Canaan rallies UNICS past Bayern
UNICS Kazan recorded its first win of the 2021-22 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season by downing FC Bayern Munich 73-70 at home on Tuesday. UNICS improved to 1-2 in the standings while Bayern dropped to 0-3. Isaiah Canaan led the winners with 21 points, Lorenzo Brown added 17 and Mario Hezonja had 15 for UNICS. Darrun Hilliard paced Bayern with 17 points, Corey Walden added 16 and DeShaun Thomas and Ognjen Jaramaz each had 11 for the guests. Walden, Hilliard and Nick Weiler-Babb each struck from downtown early to give Bayern a 12-19 lead after 10 minutes. Hilliard had the opening 8 points in a 2-14 run which allowed the visitors to take a 19-35 margin midway through the second quarter. UNICS got within 26-37 at halftime and even closer, 45-50, at the end of the third quarter. Hezonja capped a 13-0 run with a wild three-point play that completed the comeback, 51-50. Canaan had 8 points and a couple of assists in another 13-0 run that saw UNICS surge to a 67-55 lead and hold on for a come-from-behind victory.
Canaan got UNICS going with a triple, but Walden and Hilliard each struck from downtown for a 3-6 Bayern lead. Lorenzo Brown banked in a running shot and Dmitrii Uzinskii soon restored an UNICS edge. Augustine Rubit downed a six-meter jumper which Thomas followed with a floater for a 7-10 Bayern lead. Walden and Weiler-Babb capped a 0-10 run with back-to-back three-pointers. Hezonja stepped up with a layup-plus-foul and John Brown scored down low, but Jaramaz made it 12-19 for Bayern after 10 minutes.
Othello Hunter hit a jump hook early in the second quarter. Marco Spissu bettered that with a bomb from beyond the arc and Lorenzo Brown added a put-back basket as UNICS drew within 17-21. Hilliard followed a three-pointer with a driving layup and struck again from downtown to boost the Bayern margin to 17-29. Walden and Jaramaz each buried a triple to break the game open at 19-35. Jarrell Brantley and Canaan fuelled a 7-0 run that brought UNICS within 9. Zan Sisko scored in penetration to give Bayern a 26-37 cushion at halftime.
Hilliard insisted from beyond the arc soon after the break and Thomas made it a 16-point game. Tonye Jekiri buried a jumper and Lorenzo Brown added a driving layup to get UNICS closer, 30-42. Hezonja hit a mid-range shot and Jekiri followed that with a put-back layup that caused Bayern to stop the game at 34-42. Jaramaz and Sisko rescued Bayern with a three-pointer apiece and then Hunter swished a jumper for a 38-50 margin. Canaan struck from downtown and got help from Lorenzo Brown and Hezonja to bring UNICS back to life, 45-50, after 30 minutes.
A red-hot Lorenzo Brown downed a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter and Hezonja added an off-balance layup-plus-foul that completed UNICS's comeback, 51-50, after a game-changing 13-0 run. Thomas hit his trademark jump hook, but Canaan did better with a triple. Jaramaz answered from downtown before an outstanding Canaan scored 8 unanswered points, including back-to-back triples, to give UNICS a 62-55 margin with over 4 minutes left. Hezonja joined the three-point shootout and John Brown dunked off a steal to break the game open at 67-55. Thomas and Walden each answered from beyond the arc, but so did Lorenzo Brown to make it 70-61. Thomas hit a long jumper and Walden gave Bayern hope, 70-65, in the next-to-last minute. Walden made free throws before Jekiri scored down low to seal the outcome.
Trinchieri falls in return to Kazan
FC Bayern Munich head coach Andrea Trinchieri returned to Basket Hall Kazan to coach against his former team. Trinchieri coached UNICS in the 2013-14 season, leading the Russian powerhouse to the EuroCup Finals. UNICS won 19 of its 20 first games but ended up being swept by Valencia Basket in the two-game, total-points finals. Trinchieri only came back to Kazan once after coaching the game and suffered a 63-58 loss with Brose Bamberg on January 12, 2017. Trinchieri was supposed to face UNICS with Partizan NIS Belgrade in the 2019-20 playoffs which were canceled due to COVID-19. He finally came back, but could not guide Munich to victory.
Canaan makes the difference
The game between UNICS Kazan and FC Bayern was a back-and-forth battle. UNICS rallied from a 16-point deficit to take the lead, 51-50, early in the fourth quarter, but when Ognjen Jaramaz put Bayern in charge, 54-55, it looked like it would be a close battle until the final buzzer. Isaiah Canaan, however, had other ideas. He buried a pair of free throws, went on to strike twice from beyond the arc, found Mario Hezonja for another three-pointer and connected with John Brown for a fast break slam. He scored or assisted in each point of a 13-0 run which allowed UNICS to register its first win in the 2021-22 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season.
UNICS uses defense, second-half accuracy to win
UNICS struggled from beyond the arc in the first half of its game against FC Bayern Munich. Indeed, the hosts only made 2 of 8 three-point shots (25.0%) and committed up 10 of the game's first 11 turnovers. Things were very different after the break, as UNICS found its scoring rhythm and also improved its defense to limit Bayern to just 33 second-half points. UNICS nailed 7 of 11 three-point shots in the second half (63.6%) and finished the game with 16 turnovers. UNICS also limited Bayern to a low two-shooting percentage - 36.0%, its fourth-worst mark in the competition.
Tuesday, October 12, 2021