Munich Cage Tigers
Posted by Salman Mitha
Posted in Basketball
Audi Dome, Munich – FC Bayern Basketball found a cure to a two-game losing streak that included their first league loss last week in Berlin. A blowout win at home.
Nihad Djedovic scored 18 points and Deon Thompson added a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds as Bayern scored early and often in a 105-68 victory against the WALTER Tigers Tübingen.
Robin Benzing and John Bryant helped get the evening started, combining for Munich’s first 10 points. Benzing scored on two early three-pointers. Bryant, flashed signs of his MVP from the last two years for ratiopharm ulm by scoring in the paint and adding three assists to his 14 point, 9 rebound effort. Benzing finished with 13 points.
After the first quarter with Bayern up 26-16, the home side started the second stanza on a 12-3 run to build a 38-19 lead. The Tigers scratched out seven points to make it 40-26, but Munich finished off the half on an 11-0 run and removed any doubt who would win.
Djedovic’s emphatic dunk at the beginning of third quarter iced it and officially began the ‘will Bayern hit 100 points’ watch. Munich hovered close to the 40-point lead mark, but with 52 seconds remaining, Djedovic appropriately scored point #100 and #101.
“I am very satisfied with how we played today. It’s not only important that we win, but how we win.,” stated Bayern head coach Svetislav Pesic. “The goal everytime when we play in front of our fans is to put forth a solid performance and I compliment them on playing with the concentration that they always show here.”
Bayern’s defense was on through the game, the Tigers could only shoot 41% from the field, were outrebounded 48-26 and committed 16 turnovers. And their leading scorer, Jonathan Wallace, was kept in check. Wallace returned to face his former team for the first time, leading the Tigers with 16 points. He was a key component in Bayern’s rise from the second division of German professional basketball and also led them to the playoffs in the first year in the BBL. After playing in Belgium last season, he returned to Germany to play for Tübingen, who now sit at 2-7 and second-to-last in the standings.
The rough start to the season got a little tougher as the team found out German national player Johannes Lischka had a 10 centimeter tumor in his head. Team doctors and specialists discovered it two weeks after he started feeling weak. Lischka still came to every practice and game. Lischka was scoring 9.3 ppg and is the team’s leading rebounder, grabbing 7.7rpg. Surgery was successful and the team hopes he can return.
“We are going through difficult and tough times at the moment,” explained Tigers head coach Igor Perovic. “But the most important thing is that Johannes left the hospital yesterday, he visited the players at practice and we hope he will be with us soon and be a big help for us.”
Due to the national-international limits, Perovic cannot play an international player in Lischka’s stead and is limited to only replacing him with a German.
“We have to play with the guys that we got. It’s not realistic to expect that’d we would win the game in Munich, but we have to prepare our team to attack other teams,” Perovic said. “The better team won tonight. Even though they only had two days to rest after Galatasaray, we could see all their quality.”
Tübingen host the FRAPORT Skyliners next Saturday.
Munich (8-1) righted the ship after a listless loss last week against ALBA Berlin, their first in the BEKO BBL, and followed that up losing in Istanbul in the Euroleague. “We analyze every detail on offense and defense after we lose,” said Pesic. “We’ve played a lot of games so far, and hopefully more till middle of June. When we lose, we are not sad. We just focus on the aspects of the game that we can improve, and I can be satisfied with that.”
The team does have the depth that Tübingen wished they could have. The return of Thompson after a long layoff at the beginning of the season is a boost to the club. “He was long out of action, so he’s like a new player that we need on the team and have to integrate,” Pesic added. “I expect that step-by-step he will get better.”
Before Bayern travel to Würzburg to take on the s.Oliver Baskets on Saturday night, they will host Stelmet Zielona Gora from Poland in Euroleague action.
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