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Bamberg Blast Bayern in Game 1

FC Bayern Basketball lost Game 1 of the BBL semifinals 88-73 to the Brose Baskets in Bamberg.

A short turnaround after the physical quarterfinal series win against Ludwigsburg, Munich displayed the effects starting the game by falling behind 9 points in the first quarter. As the game wore on, the Reds were able to stay with the league's top team, coming within four points a couple of times. However, Bamberg converted turnovers by Bayern at key moments into points to maintain the lead.

John Bryant scored 17 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, and Nihad Djedovic added 15 points in the loss to the Reds.

Munich will host Game 2 on Wednesday, May 25th in the Audi Dome (tip-off at 20:30 CEST). The teams return to Bamberg for Game 3 next Sunday evening, May 29th for a 19:30 CEST start.

Scoring by quarter (FCBB - BAMB): 14-23, 18-19, 20-21, 21-25

FC Bayern Team: John Bryant (17 points/7 rebounds/3 blocked shots), Nihad Djedovic (15 pts/3 assists), Vitalis Chikoko (11/7 reb), Paul Zipser (10/6 reb/3ast), Alex Renfroe (8/3 ast), Justin Cobbs (5), Bryce Taylor (3), Maxi Kleber (2/8 reb), Anton Gavel (2). DNP: Dejan Kovacevic, Karim Jallow


BEKO BBL Playoffs, Semifinals
BAMB lead best-of-five series 1-0

Game 1 - FCBB 73, at BAMB 88
Game 2 - FCBB vs BAMB, Wednesday, May 25, 20:30 CEST, Audi Dome
Game 3 - FCBB at BAMB, Sunday, May 29, 19:30 CEST
Game 4* - FCBB vs BAMB, Tuesday, May 31, 20:00 CEST, Audi Dome
Game 5* - FCBB at BAMB, Thursday, June 2, 20:00 CEST

*if necessary


Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "Congratulations to Bamberg and to Coach (Andrea Trinchieri). I believe we played good defense today. We invested a lot, we were good with the rebounds, a little better than last game. As long as we had strength, we defended well, and it showed in Bamberg's shooting percentage. The problem was that Bamberg also played good defense, albeit with another style. Ultimately we did not have enough to execute our gameplan as we lacked the freshness in our offense. We will improve our physical condition now and we are playing (Game 2) at home. Therefore I believe that we can implement many things better on Wednesday."

Paul Zipser, Forward, FCBB: "We were in the game at the end of the third quarter into the fourth. After that, the shots were not falling. Fourteen turnovers are too much to beat Bamberg. We have to recover and with the fans behind us at home, we have to even the series. We have to run our plays better and consistently, that's something we did not do so well in certain phases of the game."


1st Quarter

FCBB Head Coach started Anton Gavel, Alex Renfroe, Maximilian Kleber, Bryce Taylor and John Bryant for Game 1 of the BBL semifinals against top seed and defending league champions the Brose Baskets. Clearly the fresher team after a quarterfinal sweep, Bamberg jumped out to the 11-2 lead, Coach Pesic quickly called timeout to talk to his team (2-11, 4' minutes). Justin Cobbs came out of the huddle hitting a three-pointer to stop the run, and Vitalis Chikoko converted the hoop-and-harm for three more points (10-18, 8'). Down by 11 points with seconds left, Renfroe with the drive and the laypup as the clock wound down, however Bamberg led 23-14 after the first quarter. (10')

2nd Quarter

Bryant scored quickly to start the second quarter, and Baskets Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri called timeout (16-23, 11'). Now into the game, the Reds defense established themselves. Kleber and Bryant both swatted away shots. Munich's offense followed suit, Bryant got the shooter's bounce off the rim on a jumper, Nihad Djedovic swished a triple and Bryant once more with a score (24-28, 14'). Bamberg were able to keep Munich at arm's length despite three-pointers from Renfroe and Djedovic (32-39, 19'). Right before the end of the quarter, Coach Pesic was not happy with a referee's call and was assessed a technical foul, the hosts converted the bonus free-throw to lead 42-32 at halftime. (20')

3rd Quarter

Bayern started the second half sluggish, while the young German Patrick Heckmann and two-time BBL MVP Brad Wanamaker extended the Bamberg lead, Coach Pesic called timeout to not let the game slip away (34-46, 24'). Heckmann kept the flow by bringing the hammer down with a dunk after splitting the Munich D through the paint quite easily, and that woke up the Reds' offense. Bryant started the run with a put-back layup and a trey, and Paul Zipser was also accurate from long distance, timeout Baskets (42-51, 28'). Taylor finished a fastbreak counter with the bucket and one, and Chikoko finished the 11-0 run with the score (47-51, 28'). Wanamaker answered with a three-point-play himself, and Munich turned the ball over twice leading to points for Bamberg, timeout Reds (47-60, 29'). Zipser coolly hit a trey out of the timeout, however Darius Miller hit yet another killer three for the Baskets, this time right before the buzzer for the 63-52 lead. (30')

4th Quarter

The Baskets continued their hot-hand from behind-the-arc, a set of triples and a nasty dunk finish by Daniel Theis built the lead to 74-56 (33'). Munich were more than willing to help their hosts, consecutive turnovers were once again converted for points, burying any chance for a Bayern comeback (77-59, 35'). Down 22 points, the Reds displayed a fighting spirit, finished the game on a 10-3 run including Djedovic's steal and score before the final buzzer. However, it wasn't enough. Bamberg take Game 1 with the 88-73 win. Bayern will host Game 2 on Wednesday and look to even the series. (40')