Bayern lose after comeback in Athens

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As expected, the start after an eternal abstinence was difficult and still ended in an avoidable defeat: In their first EuroLeague game since the beginning of March, the Bayern basketball team lost 80-67 at Panathinaikos Athens on Tuesday night and now sit at 12-11 in the updated standings (without Russian teams). "We could have fought better," coach Andrea Trinchieri said disappointedly after an unrhythmic game.


In the dreary atmosphere of the cool, deserted 18,000-man Arena Oaka, Bayern struggled for more than 40 minutes. Without any rhythm especially on defense, the Bavarians started a game that was basically only the second session on the court after the Athens final training on Monday after two weeks of Corona break. 30-20 (11th minute of the game) the guests were behind, Pana scored very well from the outside. Hilliard led Bayern back just three back at 30-27 (15th), but the hosts continuously scored at a high percentage.

At 53-40 (25th) it was the highest deficit but the spurt of threes by Sisko and Thomas brought them back in it to 53-51 (29th). Munich's turnovers, numerous free throws for Athens and Lucic's still undefined injury prevented a close game at the end in which the guests sorely missed Walden and Weiler-Babb.   



Panathinaikos Athen – FC Bayern Basketball: 80:67 (42:35)


Darrun Hilliard (15 Points), Augustine Rubit (13/ 8 Rebounds), Deshaun Thomas (12), Leon Radosevic (8/ 5 Rebounds), Ognjen Jaramaz (8), Zan Mark Sisko (5/ 5 Assists), Vladimir Lucic (4/ 3 Steals), Othello Hunter (2), Paul Zipser, Nihad Djedovic, Andreas Obst und Jason George

Topscorer Panathinaikos:

Daryl Macon (18 Points)


Daniel Hierrezuelo, Milos Koljensic, Marcin Kowalski

Points per quarter Bayern - Panathinaikos: 16-26, 19-16, 17-13, 15-25

Stats: Two-point shooting: 48% (FCBB) // 49% (Panathinaikos); Three-point shooting: 29% // 37%; Free-throw shooting: 62% // 96%; Rebounds: 34 // 38; Assists: 12 // 15; Turnovers: 9 // 10


FCBB head coach, Andrea Trinchieri: "Congratulations to Panathinaikos, they were better. The first and last quarter hurt us badly, in between we came close and made it a one-possession game. But after that we didn't have the energy and the players couldn't do the right thing at the end. This was the first game after 20 days with Covid, I expected such a bad game. But at least I would have liked to see a little more effort from some of my players. (...) For the first time in my career, I didn't have things under control after the third Corona week, in October, in January and now again. Usually by the end of March you know what your team looks like, but now we just have to stand together. We had two injuries in the last quarter with Lucic and Hunter, we had no practice. (...) It's very hard, but we still have all the chances to turn it into a successful season. But we have to stay together every day and go over the limit. (...) The war in Ukraine is a tragedy, so I don't want to think about the new standings. People are dying right now and at the same time my thoughts go to blameless players and coaches in the Russian teams. I had Covid and some time to think about the priorities of life. That's why I don't care about the ranking right now. I just know that we need to play better to win games. All my thoughts and prayers go to the people of Ukraine, there and on the other side people are suffering."

Nihad Djedovic, FCBB: "We fought until the end. We had problems before the game, as we know. Many players were in quarantine and with only a few training sessions it was also a bit unrealistic to expect more here. But we hoped and the game ended up being such that we didn't have any strength left. Nevertheless, I hope that we can train together in the near future and prepare for the next games in the best possible way. So that we can still make it with the playoffs."

Dimitris Priftis, head coach Panathinaikos: "I am very happy that we passed today. The guys deserved to win after so many problems we have. We really needed the win today."

Game Recap:

The starting five, consisting of Ognjen Jaramaz, Zan Mark Sisko, Vladimir Lucic, Augustine Rubit and Leon Radosevic, was understandably lacking rhythm. With good ball movement, the free shooters were usually found, but they had problems to get the ball into the basket. The Greeks took advantage of these initial difficulties and got into the game well via their leader Nemanja Nedovic - time-out Trinchieri (18-11/7th). Jaramaz was the first to shake off the dust with his strong move to the basket. Eight of the 16 points from the first quarter went to the account of the Bayern guard but they were still behind (26-16).

Already at the beginning of the second quarter, the Munich team showed the appropriate reaction. In less than a minute, Darrun Hilliard initiated a 7-0 run that let the guests finally arrive in the barely filled Oaka Arena (30-27/13th). The effort on the offensive boards was also right and earned the Trinchieri team ten extra shooting chances in the first half alone. In this phase, almost unnoticed, Paul Zipser made his EuroLeague comeback and played his first minutes since the historic quarterfinal series against Milan last season. Unimpressed by this, Panathinaikos managed to get to the free throw line more often. A rate of 100 percent from the line preserved the halftime lead for the Greeks (42-35).

Bayern fight their way back - Lucic has to leave the court shortly before the end

Bayern also tried to find their game in the second half. Especially from the three-point line (3 of 18), however, the search was in vain at first. Instead, they were confronted with the well-performing guard Daryl Macon, who made even the most difficult shots (53-40/25th). But the sixth-placed team in the standings was far from being defeated. Again it took only two minutes for a 9-0 run, which decided the third quarter in favor of the guests despite all adversities (55-52).  

The Athenians got off to the better start in the final quarter with easy points from Howard Sant-Roos. However, a short speech by Trinchieri was enough to get his team back on track and within one point (65-64/35th). As if the circumstances were not difficult enough, leader Lucic had to leave the floor after a blow to the thigh. The team of Dimitris Priftis took advantage of the circumstance and again pulled away with the help of the free throw line (71-64/17th). Although the Bavarians once again braced themselves with all their might against the loss, a huge three-pointer by Nemanja Nedovic finally took away the hope of a comeback (80-67).


Photos: Stickel, Moschandreou

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