Bayern Loses 80-73 - Do-or-Die Game 3 on Wednesday
The Bayern Ballers won’t have the easy way into the semi-finals but instead will have to win a game three against Unics Kazan after losing 80-73 in a game where they led big before halftime. The rubber match will be played on Wednesday at 20:30 CET at the Audi Dome. That big time game will be followed by a BBL matchup against MBC on Sunday at 17:30 CET.
The Munich squad had a convincing first half, especially on defense but it wasn’t enough to put down a very good Kazan home team. The Russians again held the Ballers to a miniscule shooting % from beyond the arc as the Germans made only 2 of 18 three-point attempts. Kazan took advantage of this and superior rebounding (35-32) and in the end their aggressiveness won the game. Devin Booker was the leading scorer on the night with 29 points and hit an astounding 21 of 21 free-throws.
Points by quarter Bayern-Kazan: 22-16, 18-14, 12-24, 21-26.
FCBB Stats: Devin Booker (29 points/6 rebounds), Vladimir Lucic (10), Nihad Djedovic (9), Jared Cunningham (8/6), Braydon Hobbs (6), Reggie Redding (5/8), Stefan Jovic (4), Maik Zirbes (2), Danilo Barthel, Anton Gavel, Karim Jallow (dnp).
Sasa Djordjevic, head coach of FCBB: "This was a tough game and a hard defeat. That's my statement, I could repeat it ten times. I defend my players because I expect them to be respected. When I ask for a three-second break, they tell me that he was in for six seconds, but it still didn't get whistled. We played very well in the first half and should have led more clearly. In the third quarter we started too softly against the aggressiveness of Kazan. Kazan deserved to win because they benefited from the interpretation of the criteria. These games are very important for the clubs, they invest a lot. I just want both sides to be respected."
Dmitrios Priftis, Headcoach Unics Kazan: "We played very strong defense in the second half because we focused on it and didn't think about our offense first."
Sasa Djordjevic decided on Anton Gavel, Jared Cunningham, Reggie Redding, Danilo Barthel and Devin Booker to be his opening lineup. The start was a rough one for the Ballers as they came out stagnant and looked sluggish to a tune of a Kazan 7-0 lead after three-minutes of play. As has been the case often this season, Bayern quickly fought their way back into the game with their transition game and soon enough they were right back in it with a one-point deficit. Devin Booker played a huge roll in the first quarter and helped build a 22-16 lead heading into the second quarter.
The game started to get physical in the second quarter and while the Russians tried to slow down the pace of the game, the Ballers had other plans and tried to run them out of the building. Nihad Djedovic scored two straight buckets and brought the lead up to night and by the halfway point of the second quarter, eight players had already scored for the Munich team. Though the Kazan zone defense was giving Bayern headaches, the visitors still managed to build a double-digit lead and with three minutes remaining in the half the score was 36-26. Neither team could do much of anything from beyond the arc and a substantial part of the scoring for both sides came at the free-throw line. At the break the lead was still at 10, score 40-30.
Again, the start of a half went poorly for Bayern and they gave up two quick threes to let Kazan back to within four. The Ballers kept calm though an went on a six-point run fueled largely by Reggie Redding and the ever-present Devin Booker. Unfortunately the big lead didn’t last long as the Russians went on an 8-0 run and brought the came to within two points at 46-44 and four minutes to play before the final quarter. The Germans were consistently making mistakes at this point and their inability to hit shots from deep was really killing their offense and finally at the buzzer the score was 54-52 in favor of Kazan.
Bayern continued to fight hard but they showed a small lack of discipline with some costly turnovers that helped build the Russian lead. Kazan had discovered how to defend the fastbreak and they started to really pound the offensive boards to great effect and soon enough the lead was up to six. Point guard, Colom took over the scoring for the hosts and Bayern just could not buy a bucket in the second half. The lack of success from the three-point line and costly turnovers spelled doom for game two and now everything heads back to Munich and the Audi Dome for what should be one heckuva deciding game three!