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Madrid edge Bayern in thriller

FC Bayern Basketball fell short in dramatic fashion to shock the defending Euroleague champions Real Madrid, losing 101-99 in a 40-minute thriller.

The Spaniards jumped out to a 15-point lead in the first quarter, but Bayern were sparked by former Real player K.C. Rivers' buzzer beaters to end both the first and second quarters, the last a three-pointer to tie the game at 51-all at halftime.

The nervous crowd of 9,027 were treated to a battle worthy of a title fight as both teams battled back and forth in the third quarter that Bayern ended up controlling and built a double-digit lead themselves. The hosts made one final run and completed their comeback with a last-second three-pointer by Jaycee Carroll.

Bayern will have a couple of days to shake off the disappointment as they will play once more on the road, this time in Frankfurt in the Basketball Bundesliga. The FRAPORT SKYLINERS welcome Munich on Sunday, November 7th for the 17:00 CET tip-off.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - RMA): 20-33, 31-18, 30-22, 18-28

FC Bayern Team: Nihad Djedovic (22 points/4 three-pointers), Alex Renfroe (21/3 3ptrs), K.C. Rivers (15/3 3ptrs), John Bryant (14), Dusko Savanovic (9), Deon Thompson (6), Anton Gavel (4), Bryce Taylor (4/6 rebounds), Paul Zipser (4). DNP: Daniel Mayr, Vasilije Micic, and Andreas Seiferth.


Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "That was an unbelievable game. We gave them too much respect at the beginning as we defended terribly. That changed right before the halftime break, we attacked on offense and defended much better, and that gave us self-confidence. We had a big chance to win, and if we won, that would have been well-deserved. No one enjoys losses. But we played very well today, and that should help bring us further in our next challenge."

Pablo Laso, Head Coach, Real Madrid: "We were very lucky with this win, as that was a tough game against a tremendous opponent."


1st Quarter

Alex Renfroe, Bryce Taylor, Nihad Djedovic, Dusko Savanovic and Deon Thompson formed the starting five as Bayern Basketball looked to win their first road game in the Euroleague Regular Season. Waiting for them were last season's champions Real Madrid and their roster full of former NBA and Spanish internationals, and they scored first. Savanovic tied the game with a baseline jumper (2-2, 1' minute) but Real went on a 6-0 run thanks to missed shots by Munich and transition scores the other way by Madrid. Coach Pesic was forced to call timeout (2-8, 3'). Real's run continued thanks to Spanish internationals Rudy Fernandez and Felipe Reyes (6-16, 5').

Djedovic swished a three-pointer from the top of the key to give Bayern's offense some life but Reyes could not be stopped in the first half, five more points and Pesic had to call time once more (11-22, 7'). After Fernandez's free-throws increased Real's lead to 25-11, Bayern started to chip away. Anton Gavel connected for three, Savanovic finished a strong post-up move with a fadeaway jumper, and Renfroe through the lane for a drive and dunk (18-30, 9'). All looked lost after Sergio Llull made a three-pointer for the 15-point lead, but K.C. Rivers beat the buzzer to give Munich hope despite the 33-20 deficit after the first quarter. 

2nd Quarter

The final shot made by Rivers in the first quarter sparked the Bayern offense with a 6-0 run to start the second quarter (26-33, 12'). After Jaycee Carroll nailed a three-pointer, Bayern executed a textbook pick'n'roll, Djedovic with a perfect bounce pass to Bryant who finished with a dunk. Renfroe followed with a strong drive and score, Real had to call timeout (30-36, 13'). Carroll continued his hot hand, draining a couple of more three-pointers but Renfroe displayed his range, doing a little shimmy and connecting from downtown for a three-pointer (33-42, 15').

Fernandez helped Real back up to 45-34 when Munich started yet another run before the half. Rivers from the corner for three... swish! (39-45, 17'). After a Madrid turnover, Taylor confidently sank a three from the wing, timeout Real (44-47, 18'). The hosts were looking to go in with the lead at halftime, until Renfroe's drive resulted in two points thanks to a goaltend. Madrid set up for the final shot, but couldn't not convert, Zipser pushed it up the floor and it was Rivers once more, right before the halftime buzzer, for three and swish! Bayern and Real go into the break tied at 51-all.

3rd Quarter

The game was on, and both teams came out in the second half looking to take control. This led to two heavyweights exchanging blows worthy of a title fight. Real earned the lead after consecutive turnovers by the Bavarians, but Renfroe got the lead back with a three-pointer off the pick (58-57, 24'). Llull kept Real in the fight to score for the 64-62 lead, but Bayern started a tremendous offensive display in the following minutes. Rivers for three, followed by Djedovic, nothing but net for another three (68-64, 26'). Savanovic and Djedovic again continued to bury the long-range treys, and then Deon bookended a timeout with scores, including a dunk (78-67, 28'). Munich were rolling and Real had to call timeout. The teams slowed down before the end but Bayern were looking confident for the upset as they led 81-73 after three quarters.

4th Quarter

Zipser saved Taylor to begin the scoring in the fourth quarter, coming down with the captain's airball miss and scoring. The young German showed some vision as well, finding Renfroe open in the paint for the easier score (85-75, 33'). It was Madrid's duty to chip away and keep close this time, but Thompson drove the lane for the strong hoop, and he set a high pick for Renfroe who found open space to the basket, his layup was swatted away but ruled a goaltend (89-79, 35'). Madrid looked for a final push from Llull and they got it as he helped the hosts cut the 10-point Bayern lead in half (93-88, 37') but Djedovic was clutch with a three-pointer that would normally sink the other team (96-88, 38').

But Llull was relentless and his presence picked up the defending Euroleague champions as they went on a 10-0 run to take the lead with :35 seconds left (96-98, 39'). Bayern had lost their confidence on offense, struggling to get a clean shot off. Crunch time, and Renfroe was up for the task, draining a three-pointer for the 99-98 lead. However, Carroll was the hero, once again with perfect form, hit the three-pointer to earn Real for the final lead of the night. With no timeouts, Bayern pushed the ball up the floor in the final three seconds, Renfroe got a final shot off but it was short. Madrid escape with the 101-99 win and are now tied with Bayern at 2-2 in Group A.


Beko BBL, Gameday 7:
Sunday, 8th November, 17:00 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at FRAPORT SKYLINERS

Turkish Airlines Euroleague, Regular Season, Round 5:
Thursday, 12th November, 20:45 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs Red Star Belgrade

Beko BBL, Gameday 8:
Sunday, 15th November, 17:00 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at ALBA BERLIN