Bayern overcomes ASVEL at home
FC Bayern Munich stayed strong on its home floor by overcoming LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 73-65 on Thursday. ASVEL led from the start and had a double-digit lead early in the second quarter, but Bayern hit back to take its first lead towards the end of the opening period. The home side stayed ahead throughout the third quarter, and although ASVEL briefly made it a one-possession game in the final period the lead never changed hands again. Augustine Rubit led the way with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Vladimir Lucic also made a big contribution with 18 points and 8 rebounds including a personal 10-0 run to turn the game in the second quarter. Elie Okobo paced ASVEL with 14 points, while James Gist and Chris Jones scored 10 apiece. Bayern improves to 6-7, just behind ASVEL at 7-6.
ASVEL took an early lead behind a huge slam from Victor Wembanyana and 5 points from Gist. Lucic scored Bayern’s first 4 points but Gist netted again for a 4-11 lead. Rubit and Nick Weiler-Babb got Bayern closer, but Youssoupha Fall and Okobo scored inside for ASVEL. Rubit and Okobo scored in the final possessions of the first quarter, making it 12-20. A three-point play from Okobo gave ASVEL a double-digit lead early in the second, but baskets plus fouls from both Rubit and Corey Walden gave the hosts a boost, 19-25. Andreas Obst hit a triple for Bayern but buckets from Paul Lacombe and Jones kept the visitors ahead. Wembanyana’s tip-in was bettered by a jumper and one from Lucic, who then added a three-pointer to tie it up, 32-32. Lucic then sent Bayern ahead from the foul line before completing a 10-0 personal run with another triple. Then Okobo was also on target from deep, making it 39-38 at the break.
DeShaun Thomas stretched Bayern’s advantage with a long two at the start of the second half, before Lucic and Rubit stretched the lead to 47-39. Lacombe scored in penetration for ASVEL’s first field goal of the half, before Thomas and Okobo traded triples. Weiler-Babb and Zan Sisko made it a double-digit lead, 54-44, before Charles Kahudi’s three-point play and Kostas Antetokounmpo’s alley-oop helped pull ASVEL closer, 58-54 at the end of the third. Walden’s floater opened the fourth quarter scoring, and Ognjen Jaramaz scored his first points with a tough layup to keep Bayern ahead. Kahudi’s triple got ASVEL within one score, 62-59, but close range baskets from Rubit and Thomas kept Bayern ahead, 68-63, midway through the fourth. Rubit scored again while ASVEL went cold on offense, failing to score for more than four minutes, and a three-point play from Weiler-Babb secured the home win with time to spare.
Hilliard out, Sisko back for Bayern
Bayern suffered some bad news shortly before tip-off of Thursday’s home game against ASVEL with the announcement that leading scorer Darrun Hilliard is out of action for two weeks or more with a knee injury. Hilliard has averaged a career-high 15.8 points per game so far this season, but his absence was somewhat compensated by the return of point guard Zan Sisko after seven games out due to Covid-19 protocols. However, Sisko got into foul trouble with 4 fouls committed before the end of the third quarter, and could only play less than 12 minutes.
Rubit marks milestone in style
Augustine Rubit reached a career milestone by making his 100th appearance in the competition, and he marked the occasion with one of the best performances of his EuroLeague career. Bayern’s veteran big man registered a double-double – only his third in the competition during that century of appearances – with 19 points and 12 rebounds, including 5 off the offensive glass. Rubit is in his fourth season as a EuroLeague player with four different clubs, having previously represented Brose Bamberg, Olympiacos Piraeus and Zalgiris Kaunas, and his PIR of 24 was the best he has achieved in a Bayern uniform.
ASVEL loses shooting range
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne came into Thursday’s game at FC Bayern Munich as the second-best long-range shooting team in the competition, having converted 39.5% of its three-point attempts. But it was a very different matter on this occasion as the French team could only make 4 of its 24 triples, just 16.7%. The usually prolific backcourt pairing of Elie Okobo and Chris Jones particularly suffered, making a combined 2-of-12 from beyond the arc. Bayern was little better in that respect, making just 5 of 22 three-point attempts (22.7%). Instead, the home team’s success came through its excellent inside game, making 22 of 34 two-point attempts for a conversion rate of 64.7%.
Thursday, December 2, 2021