74-62 loss against Fener's star ensemble
It was the expected difficult task and title contender Fenerbahce was equipped with too many weapons to handle. The Bayern basketball team lost to Istanbul's star ensemble 74-62 in the EuroLeague opener at the sold-out Audi Dome. Fener countered Munich's fighting spirit with its individual quality even in tight moments in front of 6,500 fans.
The Bavarians host Chemnitz in the BBL on Sunday (18:00); next Thursday they continue in Europe, at EuroCup winner Virtus Bologna.
The guests started on fire, scoring from the outside and keeping the FCBB shooters away with tough defense (17-6/7th). Offensive rebounds backed the will of the Munich team, which fought its way back to 21-19 only to fall back to 36-23. Despite bad moments on offense, where just some security and rhythm were missing, Bayern stayed close for a long time (48-44/26th). The 9-0 run by the Turks to take a 57-44 lead at the end of the third quarter was a big change in momentum. Top scorers of Andrea Trincheri's team, which never gave up, were Othello Hunter (18 points) and Nick Weiler-Babb (12).
FC Bayern Basketball - Fenerbahce Istanbul 74-62
Othello Hunter (18 Points/8 Rebounds/3 Assists), Nick Weiler-Babb (12 Points/ 5 Assists), Andreas Obst (10 Points), Cassius Winston (6), Corey Walden (6), Freddie Gillespie (4), Vladimir Lucic (2), Augustine Rubit (2), Ognjen Jaramaz (2), Paul Zipser, Niklas Wimberg und Zan Mark Sisko.
Tonye Jekiri (15 Points)
Juan Garcia Carlos, Tomislav Hordov, Uros Nikolic
Quotes:FCBB head coach, Andrea Trinchieri: "Congratulations to Fener, they were better in everything. That was our first EuroLeague game and you could see that. We had a very bad day, from the concentration, from the physical toughness and then also purely from the basketball. 19 turnovers says a lot, we were not ready to play against their physical defense. We then completely lost our game despite some good phases - basically we weren't there as a team. Honestly, I expected something like this, but not this bad. I knew some of our players would struggle today - they struggled mightily in the end.
But it's only the first game, we have a lot to do and improve. And I believe that we can do better. Today the whole team showed their worst version. In the first game, sometimes everyone is too focused only on themselves. That's how you lose connection among each other. (...) We won't know if this was a useful lesson until we prove it on the court. Action speaks clearer than words. I want to see if this hard lesson changes something on the court. I hope it does."Nick Weiler-Babb: "It's still very early in the season and we still have a lot of time. We had a significantly limited preseason and difficult training conditions because not everyone was there or healthy. That will change and then we'll fix that. You can't expect too much at this point in the season. There is still a long way to go and we still need time to grow together as a team. To do that, we need to get in the gym for practice, and we'll start that tomorrow. We're going to be disciplined about it and figure out who performs best for the team at what position." Andreas Obst: "I don't think we were ready for a second today to play the game at this level; both offensively and defensively. In the next game, whether it's Bundesliga or EuroLeague, we just have to be more ready. At least we know now how we shouldn't play."
Trinchieri's front five was formed by Cassius Winston, Ognjen Jaramaz, Vladimir Lucic, Augustine Rubit and Freddie Gillespie. In contrast to the visitors, the Munich team started a bit unsteadily with three turnovers in a row and quickly trailed 7-0. Bayern struggled to find rhythm while Istanbul had it. Gillespie countered with his wingspan near the basket (10-6/5th minute of the game). Fenerbahce looked remarkably confident and played out all its individual class - in view of the double-digit deficit Trinchieri took a timeout (17-6/7th). Hunter scored via alley-oop, but Bayern struggled against the alert and agile defense of the Turks. Walden and Weiler-Babb each sank a three-pointer to make it 19-14 (9th). The following timeout did not prevent the FCBB from falling more behind and the score was 21-19 after the opening quarter.
In the second quarter Bayern faced guests who defended venomously and were efficient in attack. More bad news came when Scottie Wilbekin scored from beyond the three-point line. Munich conceded a 15-3 run and trailed 36-23 in the 15th minute of play. In a timeout, Coach Trinchieri first corrected the defense, which no longer made it so easy for Istanbul. Cassius Winston then got the offense back on track with two threes, and Hunter chased down the three-pointer with the halftime siren to make it 40-34 for Fener. The deficit was still quite light in view of nine turnovers in the first half.
Top scorer Hunter and team fight until the end
Weiler-Babb kept them within striking distance with seven points in a row (46-41/24th). Hunter's second three-pointer shortened the gap to 48-44 (25th) but the star ensemble from the Bosporus immediately took advantage of mistakes (53-44/27th). FCBB had several good chances to score, but failed to do so. Fenerbahce used the luckless phase of the Munich team for a 9-0 run, which only Rubit stopped with a jumper (57-46/29th). After 30 minutes, the hosts were trailing 59-46.
After 55 seconds played in the last quarter, Trinchieri took the timeout as his team had already given up two shots to increase the deficit to 63-46. With a few exceptions, Bayern's shots did not fall. Munich showed character by not giving up and continuing to fight for every ball despite the significant deficit. Buckets by Obst and Hunter made it 68-54 and fed the hopes of the brave Bayern fans but the hot Final Four candidates kept the Munich team at bay with their class (72-54/37th). Two minutes before the end, the gap had grown to 20 points.