Málaga End Bayern's EuroCup Season
FC Bayern Basketball battled Unicaja Málaga till the end, however lose Game 3 of the EuroCup Quarterfinals series 74-69 and are eliminated from the tournament.
Early turnovers dug Munich into a hole but they crept back couple of times to take the lead. Nemanja Nedović had an answer to every Bayern run and led all scorers with 21 points to lead Málaga into the Semifinals.
Reggie Redding was the top scorer for the Reds with 15 points, while Vladimir Lucic added 13 points and 6 rebounds.
Bayern will now focus on the Basketball Bundesliga and making the playoffs, where they sit in third place in the standings. Head Coach Sasa Djordjevic's team will travel to Tübingen to face the WALTER Tigers on Sunday, March 12th at 18:00 CET.
The Reds return home on Sunday, March 19th to host defending league champions Brose Bamberg for a Bavarian Derby, tip-off is at 20:15 CET.
Scoring by quarter (FCBB - MALA): 10-17, 17-17, 17-18, 25-22
FC Bayern Team Boxscore: Reggie Redding (15 points), Vladimir Lucic (13/6 rebounds), Bryce Taylor (11), Anton Gavel (10), Maxi Kleber (9/10 reb), Devin Booker (4), Maik Zirbes (4), Nihad Djedovic (3), Alex King, Danilo Barthel, and Nick Johnson. DNP: Georg Beyschlag.
EuroCup Quarterfinals, Best-of-Three Series
FC Bayern Basketball vs. Unicaja Malaga
Málaga win series 2-1
Game 1: FCBB 91, MALA 82
Game 2: FCBB 67, MALA 82
Game 3: FCBB 69, MALA 74
Sasa Djordjevic, Head Coach, FCBB: "We had problems on offense in the first half, and we reacted very hastily. In the second half, we got better, but could not take advantage of the offensive rebounds. We could not manage to stop Málaga's pick-and-roll. Overall, we should have played better. Of course, this is a bitter loss, still we have get back together and give our best, something we did not do today."
Joan Plaza, Head Coach, MALA: "I am really happy for my team, our staff and our fans. Our team proved their maturity today. We remained calm in every situation, even in the moments where Bayern fought back. It must be said, however, that Bayern also deserved to be in the Semifinals."
Maxi Kleber, Power Forward, FCBB: "I don't believe that we were nervous. Everyone was focused. Pressure is always there, we know what we can do and we had already beaten Málaga three times. Our problem was that we could not find our rhythm on offense. Málaga were very aggressive, applied a lot of pressure, made every pass and lane tough to make, and we weren't able to make our shots, including from the free-throw line. We never managed to get back, even though we had some chances. We also missed our free-throws in the important moments. We had a huge opportunity today, we will now have to swallow (the disappointment)."
For the deciding Game 3 of the EuroCup Quarterfinals, FCBB Head Coach Sasa Djordjevic called on Anton Gavel, Bryce Taylor, Vladimir Lucic, Maxi Kleber and Devin Booker as the starting five to hold homecourt against Unicaja Málaga and move into the Semifinals. Bayern dug themselves into a hole in the opening minutes thanks to turnovers (0-5, 2' minutes). Kleber cleaned up after a Gavel miss for the put-back slam for Munich's first points (2-5, 3'). "Mad Maxi" started a break the other way with a clean block, and Gavel finished with a layup (6-9, 6'). Turnovers continued to plague the Reds and Coach Djordjevic called timeout (6-13, 8'). Bayern stayed closed but only from the free throw line. Malaga's Kyle Fogg was able to drive the length of the court and score the buzzer beating jumper, Munich trailed 17-10 after the first quarter. (10')
Bayern started the second quarter with yet another turnover and it cost them a three-pointer on the other end to fall behind by ten points. Reggie Redding jump-started the Bayern offense with a three-pointer and was fouled, and he converted the four-point-play (14-20, 11'). Down 22-16, the Reds chipped away in their best phase of the first half. Kleber with the baseline drive and score, Gavel with the steal and he took it the distance for the layup, and Lucic sank a three-pointer from the corner for the lead (25-24, 15'). The Spaniards had an answer right away, scoring the next five points to snatch the lead away from the Reds and finish the first half up 34-27. (20')
Munich opened the second half on a roll thanks to Kleber's three-pointer, Gavel's drive and layup, and Lucic with a strong dunk finish (34-36, 23'). Offensive rebounds allowed the Reds to keep up the attack, Booker benefitted with consecutive baskets including a slam dunk to get within one point. Gavel completed the comeback with a bucket and put Bayern back in front (42-41, 27'). Nemanja Nedović quickly ended the run with a score, then set up Fogg who knocked down the three-ball. Málaga finished the third quarter with an 11-2 run and took an eight-point lead into the final 10 minutes. (44-52, 30')
The tight Quarterfinal series came down to the final quarter - which team would step up? Bayern were not going give up easily, as Maik Zirbes and Nihad Djedovic scored early points. However the former Golden State Warrior Nedović answered each time with a three-pointer (51-60, 33'). Redding missed key free-throws but made up for that with a pair of buckets to keep the Reds close (57-62, 36'). Jamar Smith stepped up for Málaga with a jumper and three-pointer, the deficit now 10 points and Coach Djordjevic called timeout to regroup (57-67, 37').
Crunch time, and Munich made one last run. Taylor converted a three-point-play, Lucic scored on a second-chance, and made free-throws by Taylor and Redding. The game was tight once again after the 9-2 run (66-69, 38'). Both teams were now spent. Málaga couldn't close out the game missing free-throws and Bayern could not knock down open shots. The Reds fell once more on the turnover sword, Nedović came up with a key block on defense and free-throws on the other end closed out Bayern's EuroCup campaign with the 74-69 loss. Málaga win the series 2-1 to move on to the Semifinals.
Basketball Bundesliga, Gameday 25:
Sunday, March 12th, 18:00 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at WALTER Tigers Tübingen
Basketball Bundesliga, Gameday 26:
Sunday, March 19th, 20:15 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs. Brose Bamberg