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Bayern come undone in Ulm

FC Bayern Basketball lost for the first time in nine games in the BEKO Basketball Bundesliga, losing 91-72 to ratiopharm ulm thanks to a lineup weakened without team captain Bryce Taylor and All-Star Nihad Djedovic.

The soldout arena (A: 6200) witnessed an inspired performance from the hosts after their two losses in Munich in January in both the BBL and Eurocup. Bayern were able to match the intensity until a late third quarter meltdown after Deon Thompson was ejected (two technical fouls) that led to Ulm taking control of the scoreboard and thus earning the win.

Justin Cobbs and Dusko Savanovic led Munich, each scoring 16 points, but Chris Babb (29 points), Raymar Morgan (23 points), Ulm's 29 assists and Bayern's 17 turnovers were too much to overcome.

Bayern will return to the arena in Neu-Ulm to close out their Group G schedule on Wednesday, February 10th at 19:30 CET. Munich have already clinched a spot in the next round and Ulm are eliminated. The Reds return home on Saturday, February 13th to host the Basketball Lions of Braunschweig for a 18:30 tip-off.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - ULM): 22-24, 18-23, 23-25, 9-19

FC Bayern Team: Justin Cobbs (16 points), Dusko Savanovic (16/4 three-pointers), Anton Gavel (11/8 assists), Alex Renfroe (10/6 ast), Deon Thompson (9), Maximillian Kleber (4), Paul Zipser (3/8 reb/5 ast), John Bryant (2/6 reb), Daniel Mayr (1), Karim Jallow. DNP: Dejan Kovacevic and Sebastian Schmitt.


Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "Congratulations to Ulm. There's a lot to talk about this game, but for the known reasons one cannot. We had 17 turnovers, our field goal percentage was below our average. Ulm played extremely well, also on defense, they were apparentely additionally motivated after the two losses against us. Still we were able to tilt the game back to our favor thanks to our defense, taking the 61-60 lead. Then this intentional foul was whistled against Deon Thompson. But this should not happen to us, that we stop playing."

Anton Gavel, Guard, FCBB: "We allowed the decisive run in the third quarter. Deon Thompson's ejection due to a referee's decision was of course bitter. However, we have a team than can compensate for such losses, but we were unable to do it today."

Thorsten Leibenath, Head Coach, FCBB: "I am happy with the way how we played the game and won, and how we were able to apply pressure on defense. Our good offensive performance can be measured by one number - 29 assists should be our season-high. But one should be fair and not forget, that Munich were without (Bryce) Taylor and (Nihad) Djedovic, two missing key players."


1st Quarter

Alex Renfroe, Anton Gavel, Paul Zipser, Deon Thompson and Dusko Savanovic were chosen by FCBB Head Coach Svetislav Pesic to start the game and extend their Basketball Bundesliga win streak to nine games. Bayern's sharpshooters started off hot, as Savanovic started with a three-pointer, and Gavel knocked down a couple more treys for the early lead (9-2, 3' minutes). Renfroe continued the early run with three baskets and the Reds were doubling up their hosts (18-9, 5'). The game changed as Munich started making mental errors - technical fouls and turnovers - and that woke up Ulm. A 10-point spurt started by BBL All-Star MVP Per Günther and completed by a three-point-play by Raymar Morgan gave them the lead, and Coach Pesic called timeout (18-19, 7'). Bayern could not gather themselves with another turnover, and Morgan finished the 12-0 run. Maximilian Kleber evened the score at 21-all with a three-pointer (9'), however Ulm ended the quarter with one of their own and finished the quarter up 24-22.

2nd Quarter

Munich were already reeling as the second quarter started, needing almost three minutes to score. Fortunatetly Ulm could not take advantage and Justin Cobbs scored to keep it close (24-26, 13'). A 5-0 spurt from Ulm forced yet another timeout from Coach Pesic (24-31, 14'). Both teams started a nice exchange of action, matching score for score. Former NBA player Chris Babb was accurate from behind-the-arc a couple of times, but Savanovic kept Munich close, first hitting all three free-throws after being fouled on his three-point attempt, then making one the next trip down (34-38, 17'). Gunther and Paul Zipser exchanged three-pointers near the end of the quarter, and Morgan's free-throws ensured Ulm would take the seven-point lead they held for much of the quarter into the locker rooms (40-47, 20').

3rd Quarter

Babb started the second half true from long distance, however Savanovic and Renfroe answered as well with three-pointers (46-50, 22'). Munich's turnover bug showed up again, and Morgan took advantage scoring on that possession, and adding to Coach Pesic's frustration was Ulm's second chances, he called timeout (46-57, 24'). Cobbs continued to provide energy and scoring punch from the bench, first scoring to get Munich back on track. Gavel stole the ball, and Renfroe fed Deon Thompson for the alley-oop slam.Cobbs then countered Babb's three-pointer with two of his own, and Savanovic nailed another trey, the 9-0 run forced Ulm Head Coach Thorsten Leibenath to call timeout as Bayern were back in the game (59-60, 27'). Thompson with yet another dunk after the timeout, the Reds were in front for the first time since the first quarter at 61-60.

The hosts quickly took back the lead and slowly extended it to distance themselves from Bayern. Thompson was called for another unsportsman-like technical foul, his second thus an automatic ejection from the game. Babb and Morgan were the culprits during the 12-0 run and Ulm were up 72-61. Cobbs stopped the flood with a basket but the Reds were in a hole heading into the final quarter down 72-63.

4th Quarter

Coach Pesic was assessed a technical between the quarters while expressing his dissatisfaction with the referees, Günther converted the free-throw. Yet another crucial Bayern turnover was part of Ulm's scoring run, and the lead was now 16 points (63-79, 32'). As the teams headed into crunchtime, the players tightened up and the scoring disappeared for a couple of minutes. Unfortunately for Munich, Morgan and Babb were the first to shake it off and the lead grew to an insurmountable 19 points (84-65, 35'). Ulm's defense clamped down on any comeback attempt by Munich as indicated by the 9 points total scored by the Reds in the final quarter. Bayern lose 91-72 and will need to shake it off before the Eurocup matchup right back here on Wednesday.


Eurocup, Last 32, Game 6:
Wednesday, 10th February, 19:30 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at ratiopharm ulm

Beko BBL, Gameday 22:
Saturday, 13th February, 18:30 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs Basketball Löwen Braunschweig

Beko BBL, Gameday 19*:
Tuesday, 16th February, 19:30 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at BG Göttingen