Bonga's great night not enough for Bayern against Bonn

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The Bayern basketball team will remain in third place for the time being: Munich was also unable to win the hard-fought second matchup against BBL second place team the Telekom Baskets Bonn in a 77-73 thriller at the Audi Dome, which was once again sold out with 6,500 fans.

Early deficit proves too much

The FCBB (without Lucic, Obst, Hunter and Harris) had an expectedly difficult start into the fourth game of the week (32-18/14th). Bonn attacked aggressively on offense and Bayern struggled to keep up.

It was Izzy Bonga who shouldered the team with 17 of his 28 points already before the break. On the opposite side, Shorts (26) was - as always - the focus. At 66-55 (32nd) the comeback seemed to be too far off and it proved to be true.


FC Bayern Basketball - Telekom Baskets Bonn 77-73


Isaac Bonga (28 Points/9 Rebounds/5 Threes), D.J. Seeley (9/3 Dreier), Corey Walden (8), Augustine Rubit (8, 5 Rebounds), Niklas Wimberg (7), Cassius Winston (5), Niels Giffey (4), Nick Weiler-Babb (2), Freddie Gillespie (2, 5 Blocks), Ognjen Jaramaz, Paul Zipser.

Bonn's top scorer

TJ Shorts (26 Points)


Anne Panther, Christof Madinger, Clemens Fritz


6,500 (sell-out)

Score per quarter Bayern - Bonn: 15-27, 21-12, 19-22, 18-16.

Stats: Two-point shooting: 42 % (FCBB) // 55 % (Bonn); Three-point shooting: 42 % // 41 %; Free-throw shooting: 77 % // 86 %; Rebounds: 18 // 26; Assists: 15 // 16; Turnovers: 12 // 13


Andrea Trinchieri: "Congratulations to Bonn. Our first quarter was really bad. But then we were able to hold them at twelve and 16 points in two quarters. We had a chance to win, but at that moment we lost the rhythm. Our offense was not good enough and our defense against Shorts was very bad in the second half. That's why we lost. (...) We started so badly because we were not ready for such a game. We were soft and didn't play hard offensively or defensively. This attitude really bothers me a lot. We played and fought - but not to win. And that's a capital sin. Our guards were bad offensively, they missed seven lay-ups and that affected their defense as well. We would have loved to win. I've been to the BBL Finals five times, not always from the first seed. So the ranking and the loss are not the real tragedy; it's how we played."

Isaac Bonga: "In a game like this, you have to perform with an appropriate intensity. Still, we kept our chances open to win the game. Against Bonn you have to be in the game for 40 minutes, that was a bit hard for us today. Although TJ Shorts is of course a very good player, we could have won. Physically, it was EuroLeague level today, but we don't really think about that kind of thing. We want to win every game, but unfortunately it wasn't enough. Of course, a game like this helps me to get into an offensive rhythm, but in the end it doesn't help if we don't win."

Bonn coach, Tuomas Iisalo: "I'm happy how we started the game with a ton of energy. We really shook Bayern in the first quarter. But they are a very good team and a very tough opponent. They came back and in the end it could have gone either way. But we have a lot of confidence and good chemistry, everyone knows their role. This is a very important win for us, also looking at the overall situation. The two EuroLeague games (of Bayern) had about zero impact on the energy today. Every team does the best with what they have. It's not my job to analyze how energetic the other team is. We had a game on Wednesday in Spain. Nobody is interested in excuses like that. You just play and see which team is better and wins. What happened before that doesn't matter at all."

Game recap:

Cassius Winston, Nick Weiler-Babb, Niels Giffey, Niklas Wimberg and Freddie Gillespie started against the second-place team in the BBL. Bonn started the game strong and surprised Munich with a 7-0 run. In the first five minutes of the game, the FCBB lost four turnovers and the offensive engine sputtered considerably. The guests scored well from beyond the three-point line and aggressively offensively rebounded, which soon put the deficit at double digits. Coach Trinchieri felt it was time for a timeout (16-6/6th minute of play). Gradually, an offensive rhythm began to emerge, one three-pointer each from Seeley and from Bonga brought the score to 19-12 (8th). The FCBB, however, had great difficulty defending the fast-paced offense from Bonn who seemed to score at will. After the first quarter, the FCBB were surprisingly clearly behind - 27-15.

Bayern picks it up on defense

In the second quarter, nothing changed at first and Bayern remained without a basket for more than two minutes. Rubit got the fans a bit into the game with a three-pointer to make it 28-18 (13th). The dozen masked Bonn fans were in their top carnival mood and for good reason because Bonn retained their big lead (32-20/15th). As so often, good defense and resulting stops were the formula for which to catch up - and it worked: free throws from Bonga and a jumper by Winston shortened the gap to 33-24, time-out Bonn (16th). Bayern was now in rhythm, and Bonn made mistakes. Munich streaked to an 11-1 run and got to within four points, 33-29 (18th). Bonga was unstoppable, either in takes to the basket or by sinking threes (38-34/19th). He was everywhere, even after Giffey's missed shot he grabbed the rebound and scored to make it 39-36. By halftime he had already collected 17 points.

Niklas Wimberg with a good performance
Niklas Wimberg with a good performance (Photo: Stickel)

Shorts stands tall

Trinchieri took a timeout after 100 seconds because his team conceded six quick points (45-36/22nd). Bonn's star guard, TJ Shorts, was unstoppable and scored at will while Winston countered with a three-pointer (47-41/24th). Bonga's performance grew into one for the ages and with two more three-pointers the Munich team stayed in the game 51-47 (26th).  D.J. Seeley contributed important points from beyond the three-point line, but Bayern was unable to take the lead, 61-55 after 30 minutes.

A thrilling top game with a dramatic finish

Events from the first quarter repeated themselves and  Bonn jumped ahead so quickly that Munich was caught completely on their back foot. Walden's three-point play to make it 66-58 came just in time (32nd). Shorts was the lynchpin for the guests and the FCBB just couldn't get a grip on him. Bonga's next three-pointer kept the fans' hopes alive, as did Wimberg's to keep them at seven points back (73-66/37th). Crunch time was approaching, and the drama still had a lot in store: Walden danced through the Bonn zone and scored and Wimberg took advantage of a turnover by Shorts for a dunk - 73-70 with 123 seconds left. The fans stood and cheered with everything they had. A great defensive sequence prevented a score and Bonga cut it to 73-72 with a fadeaway. On defense, Bonga won the ball by provoking an offensive foul but then Bayern turned it over themselves. Bonn had possession with 19 seconds on the clock. Shorts was fouled and hits both free throws. Bayern needed a three-pointer. Walden was fouled and missed the second free-throw one on purpose and Giffey got the rebound, but couldn't secure it cleanly to a teammate. The ball landed in the hands of Bonn's Karsten Tadda who sank both free throws after the immediate foul and Bayern's hopes were lost.