Bayern survives OT battle in Berlin for first road win
FC Bayern Munich survived a battle for the ages in defeating domestic rival ALBA Berlin 76-77 in overtime for its first road victory of the season in a historic game for German basketball. Vladimir Lucic scored all 19 of his points in the second half and overtime and Greg Monroe collected 17 points and 10 rebounds as Bayern won back-to-back games for the first time this season to improve to 6-8. Maodo Lo added 13 points - including 2 three-pointers in the final 10 seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime - and Danilo Barthel chipped in 10 points in the first-ever match-up between these two German powerhouses in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. The replay of the last two German BBL league finals - both won by Bayern - was also the first all-German EuroLeague game since ALBA knocked off Brose Bamberg 72-75 on the road in a Top 16 game in March 2013. Makai Mason came off the ALBA bench to score all 17 of his points in the final 18 points of the game while Rokas Giedraitis had 15 points, Marcus Eriksson added 12 points, Luke Sikma chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds and Landry Nnoko tallied 5 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks. All of that was not enough as ALBA dropped its third straight game to fall to 4-10.
Neither team scored in the first 2 minutes until Giedraitis's 3 foul shots. Bayern failed to score in the first 3 minutes before Lo’s three-pointer evened the score. After Giedraitis added a three-pointer to help ALBA move ahead 8-5, Bayern held the hosts to just one basket in a 2-14 run over the final 4 minutes of the quarter. The surge included the first EuroLeague points for Joshua Huestis and triples from Huestis and Nihad Dedovic. Bayern was up 10-19 after 10 minutes. Dedovic increased the Bayern lead to 10-21 before Giedraitis stopped the rot with a three-pointer. That woke up the ALBA offense with Sikma scoring 7 points including a three-pointer to pull within 20-25. Eriksson also hit from long range and Sikma was on target again as the deficit was down to 26-27. Bayern was held for nearly 6 minutes without a basket until Barthel’s inside score to make it 26-30 with the score 28-30 at the break.
After a scoreless first half, Lucic knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to make it 28-36. Giedraitis answered with a triple only to see Monroe score twice inside as Bayern moved ahead 33-42. Eriksson tried to keep ALBA close with a triple, but Barthel punched right back with a three for a 36-45 cushion and 3 Lucic free throws left the visitors up 38-50. ALBA showed its resilience with a 10-0 run as Mason scored 8 points and assisted on Kresimir Nikic’s basket. The hosts trailed 48-50 after 30 minutes. The surge continued with the first 6 points of the fourth quarter as a 16-0 run for a 54-50 lead. Monroe stopped a 5:33-minute scoreless stretch and a third Lucic triple cut the margin to 58-57. After a Lucic dunk and 2 free throws, Eriksson nailed a pair of triples and the hosts were up 68-63 with 84 seconds left. ALBA looked poised to win but Lucic answered with a three only to see Mason hit two foul shots for a 70-66 ALBA lead with 15 seconds left. Bayern was not dead as Lo drained a three-pointer with 10 seconds left and after Martin Hermannsson free throws, Lo sent the game to overtime with another triple with 2.8 seconds left in regulation.
Dedovic opened the scoring in the extra session with Mason hitting a three at the other end and Nnoko split free throws for a 76-74 lead. Monroe also mad1 foul shots before Lo knocked down free throws to put Bayern up 76-77 with 12 seconds left. The final possession resulted in a scramble and the ball went to Giffey, who missed an open look from three-point range despite the wing being the most accurate three-pointer shooter in EuroLeague history and having hit 68.8 percent of his three-point attempts this season coming into the game.
Bayern getting healthy
Nihad Dedovic returned to the court for Bayern and amassed 7 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals after last playing in Round 8 at Valencia Basket. Bayern is starting to get healthy as Joshua Huestis made his season debut last week. Huestis, who will turn 28 on December 19, scored 5 points for his first EuroLeague points.
Another Siva injury
ALBA has been dealing with injuries all season and playmaking ace Peyton Siva could not finish the game as he pulled up limp with an injury to the back of his right leg with 7:20 minutes left in the third quarter. Siva did not return the rest of the game and ALBA fans hope he does not miss any more time as he has already missed four games this season.
Bayern held ALBA to just 32.6 percent on two-point shooting while hitting 51.5% from inside the three-point line. But Bayern committed 25 turnovers - a new single-game record for this season in the EuroLeague. The all-time record for most turnovers in a game is 35 by Unicaja Malaga in December 2006 against Joventut.
ALBA will head to the road and take on LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne on Friday, December 20. Bayern returns home and looks for a third straight win with a showdown with FC Barcelona that same evening.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019