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Eurocup dream ends in Istanbul

FC Bayern Basketball could not take advantage of a ten-point lead heading into the second leg, falling 72-59 to Galatasaray Basket in front of a raucous crowd in Instanbul.

Munich suffered through poor shooting, missing many easy, close-range shots and key free throws, and committed costly turnovers to trail at halftime. Bayern fell behind by 19 points early in the third quarter, however they scratched and scrapped back to the aggregate lead by the end of the quarter.

Bayern and Galatasaray played a nervous and tight final ten minutes. In crunchtime, Munich's shots continued to not fall and the Turkish hosts hit the key free throws at the end to escape with the win and move on. Deon Thompson led Munich with 14 points, while Alex Renfroe added 12 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

Munich bow out of Europe and return to BBL action on Easter Monday playing in Bonn against the Telekom Baskets, tip-off at 17:00 CEST. The Reds return home on Sunday, April 3rd to host Phoenix Hagen. The game tips off at 17:00 CEST at the Audi Dome.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - GALA): 14-23, 11-20, 20-11, 14-18

FC Bayern Team: Deon Thompson (14 points/5 rebounds), Alex Renfroe (12/6 reb/5 assists), John Bryant (10/8 reb), Anton Gavel (9), Paul Zipser (5/4 reb), Dusko Savanovic (4/4 reb/4 ast), Bryce Taylor (3/4 reb), Justin Cobbs (2), Maximilian Kleber. DNP: Karim Jallow, Daniel Mayr, Sebastian Schmitt.


Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "Congratulations to Galatasaray on making the semifinals. We did not have a good second quarter, as they defended very aggressively and the support of the fans was extreme and movitated them. However we played excellent in the third quarter, we displayed good team spirit and character. The homecourt advantage was decisive, and now Galatasaray is definitely the favorite for the title. They have not only the talent and a good coach, but especially this home atmosphere."

Deon Thompson, Center, FCBB: "We got no stops at the end, the last loose balls went to them and our shots. This is disappointing."


1st Quarter

FCBB Head Coach Svetislav Pesic named Alex Renfroe, Anton Gavel, Dusko Savanovic, Paul Zipser and John Bryant as the starting five to hold onto the 10-point advantage earned from their first leg victory a week ago in Germany. Bayern trailed 5-1 early, Thompson sank Bayern's first field goal and Renfroe tied it up (5-5, 3' minutes). Munich took a short-lived lead, but as their shots continued to miss their mark and turnovers stopped any momentum, they could not build on both the lead in the game and their advantage. Vladimir Micov scored eight points during an 11-0 run including a pair of three-pointers, Coach Pesic called timeout (8-20, 9'). Justin Cobbs stopped the run with a basket, but Renfroe's final shot didn't fall, Bayern trailed 23-14 after the first ten minutes.

2nd Quarter

Zipser opened the scoring with Munich's first three-pointer of the game and Bryant's persistence under the boards paid off, controlling the rebounds for the put-back score (21-29, 15'). However three minutes of game time would tick off the clock before Munich would score again. The turnover bug returned for the Reds, meanwhile Galatasary extended their lead (21-35, 18'). Renfroe broke the scoring drought but committed consecutive turnovers to sink Bayern further behind. Istanbul led 43-25 at halftime.

3rd Quarter

Bryant scored to start the third quarter but fouled Blake Schilb as he made his shot off the offensive rebound, a three-point-play built a bleak situation for Bayern down by 19 points (27-46, 22'). Bryant and Savanovic scored quickly but Istanbul held on to the 14-point lead. The hosts would then suffer a similar three-minute scoring slump, Thompson scoring twice in a 6-0 spurt, forcing Galatasary to call timeout with the aggregate score tied (41-51, 29'). Renfroe missed a pair of free-throws to further cut  into the deficit, but this time his shot did fall before the buzzer. Bayern were back in it, down only 54-45.

4th Quarter

The final ten minutes set up to be a quarter of crunchtime, and the teams played it close, aware of the consequence waiting for them. Renfroe scored Bayern's second three-pointer of the game (48-56, 32'), and then answered Micov's trey with yet another long distance make (53-61, 34'). However, the American continued to struggle from the charity stripe, missing yet another pair of free throws that would have given his team a four-point overall advantage. Galatasaray answered with a three-pointer and Renfroe committed costly fouls. Taylor's dunk kept Munich close, but Chuck Davis scored for to keep Bayern at bay (55-68, 38').

Thompson hit a pair of free-throws after the timeout, and he hit a two-pointer off a Errick McCollum turnover, Munich grabbed back the aggregate advantage with :46 seconds left (59-68, 39'). Thompson was called for his fifth foul and had to sit. Davis converted his free-throws. Cobbs could not set up a clean shot for his teammates, Savanovic's attempt to beat the shot clock was off. McCollum made up for his earlier gaffe by making his free-throws. Only a three-pointer would save Bayern and extend the quarterfinals, but Taylor's attempt offf the inbounds with five seconds left was not good, and, like the first game, the ball bounced away, and the clock ticked off. Bayern's Eurocup title dream was over.


Beko BBL, Gameday 27:
Monday, March 28th, 17:00 CEST
FC Bayern Basketball at Telekom Baskets Bonn

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