Back on Track
Bayern Basketball closer to playoffs after 87-69 win over Bonn
Audi Dome, Munich, April 7 – Chevon Troutman scored 21 points and Jan-Hendrik Jagla added 13 points on a near-perfect shooting night as FC Bayern Basketball egged Telekom Baskets Bonn 87-69 in front of a soldout audience on German national television. Munich’s win gets them a step closer to clinching a playoff spot.
“We played a strong game to get closer to clinching a spot in the playoffs,” remarked Bayern head coach Dirk Bauermann after the game. “We clearly improved since our last time out (a blowout loss at Berlin). We took a giant step to our first goal.”
“We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we didn’t get it done,” admitted Bonn head coach Michael Koch. “We didn’t play with the same intensity or aggressiveness as Bayern.”
The opening action in the game between the two teams headed to the Beko BBL playoffs was even, fast-paced action. The big men in the middle, Bayern’s Jared Homan and Troutman and the Baskets’ Chris Ensminger, matching each other basket-for-basket. Until Jagla came into the game with 2:41 left in the first quarter. Bayern had built a small 22-17 lead when the 6’11” power forward hit consecutive three-pointers and help give his team a little breathing room at 28-20 after 10 minutes.
Jagla opened the second quarter with another bucket and the lead was now 10 points and Bayern were on their way. The 23-11 run sparked by the German national broke open the game before the half. Jagla finished the half 4-for-4 from the field, three of the shots from beyond the arc.
Jagla would get the offensive machine running again, he scored the final bucket at the end of the 3rd quarter. Je’Kel Foster and Robin Benzing took over in the beginning of the final period scoring the next 9 points, the 11-0 run effectively put the game away with 8:04 left and Bayern leading 73-48. Munich were able to grab rebounds or create turnovers and quickly transition up the floor with passes and finishing buckets, similar to the Showtime Lakers of the 80’s.
“We took advantage of the opportunities that the other team was giving us,” said Bayern’s leading scorer Troutman who finished a few of those easy scores with thunderous dunks. “That’s the easiest way to play basketball.”
“When you play great defense, that creates easy scoring opportunities,” stated Bauermann. “Today we got to a lot of rebounds and loose balls and that allowed us to get out into the open court.”
The league returns to action as all teams will play on Wednesday, April 11th. Bayern (18-12) travel to Braunschweig to take on the New Yorker Phantoms (16-13) who sit right behind Munich in the standings. NYP defeated BG Göttingen 92-65 and come in winning two games in a row. They will hope Bayern’s road woes continue.
If Munich are going to turn things around on the road and succeed in the playoffs, they will need players coming off the bench, similar to the performance Jagla provided in the win.
“We have talented and good scorers off the bench, we have some quality guys,” added Jagla, who is scoring 5 points per game in a limited role for the club. “It will be important for the playoffs, especially when you play every other day, every three days, you need a deep bench, you need players that have rhythm and confidence that can do that on a consistent basis.”
Bonn will hope themselves to get back on track as they play their next two games at home, hosting the WALTER Tigers Tübingen and Göttingen.
“We had to match their intensity and they came out aggressive, on the road you can’t get down like that and expect a chance to win,” said Ensminger who finished with 13 points, only 5 points coming after the first quarter. “Our goal is to focus on the five games left in the season and have a good position in the playoffs.”