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Euroleague

Belgrade bounce Bayern from Euroleague

FC Bayern Basketball displayed the talent and fight to continue to the Euroleague Top 16, however could not answer the bell in crunch time in the 85-76 loss against Red Star Belgrade. Bayern will now play in the Eurocup Last 32 round.

After falling behind early to Red Star in the sold-out Pionir Arena, Munich fought back to take an 11-point lead in the final quarter. However, the hosts rode the emotions of their 9,000-strong crowd to outscore Bayern 29-9 the rest of the way and earn their way into the Top 16. Dusko Savanovic led Bayern with 19 points and Deon Thompson added 17 points, but the offense disappeared in key moments as Belgrade hit the big shots.

Bayern finish fifth in the tough Group A and thus qualify to continue their European season in the Eurocup Last 32. They will play home-and-home games in Group G against Turkey's Banvit BK, Bilbao Basket from Spain, and Basketball Bundesliga rival ratiopharm ulm. Games will be played between January 5 - February 10, 2016.

Before the games in the new year, the Reds will focus the rest of 2015 playing in the BBL, first hosting high-flying MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg. The game will tip-off on Sunday, December 20th at 17:00 CET.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - BELG): 20-31, 20-13, 25-12, 11-29

FC Bayern Team: Dusko Savanovic (19 points/6 rebounds), Deon Thompson (17/5 reb), K.C. Rivers (10), Alex Renfroe (9), Nihad Djedovic (8), Bryce Taylor (4), Anton Gavel (4/6 assists), John Bryant (3), Paul Zipser (2), Vasilije Micic, Andreas Seiferth. DNP: Daniel Mayr

POSTGAME REACTION

Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "Red Star earned the victory, but I believe we can be satisfied with our performance today. We displayed character. We only received two free throws from the referees in the final ten minutes, even though Red Star were defending very aggressive. I think the atmosphere had an influence. We defended well, but we didn't grab the necessary rebounds to play our transition basketball. That was the problem."

Bryce Taylor, Guard, FCBB: "We really played hard and fought to a 10-, 11-point lead. Then they made a run and made crazy shots. We had a few of these similar games this season - too many."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

1st Quarter

Even before tip-off, the atmosphere for this Euroleague Top 16 play-in game was at the boiling point. FCBB Head Coach Svetislav Pesic sent Alex Renfroe, K.C. Rivers, Bryce Taylor, Dusko Savanovic and Deon Thompson as the starting five in front of 9,000 fans at Pionir Arena. Thompson's turnaround jumper opened the scoring and Savanovic's three-pointer tied the game (5-5, 3' minutes) but Red Star found the shooting touch from beyond-the-arc, as Marko Simonovic and Quincy Miller nailed three-pointers during an 11-0 run (5-16, 4'). John Bryant stopped the run with a bucket, but Simonovic and Miller struck once again, building a 23-10 lead (6'). Savanovic helped bring Munich back into the game, draining consecutive three-pointers (16-25, 7'). Nihad Djedovic asserted himself first with a strong drive and layup, and after a Zipser block started a fastbreak, the Bosnian finished the transition with another score. However Belgrade still led 30-21 after the first quarter.

2nd Quarter

Bayern's run continued into the second quarter, Renfroe first hit the short jumper, then dished off to Zipser who finished underneath the basket. Thompson scored again, the 6-0 spurt forced Red Star to call timeout (26-31, 13'). Munich were now in a groove, buckets by Thompson and Taylor, followed by great ball movement as Renfroe pushed ahead to Savanovic in the corner who passed it back out Rivers, he swished the trey. Red Star were stumbling and thus called time (33-36, 17'). The hosts were able to fend off Bayern to hold the 44-40 lead into halftime, but this game was far from over.

3rd Quarter

Down 46-40 at the start of the third, Renfroe knocked down a trey from the top of the key. Djedovic then confidently stole the ball, went down the court for the fastbreak layup... and one! Tie game at 46-all (23'). A minute later, Renfroe earned Munich's first lead since 2-0 with a bucket, and Red Star called a timeout (48-46, 24'). As the quarter progressed, Bayern started to extend the lead and displayed an effort worthy of the Top 16. Thompson finished a 5-0 burst off a pick'n'roll with a two-hand flush (26'), and after Stefan Jovic stumbled and lost the ball, Anton Gavel was happy to pick it up and take it the other way for the easy layup to complete the 6-0 spurt (59-52, 28'). K.C. Rivers ensured the Reds a lead after three quarters sinking consecutive three-pointers. Bayern were 10 minutes away from the next round holding a 65-56 lead.

4th Quarter

Both teams came out nervous in the final quarter with early turnovers, however Savanovic took a drive'n'dish from Zipser for the score and an 11-point lead (67-56, 32'). Belgrade regained the shooting touch from the first quarter to get back in the game. Jovic made up for the turnover with a long three-point and Marko Guduric followed with one of his own and a free-throw for a four-point-play. The 9-0 run forced Pesic to call a timeout (67-65, 33'). Guduric found the net from long range once again and Miller's scored regained the lead for the hosts (69-70, 35'). Thompson's baby hook and Renfroe's score kept Munich in front, however Bayern's crunchtime failures from previous games would once again rear its ugly head.

Miller dunked it home in transition for the lead thanks to a Bayern turnover (73-74, 36') and German international Maik Zirbes took it to the hoop, Pesic called timeout (73-76, 37'). Additional turnovers and missed three-point shots could not turn the tide and get Munich back on track. Miller and Jovic provided the daggers, hitting huge three-pointers to clinch the 85-76 win and ensure it was Red Star who moved on to the Euroleague Top 16 and Bayern would continue in the Eurocup.

UPCOMING GAMES

Beko BBL, Gameday 13:
Sunday, 20th December, 17:00 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg

Beko BBL, Gameday 14:
Wednesday, 23rd December, 18:30 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at Basketball Loewen Braunschweig

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