When listing the players who might step up in the fourth quarter for FC Bayern Munich to secure a big win over Anadolu Efes Istanbul, not many people would have included Ognjen Jaramaz. Yet it was the EuroLeague rookie who rose to the challenge to help beat the reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion.
Jaramaz collected all of his points in the final 10:36 minutes in Bayern’s strong 83-71 home victory in a battle of teams entering the game with 6-7 records. The 26-year-old, who played the last two seasons in the 7DAYS EuroCup with Partizan NIS Belgrade, finished with 9 points, 1 steal, 1 block and 3 turnovers in nearly 20 minutes of action.
Jaramaz also drew the praise of Bayern head coach Andrea Trinchieri.
“Jaramaz is taking his chance. He played an unbelievable fourth quarter - offense and defense,” said the coach, who called on the Serbian guard for his defensive ability in the final frame as Bayern was without leading scorer and starting shooting guard Darrun Hilliard.
Jaramaz came up with a big block on Efes star guard Shane Larkin in the fourth quarter, but he really jumped out with his offense. He drained his only three-pointer of the game with 36 seconds left in the third quarter to give Bayern a 66-62 lead. Jaramaz then brought the Bayern bench to its feet with the first basket of the fourth quarter, turning the corner at the top of the key and then streaking to the basket and hammering home a huge dunk for a 68-64 advantage.
His block on Larkin was followed by a long jumper just inside the line which put Bayern up 75-66 with about 4 minutes to play. And then with Efes clinging to life down 77-71, Jaramaz got past Larkin and glided to the basket for a tough lefty layup for a 79-71 score with 90 seconds to play.
Jaramaz came into the game having averaged 2.0 points in just under 10 minutes a game - having scored 11 points at UNICS Kazan in Round 3 but not more than 4 points in any other game.
But Trinchieri said that he believes Jaramaz has finally turned the corner: “I am very happy. He needs time. He strives for perfection. He wants to be perfect in an imperfect game. He doesn’t like to make mistakes. He makes more mistakes trying not to make mistakes. A missed shot is not a mistake for us. When you miss a shot it’s part of the game. He stepped up very, very hard in the fourth quarter,” the coach said.
Stepping up unlike most people could have expected for a much-welcome surprise for Bayern.