Five costly minutes in a thriller at Fenerbahce
The favorites staggered late but remained standing in the end: Bayern Basketball lost the difficult road game of the double week in the EuroLeague at Fenerbahce Istanbul 79-7 just 48 hours after the 92-79 win in Munich against Baskonia. The weak third quarter (10-21) and Fener's top class was enough in the end to determine the winner.
The FCBB around top scorer Rubit (21) has seven wins after 19 games. On Sunday, Bayern will play in Ludwigsburg (18:00./MagentaSport).
Bayern scored well and led almost the entire first quarter before Fener pulled away for the first time before the break to make it 38-31 (17th) due in large part to superior rebounding (19-11).
After the break, the offensive rhythm broke (66-43/28th) and Fener doubled-up Bayern with rebounds. Nearly five minutes without points were unfortunately too much against a top team and Bayern left Turkey with a loss (75-71/40).
Augustine Rubit (21 Points), Cassius Winston (12), Nick Weiler-Babb (9), Corey Walden (7, 7 Assists, 4 Steals), Freddie Gillespie (6, 8 Rebounds), Elias Harris (6), Ognjen Jaramaz (4), Niels Giffey (2), Othello Hunter (2), Isaac Bonga (2), Paul Zipser, Niklas Wimberg (n.e.)
Johnathan Motley (22 Points)
Daniel Hierrezuelo, Arturas Sukys, Luka Kardum
Score per quarter Bayern - Fener: 18-19, 21-27, 10-21, 22-12.
Stats: Two-point shooting: 59 % (FCBB) // 50 % (Fenerbahce); Three-point shooting: 27 % // 33 %; Free-throw shooting: 72 % // 74 %; Rebounds: 25 // 44; Assists: 17 // 16; Turnovers: 10 // 14.
Andreas Trinchieri: "I'll give you the crucial numbers: 44 to 28 rebounds and only one three-pointer in the second half, you can't win basketball with that at this level. They destroyed us under our own basket. You can't win the game like that. (...) Normally, in a game like this you lose away from home by 20, 25 points. But we didn't give up, played better and believed in ourselves. We were up by four with a free throw. We had a terrible third quarter and never boxed out under the basket today. The area where we can improve is in our minds. When you play every 48 hours, you make mental mistakes and it's difficult. Still, we kept playing and got beat by a good team. (....) We looked dead after the third quarter, but we even had a chance to win: dead men walking. (...) Congratulations to Fenerbahce, they were better in the end."
Augustine Rubit: "We did a good job of battling back, but you can't let a team dominate on the boards like that. We improved on certain things because you don't want to quit like we did in the second quarter or play like we did in the third. We then improved, but just not enough."
Fener head coach, Dimitris Itoudis: "We had the game under control. We were very hard-nosed today, congratulations to our players for that. We are coming out of a phase where we had problems with rebounding. But today we fought. We also shot well. But we thought with a good 20-point lead that the game was over. So respect to Bayern and all the other teams in the EuroLeague. It's like they say in this league: it's never over until the fat lady sings. We thought it was over too early, but after that we fought again until the end."
For the start of the long road trip, Cassius Winston, Nick Weiler-Babb, Isaac Bonga, Augustine Rubit and Freddie Gillespie were the starting five. Bayern got off to a hot start as they did in the home win over Baskonia (92-79). Weiler-Babb hit a three-pointer against Calathes, Rubit hook-shot against Motley. But the stars from the Bosporus also got off to a good start on offense. Ex-Munich player, Devin Booker, made his way under the basket and slammed it home after a missed Calathes floater (14-12/7th). Again and again, the Turks used the pick-and-roll to put their big players in good positions to score. Kostas Antetokounmpo and Marko Guduric secured the narrow lead after a balanced first quarter - 19-18.
After a misunderstanding in the offense, head coach Andrea Trinchieri had seen enough already after 30 seconds in the second quarter and called a timeout. After the short break Munich found both their focus and their bigmen Hunter and Harris under the basket. But Fenerbahce's offense was still working just as well as in the first (33-27/15th). Feners number three guard, Carsen Edwards, suddenly ran hot and put up a quick nine points. A completely unimpressed Rubit kept the guests in the game with his efficient mid-range shots. The forward even added a rarely seen three to his 13 points at halftime. Two tough shots by Booker and Wilbekin nevertheless gave Fener a seven-point lead at the break (46-39).
Fener turns up the heat, Bayern fails to score
In the second half, Wilbekin finally made his mark on the game. The point guard, who usually performed well against Bayern, opened Istanbul's run with two mid-range shots. Winston tried to take responsibility offensively and scored at the basket but against the strong defense of Fener, the Trinchieri team was now struggling to score. In seven minutes they scored only four points - 64-43. Meanwhile, the Turks' 13 offensive rebounds had the Munich head coach on the sidelines raving. The team now seemed to be getting more tired with every minute, which Fener punished with an increased lead. Motley dominated the boards with 17 rebounds while Guduric pumped up the fans with a three-pointer. With a 21-10 quarter the game was in serious jeopardy (67-49).
Comeback falls short
In the final quarter Istanbul's head coach Dimitris Itoudis gave the impression that he wanted to secure victory at all costs after losing the last five games. After just one minute, the Greek warned his team to be careful - and rightly so. Out of nowhere, the home side made several careless mistakes and Munich did not give up and came closer again with a 12-0 run (69-61/36th). Time alone was now running against the fighting FCBB Two minutes before the end, Winston cut the deficit to six points and with a ridiculously difficutly shot including a foul, Rubit brought the game, which was already thought lost, back within striking distance (75-71/ 35 seconds left). But the bonus free throw didn't drop. Wilbekin did better with 19 seconds on the clock and brought the game home with free throws - 79-71.