81-68 in EuroCup: Bayern overcomes Vilnius
The FC Bayern Basketball team has beaten Rytas Vilnius 81-68 (42-35) in the EuroCup Top16 round and earned a key victory in the fight to reach the next round of the competition.
In front of 5,157 people at the Audi Dome, FCBB turned the game around with a focused and courageous performances in the second and third quarters to leave the guests from Lithuania no chance in the final 10. Jared Cunningham and Devin Booker were the MVPs for Bayern with 18 points each whilst Milan Macvan was impressive posting a double-double (12 points/11 rebounds).
Bayern has their next home game in the Audi Dome next Wednesday 17th January against St Petersburg (7:30 CET) before the team faces Bamberg on Sunday 21st January at 7:00 CET.
Points per quarter: 23-22, 19-13, 20-13, 19-20
FCBB Stats: Devin Booker (18 points), Jared Cunningham (18/2 three pointers), Nihad Djedovic (14/2), Milan Macvan (12/11 rebounds), Danilo Barthel (9/5 reb), Reggie Redding (8), Anton Gavel (2), Braydon Hobbs, Alex King, Stefan Jovic, Maik Zirbes und Karim Jallow (did not play).
The post-match reaction:
Sasa Djordjevic, FCBB head coach: “We knew beforehand that it would be a tough physical game and we were ready for it. Vilnius tried to set a fast tempo for the game and they shot well. We defended really well from the second quarter onwards though. We marked Chris Kramer, the motor of the Vilnius team, out of the game. Now we have a week’s rest to prepare for our next tough matchup vs. St. Petersburg.”
Rimas Kurtinaitis, Rytas Vilnius head coach: “It was a good game but you could tell that we weren’t at the same level as Bayern. We didn’t have the necessary energy levels. We have a few games left in the competition which we will now turn our attention to.”
Danilo Barthel: “Vilnius kept up with our fast-paced gameplan in the first half but in the second half you could see how good our bench is and that we were all really keen to get the win today. But then we turned it up a notch again and we hit our shots well, so the win was definitely deserved.”
FCBB coach Sasa Djordjevic started with Stefan Jovic, Jared Cunningham, Reggie Redding, Milan Macvan and Devin Booker. After 17 seconds came the first basket of 2018 at the Audi Dome – Jared Cunningham sunk the first throw of the game with a three-pointer. But the visiting team was just as impressive in sinking threes, succeeding in the Lithuanian specialty three times in the opening five to take the lead (9-13/5th minute). Jared Cunningham started well and countered with another three-pointer and after a foul on Milan Macvan, he converted both free throws to give Bayern a 14-13 lead (6’). The fans in red could only celebrate for a short time with the Lithuanians aggressive on defense and they looked for fast breaks with baskets to finish. Bayern fought hard and rallied with successful shots from Danilo Barthel and Nihad Djedovic and had their noses just in front after the first 10 -23-22.
Munich became more energetic on defense and was more effective in stopping the waves of attacks from the guests than in the first quarter but the BBL leaders could not stretch their lead any further early in the second quarter (27-26/13’). But they did soon after with Danilo Barthel getting a good block in and Jared Cunningham shooting five points in a row (34-28/16’). The Lithuanians were now not shooting as high percentages – surely due to the impressive Munich defense and the hosts weren’t letting anything in on the rebounds either, denying Vilnius any second chances. Stefan Jovic played in his playmaker role brilliantly to dupe two opposing players and give Macvan an easy basket which gave Munich a double-digit lead (38-28/17’). Bayern now had the game under control, remained impressive on defense and went into the break with a 42-35 advantage.
Three factors were pivotal for Bayern’s blistering start in the third quarter and a 7-0 run: a coldly effective defense, an impressive dominance of the defensive rebounds and clever finishing on offense (49-35/23’). The Lithuanian champions began to show their class once again but much to the pleasure of the fans at the Audi Dome, Bayern had all the answers. Devin Booker was a powerful presence under the guest’s basket and scored six points in a row (57-40/26’). All of a sudden however the Munich dominance faltered and they lost their momentum and conceded six unanswered points in the final two minutes of the quarter – 62-48.
Vilnius came into the final quarter with an extremely high tempo and scored their next points with a slam dunk but Nihad Djedovic replied with a three to make it 65-50 (31’). Mindaugas Girdziunas demonstrated the continued will and threat of the visitors with two threes in a row (70-59/35’) but Danilo Barthel countered with a basket and then Devin Booker forced the Lithuanian team’s coach Rimas Kurtinaitis into a timeout with a dunk (74-59/36’). The fans spurred on the team and celebrated the resolve of the reds, who were determined not to let the scores get any closer. Devin Booker scored again to give Munich a bit more breathing space (76-59/37’). Devin Booker underlined his great performance with eight unanswered points and put himself level with Jared Cunningham as the top scorer in the match (80-63/39’).