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Champions Cup

Bayern comeback in vain against Berlin

FC Bayern Basketball lost the Champions Cup 76-68 against ALBA Berlin, in front of 11,105 spectators at the o2 World Arena. The first half proved critical in Bayern’s downfall. After 20 minutes Svetislav Pesic’s team found themselves 20 points behind and despite improving after the break, they couldn’t quite bridge the gap. The comeback proved to be in vain, as the Cup winners took the title in their home arena.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB – ALBA Berlin): 11-21, 14-24, 28-19, 15-12.

FC Bayern team: John Bryant (14 Points / 9 Rebounds), Heiko Schaffartzik (10 / 5 Assists), Lucca Staiger (10), Vladimir Stimac (10 / 8 Rebounds), Yassin Idbihi (7), Dusko Savanovic (6), Nihad Djedovic (4), Jan Jagla (3), Robin Benzing (3), Vasilije Micic (1 / 4 Assists), Karim Jallow and Bryce Taylor (dnp).

Post-game reactions

Emir Mutapcic, Assistant Coach FC Bayern Basketball: “We lost the game in the first quarter. It showed that we still have a lot of work to do. The result doesn’t reflect our ability. Our second-half reaction was great, we improved offensively and defensively. We now have a week to get ourselves ready for the start of the season. We have enough time.”

Heiko Schaffartzik: “Our first half performance wasn’t great. We didn’t defend as a team. In the second half we got better. We were certainly better after the break, but we couldn’t turn the game around.”

Alex King, ALBA Berlin: “It was great to win the match in front of our own fans. But the game also showed that we have some improvements to make still.”

Game highlights

1st quarter:

Head coach Svetislav Pesic named Heiko Schaffartzik, Nihad Djedovic, Robin Benzing, Dusko Savanovic und John Bryant in his first starting five of the season. Karim Jallow was involved in the squad for the first time, having impressed in the youth squad. Both teams have been itching to start the season but despite this the game was tough for both teams. After a long pre-season, the players took time to find their rhythm again. John Bryant scored the German Champions’ first points of the season (2-2/2’). Despite early shooting accuracy from the guests, the success ratio dropped, which allowed ALBA the chance to create a lead (2-8/4’). Bayern aimed to utilise John Bryant as often as possible, but after seven minutes the gap increased (6-17). Three minutes before the end of the quarter new signings Vasilije Micic and Vladimir Stimac came on to make their competitive debuts for FCBB. The balance of play didn’t shift in the final few minutes and Bayern went into the first break on the wrong end of a 11-21 scoreline. 

2nd quarter:

In the opening seconds of the quarter, new signing Vasilije Micic showed the quality he will bring to FCBB. He linked up well with his teammates and showed some neat touches. Despite this, ALBA continued to impress and kept the scoreboard ticking over (13-25/12’). Despite the visitors starting to find their rhythm, they still struggled offensively (13-30/13’). It could’ve been worse, but Vladimir Stimac clung on to four rebounds in a first five minutes in a Bayern vest. Despite this effort, Bayern couldn’t take advantage of their attacking opportunities (14-32/14’). The remainder of the half saw things stay the same – Bayern struggled to get a foothold in the game. ALBA’s strong defending proved problematic for Bayern. They went into the interval 25-45 behind, having only converted 13% of shots taken. 

3rd quarter:

Svetislav Pesic was banished from the touchline for the opening of the second-half. He remained on court despite warnings from the officials and the sounding of the klaxon which indicates that the game is ready to resume. Assistant coaches Emir Mutapcic and Andreas Wagner called the shots from the bench. Bayern started strongly and two minutes into the quarter scored their first 3-pointer of the match, thanks to Lucca Staiger. John Bryant helped narrow the lead to 14 points (35-49/23’). Bayern’s defensive and offensive play improved hugely after the break, but despite this they couldn’t narrow the gap further (43-56/26’). Berlin remained a force in the match and kept the scoreboard ticking over, but it was Bayern who ended the quarter strongest. Yassin Idbihi and Vladimir Stimac converted late on to narrow ALBA’s lead to 11 points (53-64/30’). 

4th quarter:

Bayern started the crucial fourth quarter in first gear and looked impressive. The shooting accuracy increased to 27%, but the difficulties created by the first two quarters couldn’t be overcome. Whenever Bayern grew back into the game, ALBA fought back to maintain their lead (59-71/35’). Bayern won the Championship in the o2 World Arena 101 days ago but couldn’t repeat the performance in the Champions Cup. ALBA scored three later 3-pointers to further extend their lead (63-76/38’). Heiko Schaffartzik scored a late 3-pointer to narrow the gap to eight points and complete the scoring (68-76/39’). Despite a much improved second-half performance, Bayern were unable to turn the game around and were left to rue a slow start.

Upcoming matches

Beko BBL, Matchday 1: 
Thursday, 2nd October, 20:30 CEST, Audi Dome:
FC Bayern Basketball – Mitteldeutscher BC

Beko BBL, Matchday 2:
 
Sunday, 5th October, 17:00 CEST:
MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg – FC Bayern Basketball

Beko BBL, Matchday 3: 
Wednesday, 8th October, 20:30 CEST, Audi Dome:
FC Bayern Basketball – FRAPORT Skyliners Frankfurt