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Road bump

Fenerbahce rally past Bayern in Euroleague opener

FC Bayern Basketball could not buy a basket in the fourth quarter while Fenerbahce Istanbul hit clutch three-pointers to outscore Munich 22-8 and rally for the 74-67 win in Euroleague Group A.

Bayern built multiple double-digit leads but Fenerbahce stayed close until the hot hand of Bobby Dixon led the home side into the lead that they never relinquished.

Alex Renfroe and Nihad Djedovic led Bayern with 14 points each, however, key turnovers and lack of shots in the final quarter could not overcome a determined Fenerbahce team.

Bayern return home to start a five-game homestand, starting with two games next week to avenge their last two losses. First, they host Mitteldeutscher BC on Monday, October 19th after losing their first BBL game at home this season against Bonn. Tip-off is set for 20:00 CEST. And they hope to earn their first Euroleague win on Thursday, October 22nd when Khimki Moscow come to the Audi Dome for a 20:45 tip-off.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - FENE): 20-10, 19-20, 20-22, 8-22

FC Bayern team: Alex Renfroe (14 points/4 rebounds/4 assists), Nihad Djedovic (14/3 Steals), Paul Zipser (8), Deon Thompson (8), John Bryant (7/7 reb/4 stl), Dusko Savanovic (7), K.C. Rivers (5), Anton Gavel (4). DNP: Andreas Seiferth, Karim Jallow, Vasilije Micic and Daniel Mayr.

POSTGAME REACTION:

Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "Congratulations to Fenerbahce, but we had a very good chance to win the game. We played good defense for stretches during this game, and executed well. We could not have played better team defense at this stage to start the season. However, in the second half, especially in the last quarter, we had problems with rebounds as they grabbed 13 offensive rebounds after the break. We failed in the last moments to execute and grab the defensive rebounds. Fenerbahce was very aggressive tonight, and that made the difference at the end."

Alex Renfroe, Guard, FCBB: "We were in a perfect situation in the third quarter to win today. We only had to continue bringing it till the end. Along with their offensive rebounds, our offense was the difference - they took away our attack at the end. They scored, we didn't."

Zeljko Obradovic, Head Coach, FENE: "We had to show more passion in the second half. They controlled us the entire first half. At the end, that was the key to victory against this strong Munich team."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS:

1st Quarter

Bayern welcomed their first game of the Euroleague season 2015-16 with Alex Renfroe, Nihad Djedovic, Paul Zipser, Dusko Savanovic and John Bryant as the starting five. In the opening minutes, the start could not have gone worse for Bayern. Nikola Kalinic opened the scoring with a layup and Pero Antic followed with a turnaround jumper as Fenerbahce sped to a 6-0 lead (2' minutes). Istanbul's offense stalled thanks to turnovers and Bayern's heated up.

First Savanovic - playing in his 100th Euroleague game - with his own spinning "J", and then he tied it up (6-6, 4'). Thompson earned Munich their first lead with a score, Renfroe with a drive and a raindrop bucket, and then Zipser and Renfroe knocked down consecutive three-pointers to complete the 16-2 run (16-8, 8'). Fenerbahce called timeout to stop the run. Djedovic finished off the quarter scoring with a long jumper and, after a Bryant stole the ball, layed it up for two more to complete the first 10 minutes with a 20-10 lead.

2nd Quarter

Fenerbahce was not going to go down without a fight, especially at home, and they started the second quarter with consecutive three-pointers to cut into the Bayern lead (20-16, 12'). Renfroe righted the ship with two baskets and Zipser finished off a dunk to build the lead back up and forced Istanbul to call a timeout (26-18, 15'). Renfroe did not stop after the short break, grabbing his own miss from long-distance and scoring (28-20, 16'). K.C. Rivers got into the action scoring his first basket and Bryant continued to build the lead with an offensive put-back. Bayern built their largest lead at 15 points (37-22, 18'). Fenerbahce finished the quarter on an 8-2 run, but Bayern led 39-30 at halftime.

3rd Quarter

Jan Vesely opened the second half scoring with a rim-shaking slam dunk, but Deon Thompson countered with his own dunk action (41-33, 23'). Fenerbahce's defense kept Bayern from scoring more, and their 8-0 run tied it all up forcing Coach Pesic to call time (41-41, 24'). Zipser came out of the timeout with a strong drive to the hoop and though he missed the slam, he drew the foul and the ball still went in. The young German national converted the three-point-play, however Luigi Datome's shot from distance evened the score once more (44-44, 25').

Bryant scored on a smooth, low-post move, and Savanovic and Renfroe added money-ball shots from beyond the arc, Munich back up 52-45 (28'). Just like at the end of the first quarter, Djedovic saved his best for latter part of the quarter. After converting a pair of free-throws, he stole the ball and went in for the easy lay-in, and finished off the run with a three-pointer (59-47, 29'). Bayern seemed to be heading into the final quarter in good shape with both the lead and the momentum. They kept the lead, but a buzzer-beating, off-the-glass prayer trey by Bobby Dixon swung the momentum and signaled a sign of things to come for the final ten minutes (59-52, 30').

4th Quarter

Former Atlanta Hawk Antic made the opening three-pointer and almost followed with another that just spun in-and-out. However Dixon's long bomb did go in and earned Fenerbahce the lead for the first time since the first quarter (59-60, 34'). Munich's offense could not respond as they were out of sync, including a couple of travelling calls. Rivers' free throw tied all up again at 60 a piece, but Dixon was deadly once more (60-63, 35').

Bayern's weakness on the boards now started to cost them as Istanbul held possession after missed shots.  Datome was able to easily maintain possession after his three-pointer try missed and then drove in easily for the score. Bogdan Bogdanovic earned Fenerbahce the winning cushion with a three-point dagger, timeout Munich (62-68, 37'). A final frenzy by Bayern to get back even would never happen, and final buckets by the hosts confirmed the final score and the Bayern 74-67 loss.

UPCOMING GAMES:

Beko BBL, Gameday 4:
Monday, 19th October, 20:00 CEST, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs. Mitteldeutscher BC

Turkish Airlines Euroleague, Regular Season, Round 2:
Thursday, 22nd October, 20:45 CEST, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs. Khimki Moscow Region

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