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Bayern Suffer First Eurocup Loss

FC Bayern Basketball suffered a crushing 80-58 defeat Wednesday night against the defending champions Valencia Basket in the first leg of their Eurocup round of 16 matchup.

Munich started the game in control and kept the game close in the first half. However, in the second half, Bayern's offense could not solve the strong Spanish defense and could only muster 25 points. Bayern went cold from distance (21% 3-point FG percentage) and only made 4-for-11 from the free-throw line. Vasilije Micic was the lone bright spot for the Reds, leading all scorers with 19 points.

The defending German league champions will require an exceptional performance against Valencia in the second leg next Wednesday (March 11, tip-off at 20:45 CET) at home to keep their Eurocup journey alive.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - VAL): 16-16, 17-21, 11-24, 14-19

FC Bayern team: Vasilije Micic (19 points/3 three-pointers), Jan Jagla (9/5 rebounds), Anton Gavel (6), Vladimir Stimac (6), John Bryant (6/8 reb), Dusko Savanovic (4), Heiko Schaffartzik (4), Robin Benzing (2), Paul Zipser (2), Bryce Taylor. DNP: Daniel Mayr and Lucca Staiger


Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "We saw a team today that played exceptional basketball, especially on defense. Valencia played excellent defense, they were aggressive and put on the pressure. You have to respect that and congratulate them for it. Of course, the 22-point difference is a deficit that will make it difficult to qualify for the next round. But nothing is impossible. We have to analyze this game now and prepare so that we can win the second leg. How it ends up, we shall see."

Jan Jagla, Forward, FCBB: "Unfortunately we lost our concentration shortly before halftime and the beginning of the third quarter. We were not able to run our plays on offense. And at this level, the game can get away from you very quickly."


1st Quarter
Bayern sent out Dusko Savanovic, Anton Gavel, Robin Benzing, Bryce Taylor and John Bryant to start off the first leg of this Eurocup Eightfinal matchup. As Valencia Head Coach Carles Duran predicted before the game, his team was ready from the beginning with defensive stops on the first two Munich possessions. Gavel scored the first points of the game after two minutes and 15 seconds (2-0, 3'minute). It took another 180 seconds for Valencia to finally get on the scoreboard. While the Spaniards were unsuccessful from distance, Bayern played it close under the boards (7-3 rebounding edge, leading 10-5, 7'). The expected intense duel was already evident after the first ten minutes, the score was tied 16-16 at the end of the opening quarter.

2nd Quarter
Vasilije Micic connected on Bayern's first three-pointer of the evening, thanks to an assist from Heiko Schaffartzik (19-16, 11'). Munich continued to exhibit a focused team effort: Jan Jagla scored on a layup after a pass from Micic, then the German would follow that up with a steal and set up his compatriot Schaffartzik for another score. Vladimir Stimac cleaned up under the offensive glass after a Taylor miss for the close bucket (29-21, 14'). The Bavarian combination of hard work on defense and the will of the offense built Munich's lead against Valencia. Two minutes later, Bryant's offensive put-back ended a 6-0 run by the gaining hosts (31-27, 16'). FCBB Head Coach Svetislav Pesic took a timeout for a much-needed break after Valencia took the lead (33-35, 20'). Schaffartzik's three-point attempt hit the rim to further frustrate Munich (1-for-7 from 3-point FG) but the Reds were only behind four points at halftime (33-37).

3rd Quarter
FCBB did not enjoy the restart. Savanovic was whistled for a debatable unsportsmanlike foul (35-42, 22'). Valencia took advantage, as center Bojan Dubljevic sank his third three-pointer of the game (35-45, 23'). After a little more than four minutes, Coach Pesic called another timeout. Valencia continued to nail their open shots from beyond the arc (37-48, 25'). The momentum was clearly on the side of the hosts. Bayern's offense had stalled - whether it was from distance (1-for-10 3pt FG) or up close in the paint. FCBB searched for someone to step up. Micic ended the offensive slump with four points in a row (41-53, 27'). But Valencia continue to make Munich work hard for each and every point with their strong defense. The Spaniards extended their lead to 61-44 by the end of the third quarter from the free-throw line.

4th Quarter
Micic took over the scoring responsibility for the visiting Reds. The young Serb sparked his team with his second three-pointer. Jagla followed with a layup as the deficit crept towards single digits. Micic cut into the Spanish lead once more with a three-pointer - timeout Valencia (52-63, 33'). The hosts responded with consecutive three-pointers to nip Bayern's comeback in the bud (52-69, 34'). While Valencia's game continue to shine with ball movement and assists, Bayern were dependent on Micic. His teammates had lost their touch during halftime. Jagla made a three-pointer with 50 seconds left - only the second other Munich player to score from there. The Spaniards continued to increase their lead, until the final buzzer mercifully blew, Munich lose 80-58. Bayern will have to overcome this 22-point hole come next Wednesday in the second leg at the Audi Dome.


BEKO BBL, Gameday 25:
Sunday, 8th March, 15:00 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at Mitteldeutscher BC

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