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Climbing up the ranks

Bayern tame Lions 82-63

FC Bayern Basketball defeated the Basketball Lions Braunschweig 82-63 to win their third consecutive Basketball Bundesliga game and move into third place in the standings.

John Bryant scored 19 points and grabbed 8 rebounds to lead Munich, while Dusko Savanovic added 17 points and 6 rebounds, as the Reds pulled away in the decisive third quarter with a dominating defensive effort to disappoint most of the soldout Volkswagen Arena.

After a short Christmas break, Bayern will return to the court on Boxing Day to host promoted s.Oliver Baskets from Würzburg in a Bavarian Derby. Tip-off is on Saturday, December 26th at 17:00 CET.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - BRAU): 21-16, 26-26, 20-9, 15-12

FC Bayern Team: John Bryant (19 points/8 rebounds), Dusko Savanovic (17/6 reb), Bryce Taylor (11), Deon Thompson (11/7 reb), Nihad Djedovic (8/6 assists), Paul Zipser (8), Anton Gavel (5/5 ast), Alex Renfroe (3/6 ast), Vasilije Micic. DNP: Daniel Mayr, Dejan Kovacevic and Andreas Seiferth.

POSTGAME REACTION

Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "We had a lot of respect for Braunschweig considering their recent results and good organization in the game. But we had to find continuity in our defense from minute to minute. For me it was clear that we would win if we maintained this focus and intensity in defense. We didn't just stop their guard (Keaton) Grant. Overall, we played a very good game."

Raoul Korner, Head Coach, Braunschweig: "Congratulations to Coach (Svetislav) Pesic and his team for the well-deserved victory. We could only offer an even game for one half, in the third quarter, we lost control of the game, which was also due to the defense from Bayern. We did not have the extraordinary day that you need to have against Munich."

Anton Gavel, Guard, FCBB: "Bryce Taylor did an extremely great job against Keaton Grant. To stop the top scorer in the league was halfway to the win."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

1st Quarter

Alex Renfroe, Bryce Taylor, Nihad Djedovic, Dusko Savanovic and John Bryant opened up the pre-Christmas matchup against the Basketball Lions of Braunschweig, winners of their last three games. Many mistakes and missed shots on both sides marked the modest opening minutes, the soldout crowd could only enjoy a few offensive highlights (9-9, 5' minutes). Bryant scored five consecutive points including a three-pointer (16-11, 7') and Anton Gavel once again provided an early spark off the bench with a trey (19-14, 8') to ensure the visitors would finish ahead 21-16 after the first quarter.

2nd Quarter

Taylor kept the league's leading scorer Keaton Grant (18 points per game) in check, however it was Armin Stevens who needed the blanket coverage. The American opened the quarter converting consecutive three-point-plays to give the Lions the 22-21 lead. Paul Zipser answered with back-to-back treys for Munich (29-26, 14'). Stevens continued his hot streak, dunking home one and later scoring again to recapture the lead (29-30, 13'). Coach Pesic looked for a way to cool off Stevens by calling a timeout. Stevens' last score of the quarter put Braunschweig in the lead for the last time, as soon after, Savanovic nailed a three-pointer and followed with free-throws, the hosts had to call timeout (36-32, 15'). Two more free-throws from Zipser extended the lead to six, Braunschweig crept back to within two points thanks to the now active Grant, but Savanovic and Bryant made sure Bayern led 47-42 at the half.

3rd Quarter

Coach Pesic's speech in the locker room resonated in the his team's performance in the opening quarter of the second half. Savanovic opened the scoring for the Reds, and Bryant swished yet another three-pointer, timeout Braunschweig (54-45, 23'). Munich's run continued with a Savanovic bucket and a Taylor three-pointer (59-47, 25'). Thompson's three-point-play and his teammates' defensive effort against now both Grant and Stevens resulted in an 16-5 run (63-47, 28'). Nihad Djedovic capped the quarter with a shot that beat the buzzer for the 67-51 lead.

4th Quarter

The Lions tried to scratch back with an opening spurt in the final quarter, but Renfroe connected from beyond-the-arc to squash any thoughts of a comeback (72-57, 34'). Bryant followed with scores on both sides of a Braunschweig timeout (76-57, 36') and the Californian effectively iced the game with a minute left (78-61, 39'). Bayern now join Bamberg and Berlin at the top of the table for a familiar 1-2-3, just in time as the league head towards the New Year.

UPCOMING GAMES

Beko BBL, Gameday 15:
Saturday, 26th December, 17:00 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs s.Oliver Baskets

Beko BBL, Gameday 16:
Wednesday, 30th December, 20:30 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at WALTER Tigers Tübingen

Beko BBL, Gameday 17:
Sunday, 3rd January, 17:00 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs ratiopharm ulm