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Moving on

Bayern finish off Frankfurt and reach semis

FC Bayern Basketball eliminated the FRAPORT SKYLINERS from the BEKO Basketball Bundesliga Playoffs, finishing with a solid second half in a 92-71 win in Game 4. 

Bayern win the best-of-five quarterfinals series 3-1 and now move on to face ALBA Berlin in the semifinals, a rematch from last year's finals won by Munich in four games.

Munich made life difficult for themselves in the beginning against the aggressive Skyliners in FRAPORT Arena. A weak free-throw percentage didn't help and kept the hosts close. In the second half, however, the defending league champs played up to their individual quality by outscoring Frankfurt 54-39. Vladimir Stimac led the way with a double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Berlin will host Game 1 on Sunday, May 24th, tip-off at 17:00 CEST. The defending champs will host Game 2 at the Audi Dome on Thursday night, 28th May at 19:30 CEST.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - FRAP): 15-16, 23-16, 22-18, 32-21

FC Bayern team: Vladimir Stimac (20 points/10 rebounds), Nihad Djedovic (17), Bryce Taylor (14), John Bryant (11/8), Robin Benzing (9), Dusko Savanovic (7), Anton Gavel (5), Jan Jagla (4), Vasilije Micic (2), Paul Zipser (2), Heiko Schaffartzik (1). DNP: Yassin Idbihi

BEKO BBL Playoffs, Quarterfinals
FC Bayern Basketball vs FRAPORT SKYLINERS
FCBB win best-of-five series 3-1

Game 1 - at FCBB 83, FRAP 72
Game 2 - FCBB 69, at FRAP 93
Game 3 - at FCBB 82, FRAP 64
Game 4 - FCBB 92, at FRAP 71

POSTGAME REACTION:

Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "We were very good today. From the first minute, it was clear, we knew what we wanted. Frankfurt is a team that battles and tried twice to get back into the game. But (our) players were focused and reacted as they should have. We had some turnovers in the beginning, but at the end, collected 21 assists. You can see that (Frankfurt) were tired. ALBA (Berlin) is a very good team, but we are not too bad ourselves. These (semifinals) games will be a new challenge, but we won today on the road, it was important for the series. If we repeat our performance from today, we can win."

Vladimir Stimac, Center, FCBB: "Our experience we have as a team helped us a lot today. Personally I really enjoyed the game. It is a great chance for me to play with FC Bayern and this team, and I hope this win today was only the beginning."

Robin Benzing, Small Forward, FCBB: "We learned from that loss in Game 2. We were aggressive from the beginning in the last two games and kept up that level throughout until the end. We made it to the semifinals but do not have homecourt advantage. If we are not tough enough and do not play with more energy than the opponent, it will be difficult. It shall be an intense and interesting series against ALBA."

Heiko Schaffartzik, Point Guard, FCBB: " Against Berlin, it will depend on our defensive rebounding and defense. It is also important that we concentrate on basketball during the games. If we succeed, we have a very good chance to win."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS:

1st Quarter

FCBB Head Coach Svetislav Pesic once again called on Vasilije Micic, Nihad Djedovic, Bryce Taylor, Dusko Savanovic and John Bryant as the starting five for Game Four. Munich wanted to avoid a decisive Game 5 but they found it difficult in the beginning to create good chances against the aggressive Frankfurt defense. After Savanovic scored the first points of the game, the Skyliners controlled the flow of the opening quarter. FCBB controlled the boards as usual and took advantage of their second chance attempts by Jan Jagla (9-8, 7' minute) and Vladimir Stimac (14-14, 9'). Frankfurt finished the first quarter with a 16-15 lead.

2nd Quarter

The game in the low post gained importance as both teams could not find their respective shooting touch. Bayern center Bryant opened up with a successful hook shot in the second quarter (17-16, 12'). Frankfurt benefited repeatedly from their athleticism with pick-and-rolls. A 7-0 run by Frankfurt was capped off by a spectacular alley-oop from Austin Cobbs to Mike Morrison who slammed it home (18-25, 14'). Bryant's layup stopped the momentum and Djedovic followed with Munich's first three-pointer of the game. The Bosnian forward scored nine consecutive points during a Bayern 12-0 run (32-17, 17'). It seemed as if Munich had the game under control, but the Skyliners proved to be mentally tough and raced back in (32-32, 19'). However, a three-point-play by Stimac and a buzzer-beater by Captain Taylor turned the momentum back to the Reds, who led 38-32 at halftime. The biggest shortfall for Bayern was their free-throw percentage, connecting only 11-for-20 from the charity stripe.

3rd Quarter

Frankfurt came out of the locker room aggressive and went vehemently after every missed shot. The Skyliners were now shooting better from the outside, Aaron Doornekamp sank two three-pointers in a row to tie the game (38-38, 23'). Savanovic scored Munich's first points of the second half and Taylor finished a one-on-one opportunity with a bucket (42-38, 24'). The game swayed back-and-forth. Frankfurt began to struggle, as Bayern began to play with a bit more energy in transition to build a lead (51-43, 27'). Munich were in rhythm, led by a Taylor trey, and now led by double-digits for the first time in the game (54-43, 28'). Stimac "Steam Machine" grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back for a layup to secure the 60-50 lead after 30 minutes.

4th Quarter

The Skyliners started the fourth quarter with a small lineup in hopes to turn the game around. Bayern would not allow the hosts to get back and held their position, especially Stimac with a made jumpshot (63-52, 33'). Frankfurt were able to challenge Bayern's offense by fouling, but this time it lead to foul trouble in the smaller Skyliner rotation. Munich could not be derailed this time, in fact, the Reds were in their element. The defense did not allow Frankfurt any open shots and the long distance shots finally found their targets. Taylor connected with another three-pointer for a 20-point lead (83-62, 37'). Frankfurt had to accept their postseason run would end, and it was official with the 92-71 Bayern win.

UPCOMING GAMES:

BEKO BBL Playoffs, Semifinals
FC Bayern Basketball vs ALBA Berlin
Best-of-five series

Game 1 - Saturday, May 24th, 17:00 CEST, in Berlin

Game 2 - Thursday, May 28th, 19:30 CEST, Audi Dome

Game 3 - Sunday, May 31st, 16:00 CEST, in Berlin

Game 4* - Tuesday, June 2nd, 20:00 CEST, Audi Dome

Game 5* - Thursday, June 4th, 20:00 CEST, in Berlin

*if necessary