Bayern takes Barcelona to the brink of defeat

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The upset was in the air but Bayern Basketball lost 72-70 favorite FC Barcelona on Thursday nigh. Despite major injury problems, they put up a spirited resistance until the last shot. The Spanish star ensemble pulled off the victory after Bayern tied it at 70-70. Weiler-Babb (15), Jaramaz (12), Rubit (10), Walden and Wimberg (9 each) scored best.

The undermanned Munich team (without Lucic, Obst, Harris and Hunter) also had to do without Coach Trinchieri due to a family bereavement.

Despite these handicaps, they held their own (38-36/22nd) and defended very well. Barça's tempo was effectively controlled, but foul problems with Gillespie and Rubit further complicated the task. The three-point percentage (29%) also didn't help.


Top game vs Bonn on Sunday

A BBL top game now awaits the FCBB at the Audi Dome on Sunday against second-place Bonn (20:30).

Tickets vs Bonn

FC Barcelona – FC Bayern Basketball 72-70

Top scorer FCBB:

Nick Weiler-Babb (15 Points/3 Threes), Ognjen Jaramaz (12), Augustine Rubit (10/5 Rebounds), Corey Walden (9), Niklas Wimberg (9/5 Reb), Cassius Winston (4), Niels Giffey (4), Freddie Gillespie (3), D.J. Seeley (2), Isaac Bonga (2), Paul Zipser.

Barcelona top scorer:

Nikola Mirotic (12 Points)


Ilja Belosevic, Emin Mogulkoc, Mario Majkic



Score per quarter Bayern - Barcelona: 14-21, 19-13, 14-17, 23-21.

Stats: Two-point shooting: 47 % (FCBB) // 45 % (Barcelona); Three-point shooting: 29 % // 42 %; Free-throw shooting: 94 % // 70 %; Rebounds: 31 // 36; Assists: 9 // 21; Turnovers: 9 // 10


Adriano Vertemati: "Congratulations to Barcelona for the victory. We played a very solid game and had the chance to win with the last shot. We had to do without many players and the head coach, plus we were in foul trouble. But we played smartly to stay in the game until the end. That's why I'm proud of the team, but now we have to take this great mentality and vibes into the important game we have against Bonn on Sunday."

Ognjen Jaramaz: "It doesn't feel good because we lost. We had the last shot to win, I missed it, that's why I'm not in a very good mood now. It's especially annoying after the game in Valencia. We had good minutes, but we weren't consistent. If we had done a few little things better, we could have won this game. If you take both games of the week together, from which we go 0.2, it could easily have been a 2-0. That's why it has a bitter taste now. But we have to go on and fight back, we have a very important game on Sunday. We have to win that and that would be very important for us as a team, for confidence and also for the standings."


Game recap:

Cassius Winston Nick Weiler-Babb, Isaac Bonga, Augustine Rubit and Freddie Gillespie formed the starting five for coach Adriano Vertemati's. The team of Trinchieri's replacement played quite well and four different players had scored and it was tied up at 10-10 after five minutes of play. A few bad offensive plays from Munich were enough for Mirotic and Co. to pull away with a 7-0 run. Jaramaz ended these rough three minutes with a floater (17-12/8th). After quarter number one, the Bavarians were trailing 21-14.

The double week in the Euroleague shows its effects

Barça switched down a gear on offense and stopped scoring which allowed Bayern to cut the deficit to 21-20 (13th).  But the Catalan giant, loaded with quality, woke up again and easily pulled away with another 7-0 run (28-20/16th). Seeley and EuroLeague MVP of the month January, Augustine Rubit, kept the guests in the game (31-24/18th). How energy-sapping a double game day is for both teams was clearly visible in the energy level and the heavy legs led to heavy shots. At the end of the first half Bayern was only down one at 34-33.

Nick Weiler-Babb was top scorer with 15 points
Nick Weiler-Babb was top scorer with 15 points (Photo: Stickel)

Munich fights and stays in it

A great play by Weiler-Babb brought the first lead of the game for Bayern at 38-36. The Munich team managed to create good shots but they wouldn't drop. Barcelona, on the other hand, managed their next run, this time 8-0 to make it 44-38, forcing a timeout from Vertemati (25th). Bayern's defense picked up their play and disrupted the Catalans' rhythm. Corey Walden calmly sank all three free throws after a foul on a three-point attempt to make it 44-43 (27th). The FCBB played passionately and fought on defense despite tired leg. After three Bayern was down 51-47.

Jaramaz gets hot but misses the winning shot

Barça's shot selection improved and Bayern's worsened as the home team took a seven-point lead.. A Munich timeout attempted to break the momentum after the Spanish team took the lead into double digits (61-51/34th). The injuries and the loss of energy were now clearly noticeable for Munich as well as Barcelona. In a game with so few points, a ten-point difference was a considerable task, but two baskets from Walden and a three-pointer by Jaramaz gave hope again - time-out Barcelona (63-58/36th). Weiler-Babb completed the 7-0 run for Bayern which Vesely stopped with a basket of his own (65-60/38th). Barcelona took the lead at several different points but Bayern refused to call it quits. Jaramaz hit a three-pointer to make it 70-68, and after a steal he was fouled on a lay-up and sank both free throws to make it 70-70 (65 seconds left). The FCBB did a great job on defense but Cory Higgins still managed to score with a great play (72-70/ 22 seconds left). Jaramaz had a solid shot from to win it at the buzzer but it didn't find the net.