Audi Dome boils over with 83-77 triumph over title favorite Milan
What a show, what a triumph: The Bayern basketball team, together with a good 4,000 enthusiastic fans, brought the Audi Dome to the boil on Tuesday evening in their duel with the EuroLeague favorites Olimpia Milan. After the FCBB's best performance of the season so far, the Italian record champions surprisingly conceded their first ever defeat against Munich 83-77. For the team of head coach Andrea Trinchieri it was the second victory in a row, the crowd sparked a unique atmosphere and celebrated the big surprise.
After a strong start (18-13/7), the German Cup winner was suddenly ahead 76-67 in the final quarter against the ultra-experienced star ensemble around Kyle Hines after two Walden threes (37).Milan lost the important rebound duel 30-33 and could hardly score from distance against Bayern's outstanding defense.
This time, the hosts had to compensate for the absence of playmaker Sisko (sick at short notice) in addition to Radosevic and Zipser still riding the pine due to injury. The top scorers were Lucic (20), Hilliard (17), Walden (16) and Rubit (9).
On Wednesday, the Munich team will travel to Berlin, where the German EuroLeague derby will take place on Thursday (20:00./MagentaSport).
Vladimir Lucic (20 Points), Darrun Hilliard (17), Corey Walden (16), Augustine Rubit (9), Othello Hunter (9/10 Rebounds), Deshaun Thomas (8), Nick Weiler-Babb (2), Gavin Schilling (2), Ognjen Jaramaz, Nihad Djedovic, Andreas Obst und Jason George.
Nicolo Melli (16 Points)
Sreten Radovic, Juan Carlos Garcia, Saulius Racys
Quotes:Andrea Trinchieri: "The key was our defense in the second half and finding the right players at the right time. Walden, Hilliard and Lucic created an advantage, but the big guys did a sensational job on defense in switching. We were very good as a team. Whatever I say about Lucic's special role is too little. You can see it on the court, you can see it in the faces of his teammates when he's on the floor. (...) We started our season with some problems, but at least in this moment we understood what to do to get better. It was a great game, against a very good defense with a lot of length. I think we played very smart basketball in the last quarter. And we just did what we could in favor of offensive production. We won the game with the rebounds because we switched a lot. We played as a team and I'm really happy. (...) Milan, when Hines and Melli are on the court together, has the two smartest bigs on defense in the entire EuroLeague. So you have to stay away from them. I think we had a team offense despite only nine assists - we played the only offense possible that could make a win possible. But the keys were rebounding and a great fight on defense against great one-on-one players like Rodriguez and Shields. (...) Hilliard was very important because he can create his own shot, Walden was also important, as was Lucic - but you also need other players to sacrifice so those players can be an advantage. I think Thomas, Hunter or even Rubit were very important to have the possibility to win. It's always a team. I know millions of coaches with good game plans - but it's critical that you have players who execute that plan." Darrun Hilliard: "This was definitely our best performance so far against a strong and well-coached Milan team. It feels great and is a big and deserved win. But on Thursday against Berlin we have another important task to solve. Last year, Milan prevailed in the playoffs, but this Bayern team is a completely different one. We come in here and face every opponent, we want to win every single game, whether that's Milan, Barcelona or Fenerbahce. We just want to play well and win. The rivalry with Berlin is a special one, in the second game in two days we have to go out there and get another win in the EuroLeague." Corey Walden: "It was a very good atmosphere in the hall to turn the game in the last quarter and get the win. It was a tough game. We showed greatness and toughness. That's how we managed to do it. Defense was the key to the win, plus we pulled off plays at the end and hit the important shots."
Corey Walden, Vladimir Lucic, Darrun Hilliard, Gavin Schilling and Augustine Rubit started against the Italians, who are still unbeaten in the top flight league. Schilling worked well on the offensive boards and put home the first bucket of the night (2-0/1st minute of play). The fans showed up and the Munich team acted very focused and with a lot of energy - 10-4 after just under four minutes. Milan countered with enormous quality and leader Lucic answered with a three-pointer (14-8/5). The FCBB made minor mistakes, which were immediately exploited by Olimpia. After ten minutes, the guests had the lead thanks to a strong phase including a 9-2 run - 24-21.
Othello Hunter continued the upward trend from the Kaunas game and scored two goals with verve to regain the lead (25-24/12.). Milan's defense caused Trinchieri's team enormous problems, because there was hardly a way through to the basket. Walden fought back with a three-pointer, Rubit contributed a three-point play (31-30/16.). The opponents delivered a gripping fight with several lead changes while Munich had many good chances for open shots but failed to convert.
However, the Munich team kept up the fight on defense and in offensive rebounding - the fans cheered every successful action with great enthusiasm and without masks. The players rewarded the terrific support with an even score at halftime - 39-39.
After the change of sides, Lucic gave his team a perfect start to the third quarter with a three-pointer. The quality of the action on the floor was remarkable as Bayern maintained the narrow lead (49-47/24.). Lucic's third foul was annoying because Trinchieri sent him to the bench for safety's sake. But even without him, the Munich team was on its toes and pulled away with a passionate 9-0 run to take a 56-47 lead (26). Milan did everything to come back, and Hilliard's spirited three-pointer came just in time (59-51/29). After 30 minutes, FCBB was 59-54 in front and a crackling tension was in the air.
Bayern scored three quick points to start the quarter and they convinced with clever ball movement and an impressive scoring rate (64-57/31). Milan's Sergio Rodriguez, former Trinchieri protégé Nicolo Melli and EuroLeague warhorse Luigi Datome threw their extra class into the balance and led their team back up and past the FCBB - time-out (67-66/34.). Bayern now defended outstandingly and forced Milan's coach Ettore Messina, after a furious 7,0 run, to take a time out (73-67/36.). Corey Walden now put his stamp on the game with another three-pointer (10-0 run -76-67/36). Olimpia, of course, did not give up and responded with a 5-0 run, which only Lucic stopped with a basket (78-72/ 113 seconds left). After a quick goal by Datome, Lucic served Thomas, who sank the three-pointer and Bayern rewarded their fans with a huge home victory.
(c) Eirich & Sampics