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Bi-Weekly FC Bayern Munich Basketball Update: Good, not great

Three wins, one loss - the last two weeks in the world of Bayern Basketball were pretty alright. Seven minutes however prevented them from celebrating two great weeks. A recap.

Alexander Hassenstein

When we last talked about the FCBB action, now already two weeks ago, things were looking weird. A close loss in Barcelona was followed by an alarming one at home against Göttingen. Since then, they've gone 3-1. Good record yet still kinda disappointing. You'll find out why.

The Euroleague home opener took place against Panathinaikos, one of Europe's better teams with remarkable, experienced players like Diamantidis and Fotsis. Not quite the favorite like Barcelona the week before but still considered a stronger team than Bayern.

The first three quarters were quite similar to the Barcelona game. It was close throughout, with the leads staying in single-digit territory. There were one or two moments when it looked like Panathinaikos would run away with the game but Bayern always found an answer just in time.

It was the fourth and final quarter that made things clear. However, it wasn't the Greeks who stomped the Bavarians. An 8-0 run with a few minutes to go broke the collective neck of the guys in green (and mostly white). Panathinaikos tried to fight back but three-pointers by Djedovic and Savanovic secured the Bayern victory.

FCBB - Panathinaikos
Final score 81-75 (HT 32-35)
Most points Savanovic (20), Djedovic (14), Gavel (13)
Most rebounds Bryant (9), Djedovic/Savanovic (6)
Most assists Micic (5), Djedovic/Gavel (4)

Following the big Euroleague win was a tricky league game in Bremerhaven (actually in Bremen but who cares). The first quarter wasn't encouraging and reminded of the loss against Göttingen but apparently that was only the rust falling off.

From the second quarter on it was complete FCBB domination. If the 11-point lead at half time wasn't enough, the game was definitely over at the end of the third quarter with a scoreline of 78-51. The remaining minutes were practically meaningless.

The key to the win, aside from just being the more talented team, was that Bayern forced Bremerhaven to 24 turnovers, too many if you wanna beat the rich guys. Munich on the other hand had only 11 turnovers. What's this sudden defense about?

Eisbären Bremerhaven - FCBB
Final score 68-101 (HT 39-50)
Most points Bryant/Micic (16), Savanovic (13)
Most rebounds Bryant/Stimac (7), Benzing/Jagla/Schaffartzik (4)
Most assists Schaffartzik (5), Gavel (4), Micic (3)

Back to the Euroleague. The win against Panathinaikos was big because there are four teams fighting for two spots. With expectations that Fenerbahce will and Zgorzelec won't make it, there would ultimately be a battle between Bayern and Milan for the fourth and final ticket to the top 16. Now it was time for the first game between those two.

This game was almost over before it really took off. A couple of minutes into the game, Milan were up 17-2 and 21-6. Coming back from that, if even possible, would cost Bayern tons of energy.

It was possible and it did cost them energy. Probably too much. Bayern took their first lead in the second quarter and kept it close from then on. People started to get excited early in the fourth when a Schaffartzik three extended the FCBB lead to 6 points. But it wasn't meant to last. The final minutes were all Milan, Bayern had nothing left in the tank. A dumb loss caused by an atrocious first seven minutes.

FCBB - EA7 Emporio Armani Milan
Final score 74-81 (HT 41-41)
Most points Schaffartzik (15), Savanovic (13), Stimac (12)
Most rebounds Bryant (10), Jagla/Savanovic (4)
Most assists Gavel (4), Stimac (3), Bryant/Micic/Schaffartzik (2)

How do you recover from the second dumb loss in two weeks? With lots and lots of points. Playing hosts to the struggling Tübingen, Bayern decided to shoot for the stars. Yet most of their shots missed the stars and instead went right into the basket.

The first quarter was a treat for those who love three-point attempts. It ended with a score of 29-19. The shootout never really stopped, especially Vasilije Micic had a surprising shooting spree and collected 23 points, quite a bit for a pass-first guard.

FCBB - Walter Tigers Tübingen
Final score 107-81 (HT 57-42)
Most points Micic (23), Djedovic (17), Bryant (15)
Most rebounds Jagla (6), Benzing/Savanovic (5)
Most assists Gavel (7), Djedovic (3), Micic (2)

Next up for Bayern Basketball are several key games. A must-win on Thursday in Zgorzelec is followed by the clash of the rivals in Berlin on Sunday. A victory there would be a nice statement. Make sure to tune in.

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