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Road Warriors

Bayern steal game one in finals

FC Bayern Basketball took a major step in their title defense with an 84-73 win versus the top-seeded Brose Baskets in Game One of the BEKO Basketball League Finals.

Bayern now have homecourt advantage leading the best-of-series 1-0 with their second consecutive impressive road playoff win. Less than three days after clinching the semifinals in a Game Five against ALBA Berlin, Munich showed no signs of fatigue with a focused effort in front of a soldout Bamberg Arena (6,800) by winning the rebounding battle (41-34) and with key offensive scores. Bamberg had yet to lose a playoff game, and even more impressive, Munich handed the Baskets their first loss on their homecourt all season.

Munich will host Game Two on Wednesday and look to grab a commanding 2-0 lead in the Finals. Tip-off is at 20:00 CEST.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - BAM): 27-28, 17-10, 17-16, 23-19

FC Bayern team: Vladimir Stimac (16/6 rebounds), Dusko Savanovic (14), Bryce Taylor (14/7), John Bryant (12/6), Heiko Schaffartzik (10), Robin Benzing (6), Nihad Djedovic (5/6), Anton Gavel (5), Paul Zipser (2), and Jan Jagla. DNP: Vasilije Micic and Lucca Staiger.

FC BAYERN BASKETBALL VS BROSE BASKETS

BEKO BBL Playoffs, Finals
FCBB lead best-of-five series 1-0

Game 1 - FCBB 84, at BAM 73

Game 2 - Wednesday, June 10, 20:00 CEST, Audi Dome

Game 3 - Sunday, June 14, 19:00 CEST at Bamberg

Game 4* - Wednesday, June 17, 20:00 CEST, Audi Dome

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

* if necessary

POSTGAME REACTION:

Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "I must congratulate my players for this excellent game. It was not easy for us today, we had to complete three intense games in seven days. For us this is nothing new, but in the playoffs against such a strong opponent, this costs energy - but we have the energy. My only fear was satisfaction - it is a great opponent in professional sports. I told my players that we need to keep focused and not relax against a team that had yet to lose at home and is very athletic and talented on offense. We had problems in the first quarter, and they scored 28 points, all from transition and on their first attempts, that was too much for me. But then we finally found the rhythm, we had a good balance between the inside-and-outside game. Again, congratulations to my team for the excellent attitude and game control."

Heiko Schaffartzik, Guard, FCBB: "We are happy about this important win. But it is still only one win. If we don't pay attention, we could lose the game on Wednesday. We have to stay focused."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS:

1st Quarter

FCBB Head Coach Svetislav Pesic chose Anton Gavel, Bryce Taylor, Nihad Djedovic, Dusko Savanovic and John Bryant as the starting five for Game One of the Finals. Bayern were coming off an emotional and intense series, while the Brose Baskets swept through to the Finals after the first two rounds. The game could not have started better for the rested top-seed as they jumped out to a 7-2 lead (2' minutes). Djedovic, who led Munich in the Game 5 clinching win against Berlin with 30 points, got the champs back on track with a score. Taylor followed with a slam dunk and three-pointer, and Bryant finished off the 9-0 run (11-7, 4').

Bamberg's second leading scorer during the regular season Ryan Thompson got the lead back for the hosts, however Gavel shot back, sinking a trey for the lead (14-12, 5'). Any rust the Baskets had after a week of wore off, as they went on a 12-5 tear (19-24, 8'). Benzing ended the run with a three-pointer and despite Stimac's three-point-play and follow up score, FCBB trailed after the first quarter (27-28, 10').

2nd Quarter

Thanks to the run at the end of the first period, Bryant's score gave Bayern the lead (29-28, 11'). After Bamberg took a short-lived lead, Savanovic grabbed a key offensive rebound and followed it with a three-pointer. Bryant finished the 7-0 run and Munich's biggest lead in the game thus far (36-30, 14'). The Baskets didn't earn the top seed in the playoffs without showing fight this season, an 8-2 run tied the game at 38-all (17'). Zipser, Gavel and Stimac scored for Bayern during a 6-0 run to secure the 44-38 halftime lead for the defending champs.

3rd Quarter

Bamberg's offense struggled in the second quarter, but started the second half well as they were able to cut their deficit down to three points. Bryant had a key offensive put-back and Savanovic scored Munich's next six points to back the lead (54-48, 25'). The Baskets continued to chip away at their deficit, happy to keep close. Stimac would bring energy to the Bayern offense to separate the teams further. First, a bounce pass from Djedovic set up a nice drive through the lane (58-54, 28'). Schaffartzik followed with a no-look alley-oop pass to Steam Machine who was able to grab the ball with one hand and lay it in for the 61-54 lead after three quarters (30').

4th Quarter

Stimac continued his personal run with the first basket of the fourth quarter (63-54, 31'). Bamberg had a 5-0 spurt to get closer, but Schaffartzik kept the ball alive on the offensive end, Stimac came up with the loose ball, drew the foul and coverted both free-throws (65-59, 32'). Schaffartzik came down on the following offensive possession and 'Hitman Heiko' was again deadly accurate from distance, another key three-pointer in crunchtime, Bayern led 68-60, timeout Baskets (33'). Munich made sure Bamberg would not find any last minute run at home, Savanovic drove the lane, dumped it off to Bryant for the layup. And next possession, Savanovic took care of a three-pointer himself (73-64, 35').

Daniel Theis' three-pointer forced Coach Pesic to call a timeout and Djedovic answered the bell, a three-pointer! (76-67, 36'). Bamberg was not going down with a fight, Wanamaker converted a three-point-play, however Taylor finished the job. First, he stopped and popped a jumper, and the traveling Bayern fans knew it was going to be their day after Taylor banked in a trey for Bayern's first double-digit lead (81-70, 38'). For good measure, Schaffartzik finished off the scoring with a three-pointer and Taylor blocked Bamberg's final shot. Bayern Basketball win Game One on the road 84-73 and earn homecourt advantage in the Finals.