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Fans at the Audi Dome celebrate a big win

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Second game in the new year, second win: At the end of thefirst half of the EuroLeague season, the Bayern Basketball team defeated the top Greek team, Panathinaikos Athens, 84-68. 6,500 fans in the sold-out Audi Dome saw a disciplined tactical performance by the hard-fighting FCBB, which held top scorer Bacon (21.2 ppg) to two points until the final quarter. For the winners, Rubit (23), Bonga (11), Hunter and Gillespie (10 each) were top scorers.

A strong Gillespie 

Still without Lucic and Obst, the FCBB entered a very physical duel and their defense stood strong (30-17/14th). At the beginning of the second half Gillespie was already on his way to a double-double (10/10) and Walden had to sit with muscular problems. 67-46 was the biggest lead of the game and it was enough to wrap things up early.

Now it is a three-day wait until the huge game at the sold-out BBL matchup against Alba Berlin on Sunday (Jan. 8, 18:00), On Tuesday EuroLeague 2nd-place Baskonia Vítoria - who lost 85-84 in their last game come to visit.

Tickets vs Baskonia

FC Bayern Basketball - Panathinaikos Athen 84-68

FCBB:

Augustine Rubit (23 Points), Isaac Bonga (11/5 Rebounds), Freddie Gillespie (10/10 Rebounds), Othello Hunter (10/9 Rebounds), Nick Weiler-Babb (8), Elias Harris (8), Cassius Winston (4), Ognjen Jaramaz (4), Niels Giffey (4), Corey Walden (2), Paul Zipser, Niklas Wimberg (n.e.)

Top scorer Athen:

Dwayne Bacon (18 Points)

Referee

Sasa Pukl, Milivoje Jovcic, Tomasz Trawicki

Attendance

6,500 (sell-out)

Score per quarter Bayern - Athens: 21-11, 23-17, 18-16, 23-24.

Stats: Two-point shooting: 59 % (FCBB) // 41 % (Athen); Three-point shooting: 35 % // 33 %; Free-throw shooting: 81 % // 55 %; Rebounds: 40 // 31; Assists: 14 // 7; Turnovers:  10 // 8

Quotes:          

Andrea Trinchieri: "It was an excellent game from us on both sides of the court. We played as a team on offense and defense and found players like Aug (Rubit) who were inspired on offense. We moved the ball well against a team that has a lot of talent. You saw what Bacon can do when he was unstoppable in the last seven minutes. This is a great win after missing players and coming home without a win after solid away games. That's why we wanted this one so badly and deserved it. We didn't have time to prepare after playing 48 hours earlier in Rostock. This is a real team win from a team that has clear ideas and executed the gameplan excellently with great team spirit. (...) We now play more as a team and have increased the level of intensity, on attack and on defense. We solve everything together and try to play faster. Today we were very good at getting the ball inside, where we were very effective. That's why we didn't have to shoot as much from the outside this time."

Augustine Rubit: "This was a very important win for us and our goal to improve after our last two EuroLeauge games. It's great that we achieved that today."

Freddie Gillespie: "A big factor today was our defense, which is our stable. We have good defenders on the team and a lot of guys have a good mentality on defense. That paid off for us today."

Niels Giffey: "For us, it was important to finish quickly on offense and not drop into the half court too much. We moved the ball well and controlled Bacon, who is so obviously talented, well for a long time. Defensively, we put in a good effort today. (...) We found consistency in our game; there was no kink in our offense today either. We continue to build our season, although we still have injuries, with Lucic and Andi. That's annoying, nevertheless we want to get better and better and get a few more wins in the second half."              

Game recap:

Coach Trinchieri opened the first EuroLeague game of 2023 at the Audi Dome with Cassius Winston, Nick Weiler-Babb, Isaac Bonga, Augustine Rubit and Freddie Gillespie. The energy of the fans was immediately transferred to the court as Bayern defended excellently well. Not everything worked out in attack  but after four minutes of play the FCBB led 5-4 through buckts from Rubit and Winston. After the lead had changed hands several times, Bonga came completely free for a three-point attempt and sank the ball to make it 12-9 (6th). The basket heralded an 8-0 run that former Bayern coach Dejan Radonjic tried to stop with a timeout (17-9/8th). The Munich defense held strong and the guests remained without a basket for several minutes. Elias Harris asserted himself under the basket of the Greeks to make it 19-9 (9th). Some turnovers by the FCBB prevented a bigger lead but they still held a double-digit lead at 21-11.

Bayern shines from beyond the arc (50%)

Athens intensified their defense in the second quarter but Bayern fought back with a strong move by Bonga and a three-pointer by Hunter (26-15/12th). Again, it was the defense that allowed Munich to quietly dominate (30-17/14th). A timeout by the Greeks broke the Bayern rhythm and the guests came close via a 6-0 run. Gillespie managed to stop the momentum shift with an energetic dunk after an offensive rebound (32-23/16th). "Get the ball to Rubit!" was an excellent motto as the forward was unstoppable and scored twice with confidence to make it 38-28 (18th). Othello Hunter pulled the fans out of their seats at the end of the second quarter with a big three to take a 15-point lead, 43-28.

Corey Walden and Bayern get their sixth win of the season
Corey Walden and Bayern get their sixth win of the season. (Photo: Stickel)

Gillespie earns a double-double

Bayern lost momentum for a short time after the change of ends and Panathinaikos wanted to take advantage and reduce the deficit but the Bayern defense remained strong. More than three minutes into the third quarter, Gillespie stepped in not only on defense with strong rebounding but also on offense with smart footwork and two baskets (47-32/25th). Derrick Williams, formerly with Bayern, drilled two three-pointers to keep Athens within reach (55-41/29th). The supposedly large lead was deceptive and Trinchieri had to remind his team to stay focused. Harris faltered from the free-throw line, but two great defensive sequences by FCBB led to quick buckets by Giffey and Harris. The icing on the cake was a crafty tip-in on an offensive rebound by Othello Hunter to make it 61-44 after three quarters.

Bayern dominates

The fans rose to their feet at the start of the fourth and Weiler-Babb took advantage and knocked in a three-pointer to make it 64-44. Gillespie grabbed the tenth rebound on the offensive board and completed his double-double (69-49/32nd). Athens' Dwayne Bacon turned up the heat and scored eleven points in a row, but Augustine Rubit matched him step for step and helped keep the lead (76-60/35th). Every player showed an irrepressible will to win and they fought for every ball. Bonga and Weiler-Babb confidently sank their shots but Panathinaikos didn't give up either and again it was Williams who reduced the lead to 82-68 with a three-pointer - time-out Trinchieri (118 seconds left). A Harris dunk put an exclamation mark on the game and led to the sixth victory in the EuroLeague for the FCBB.

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