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Bayern Hunt Down Wolves

Center John Bryant scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and captain Bryce Taylor added 16 points as FC Bayern Basketball defeated Mitteldeutscher BC 95-59.

Bayern set a club record by winning their eighth straight game in the BEKO Basketball Bundesliga in front of 5,194 fans at Leipzig Arena. After a fairly even start, Bayern were able to tame the Wolves as their superior rebounding edge became more apparent throughout the game. Victory for the Reds was never in danger and they remain in the hunt to repeat as league champions. Bayern enjoyed an outstanding team effort as five players scored in double figures. Bryant stood out, recording yet another double-double, as well as Taylor with four three-pointers.

A difficult task awaits FC Bayern Basketball on Wednesday as they host Valencia Basket in the second leg of their Eurocup Eighthfinals. Munich will have to overcome a 22-point deficit from the first leg in Spain to secure a spot into the quarterfinals. Tip-off on March 11th is at 20:45 in the Audi Dome.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - MBC): 23-18, 23-12, 22-17, 27-12

FC Bayern team: John Bryant 18 points/12 rebounds, Bryce Taylor (16/7/4 three-pointers), Dusko Savanovic (13), Robin Benzing (11), Anton Gavel (10), Vasilije Micic (9), Vladimir Stimac (8), Jan Jagla (4), Heiko Schaffartzik (4), Paul Zipser (2), Lucca Staiger. DNP: Yassin Idbihi.


Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "We played extremely focused, very intense from the first minute to the last quarter. Every head coach enjoys it when the team does not let up until the end. It is only in this mindset, with focus, intensity and pressure, can a player develop his form. The six turnovers shows how focused we were against a determined opponent. We played through 80% of our gameplan, we were in control. The result however was a bit too high. Now we have a game on Wednesday against Valencia so it was good to continue our winning streak in the league with a road win. That gives us a great feeling that we want to continue to develop."

Silvano Poropat, Head Coach, MBC: "The better team won the game today. Congratulations to Bayern Munich and the head coach. If you want to have a chance in a game like this, you have to force your opponent to make mistakes and play to your limits. My team did that in the beginning, however afterwards, we had problems under the basket."

Heiko Schaffartzik, Guard, FCBB: "This was a good reaction after that Valencia game. MBC has always given us problems and we were ready today. Now we have the tough return leg against Valencia in front of us. Let's see what is possible."


1st Quarter
In order to meet the high demand for this game, Mitteldeutscher BC arranged to move the game 40 kilometers from their home in Weissenfels to Leipzig Arena. Anton Gavel, Bryce Taylor, Robin Benzing, Dusko Savanovic and John Bryant were chosen to start the game in the Wolves' den. The highest scoring team in the German league were uncharacteristically careless at the beginning, and thus it took just under three minutes for Taylor to score the first points for FCBB (3-3). The momentum picked up after that as Djordje Pantelic and former Bayern player Beckham Wyrick made consecutive three-pointers for the hosts (3-9, 4'minute). Munich got into the game afer that with a scoring run thanks to Vladimir Stimac's physical advantage and Taylor's bucket earned them their first lead (19-18, 9'). Bryant's fadeaway jumper sealed a 23-18 lead for the Reds at the end of the quarter.

2nd Quarter
Munich took control of the game in Leipzig in the second stanza. Bryant dominated under the boards, collecting rebound after rebound diligently, scoring Bayern's first three baskets and blocking consecutive MBC shots (29-22, 14'). Savanovic sank a wide-open three pointer and an easy offensive put-back by Bryant built the Reds' first double-digit lead (35-25, 16'). The Wolves bit back with solid long distance shooting to overcome the strong FCBB defense, but the damage was minimal (5-for-15 3pt'ers in the first half). Munich were not going to let the game get away from them. On offense, Savanovic, Heiko Schaffartzik & Co. could only be stopped by fouls. Accuracy from the free-throw-line extended the lead at halftime (46-30) and Bayern had a clear 25-12 rebounding edge.

3rd Quarter
Pesic's Team continued the second half exactly where they left off in the first half. Bayern executed their gameplan efficiently and found the best option each time down the floor for the score. If the teamwork stagnated, Bayern relied on their individual talent. Taylor converted after a nice drive to the basket to get Bayern over the 20-point-lead hurdle (55-34, 25'), and Schaffartzik and Robin Benzing extended the lead from beyond the arc (63-41, 17'). Munich-born Christian Standhardinger would not allow MBC to give up, scoring a couple of times in what was turning out to be a impending loss. The Reds led 68-47 heading into the fourth quarter.

4th Quarter
The course of the game did not change in the final ten minutes. Malte Schwarz gave the Wolves and their fans a chance to howl after a made three-pointer, but with the outstanding Bryant on the court, MBC's hopes were dashed. If not Bryant up close, it was Taylor from the outside that iced the game with consecutive three-pointers (79-50, 34'). Jan Jagla scored in his 100th game for Bayern (91-57, 39'). The victory was no longer in question, but the Reds never shifted into a lower gear, running away 95-59 from the Wolves.


Eurocup, Eightfinal, 2nd Leg:
Wednesday, 11th March, 20:45 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs Valencia Basket

BEKO BBL, Gameday 26:
Saturday, 14th March, 18:30 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs Basketball Löwen Braunschweig