Bayern outrun Bears
Posted by Salman Mitha
Posted in Basketball
Audi Dome, Munich, April 28 – With nothing to play for, FC Bayern Basketball made a statement Saturday night before the Beko BBL Playoffs. If you are going to beat us, you will have to get by our Big Three.
Jared Homan scored 19 points and Chevon Troutman added 18 points and 9 rebounds as Bayern overcame a halftime deficit to win 86-73 against the Eisbären Bremerhaven.
Along with guard Je’Kel Foster, who scored 15 points, the three provide a formidable trio that gives the newly promoted club the belief they can make a deep run into the playoffs.
Head coach Dirk Bauermann believes there are two more parts of the recipe needed. “You have to be healthy and you have to have momentum and we have both. They way we have played over the past two months, (winning five in a row and 10 of the past 11 games), we have the momentum going into the playoffs.”
The Eisbaeren, or the Polar Bears, started slow, going down 6-0, but then started to control the flow of the game, taking Bayern out of their gameplan, and were able to end the 1st quarter with a 17-15 lead when Anthony Canty hit a three pointer right at the end.
The visitors continued to hassle Munich In the second quarter, going on a 15-5 run and built a 38-26 lead. And during that stretch, Bayern missed five consecutive free throws and could not get into their rhythm.
“We started great, controlling the game from the beginning,” said Bremerhaven’s Anthony Smith, who lead the visitors with 16 points and played almost the whole game. “But we went about six minutes tonight without scoring. We hit a wall with our rotation.”
And their lack of depth took its toll. As the teams headed towards halftime, Jonathan Wallace and Foster hit shots from beyond the arc three’s to spark a mini 12-5 run, but their seven missed FTs the difference as Bremerhaven took a 43-38 lead into the locker rooms.
“It was a good performance by our opponents in their situation,” credited Bauermann the Bears. “They knew their season is over, it’s the last game. To play with such intensity and so well, they displayed their honor. But our performance in the 2nd half was at a higher level than the first, we were more intense.“
FCB continued their run at the restart, scoring the first nine points, going ahead 47-43. The key to Munich’s burst were turnovers by the Bears, thirteen in the second half after only six in the first, that lead to easy transition opportunities, either finishing with easy layups or dunks. And Foster took over, hitting two treys, including one as the shot clock expired.
In the fourth, Bremerhaven made one last attempt to take away a win, getting to 67-66 when Smith hit a three pointer with 6:03 left. After the timeout, Bayern closed out the game on a 13-0 over the next three minutes, and the Bears could start thinking about next year.
“I am proud of the guys, they played for honor, pride, and our fans,” said Bremerhaven’s head coach Douglas Spradley. “We battled till our energy ran out.”
The season is over for the Eisbaeren, but for Bayern, time to focus on their first round opponent, the Artland Dragons.
“The pressure is on them to win the first game,” said Munich captain Steffen Hamann. “We are a deep team, we have our main players, we have our role players. We have to win as a team. Like we have done over the past weeks, if we play at this pace, no one can beat us. No one will want to play us.”