Valencia tops Bayern to fuel playoff hopes
In a thriller that came down to the wire, Valencia Basket kept its Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs hopes very much alive by downing FC Bayern Munich 83-76 at La Fonteta on Thursday. Valencia improved to 17-14 in the standings and with its third straight win. Bayern dropped to 19-12. Mike Tobey led the winners with 18 points, Nikola Kalinic added 12, Derrick Williams had 11 and Bojan Dubljevic 12 for Valencia. Vladimir Lucic paced Valencia with 20 points. Wade Baldwin IV added 13 for the visitors. It was a back-and-forth battle in which Valencia had the final word. Valencia led 23-12 early and improved its margin to 52-40 soon after the break. Lucic and Zan Sisko fueled a 2-23 run that seemed to switch the game's momentum, 55-63. Valencia bounced back, but Bayern managed to tie the game at 70-70. Sam Van Rossom, Tobey and Williams combined for all the points in an 8-0 run that put Valencia ahead for good.
Williams got Valencia going with a three-pointer and Tobey added an alley-oop slam for a 5-0 lead. Lucic, Guillem Vives and Baldwin each struck from downtown, then JaJuan Johnson hit a jumper that tied it at 8-8. Vives, Tobey, Kalinic and Klemen Prepelic each hit a triple to make it a double-digit margin, 23-12. Jalen Reynolds and Nick Weiler-Babb combined for all the points in a 0-7 Bayern run, but Joan Sastre hit a wild three-pointer for a 26-19 Valencia lead after 10 minutes. Dubljevic downed a jump hook early in the second quarter. D.J. Seeley stepped up for Bayern, but Tobey followed a dunk-and-foul with an alley-oop slam and Van Rossom added a driving layup to cause the guests to stop the game at 37-25. Leon Radosevic banked in a close shot that Vanja Marinkovic improved on with a triple. Lucic and Baldwin rescued Bayern, but Williams and Dubljevic kept Valencia in charge. Kalinic banked in a close shot to fix the halftime score at 46-33.
Lucic and Paul Zipser brought Bayern within single digits, 46-37, soon after the break. Prepelic revived Valencia and also found Tobey for a dunk and a layup, but a red-hot Lucic got his team within 52-45. Lucic matched Kalinic's backdoor layup with a tip-in, Weiler-Babb struck from downtown and Radosevic added a layup to bring the guests within 54-52. Zipser completed Bayern's comeback with a bomb from downtown, 54-55. Sisko fed Lucic for a dunk, buried a jumper and added a layup that capped a 2-23 run for a 55-63 Bayern margin. Dubjevic sank a triple that made it 58-63 after 30 minutes. Van Rossom hit an off-balance jumper early in the fourth quarter and Sastre buried a triple that tied it at 63-63. Zipser answered from beyond the arc and Weiler-Babb dunked, but Kalinic tied it again, 68-68. Tobey dunked and Van Rossom followed free throws with a layup for a 74-70 Valencia edge with 3 minutes left. Tobey kept pushing the hosts with a tip-in and Williams added a layup that made it an 8-point game. Baldwin followed a layup with a jumper and banked in a close shot to erase Williams's alley-oop dunk. Prepelic sealed the outcome from the foul line.
Mike Tobey was not 100% for this game but led his team to an important victory. He finished the game with 18 points on 7-of-9 two-point shooting plus 1-of-2 on three-pointers, adding 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal for a PIR of 22.
With the game tied at 70-70, Sam Van Rossom stepped up with a pair of free throws and a layup. Valencia got two more critical defensive stops. Meanwhile, Tobey took over with a tip-in and Van Rossom fed Derrick Williams for a close basket. All of sudden, Valencia led 78-70 with 2 minutes left and was well on its way to winning the game.
Valencia heavily outrebounded Bayern by 40-29, pulling down 14 offensive boards. Valencia had 23 assists and Bayern only managed to get 16. Rebounds and assists allowed Valencia to stay in the game and eventually win it.
Did you know?
Both teams made the same number of fouls, 18 apiece. Valencia went to the foul line 19 times and made 16 attempts (84.2%). Bayern took 12 free throws and missed half of them.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action next week. Bayern hosts Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul on Tuesday, March 30. Valencia hosts Olympiacos Piraeus the next day.
Thursday, March 25, 2021