Bayern's comeback falls short

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The Bayern basketball team missed its first win in the EuroLeague despite a strong fighting performance: After trailing by 17 points at times and a furious comeback to take a 60-52 lead of its own, head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team still lost 79-71 at Zenit St. Petersburg (now 3-1) on the fourth day of play.

Without Lucic, Obst, Radosevic and Zipser, who are still missing, the defense lacked coordination and physicality at the beginning: The FCBB got off to a 0-13 start and were down 27-10 after eight minutes - Zenit scored almost at will. But the guests fought their way back into single digits before the break, and at 48-47 (25) the game was suddenly turned around. The third quarter went 25-11 to Bayern but with the same score the contested final section was lost - in the end the small Munich rotation had visibly jused too much energy. Top scorers were Darrun Hilliard (24) and Corey Walden (20).

The FCBB squad returns from Russia on Friday afternoon. On Sunday, the Munich team will host the Giessen 46ers for the third game of the week, starting at 15:00. in the Audi Dome. In Europe, it continues next Thursday in Kaunas with the third away game in a row. 



BK Zenit Saint Petersburg

Top scorer: Jordan Mickey (18 Points)


Darrun Hilliard (24 Points/4 Dreier), Corey Walden (20/3 Threes/7 Assists), Augustine Rubit (8), Zan Mark Sisko (7), Othello Hunter (6), Nihad Djedovic (3), Deshaun Thomas (2), Nick Weiler-Babb (1), Ognjen Jaramaz, Gavin Schilling, Jason George und Marvin Ogunsipe


Miguel Angel Perez, Matej Boltauzer, Marko Juras



Points per quarter Bayern - Zenit: 16-31, 19-12, 2511, 11-25.

Stats: : Two-point shooting: 37 % (FCBB) // 54 % (St. Petersburg); Three-point shooting: 43 % // 35 %; Free-throw shooting: 70 % // 73 %; Rebounds: 27 // 32; Assists: 15 // 18; Turnovers: 8 // 9.


Andrea Trinchieri:

"After the first quarter, they could have spanked us. But we found a way to come back and then played great basketball for two and a half quarters, on offense and defense. In the last quarter, we gave up too many free throws and hardly got any ourselves. I have to watch the game again to understand that. Because I did feel like we should have gotten some whistles, but I'm not a referee. I think we played good defense. It's sad that we travel home without a win. We played like men today and fought back. It was not enough, but we are not giving up and we will wait for our missing players to return. I am sure we will improve because we played like a team today. (...) I have hope that maybe one of the four missing players will be back on Sunday."

Corey Walden: "We had a slow start and then came back. But towards the end we missed open shots and missed some rotations on defense. Despite the miserable start today and an 0-4 re, there were also many positive things. We fought and showed great character and gave a lot of energy. Despite the four losses, we showed in every game that we are competitive and can win. It's a long season, but we obviously need to turn things around soon now." 


Game Recap:

Trinchieri opened the second game of the Russia trip with Corey Walden, Ognjen Jaramaz, Nihad Djedovic, Augustine Rubit and Gavin Schilling. However, the depth of the Zenit squad showed from the first second: Bayern struggled against a tough defense and fell down 0-13 (5). Djedovic scored his first bucket on a three-pointer finally nearly five minutes into the game. Defensively, the Munich team couldn't get a grip and St. Petersburg had plenty of space and scored at will (24-10/8). Zenit was brimming with confidence and gave the FCBB no chance in the first quarter - 31-16.

The guests came out of the first quarter break with more bite as Hilliard and Sisko scored (31-20/12.). Two minutes later, Coach Trinchieri took a time-out because his team had already lost the thread again (35-20/14.). The Russians acted decisively both in the back and front court and looked well coordinated. The FCBB, on the other hand, was plagued with turnovers. But Sisko scored and started a 7-0 run for the guests with a three-pointer. The scoring rate of the hosts went down and Bayern finally found their way into the game. The deficit was psychologically significant as it was in single digits after 20 minutes - 43-35.

The FCBB now looked awake and came closer with five Walden points (45-40/22). The defense was agile and aggressive and the ball was moved well on offense. Walden turned the lead with his third three-pointer after halftime (48-47/25). FCBB maintained the lead, even if it was close. Now Darrun Hilliard took over and sank three threes in a row  (59-52/28.). Thanks to an impressive mental turnaround, the Munich team was ahead 60-54.

The best news after less than two minutes of the final quarter was the hosts' five team fouls, which meant two free throws for each foul for the Munich team. The lead was maintained, although Zenit clearly slowed down Bayern's game flow (62-61/34). The shots stopped falling and the FCBB conceded a 6-0 run and relinquished the lead (64-62/35). The short bench became a problem and their strength dwindled, as could be seen from the scoring rate, which plummeted (eight free throws in total). After seven of the last ten minutes, they had only scored three points and were trailing 68-63. The interpretation of the rules also looked debatable. Rubit and Walden brought their team back to 72-68 (38th), but in crunch time the Munich batteries were simply empty.

(c) Stickel & Grachev

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