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Bayern hold off Bamberg, Force Deciding Game 5

Bryce Taylor scored 22 points and John Bryant added 15 points and 15 rebounds as FC Bayern Basketball defeat the Brose Baskets 83-73 in Game 4 of the BEKO Basketball Bundesliga Finals.

Bayern's victory in their last home game of the season in front of a soldout Audi Dome earns them a chance to defend their championship in an "all-or-nothing" Game 5 on Sunday in Bamberg. Munich were bouyed by the performance of their team captain, Taylor did not miss from the field during the first three quarters and was key in starting a Bayern run in the second quarter to build a lead against the Baskets. His teammates and the overall defensive effort by Munich kept Bamberg from coming close and ensured a deciding game for the German championship.

Game Five is set for tip-off at 15:00 CEST, a champion will be crowned right after with Bayern looking to repeat as the best team in Germany.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - BAM): 20-19, 25-15, 20-17, 18-22

FC Bayern team: Bryce Taylor (22 points/6 three-pointers/4 rebounds), John Bryant (15/15 reb), Vasilije Micic (12/8 assists), Dusko Savanovic (9), Nihad Djedovic (9), Heiko Schaffartzik (9), Vladimir Stimac (7/5 reb), Paul Zipser, Jan Jagla. DNP: Lucca Staiger, Yassin Idbihi and Robin Benzing.


BEKO BBL Playoffs, Finals
Best-of-five series tied 2-2

Game 1 - FCBB 84, at BAM 73

Game 2 - at FCBB 78, BAM 80

Game 3 - FCBB 79, at BAM 91

Game 4 - at FCBB 83, BAM 73

Game 5 - Sunday, June 21, 15:00 CEST, at Bamberg


Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "That was a complete and solid performance today - from the first minute till the last. In comparison to the previous game, we played very, very well today. We had the correct gameplan and were focused. We had only two turnovers in the first half, that is extraordinary against a team like Bamberg. Both teams invested so much passion and energy in this series and therefore earn respect. We are happy that we were able to say goodbye to our fans by winning our last game in front of them. This win gives us strength for that fifth game in Bamberg. I can't promise anything for Game Five. The better team will win, and we will try to make sure that it is us."

Andrea Trinchieri, Head Coach, FCBB: "Bayern played better with more energy. We didn't play with the right patience in the second quarter. We were not good enough to win the game. And when you have to dethrone the reigning champion, this is not enough. We were way far from being competitive enough to win a championship game in Munich."


1st Quarter

Bayern Basketball faced elimination and the possibility to see another team take away and celebrate a championship on their court. FCBB Head Coach Svetislav Pesic called on Vasilije Micic, Bryce Taylor, Nihad Djedovic, Dusko Savanovic and John Bryant to make sure the Reds would win and force the series to the limit with a Game Five. Most important, to earn the right to play for a repeat championship.

However, Bayern needed almost two and a half minutes to score their first points. Bryant's layup tied it up early (2-2, 3' minute). Munich then had to battle Trevor Mbakwe inside, he scored Bamberg's next six points, but Djedovic and Taylor responded with three-pointers, and Taylor's short jumper continued the back-and-forth (10-8, 5'). Munich struggled from the free-throw-line and that allowed the visitors to tie it up. Darius Miller's three-pointer put the Baskets back on top to the displeasure of Coach Pesic and he called timeout (13-16, 7'). Pesic also earned a technical from the referees but Janis Strelnieks could not convert the penalty free-throw. However, Dawan Robinson did connect for three, and the Baskets forged ahead 19-13 (8').

Now at a critical juncture, Bayern responded. Heiko Schaffartzik made both his free-throws, then Munich's defense forced Bamberg to turn it over, including one under the basket. Micic picked up the loose ball and easily scored (17-19, 9'). Bamberg tried for the final shot of the quarter and missed, but Micic was true, nailing the hail mary at the buzzer for three points to complete a 7-0 run and the 20-19 lead after the first ten minutes.

2nd Quarter

The shot at the end of the first quarter gave Bayern a burst of energy and confidence and right away in the second quarter, Schaffartzik sank a three-pointer (23-19, 11'). Baskets Head Coach Andrea Trincieri called timeout only 13 seconds into the period. Strelnieks would continue his form from Game 3 scoring his team's next five points, but Bayern had an answer each time. First, the explosion. Bryant grabbed the defensive rebound, Djedovic sprinted up the floor, his bounce pass ahead to Taylor and the captain took flight, finishing with a thunderous slam (28-24, 14'). Pesic took a timeout after Mbakwe scored, and his words kept the Bayern offense on track. Savanovic for three, Djedovic scored on a fastbreak layup, and then Bryant and Taylor each connected from three-point-land (39-26, 17'). Strelnieks would hit two three-pointers to stop the bleeding, but the 13-0 run, and in total a 17-3 spurt, ensured Munich would enjoy a 45-34 lead at halftime.

3rd Quarter

Bayern continued to feed off the energy of the crowd and the confidence of their players in the third quarter. The defense forced Daniel Theis into consecutive traveling violations. Meanwhile, Djedovic and Bryant scored off wonderful assists (49-34, 22'). Trinchieri was forced to call another early timeout. This time his troops answered, Miller hit two consecutive treys to get Bamberg back within single digits (51-42, 24') but Taylor was feeling it from long range, making another three-pointer. Micic countered with an inside game, making it look easy, driving through the Baskets defense for easy layups (61-46, 28'). Taylor was not done, he would hit two more three-pointers - the team captain had not missed at this point - to make sure his team took the 65-51 lead into the final quarter.

4th Quarter

Bamberg were only 10 minutes from taking the German championship away, but Bryant made sure they had to take another early timeout, starting the fourth quarter with a three-pointer (68-51, 31'). Despite Savanovic's three-pointer, the Baskets were not going to go down easy as Robinson and Miller were also able to make three-pointers, timeout Bayern (71-59, 33'). In crunchtime, Steam Machine delivered. Vladimir Stimac scored consecutive baskets with his hardwork in the paint (77-63, 35'). Bamberg got back to within striking distance but their nerves failed them as they missed their last five shots from the charity stripe. Sensing winning time, Bryant hit a three-pointer (80-67, 37'), timeout Bamberg. And Taylor shut the door with his sixth triple of the evening, Munich win 83-73 and force a one-game, winner-takes-all game on Sunday.