Bayern race past Ulm


Posted by Salman Mitha

Posted in Basketball / Beko BBL / featured / Sport Eagle Update


Audi Dome, Munich – Over the Christmas holidays, I watched the animation movie, “Turbo”.  That snail was fast.  But then I saw FC Bayern Basketball on Boxing Day and realized nothing is faster right now in the BEKO Basketball Bundesliga.

Bayern Basketball raced by ratiopharm ulm thanks to runs of 14-0 in the first quarter and 18-4 in the third for an 87-70 win and improve to 14-1 overall, and 8-0 at home.  Malcolm Delaney led all scorers with 18 points, going 4-for-6 from the three-point line.  John Bryant put up a double-double against his former team, contributing 12 points and 13 rebounds along with two block shots.

Edgar Sosa scored 17 points for visiting Ulm, also making four from beyond the arc, but it was not enough to overcome the Bayern red wave.

Ulm started strong, going ahead early 5-3, but then Deon Thompson scored nine of his 11 points during the 14-0 run that gave Bayern the first quarter cushion 17-5.  Thompson completed a three-point play thanks to an assist from Delaney, who finished the run with his second trey of the quarter.  Bryce Taylor added another long distance shot, and Chevy Troutman ended the quarter scoring five points to give Munich the 27-16 lead.

If ratiopharm ulm could find a positive from this game, it would be in the second quarter as they kept close.  But Bayern ended the first half up 49-32 thanks to 56% FG shooting, 5-of-10 from long distance.  Ulm could only hope they could improve on their paltry 31% FG shooting, TWO-of-20 from downtown.  Granted, they played three overtimes on Saturday night and were coming off a short break for the holiday, but this was the game that they were looking forward to prove they belong as one of the top teams.

Ulm came out in the third quarter a bit stronger, cutting the lead back to 11 thanks to a 7-0 run.  Then Bayern made it rain.

Lucca Staiger connected on three bombs, Heiko Schaffartzik added one himself in the middle as part of that 18-4 run, exclamated by Steffe Hamann’s fastbreak dunk for a 75-50 lead shortly before the end of quarter.

Ulm could only hope they can keep it respectable for the 400 Orange fans that traveled east on the holiday, and they put together a 10-0 run from the end of the third to the beginning minutes of the fourth.  But Bryant, the league’s two-time MVP while at Ulm, finished it off with an easy bucket and an icing trey.

Ulm Head Coach Thorsten Leibenath could only hope at the end that his team would keep the game close, and they did.  Photo: Sport Eagle / S. Sperduto

Ulm Head Coach Thorsten Leibenath could only hope at the end that his team would keep the game close, and they did. Photo: Sport Eagle / S. Sperduto

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“I am disappointed that we didn’t deliver a bigger fight or a closer game,” admitted Ulm head coach Thorsten Leibenath.  “The weak opening phase by us was a reason for this.  We didn’t work for the good shot, and we played extremely unstructured.”

“We expected a tough game against Ulm, a team that plays well, with character and concept,” said Bayern head coach Svetislav Pešić.  “We invested a lot, we practiced hard, and played hard.  It was a perfect game from our side, we can’t play any better than we did.  We are satisfied and happy to have won, and happy how we played.”

Ulm (9-6) will lick their wounds after losing two straight and will host Phoenix Hagen on January 4th in the league and then Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir in the Eurocup Final 32 on January 8th.

Bayern will start 2014 on the road, traveling to take on Zalgiris Kaunas on January 3rd for the start of the Euroleague top 16 and BEKO BBL finalists EWE Baskets Oldenburg on January 6th.  

“We will have a tough schedule with nine games in January, 20 games during the first two months of the new year,” added Pešić.  “But we realize and are accepting this challenge.”

Munich is only halfway done with the season, but hoping, like Turbo (spoiler alert), to be able to get cross the finish line first at the end.

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