Wed, 29/03/23, 08:56
A sloppy Bayern loses 86-76 in Athens
No victory in Athens: The Bayern basketball team were unable to pull down their 12th win of the season at Panathinaikos on the 31st gameday of the EuroLeague as they lost 86-76. The Cup winners, who continue to be short of players due to injury, played too sloppy on offense despite a fine opening quarter and a good sequence in the final minutes.
On Friday (19:00), Bayern will host Final Four contender AS Monaco for the penultimate EuroLeague game at the Audi Dome, followed by Ludwigsburg on Sunday (18:00).
Not much goes right following the first quarter
After a solid first quarter (27-21), the guests lost their focus on offense in the bizarre atmosphere of the half-empty Oaka Arena. Only six points in the first eight minutes of the second quarter and a poor opening to the third quarter and the game had almost completely slipped away (69-50/29th), thanks in large part to a total of 17 turnovers. The Greeks thus gained confidence in the attack and largely controlled the second half.
Panathinaikos Athen - FC Bayern Basketball 86-76
Nick Weiler-Babb (12/4 Assists), Andreas Obst (12/6 Assists), Zylan Cheatham (11/7 Rebounds), D.J. Seeley (9), Corey Walden (8), Niels Giffey (7), Vladimir Lucic (6), Isaac Bonga (5), Niklas Wimberg (3), Paul Zipser (3), Freddie Gillespie.
Panathinaikos' top scorer
Giorgios Papagiannis (24 Points/11 Rebounds)
Tomislav Hordov, Carlos Peruga, Saso Petek
Score per quarter Bayern - Panathinaikos: 27-21, 16-27, 11-23, 22-15.
Stats: Two-point shooting: 51% (FCBB) // 53% (Panathinaikos); Three-point shooting: 34% // 56%; Free-throw shooting: 93% // 60%; Rebounds: 36 // 27; Assists: 17 // 21; Turnovers: 17 // 12.
Andrea Trinchieri: "Congratulations to Panathinaikos. I think our sloppy offense and many unforced turnovers cost us the game. Pana's bench players played very tough defense on the ball and made the difference. We were not ready for that and that allowed the difference in the second and third quarters. Then we had a chance to make a comeback and finish strong, but we weren't able to pull it off. We didn't take care of the ball well enough and were too inaccurate. (...) Of course things could be better, but we've had a tough season so far with a lot of injuries. I also never believed that we could make the playoffs every year. There are many teams with a lot of Final Four experience and titles that don't make it either."
Nick Weiler-Babb, Andreas Obst, Isaac Bonga, Niklas Wimberg and Zylan Cheatham started in the "cradle of antiquity" against a likewise struggling team in the Euroleague. The Greeks got off to the better start because Munich struggled to hit their open shots and were a bit flat on their feet on defense. On top of that, the team foul limit was already reached after four minutes (10-5/4th minute of play). Weiler-Babb was able to continue his recent strong play and scored eight points in the opening minutes (12-10/6th). Seeley also delivered, his five points helping FCBB to take a 15-14 lead (7th). The FCBB gained confidence and only Athens' 7ft giant Georgios Papagiannis was able to score (22-20/9th). After the first quarter the guests led 27-21with a beauty of a final play that led to Paul Zipser's three-pointer buzzer-beater.
Bayern without rhythm falls behind
Suddenly, nothing worked for the Munich team. Panathinaikos took advantage of the weak phase to go on a 9-0 run, which Wimberg stopped with a three-pointer after two and a half minutes (30-30/13th). Trinchieri demanded movement and fight from his men, but this desired combination was slow in coming (38-33/16th). The FCBB was out of sorts and just couldn't score anything - 43-33 in minute 18. Not everything worked for Athens either, thankfully. Towards the end of the second quarter, the FCBB scored some baskets and after Cheatham's three-point play, the Munich team was back on track and down only five 45-40 (20th). After 20 minutes, things looked better again at 48-43.
Turnovers prevent a comeback
Coach Trinchieri took a timeout after a little more than two minutes after the change of ends, somewhat dismayed, because his team had conceded an 8-0 run (56-43/23rd). The open shots were definitely there and veteran Giffey finally scored to make it 58-45 (24th). Obst's three-pointer to make it 58-50 was a good sign that Bayern may just make a game out of this one (25th). However, several turnovers by Munich in this phase made it almost impossible to catch up, and Athens pulled away (66-50/28th). Trinchieri was desperate in the face of Panathinaikos' 11-0 run. After the third quarter, his team was down 71-54. A basketball miracle was needed.
Papagiannis squashes any hope of comeback
An Obst three-pointer after 25 seconds in the final quarter was a pointer in the right direction but the momentum did not shift. The spark was suddenly ignited by better defense and the guests were quickly off to their own 10-0 run - hope was alive again (74-67/35th). Papagiannis then steered a three-pointer in after another Bayern turnover and forced Trinchieri to call timeout (77-67/36th). Another three-pointer and a three-point play by the Greek giant right after that destroyed all hope of a Bayern win (83-69/38th). The FCBB accepted its fourth EuroLeague loss in a row.