Banged-up Bayern can't keep up with Piraeus
With four top-players missing, this was a hard nut to crack. After two recent victories, Bayern Basketball lost 102-74 at in-form EuroLeague leader Olympiakos Piraeus in front of 10,000 fans. However, besides Rubit and Harris, Coach Trinchieri was again missing captain Lucic and also Weiler-Babb (private reasons) and Walden (cold), who stayed in the hotel.
Berlin visits on Friday
In the BBL, the FCBB will host 18th-place Bayreuth on Sunday, and next Friday at 20:30, EuroLeague last-place Berlin comes to the Audi Dome for the top rivalry game.
Bayern starts 15-0 in the hole
The Greek favorite caught the German Cup winner with a punch to the guts in the starting quarter (26-12) and ten threes (a total of 19 at an incredible 63.3%) found the net before the break. A 15-0 deficit was too much for the FCBB to overcome (top scorer Bonga with 16 points) despite good morale until the end.
Olympiakos Piraeus - FC Bayern Basketball 102-74
Isaac Bonga (16 Points, 3 Threes, 5 Rebounds), Niels Giffey (11), Ognjen Jaramaz (11, 3 Threes), Cassius Winston (7), Freddie Gillespie (6, 6 Reb), Othello Hunter (5), Andreas Obst (5), Niklas Wimberg (5), Paul Zipser (5), D.J. Seeley (3).
Sasha Vezenkov (18 Points)
Sreten Radovic, Matej Boltzauer, Maxime Boubert
Score per quarter Bayern - Piraeus 12-26, 23-29, 30-26, 9-21.
Stats: Two-point shooting: 50% (FCBB) // 67% (Piraus); Three-point shooting: 40% // 63%; Free-throw shooting: 77% // 87%; Rebounds: 21 // 32; Assists: 17 // 27; Turnvoers: 13 // 12
Andrea Trinchieri: "First of all, I would like to sincerely congratulate Georgios (Bartzokas) and Olympiakos for the quality of their basketball on both sides of the court. Today the task was too big for my players without four players from the starting five. We tried to find a way, but did not succeed. Was had a good quarter, the third and the rest were very difficult to fight. On one side was the high quality of a team that has great chemistry and moves the ball incredibly well, they made 19 threes and that's not easy even with open shots. On the other side, we didn't understand how to play when we were in need in the first quarter. We were better in the second and third - but that was definitely not enough against the best team in the EuroLeague right now."
Ognjen Jaramaz: "This is a tough loss for us. We allowed them a lot of shots, especially from the three-point line. They also hit unbelievable shots, which was certainly a key for their victory. But we have to keep our heads up because we had good games before. Now we have to focus on the next game (on Sunday against Bayreuth)."
FCBB head coach Andrea Trinchieri sent Cassius Winston, Andreas Obst, Isaac Bonga, Niklas Wimberg and Freddie Gillespie to the floor at the start of the game. The likely MVP of the top division, Sasha Vezenko, initiated a 12-0 lightning start for the Greeks and Trinchieri resorted to a timeout after barely four minutes. But the discussion didn't work and Bayern simply couldn't get anything going against Olympiakos' strong defense. After more than five minutes, Bonga scored for the first time for Bayern (15-3/6 minutes). The FCBB gradually found a small kind of rhythm but by the end of the first quarter they were down by double digits, 26-12.
Olympiakos plays a clean game
A Zipser three-pointer to start the second quarter was a boost to the spirts and Bonga brought the deficit back to single digits (26-17/11.). Although Munich remained calm and fought on, Olympiakos responded with brutal efficiency and their threes rushed into Bayern's basket as if pulled by a string (38-22/15th). Obst a three-pointer of his own and brought the score to 43-27 (16th). Trinchieri passionately appealed to his team to dig their heels in on defense, but it didn't really work. Gillespie grabbed a few rebounds but not enough was happening up front. It was a different story for the Greeks who hit 66 percent of their shots from beyond the three-point line (50-33/19th). Kostas Sloukas was pulling the strings for Olympiakos and his team was in the flow and was pulling away to a rout, 55-35 at halftime.
Munich fights on and inches closer
Bayern hit a few shots in the second half, but Piraeus didn't let up a bit and kept a big lead (66-44/24th). When Wimberg hit a three-pointer for a 14-11 lead in the quarter, Olympiakos' coach Bartzokas took a timeout (66-49/25th). The FCBB once again showed character and held their ground and this started to show on the scoreboard. With an 11-0 run, the Munich team came to within reach at 66-55 (27th). Isaac Bonga managed a rare four-point play to make it 70-59 (28th). Olympiakos increased the pressure on defense with the help of the fans and Vezenkov and Walkup sank threes to make it 78-61 (39th). Confidence plummeted again as Vezenkov added another three-pointer at the end of the third quarter.
Olympiakos brimming with confidence
Piraeus drilled two threes in-a-row to start the final quarter and Trinchieri took an early timeout (87-65/32nd). When Bayern hit two baskets Bartzokas immediately took a timeout and implored his team to stay focused. No matter who shot for Piraeus, the ball ended up in the basket and the team's confidence seemed boundless (95-69/35th). The Munich team, dramatically reduced in personnel, accepted the superiority of its opponent, but giving up was not an option. Piraeus slowed down a bit and Bonga in particular repeatedly had open shots but the ball wouldn't go in. Bayern moves on to the next game against Bayreuth.