Bayern defeats champion Efes 81-78
Another strong performance against a title contender - this one the best of the season so far - and finally it was enough for the long-deserved first victory! The Bayern Basketball team triumphed on the sixth EuroLeague gameday over two-time championEfes Istanbul with a final score of 81-78 in the Audi Dome, which was once again sold out with 6,500 fans. Top scorers were Winston (16/7 assists) and Bonga (12/8 rebounds).
FCBB's next game is a BBL home game against Bayreuth at 18:00 on Sunday.
The Munich team - still without Othello Hunter (thigh) - started well, unimpressed by the prominence on the other side and led 36-32 (18th). After the break, the favorite around MVP Micic (24 points) took a small 55-48 lead - but Bayern, with the support of their fans, finally turned the duel into a gripping Eurofight and came back - 59-56 (29th).
They pushed ahead to 77-67 (35th), but then lost Rubit with five fouls. With 25 seconds on the clock, the score was 81-78 - this time the lead held, thanks in large part to 18 offensive rebounds.
FC Bayern Basketball – Anadolu Efes Istanbul 81-78
Cassius Winston (16 Points/ 7 Assists), Isaac Bonga (12/ 8 Rebounds), Elias Harris (10), Nick Weiler-Babb (9), Vladimir Lucic (9/4 Assists), Andreas Obst (8), Freddie Gillespie (8/7 Rebounds), Paul Zipser (5), Augustine Rubit (4), Ognjen Jaramaz, Corey Walden und Niklas Wimberg.
Vasilije Micic (24 Points)
Daniel Hierrezuelo, Saso Petek, Adar Peer
FCBB head coach, Andrea Trinchieri: "I am very happy for my players, also for our fans, because it was an incredible atmosphere. The maximum difference in the quarters was two points, it was a high level basketball game. I am very proud that we were able to win it. We played as a team, overcame mistakes and always tried to find another player who could help out, on both sides of the court. To have won the rebounding duel was crucial. We didn't shoot well, but all the threes were open, we just have to keep going in that direction. We stepped it up in the last quarter and the team is finally coming together with all the pieces of the puzzle. (...) Coaches have a lot of scars (...) and it's better that coaches have them and not the players. My players didn't think about the five losses today, which was great. We were always focused only on the next play. (...) Bonga doesn't really have a position, in a positive sense, he was great in many ways; together with Lucic, you are very versatile with him. Elias plays with an incredible energy, but of course he's fresh - but then he hasn't done anything for three months! (...) The longing to win was bigger today than the sorrow about the five defeats. (...) This was a team victory."
Effes head coach, Ergin Ataman: "The game was very exciting. There were numerous lead changes in every quarter. We built a good lead in the third quarter, but then we conceded a 9-0 run within two minutes. They found their threes from the fast attack in that phase. But the reason for the defeat was the 18 offensive rebounds we allowed. As a result, Bayern created more shooting opportunities and deserved the victory. I knew it would be tough here. Bayern only lost to Milan by one point here and some games only in the last moment. So it was clear that this would be a tough away game."
Vladimir Lucic: "We missed our chances to win in the past games. So it's nice to get a win now and against the two-time champions. We were not happy with the start, although we showed a solid perfomance in parts. Therefore, this was an important win for us."
Issac Bonga: "It felt good after a long time not being on the court. It was a difficult game against the defending champions. Against a team like that you have to play well for 40 minutes and we did that today. We have a lot of new people, so it takes a little time for everyone to get along. Today we took a step forward. But basketball is a game of runs. We hope to take the energy into the next games. (...) But the EuroLeague game against Berlin next week is not the next one. For now, I'm focused on the game against Bayreuth."
Herbert Hainer, FCB President: "That was a fantastic game, led by both teams with very high speed and high level, in addition incredibly exciting. I think today you saw the true FC Bayern basketball."
Trinchieri's starting five consisted of Nick Weiler-Babb, Andreas Obst, Vladimir Lucic, Paul Zipser and Freddie Gillespie. In a lively opener, Zipser in particular played big. Without hesitation, the number 16 took a three-pointer and followed it up with a monster dunk. The other starters also remained unimpressed in the face of the star ensemble from Istanbul. Lucic and Obst followed suit and ensured a good start (11-10/6th). The flow didn't change with the two newcomers as Isaac Bonga scored ten seconds after he came on the court, Elias Harris drew the offensive foul against Ante Zizic and Bonga ended the first quarter with an exclamation mark a little later, leaving Achille Polonara staring while scoring a dunk to even the score at 18-18.
The game remained at eye level over the next ten minutes. Gillespie dominated the boards and grabbed three offensive rebounds within a short time. But the two-time Eurolegaue champion used their class at the guard positions in return. Will Clyburn and Vasilije Micic kept the defense busy with their slick play (32-19 Efes/15th). But Bayern kept the high level of play and Lucic ran a perfect fastbreak twice after outstanding team defense. After the resulting three-pointer by Cassius Winston, coach Ergin Ataman took a timeout (36-32/18th). Clyburn took the 7-0 run of the home side personally and brought his team back into the lead with 14 points at the break (39-38).
Winston and Bonga lead a 9-0 run
In the second half, Efes came out of the dressing room with a better rhythm and got the home side into foul trouble early. Ex-Munich Micic structured the attack, but faced a red wall again and again (47-45/23rd). At the same time, Weiler-Babb upped the three-point quota (2 of 9 in the first half), which had been lacking up to that point. His two goals ensured that the Turks did not slip away. A little later, Bonga and Winston led a 9:0 run - time-out Ataman (57-55/27th). Even with the score even, Lucic didn't miss the chance to work his magic and play Gillespie behind the back, past the stunned Zizic. Weiler-Babb further heated up the atmosphere in the Audi Dome by rebounding his own missed shot and scoring with a foul at the end of the quarter - 62-61.
The sparked euphoria carried the hosts into the fourth quarter. Obst and Winston scored from downtown and Harris sent Polonara to a poster. This time it was the defending champions who collected five fouls in three minutes and fell behind (72-65/33rd). Harris, meanwhile, showed all his experience under the basket but the champions did not let themselves get rattled and came back through Micic - time-out Trinchieri (77-74/36th). In a dramatic final phase, the Bavarians grabbed four immensely important offensive rebounds and got Harris good scoring opportunities (80-76 FCBB/39th). But despite third and fourth shot opportunities in the next series the ball wouldn't fall and Clyburn cut the lead to two points with 26 seconds left. Winston made it 81-78 from the line a second later, but both Clyburn and Micic missed tightly defended threes. Harris missed the decisive basket in the last five seconds, but Clyburn missed from half court and Bayern secured its first Euroleague win of the season (81-78).