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Important first win

Bayern hold off Khimki in Euroleague opener

FC Bayern Basketball won their first Euroleague game of the 2015-16 Regular Season with a tense 69-60 win against Khimki Moscow at the Audi Dome. Bayern jumped out to a relatively easy 45-31 halftime lead, much to the enjoyment of the 6,105 fans in attendance, but a stingy defense by the visitors in the second half allowed the score to creep closer until a late Munich rally decided the game.

Nihad Djedovic led Bayern with 16 points, 12 of them in the first quarter as Munich established their double-digit lead. K.C. Rivers added 15 points, while Deon Thompson added 12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals and key blocks and rebounds to key the victory. Alex Renfroe continues to drive the offense with 10 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.

Bayern will welcome medi Bayreuth to the Dome this coming Sunday, October 25th. Tip-off for this BEKO Basketball Bundesliga game is 17:00 CET.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - KHIM): 22-16, 23-15, 14-20, 10-9 

FC Bayern team: Nihad Djedovic (16 points/8 rebounds), K.C. Rivers (15), Deon Thompson (12/5 reb/4 steals), Alex Renfroe (10/11 reb/5 assists), Bryce Taylor (4), John Bryant (4), Paul Zipser (3), Anton Gavel (3), Dusko Savanovic (2/5 reb/4 ast). DNP: Andreas Seiferth, Daniel Mayr and Vasilije Micic.

POSTGAME REACTION:

Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "We controlled the game today with our defense. The spectators helped us today and they appreciated that we brought a complete performance on defense. In the last five to six minutes we did not hit our free throws. But I am sure those shots will fall in the next game, when we play like this again. While this type of game can give us self-confidence, it was only the second game of the season, and we have a lot ahead of us."

Alex Renfroe, PG, FCBB: "We made it through today as a team. Comparing the game in Istanbul, we paid more attention at the end and were better with the rebounds, that was crucial today. That was a good win, but now it continues, we need to keep grounded."

Rimas Kurtinaitis, Head Coach, Khimki: "Bayern did a tremendous job today. We had no chance today as Bayern took control from the beginning. We had two tough games against Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow and had little time to prepare ourselves. But that should not be an excuse."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS:

1st Quarter

Euroleague's "Game of the Week" welcomed back Bryce Taylor, the Bayern Basketball captain suffered an injury before the start of the season, thus missing all the games till now.  The fans greeted him with joy for his first game action. Head Coach Svetislav Pesic chose Taylor along with Alex Renfroe, Nihad Djedovic, Dusko Savanovic, and Deon Thompson to start and try to earn the team's first win in Europe this season. Djedovic was the one to get Bayern's attack going early. The Bosnian scored twice to tie the game each time (4-4, 3' minutes). After Khimki tied it up at 6-all, Djedovic swished a three-pointer and on the ensuing possession, Moscow turned it over. Savanovic picked up the loose ball and his lead pass took Djedovic to the hoop where he converted the bucket and completed the three-point-play after being fouled (12-6, 6').

Munich doubled their lead after Djedovic finished off a fastbreak for the easy layin (16-8, 7'), and when he earned a deserved rest on the bench, he had already tallied 12 points. Munich's offense was now in high gear, K.C. Rivers grabbed the rebound and took it coast-to-coast for the bucket and one (19-8, 8'). Before one could say Bayern would run away with the game, Khimki woke up with an 8-0 spurt to get within 19-16 (9'). However Anton Gavel made sure FCBB would sit on top after the first ten minutes by knocking down a three-pointer (22-16, 10').

2nd Quarter

Bayern started off the second quarter with full confidence and in an offensive rhythm. Bryant started with a baby hook and score. Rivers drove easily for another two points. Paul Zipser decided against a three-pointer, drove past his defender for a basket and a foul. Former Bayern player Tyrese Rice turned it over on the next possesion, and Rivers went back down and scored again, Munich were rolling and Moscow had to call time (33-18, 14'). Rice made up for the miscue and hit a three-pointer, as did teammate Alexey Shved. Coach Pesic was forced to call timeout (35-24, 16').

Rivers responded out of the break and was on target from beyond-the-arc (38-24, 17'). The Bayern offense got back in gear. Djedovic pushed the action forward and fed Taylor who scored, and Renfroe raised the Dome roof and got the fans up out of their seats by cleaning up a loose ball on the rim and slamming it home (42-26, 19'). Munich were ready to take a commanding lead into the halftime break, but Shved scored five points near the end of the quarter. The Reds still led 45-31 but it was a sign that the Russians would not go away easily in the second half.

3rd Quarter

Khimki started the third quarter making another three-pointer, which opened up the game for the next minutes. Renfroe finished off a wonderful give-and-go with Thompson for the score, Thompson later dunked it home, and Savanovic found a cutting Djedovic all alone under the basket for the easy layup (51-34, 23'). Rice started heating up and he scored a three-pointer and basket (53-41, 25'). After another Moscow spurt to get the visitors back under double-digits, Coach Pesic called time (55-46, 27'). Rivers responded once more with a three-pointer to get the lead back up to 12, but James Augustine finished a dunk, and then was blessed by the basketball Gods, throwing up a prayer and beating the buzzer for a three-pointer. Bayern's lead was now only 59-51 heading into the final ten minutes.

4th Quarter

Bayern's offensive outtage continued in the fourth quarter, but fortunately, Khimki could not take advantage as they too struggled from the field. Thompson put his stamp on the game, scoring consecutive baskets, grabbing key rebounds and later a steal.  Savanovic's bucket to make it 67-55 forced Khimki to take a timeout and arrange for a final run (37'). Rice's three-pointer came a bit too late, and Rivers completed the scoring calmly sinking his free-throws. Bayern hold on for their first Euroleague of the season 69-60.

UPCOMING GAMES:

Beko BBL, Gameday 5:
Sunday, 25th October, 17:00 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs. medi bayreuth

Turkish Airlines Euroleague, Regular Season, Round 3:
Friday, 30th October, 20:00 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs. Strasbourg Basket

Beko BBL, Gameday 6:
Sunday, 1st November, 17:00 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs. BG Göttingen