Bavarians lose against Wilbekin's Maccabi 69-68
Thriller, drama, racing hearts, one last shot at a possible surprise - the new EuroLeague season of the Bayern Basketball team has picked up where it left off in 2020/2021: After trailing by a large margin at times and putting in an energetic performance, the Munich team, weakened by injuries, lost the tough road game at Israel's champion Maccabi Tel Aviv 69-68. In front of 10,352 spectators in the hot atmosphere of the sold-out Menora Arena, the German Cup winners were 17 points behind before a furious comeback that saw them in the lead until the last minute. However, Hilliard's last hard shot for a deserved victory did not fall. In the end, only Maccabi's top star Scottie Wilbekin (28) with 13 points in the last five minutes saved the day for the home team.
Without Lucic, Djedovic, Radosevic, Obst, Schilling as well as Zipser, who were in the build-up, the FCBB initially had a hard time against the favorites - not entirely unexpectedly. However, the new Bayern squad also adopted the Munich mentality of "it's never over" from the previous season: Barely five minutes after the break, the guests suddenly led and even took a nine point lead (63-54/34th) - Coach Andrea Trinchieri had deciphered Maccabi's offense. Wilbekin's wild points and Bayern's late lack of concentration ensured the narrow victory.
The Munich team will arrive back at Munich Airport as early as Friday morning. On Sunday, the defending champions will play Bamberg in the cup derby at the Audi Dome at 20:30 for a place in the quarterfinals in the German Cup. Next Thursday (Oct. 7, Audi Dome), they will face another top European team in title contender FC Barcelona on the second gameday of the top flight.
Maccabi Tel Aviv - FC Bayern Basketball 69-68
Deshaun Thomas (15 Points/7 Rebounds), Corey Walden (14), Othello Hunter (11/6 Rebounds), Augustine Rubit (10), Nick Weiler-Babb (6), Darrun Hilliard (5/6 Assists), Zan Mark Sisko (5), Ognjen Jaramaz (2), Jason George, Joshua Obiesie (dnp), Marvin Ogunsipe (dnp)
Scottie Wilbekin (28 Points)
Luigi Lamonica, Benjamin Jimenez, Luka Kardum
Points per quarter Bayern - Macabi: 18-25, 14-15, 26-16, 10-15
Stats: Two-point shooting: 55% (FCBB) // 47% (Maccabi); Three-point shooting: 32% // 32%; Free-throw shooting: 80 % // 85%; Rebounds: 34 // 26; Assists: 15 // 11; Turnovers: 12 // 9.
FCBB head coach, Andrea Trinchieri:
"This incredible game after almost two years without a spectator was a big deal, I had goosebumps. Maccabi had such a big push in the first half. We go home without a win. At the same time, we hit the twos better, we caught more rebounds, our floor rating is 18 better - but we lost because of a great performance by Scottie Wilbekin. Some things could have gone better, but we are learning in these games now with six players missing. We played with a lot of character against Maccabi, against their fans. We stayed together and kept cutting the deficit. I think we could have won and I don't feel defeated. But congratulations to Maccabi, also to their fans, they were a factor. I take a lot of confidence with me today, we played like men here."
Corey Walden: "We showed a great fight. We were able to come back from a big deficit and even take the lead. We started the second half with a good run, but we made some mistakes and Tel Aviv had some strong plays. That allowed them to take the lead again and win the game. It's tough because we could have won the game, we all played well. We were missing a few players, but that shouldn't be an excuse. But of course they would have helped us. It was the first EuroLeague game of the season and we will come back, now the next game counts."
The starting five was made up of Corey Walden, Ognjen Jaramaz, Darrun Hilliard, Deshaun Thomas and Augustine Rubit. Both teams got to their first points quickly. Walden hit his first threes of the season, countering Maccabi's steady Wilbekin (14-13/5th). But suddenly the hosts got going and pulled away to 23-16 within two minutes. A timeout by Trinchieri stopped the drive, but the first quarter went clearly to Ioannis Sfairopoulos' team (25-18).
Also in the second ten minutes, Tel Aviv stayed hot especially from the three-point line and allowed Bayern to take only difficult shots. It was not until the 15th minute that Deshaun Thomas ended the 19-2 run of his former club (35-20). But the Munich team did not give up and worked its way back into the game via the free-throw line and high intensity on the defensive side of the court. Zan Mark Sisko got past former-Bayern center Jalen Reynolds with confidence and, together with Othello Hunter, cut the deficit to eight points again at the break (40-32).
In the second half, Bayern kept the ball under the basket and found a grateful recipient in Thomas. A three-pointer by Nick Weiler-Babb finally brought the Munich team back into the game (42-41/23). And they kept going: after several stops, Weiler-Babb drained another three-pointer before sending Hunter on his way to a bucket of his ow n- (48-42/25). The game was now high-intensity, both teams hardly allowing each other air. Rubit repeatedly managed to assert himself under the basket and to get to the free-throw line. The third quarter went to the Munich team 26-16 (58-54).
The final quarter was once again characterized by the great effort of the guests. Sisko stopped ex-Munich Derrick Williams on his way to the basket and then served Hunter for a three-point play (63-54/33). For four minutes, the aggressive defense allowed no points. Wilbekin ended the lull with two extremely difficult three-pointers (65-62/36). A three-point play by the guard then evened the score three minutes before the end - 65-65. The fatigue of the decimated Bavarians was now noticeable - Hunter missed two free throws, while Wilbekin just kept hitting. But then Walden came and sank a very deep three-pointer with the clock running out (68-67 - 50 seconds to play). But Wilbekin turned the game around again at the free throw line (69-68- 26 seconds left). The last attack belonged to the Munich team: After the ball seemed to be almost lost, Thomas and then Hilliard got the chance to decide the game from the three-point line. But in the end, they lacked that little bit of luck - just like a year ago, when they narrowly lost to Milan in the opener.