A close 80-79 win in Bayreuth at Cheatham's debut

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Respect for the host's performance but the victory goes to Munich: The Bayern Basketball team celebrated its 16th win of the season in their fourth game of the week in Bayreuth, 80-79 after a southern rivalry game that was contested until the end.  In front of 3,200 fans, Zylan Cheatham (18/6 rebounds, 4 assists) had a great debut but the team had a hard time against last-place Bayreuth which demanded everything from Bayern. Hunter (18), Winston (12) and Bonga (11) also scored in double figures.

Only 24 % from three

The schedule continues with two home games: Friday at 20:30 with the EuroLeague rivalry game against Berlin and Sunday (15:00) against the MBC for the first time "Music meets Basketball for Kids" with rapper DIKKA.


First lead taken at minute 27

It was and expectedly unpleasant task with a team that has nothing to lose. Without top defenders Weiler-Babb and Gillespie (also without Rubit, Harris and Lucic) they were trailing for quite a time in this one (47-35/17th). Defense, rebounds, three-point percentage and fouls were issues but the FCBB seemed to have its part under control from the middle of the third quarter onwards (59-56/28th) - but the game remained close throughout.

Medi Bayreuth - FC Bayern Basketball 80-79


Othello Hunter (18, 7 Rebounds), Zylan Cheatham (18/6/4 Assists), Cassius Winston (12, 6 Assists), Isaac Bonga (11, 10 Rebounds), D.J. Seeley (9, 6 Rebounds), Niels Giffey (5), Corey Walden (3), Ognjen Jaramaz (3), Andreas Obst (1), Niklas Wimberg, Paul Zipser (DNP)

Bayreuth's top scorer

Otis Livingston (20 Points, 6 Assists)


Carsten Straube, Armin Mutapcic, Alexandra Pawlik



Score per quarter Bayern - Bayreuth: 17-25, 29-27, 19-10, 17-15.

Stats: Two-point shooting: 69% (FCBB) // 55% (Bayreuth); Three-point shooting: 24% // 26%; Free-throw shooting: 71% // 82%; Rebounds: 38 // 27; Assists: 20 // 14; Turnovers: 17 // 8


Andrea Trinchieri: "I've seen this film many times. We're coming off a long week, long travel and tough games, and we're playing against a team with great energy, incredible speed, hitting important shots. You just turn around, look at the scoreboard and you're down fifteen points, just like that. Today, if you take away the first quarter, we were more focused, more in the game; we did what we had to do to secure the win. (...) It was a tough battle with a team with a lot of energy, with guards like Livingston and Childress, who played very aggressively. We go home with a team victory, our bigs did a great job - Izzy Bonga with 10 rebounds. It was important to play that way to secure the win."

D.J. Seeley: "It was tough today. Bayreuth played great, offensively and defensively. If they play like that, they can stay in the league. But we fought through it and won in the end. The schedule is difficult, we travel a lot and have some injured players. So it took some time to wake up and get rolling. But we're not looking for excuses. We're trying to get into a rhythm game by game, move the ball well and win."

Zylan Cheatham: "First impressions are it's a great environment, incredible competition, everyone gave it their all until the last play. Kudos to Bayreuth, but kudos to us as well for fighting and getting the win."

Game recap:

Cassius Winston, D.J. Seeley, Niels Giffey, Isaac Bonga and Othello Hunter started the game for Bayern and were immediately smacked in the mouth by the home team. BBL veteran Basti Doreth distributed the ball briskly and got his team off to a good start (12-6/ 5th minute). The FCBB on the other hand, needed some time to get rolling. Three mistakes in the first six minutes prompted Trinchieri to call the first timeout. The hosts were playing with their hair on fire at this point and had the hottest hands on the court with top scorer Brandon Childress (eleven points in the first quarter). The only bright spot for Munich was that Zylan Cheatham made his debut and scored his first BBL points at the end of the first ten minutes - 25-17.

It remained noisy in the almost sold-out Oberfankenhalle in the second quarter thanks to five quick points from center Kalif Young, followed by an alley-oop from Nat Diallo. Trinchieri raged after a rebound by the home side and took another timeout early to calm down - 34-24 (12th minute). With effort, his team worked its way back into the game via Bonga and Hunter, much of which came from the free throw line. Bayreuth alone had 19 attempts in the first half (14 on Bayern's side). Winston, in particular, felt the brunt of the physical play and had to sit on the bench with a three personal fouls. The bottom team in the BBL had a six-point lead at halftime (52-46).


Bayreuth continues to press the pace, Bayern tightens up defensively

In the second half Bayern managed to prevent another great start from Medi. Although the hosts continued to look for the quick shots they stopped falling with ease. But Bayern also needed more than three minutes for the first points as the second half slogged on (56-48/24th). Again it was Bonga who carried his team along and did not shy away from the basket. Seeley also managed to grab two offensive rebounds - timeout Drijencic (56-53). The key to the comeback, however, lay in the defense. The Upper Franconians only managed four points over seven minutes in the third quarter. A 13-0 run, capped by a putback dunk from Cheatham, gave Munich its first lead shortly before the end of the third quarter (65-63).

In the final quarter, it was up to the third-place team in the standings to withstand the urgent fight of the relegation-threatened team. Winston and Cheatham took on this task and managed a four-point lead, 70-66 (32nd). Top scorer Otis Livingston kept the game tied up four minutes before the end - 74-74. Hunter started to heat up providing a second chance and sinking the shot against two opponents at the basket. But the fatigue from two EuroLeague performances during the week was hard to wipe away. Cheatham still had reserves in his fresh legs and completed a three-point play to take the lead again (79-77/39th). A short time later he hit one of two free-throws and left open a chance for Bayreuth to tie the game via three-pointer (80-77/ with 13 seconds left). Childress took the tough shot - and missed it. Although Doreth got the rebound he could only cut the deficit to one with the final siren (80-79).


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