Bayern heads to Fener after two BBL wins
Bayern will go into the eagerly awaited EuroLeague opener against Fenerbahce Istanbul at the Audi Dome on Thursday (20:30) aftger two BBL victories. After Saturday's 87-80 win over Ulm, head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team also won its first road game in Frankfurt, but unnecessarily put itself in danger in the final quarter with an 83-74 win after leading by 25 points at one point (79-74/39th).
The Munich team again spared captain Lucic in front of around 5,000 fans, with veteran Hunter also taking a breather. Top scorer was again Cassius Winston with 23 points while returnee Corey Walden (17) scored for the first time in seven and a half months in the BBL. The three-point percentage of just under 41 percent was good.
Meanwhile, the immensely strengthened Turkish champions Fener also opened the new season with a 78-72 home win against Bahcesehir Koleji. Top scorers were Nigel Hayes (19/ from Barcelona) and Scottie Wilbekin (11/Tel Aviv).
Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt – FC Bayern Basketball 83-74
Cassius Winston (23 Points), Corey Walden (17), Ognjen Jaramaz (12), Augustine Rubit (11), Andreas Obst (8), Paul Zipser (5), Zan Mark Sisko (4/6 Assists), Jason George (3), Freddie Gillespie, Nick Weiler-Babb, Niklas Wimberg und Mohamed Sillah.
Joshua Obiesie (15 Points)
Robert Lottermoser, Johannes Hack, Radeesh Kattur
Andrea Trinchieri started the first road game of the season with Zan Mark Sisko, Nick Weiler-Babb, Andreas Obst, Paul Zipser and Freddie Gillespie. As is usual at the start of a season, the early stages were marked by some chaotic play. Both Frankfurt and Bayern recorded two quick turnovers in the first three minutes. Zipser livened up the offense by sinking a three-pointer against man-defense (7-7/6th minute). The hosts were eager to make the game fast. Again and again they drove the ball forward, but were often stopped by the Bayern defense. But the Munich team also struggled to get into their rhythm. With the clock running down, Cassius Winston found Augustine Rubit, who secured the narrow lead after the first quarter (17-15).
Newcomer Winston flashed his class in the second quarter and against three Frankfurt defenders he dribbled into the zone, stopped and put the ball into the basket. Even veteran Quantez Robertson was unable to stop the lively guard (27-17/13th). The difference in class was evident in the quarter on the defensive end. For almost seven minutes, the home side managed only two points. Freddie Gillespie declared the zone his domain, collected three offensive rebounds and made Frankfurt's shots more difficult. Only J.J. Frazier's buzzer-beater at 37-26 sparked a little hope in the sold-out Ballsporthalle in Frankfurt.
Frankfurt comes out of the locker room with momentum
The team of new coach Geert Hammink came out of the locker room with a lot of speed and a quarter-opening 11-0 run. Walden and Rubit countered with two threes from the point guard and a three-point play by the center to bring the lead back up (49-35/24th). Obst and George got infected and added his own make from downtown. The guests took advantage of the Skyliners' total of 15 turnovers to get going again and again. Despite an interim 20-point deficit, however, the hosts did not give up and forced Trinchieri to admonish his players. With 31-25, the third quarter still went to the favorites from Munich.
In the final quarter, Trinchieri also asked his team to come back after just two minutes to point out that the game was not over yet. As before, the Frankfurt team was fighting for a possible upset. Robertson grabbed a missed free throw and added a three-pointer (70-59/33rd). Ex-Munich players Johsua Obiesie and Laurynas Beliauskas brought the deficit into single digits. Ognjen Jaramaz answered ice-cold from the three-point line (75-66/37th).
As against Ulm, Winston received the confidence of Trinchieri in the final phase and paid it back with two strong plays on offense. But faith had returned among the 5,000 fans and the team in the hall in Frankfurt. Obiesie cut the deficit again to 79-74 with a minute to go, but time was now running out against the Skyliners, who missed their last few tough shots. From the free-throw line, the Munich team secured its first away win in the BBL (83-74).