sent Nick Weiler-Babb, Andreas Obst, Vladimir Lucic, Augustine Rubit and Leon Radosevic into the game against the Hamburg Towers as starters. With his starting five appearance, Rubit also celebrated his 200th BBL game. At 10-7 (5th) Hilliard also made his comeback after a long knee injury. The start of the game became an open exchange of blows, so that the first quarter ended with a score of 16-13 in favor of Hamburg. After the quarter break, the Hamburg team was able to extend its lead to seven points (22-15/ 12th) before Weiler-Babb hit the floor very hard on a dunk attempt and the game was interrupted for several minutes as a result. Especially the shocked players of the FCBB noticed the effects of the serious incident afterwards - Hamburg went into the halftime break with a 46-28 lead:
18 points behind after the heavy fall of Weiler-Babb
At the beginning of the second quarter, the Munich team managed an 11-0 run thanks to Obst's goals, before the Hanseatic League was successful in the person of Seth Hinrichs (48-39/ 24th) with a basket. On the side of the hosts, especially Andreas Obst (10 points in the third quarter) played his way back into this basketball evening overloaded with events. 15 seconds before the end of the quarter, Paul Zipser came back on the floor after surviving brain surgery and a hard-earned comeback - the Audi Dome was now screaming with happiness.
The third quarter then went 30-14 to FC Bayern Basketball who got to within two. In the last ten minutes of play, this emotional game continued where it had left off at the beginning: Vladimir Lucic finished brilliantly after an alley-oop play from Zan Mark Sisko (66-60/ 33rd) Leon Radosevic then pushed the Munich lead into a double-digit lead at 75-65 (36th). In crunch time, the Munich team managed to keep Hamburg - led by Caleb Homesley (27 points) - from getting back on the winning track, mainly thanks to their consistent defense. The preliminary decision of the game was made by Sisko with a three-point shot from the left wing (83-71/ 39th, before the captain Nihad Djedovic hit the final points (86-75).
(c) Eirich, Pahnke & Stickel