Bayern Outlast Brose 107-103 in 2OT
Beko BBL Game of the Week Recap
April 15 – The Beko BBL Game of the Week presented different goals for the teams involved.
For FC Bayern Basketball, it was about protecting home court, to show that they belong only after one year in the top flight, and that they have the intestinal fortitude in crunch time.
Brose Baskets are on their way to a three-peat, they want to keep their edge for the playoffs, and of course, let their Bavarian neighbors know that it is Bamberg that owns the basketball court in Germany.
When the goals of both teams collided, it took two overtimes to decide which team would go home happy.
Jonathan Wallace scored 13 of his 20 points in the extra periods, and Je’Kel Foster hit consecutive buckets in the second overtime that provided the difference, as Bayern held off Bamberg 107-103 in front of a raucous and split crowd at the Audi Dome.
“That was a great advertisement for what we have built here in Munich and our sport,” stated Bayern head coach Dirk Bauermann quite proudly. “It was a like a heavyweight championship fight, both fighters throwing punches to see who would survive.”
And it was like that from tip-off through more than the usual 12 rounds.
FCB jumped out to an early 10 point lead, forward Chevon Troutman scoring seven points and guard Steffen Hamann pushing the action in the transition game. But the Baskets were able to weather the initial run, tying the game after a three-pointer from PJ Tucker. Bayern were able to take the lead after the first quarter, taking advantage of Bamberg’s defensive holes, Robin Benzing scoring right on a pull-up jumper beating the buzzer.
Just like in their earlier meeting when Bayern took the first period, the Baskets wrestled away control in the second. Julius Jenkins hit twice from beyond the arc and scored two more fastbreak buckets to help his team go into the locker room up 43-36. And the tone did not change after halftime, Casey Jacobsen with a couple of treys, including one that gave the visitors their biggest lead of the game, 57-43.
But Bayern kept fighting, not allowing the Baskets to run away with it, keeping it close by turning up the defense. And once again, they scored at the end of the quarter to keep the deficit manageable.
The question for Munich would be who would lead this team in the fourth quarter and if they could make key stops. First, it was Foster hitting twice from downtown, one from about five feet behind the three-point line to cut the deficit to 72-70 with 5:02 left in regulation. Troutman tied the game a few minutes later with a home court bounce from the rim.
If there was one negative aspect to the game, it was Brose’s performance at the charity stripe, especially Marcus Slaughter. He led the Baskets with 23 points but left 10 points at the free-throw line, missing four of his attempts during Bayern’s comeback in the final quarter. The team finished 14-29 and clearly was the deciding factor.
And then the two teams traded those aforementioned punches as the crunch time pressure reached new levels. There were two lead changes and finally deadlocked at 78 apiece as the clock hit zeroes. Overtime! The fans and the national TV audience deserved more of these two teams.
Bamberg’s experience took over to help them take the lead as Jenkins once again went on a run, scoring five points in a row to take an 85-83 lead with 2:16 left. But Wallace started his run with a huge trey, a bucket and then with his team down 90-88, hit the biggest free throws of the season to send the game into the second overtime.
“We felt like we wore (Bamberg) down at the end, we were physical with them,” observed Troutman, who finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out. “You could see some quit in some of the players. Once you get a team feeling like that, you just go in for the kill.”
And that Bayern did. Wallace started the scoring with a floater over big men Tucker and Slaughter, and then Jared Homan scored three buckets within one minute to break the 92-92 tie before fouling out with 21 points, and that set up Foster’s heroics.
“It was a hard fought game,” said Foster who finished with 19 points. “We stuck together during their run, we played great as a team, we made big shots and big plays and that’s what it takes to beat a team like Bamberg.”
Troutman added, “We have a good team, they can clearly see we are one of the top teams, contending teams. Teams coming into the Audi Dome find out it’s not easy to play here or win, this is our home and we’ve been protecting it all year.”
By the time it was over, it felt like both teams and their fans went through the motions of a boxing match, everyone exhausted, the winners taking their victory lap, and the losers left asking what went wrong. But no one could argue they witnessed something special.
“They earned the victory tonight with an energetic performance in the 4th quarter and in the two overtimes,” said Baskets head coach Chris Fleming. “We’ve secured the top seed, we can look ahead. But we have some work to do, especially on individual defense which Bayern took advantage of, and improve our free-throws.”
Bamberg will go home to focus on those points with two home games to finish the regular season, including against second place ALBA BERLIN on Sunday. Bayern will travel up to northern Bavaria to take on BBC Bayreuth on Saturday night before returning home against the Eisbären (Polar Bears) Bremerhaven to finish out the schedule.
Many still believe Munich are too new in the league to be considered a top team, but if today was any indication, it won’t be long before they start claiming their place and beating the top teams.