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Playoff-bound

Bayern clinch playoff berth in Bonn

FC Bayern Basketball booked their ticket to the BEKO Basketball Bundesliga playoffs with the 95-81 win against the Telekom Baskets in Bonn.

Deon Thompson and Bryce Taylor led Munich with 16 points each, while Alex Renfroe (12 points/5 rebounds/7 assists) and Paul Zipser (12 points/6 rebounds) contributed solid efforts in the relatively easy win. Nihad Djedovic enjoyed his return for Bayern after a long injury layoff with five points, while John Bryant enjoyed a night off

Bayern remain in second place for the all-important postseason tournament seedings and will host consecutive games home games to start April. On Sunday, April 3rd, the Phoenix Hagen visit the Audi Dome, followed by the WALTER Tigers from Tübingen on the following Sunday, April 10th. Both games will tip-off at 17:00 CEST.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - BONN): 28-16, 27-23, 25-24, 15-18

FC Bayern Team: Deon Thompson (16 points/5 rebounds), Bryce Taylor (16), Alex Renfroe (12/5 reb/7 assists), Paul Zipser (12/6 reb), Dusko Savanovic (10), Vitalis Chikoko (10), Maximilian Kleber (8), Nihad Djedovic (5), Justin Cobbs (4/4 assists), Anton Gavel (2), and Daniel Mayr.

POSTGAME REACTION

Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "We played extremely focused for 30 minutes. In the situation that we find ourselves at the moment, it was our defense and the turnovers that created our perfect game on offense. We had about 21 turnovers in Istanbul, 15 in the first 20 minutes alone. Today there were only five until the final quarter. Bonn did display a fighting spirit and more intensity of course, but frankly that was not the reason that we still had nine turnovers in the fourth quarter. We will analyze this as that was the only issue that was not good. I am happy with everything else."

Maxililian Kleber, Center, FCBB: "We started strong, but then we had a weak phase once again that we have to stop in the future. Regardless we delivered a strong performance today from which we can build. Second place (in the final standings) is extremely important, as homecourt advantage in the playoffs is always good. We know that we have a difficult task ahead of us, but we want to win all of the remaining games."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

1st Quarter

FCBB Head Coach Svetislav Pesic chose Deon Thompson, Alex Renfroe, Paul Zipser, Maxi Kleber and Anton Gavel as the starting five as Bayern returned to the court for the first time since their loss in the Eurocup. Kleber started things off with a pair of baskets, and after Zipser scored but missed his free throw, Thompson followed with the offensive rebound tip-in (8-2, 2' minutes). Thompson added a turn-around jumper from the baseline and scored easily with a bounce pass from Renfroe off the pick'n'roll (14-6, 4'). Despite calling a timeout, Bonn committed a turnover and Zipser swished a 'J' for the 10-point lead (16-6, 5'). Dusko Savanovic joined the game and scored a couple of buckets with nice spin moves (28-13, 9'). Despite a buzzer-beating three-pointer, Bonn trailed Bayern 28-16 after the first quarter.

2nd Quarter

Nihad Djedovic returned to the lineup after weeks out with an injury. After committing Bayern's first turnover of the game, he made it up with a steal, setting up Taylor for the score (30-16, 11'). Savanovic added a trey to increase the lead to 33-20, however Bonn stayed close with a 13-6 run thanks to their accuracy from beyond the three-point arc, Coach Pesic called timeout (42-33, 18'). His team responded, Savanovic knocked down another three-ball, followed by Renfroe's long-range make, timeout Bonn (48-33, 19'). Renfroe added another three-pointer, and as the clock winded down, he drove through the defense for the final shot which missed, but Vitalis Chikoko grabbed the rebound and scored for the 55-39 halftime lead.

3rd Quarter

Bayern's defense gave Bonn trouble throughout the afternoon. The hosts dug themselves into a hole thanks to turnovers, and they continued to hurt themselves. Another one to Renfroe who fed Taylor to slam it home. The Baskets missed a shot, and Munich charged ahead, Renfroe with the alley-oop to Chikoko for the layup (59-39, 22'). Taylor converted a three-point-play and swished the fall-away jumper to extend the lead (64-42, 23'). Bonn chipped away but only with free throws. When they did get a three-pointer, Munich answered. Thompson's pick left Renfroe open for the three-pointer, and Djedovic was right behind him for another, the lead was back up to 20 points (74-54, 26'). Bonn closed the quarter with a 7-0 scoring spurt but Thompson ended that with a bucket and as the shot clock wound down, Justin Cobbs scored for the 80-63 Munich lead into the final quarter.

4th Quarter

Munich started the fourth quarter with a turnover that exemplified their shaky finish. The Baskets made another run, once again a 7-0 streak, timeout Reds (82-70, 33'). Munich responded with five consecutive points to get the lead back up to 89-72, but the teams exchanged turnovers after that and once again Coach Pesic had to call for time (37'). Florian Koch made a couple of three-pointers to help Bonn cut back into Munich's lead, but a Zipser jumper confirmed Bayern's 95-81 victory.

UPCOMING GAMES

Beko BBL, Gameday 28:
Sunday, April 3rd, 17:00 CEST, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs Phoenix Hagen

Beko BBL, Gameday 29:
Sunday, April 10th, 17:00 CEST, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs WALTER Tigers Tübingen