Audi Dome, Munich – Players always want the ball in the final seconds with a chance to win the game. The key is being able to hold on, whether or not your nails have been chewed off due to the pressure. Unfortunately for Allan Ray, his chance slipped through his hands.
Ray led ratiopharm ulm with 17 points but was not able to handle the final possession to get a clean shot, losing the ball as the clock expired, giving FC Bayern Basketball the 80-78 win.
Jared Homan scored 20 points and Robin Benzing added a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds as Munich escaped with their sixth win in a row.
Per Günther inbounded the ball to Ray with four seconds left, who initially slipped, regained control, but with the defensive pressure and clock winding down, the guard lost the ball. That final play capped a pulsating final quarter.
Sport Eagle TV Postgame – FC Bayern Basketball vs. ratiopharm ulm, Beko BBL
Ulm led after each of the first three quarters but early in the fourth, Jared Homan slammed home a miss to tie the game at 64. He would finish with 20 points. After a Chevon Troutman free-throw, Brandon Thomas nailed a three pointer that excited the crowd as the lead went to 68-64. But Steven Michael Esterkamp answered with a trey, 68-67 Bayern.
Robin Benzing has been solid for Bayern since Svetislav Pešić became coach, and he would see Ulm’s three with one of his own, timeout Ulm at 71-67. Benzing has averaged 15.5 points during the win streak, in this game, he recorded his first double-double of the season. Troutman would add a pair of free-throws and a bucket to finish with 17 points, Homan chipped in two more from the charity stripe for a 77-71 lead with 2:55 left.
One could rightfully assume the game would be over. However, Ulm is not a team that would fold. Head coach Thorsten Leibenath led this team to the Beko BBL finals last year, and with a team of returning most of their core players from last year including MVP John Bryant, they are one of the favorites to win the title.
Bryant was quiet most of the game, stepped up with a three-pointer. Dane Watts and Ray would score, and bam – Ulm was back in the lead, 78-77. Bayern captain Steffen Hamann stepped up and scored for the 79-78 lead.
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Then came the final fireworks. Esterkamp turned the ball over and after a defensive stop, Bryant was short on a three-point shot. Hamann went to the charity stripe to ice the game, but uncharacteristically missed both attempts. Ulm could not take advantage, as Lance Jeter was called for an offensive foul on the other end. Bayern’s leading scorer this season Tyrese Rice was scoreless in this game until he hit one of two free-throws that then set up the final chance for Ulm and Ray’s turnover
The win improved Munich’s record to 11-6, the same as Ulm, and lift them into third place in the Beko BBL standings. Ulm drop to fourth, and will play BC Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday in Eurocup action. The two teams will face each other on Sunday, January 27th at ratiopharm Arena and this one will be televised for a national TV audience.
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