EuroCup // 07.02.2018 20:24 Uhr
Bayern Wins 87-85 in Vilnus
The Bayern Ballers won their last Top16 game in the EuroCup on the road against Lithuanian top team, Vilnius by a final score of 87-85. The Ballers stayed calm and played within their game in front of 5,515 spectators at Siemens Arena in a crazy and atmosphere against a good team. Five Bayern players scored in double-digits and Jared Cunningham scored a team high, 23 points. Vladimir Lucic is back with the squad but didn't make it onto the court as his foot continues to heal.
The Ballers had already qualified for the quarter-finals and will now face the top Russian team, Unics Kaza. Game one of the best-of-three series will take place on Tuesday, March 6th at the Audi Dome. A possible third and decisive game would be on Wednesday March 14th, also in Munich.
On Sunday the Munich squad will head to Bamberg for a matchup against their top rival in the BBL. Tip-off is at 20:15 CET. Next up on Valentines day, February 14th, the Ballers will host BC Goettingen.
Points per quarter Bayern - Vilnius: 16-19, 27-19, 16-21, 28-26.
FCBB Stats: Jared Cunningham (23 points), Devin Booker (18), Maik Zirbes (14/100% from the field), Reggie Redding (11/5 Assists), Danilo Barthel (11/5 Assists), Braydon Hobbs (3/5 Ass.), Nihad Djedovic (3), Stefan Jovic (2), Alex King (2), Anton Gavel, Karim Jallow (dnp), Vladimir Lucic (dnp).
Sasa Djordjevic, head coach of FC Bayern Basketball: "That was a very good game. Both teams played as if it was the most important game of the season, and that should be rated highly. Rytas has a lot of speed and talent, but the key thing was that we wanted to win, even though this game was not really very important. It's always important to win, that's what we play for. We had a good attitude. I am happy about the victory, but it is also clear that we can and must play much better, especially on Sunday in Bamberg and later in the cup. As for Lucic, we'll see how he's doing in practice the next few days."
Stefan Jovic, Jared Cunninngham, Reggie Redding, Danilo Barthel and Devin Booker tackled the last Top16 match as starters. After four minutes of play, it became clear that the Munich players lacked the intensity of the defense at the beginning (7-11/4 minutes). Only 90 seconds later, however, the Lithuanian coach had to take their first time-out because Bayern had shifted up a gear, forced three stops in a row and got a huge dunk from Booker (11-11/6.). The game developed a rather high pace with runs on both sides but Vilnius had the last laugh in the quarter and finished on a 7-0 run to take the lead at 19-16.
Coach Djordjevic asked for a time-out after just two minutes because of three possessions that came up empty on the offensive side and a deficit of 24-16. Maik Zirbes finished a nice pick n roll with Reggie Redding and came back on the next possession with a jumper that brought the score to 24-20, Vilnius still in control. The Lithuanians were almost exclusively throwing up shots from deep and fortunately for Bayern, the shots weren't dropping. The Ballers started to turn up their defense and led by Stefan Jovic and Jared Cunningham the visitors took the lead at the end of the half, 41-35.
Redding opened the half with a three and the team saw a lot of succes in the fast break and it looked possible that they could run away with the game and walk out of Lithuania with an easy win. They took their biggest lead of the evening at 57-48 with four minutes left in the quarter and finally the hosts had to take a time-out. The break worked and Vilnius quickly went on a 9-0 run of their own and tied the game up at 59-59 with only 10 minutes left to play.
The game up ebbs and flows continued as Bayern went on a run of their own led by Zirbes and Braydon Hobbs and the Baller lead was back to seven after two minutes of play in the final quarter. The Lithuanians again answered back and a few turnovers by Munich helped the home team get within one at 73-72. Two minutes befor the end of the game the game was probably closer than it should have been and the last few minutes would be more stressful than coaches, players and fans would have liked.In the final seconds though, it came down to completions at the charity stripe and as usual the Ballers came through in the clutch and won the game 87-85.
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