presented by
On the brink

Real puts Bayern’s Euroleague hopes in jeopardy

FC Bayern Basketball were undone by Real Madrid Baloncesto 86-67 in Round 9 of the Euroleague Regular Season and missed out on clinching a spot in the Top 16 this week and will have to wait for the final game to decide their fate.

A sold-out Audi Dome witnessed Munich control most of the first half and take a lead into halftime. But the defending champs displayed their mettle, Real Madrid exploded in the third quarter offensively while Bayern could only stand and watch. K.C. Rivers stepped up against his former team to lead Bayern with 22 points thanks to six three-pointers, but the inside-outside duo of Gustavo Ayon (22 points and 9 rebounds) and Sergio Llull (18 points and 4 three-pointers) were too much for the Reds.

The loss now sets up a true "do or die" game next Friday, December 18th (tip-off 19:00 CET) in Belgrade against Red Star. A win, and they are in. A loss would mean they would have to rely on many scenarios. Before they can focus on moving on in the Euroleague, Munich travel to take on the Giessen 46ers in the Basketball Bundesliga. The game tips off on Sunday, December 13th at 17:00 CET.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - REAL): 18-20, 20-16, 13-29, 16-21

FC Bayern Team: K.C. Rivers (22 points/6 three-pointers), Deon Thompson (10), Paul Zipser (9), Dusko Savanovic (9/8 rebounds), Anton Gavel (5/5 assists), Alex Renfroe (4/4 ast), Bryce Taylor (4), John Bryant (4), Nihad Djedovic, Vasilije Micic. DNP: Andreas Seiferth and Daniel Mayr.


Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "We saw two completely different games today. We played very good basketball in the first 20 minutes. My team fought and invested a lot. In the second half we did not have the energy to stay in the game. Although we did try to battle back, but when you don't make easy shots and you lack the sense of achievement, you cannot build the confidence to stand up against such a strong opponent."

Anton Gavel, Guard, FCBB: "Defense was the reason that we lost. We were not able to make any stops, and when you add up themany mistakes on offense, then you will have a such a second half."

Paul Zipser, Forward, FCBB: "We didn't play with the same intensity as we did in the first half that one needs against Real. After halftime, we just fell apart. We had to fight back, but we were not able to do so."

Pablo Laso, Head Coach, Real Madrid: "We did a good job on defense today. We had our own problems to control K.C. Rivers, but we stayed focused, executed our gameplan and our opponents let us pass the ball. Bayern was a tough opponent. This was a team victory today. There's still one game in front of us and everything is still possible for both teams."


1st Quarter

The Euroleague "Game of the Week" would showcase not only two brand names in European sports, but highlighted FCBB Head Coach Svetislav Pesic's 100th game in this competition in charge of a team. He chose former Real Madrid player K.C. Rivers who won the title last year to join Alex Renfroe, Bryce Taylor, Dusko Savanovic and Deon Thompson as the starting five. A fast start by Bayern as Taylor stole the ball and fed Thompson who flushed it home for the dunk. Rivers and Savanovic sank consecutive three-pointers to keep the early offensive rhythm going (8-3, 3' minutes). Renfroe drove by defender for the easy layup and Thompson with the jumper, Madrid called timeout (12-5, 5'). After Rivers scored to make it 14-7, Real turned up the defense and their offense got them back into the game. Gustavo Ayon converted a three-point-play and Trey Thompkins nailed a three-pointer to retake the lead (14-15, 9'). Paul Zipser ended the 8-0 run but Ayon scored again and Sergio Llull's three-pointer earned the visitors the 20-18 lead after the first quarter.

2nd Quarter

With game on between both teams looking to make the Top 16, the offensive flurry from the end of the first turned into a defensive battle. Zipser was the wall, contributing two blocks and scoring a bucket to keep Munich close (20-22, 14') but Real scored twice to increase their lead forcing Coach Pesic to call timeout (22-28, 15'). His troops responded, persistence on the boards allowed Savanovic to tip in a score, and later, Taylor was good from the top of the key for three, Madrid called time (28-30, 17'). After Savanovic's free-throws tied the game at 30-all, Rivers sank a couple of three-pointers from the same spot in front of the Bayern bench for the lead (36-34, 19'). Rivers continued to give his former team troubles, scoring again and ensuring the Reds would lead 38-36 at halftime.

3rd Quarter

At the start of the second half, it was Real who had a fast start, immediately jumping back into the lead thanks to Llull's three-pointer (38-39, 22') who followed with another one from long distance (40-44, 24'). Ayon added four points in the 7-0 spurt, Bayern called time (40-48, 25'). But the points kept coming for the defending Euroleague champions, thanks to Llull and Ayon. The lead kept growing as the run now stood at 14-0 (40-55, 27'). Zipser's three-pointer broke the drought for Munich and Rivers swished two more himself, but Trey Thompkins answered each time for the Los Blancos to help them take a 65-51 lead into the final quarter. 

4th Quarter

Real Madrid were one game away from being eliminated in their title defense a couple of weeks ago. They started the fourth quarter to make a statement to Bayern and the rest of the teams that they are still alive and kicking. A 14-4 run punctuated by a Globetrotteresque passing display finished by a dunk, effectively decided the game (55-79, 35'). Rivers was the only Bayern player who had the hot hand on the evening, sinking another three-pointer but Thompkins was there to answer once again (58-82, 37'). Madrid are now one win away from continuing their title defense after the 86-67 loss. Bayern will now play a "win or go home" game when they visit Red Star Belgrade next Friday. A win will clinch a Top 16 spot for the Reds a second year in a row.


Beko BBL, Gameday 12:
Sunday, 13th December, 17:00 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at Giessen 46ers

Turkish Airlines Euroleague, Regular Season, Round 10:
Friday, 18th December, 19:00 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at Red Star Belgrade

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