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Bayern clinch playoff berth

FC Bayern Basketball vanquished the Crailsheim Merlins 110-76 and can look to defending their BEKO Basketball Bundesliga title as they qualified for the postseason starting May 9th.

After trailing the game early, Bayern's defense put a spell on Crailsheim's offense as they built a lead and lead the rest of the game. Munich's offense was just as impressive, as six players scored in double-digits. John Bryant stood out with an impressive performance, tallying a double-double (19 points and 14 rebounds).

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - CRA): 30-20, 23-20, 27-15, 30-21

FC Bayern team: John Bryant (19 points/14 rebounds), Vladimir Stimac (13/7 reb), Bryce Taylor (13), Dusko Savanovic (11/7 reb), Robin Benzing (11), Anton Gavel (10/5 assists), Vasilije Micic (9), Jan Jagla (8), Paul Zipser (6), Lucca Staiger (5), Yassin Idbihi (5) and Heiko Schaffartzik.


Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "We worked really aggressive on offense rebounding today. A team develops self-confidence from that and also frustrates the opponent. We were able to improve our shooting percentage in the second half and we moved very well on the court. It was a solid game game for us which was good for us."

Ingo Enskat, Head Coach, Crailsheim: "Bayern clearly won the game today. I am not happy with our rebounding, our performance was not to our expectations. We were watching as Bayern made their points off second chances. This was crucial in the first half. In the second half we played unstructured. One positive was that our young players brought intensity to the game and they were not frozen in awe."


1st Quarter
Anton Gavel, Bryce Taylor, Robin Benzing, Dusko Savanovic and John Bryant were selected by FCBB Head Coach Svetislav Pesic as the starting five against Crailsheim. The Merlins won the opening tip-off and nine seconds later, Andriy Agafonov connected for a three-pointer and the early 3-0 lead. But a minute later, Benzing tied the game with a three of his own to tie the game. Gavel followed with another three-pointer for Munich for their first lead (6-3, 2 minutes). The game was back-and-forth the next minutes but Bayern maintained the lead. Bryant started to dominate the play in the paint, scoring six points in a row including finishing a drive with a left-handed dunk. Bayern led by double-digits for the first time in the game (23-12, 8'min). The Reds continued the run to further expand the lead, but the Merlins were motivated to keep it close and scored at the end of the quarter. Bayern led 30-20 after the first 10 mintues.

2nd Quarter
Bayern started the quarter on a 6-0 run in the first minute (36-20, 11') but Crailsheim's Walter Lemon answered with a triple and Coach Pesic called timeout. The main theme must have been defense, as Munich responded with more intensity against the visitors. Bayern dominated the boards, tallying more offensive than defensive rebounds (15 to 14). Paul Zipser increased the lead to 20 points after his free-throws (49-29, 17'). Bayern slipped up in the final minute of the half, allowing Crailsheim to cut their deficit down to 53-40 before the break.

3rd Quarter
Munich came out of the locker room lively and ready to run. Savanovic started with a three-pointer, and Vasilije Micic converted a bucket "and one" to build the lead back to 20 points (61-41, 23'). Taylor swished a three-pointer to finish a Bayern 15-1 run, forcing the Merlins' head coach to call timeout (68-41, 26'). Ingo Enskat's last-placed team responded with a 9-2 run, and former Bayern player Alassane "Sunny" Dioubaté hammered home a dunk (78-54, 30'). Vladimir Stimac scored on another offensive rebound to help Munich take the 80-55 lead into the final quarter.

4th Quarter
The Reds kept up the intensity and built the lead past 30 points (94-62, 35'). The fans in the nearly sold out Audi Dome urged their team on 90's Night to break 100 on the scoreboard. Yassin Idbihi coolly converted free-throws for the 100-69 lead with four minutes left. Bryant finished off a brilliant game with 7 points in the final minutes and Bayern clinched a spot in the German league playoffs with a 110-75 win.


BEKO BBL, Gameday 29:
Sunday, 5th April, 15:00 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at ratiopharm ulm

BEKO BBL, Gameday 30:
Friday, 17th April, 20:00 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs Brose Baskets