Audi Dome, Munich – FC Bayern München announced that they belong amongst Europe’s best basketball teams, but will have to take the moral victory in a thrilling loss to make that statement.
Vassilis Spanoulis scored 24 points and dished out 7 assists, while Stratos Perperoglou added 25 points including the deciding free-throws after a key offensive rebound as Olympiacos Piraeus held off an inspired Bayern 105-103 in front of a raucous sold out crowd.
This game was fast-paced and frenetic from tip-off. Olympiacos hit their first three shots from beyond the arc to take an early lead and was up 28-22 after the first 10 minutes. Spanoulis led all scorers with 9 points while Robin Benzing both his shots for Munich for 5 points. Heiko Schaffartzik nailed two treys to bring Munich back in the second quarter and they took their first lead at 32-30. At 42-41, Olympiacos ran off a 10-0 run and would take a 59-50 lead into the break.
Munich came out again in the new quarter inspired, John Bryant scored two quick buckets and his three-pointer gave Bayern the lead once again 66-64. Lucca Staiger and Malcolm Delaney would follow from downtown for a 70-67 lead. Spanoulis woke up in time to spark his team again, after two free-throws, he hit a three-ball and Olympiacos held a slim 80-77 lead into the final quarter.
The action would just revved up to another gear by both clubs in the 4th quarter. Piraues went on another run, this time 8-0 to get to 88-79. Both teams traded shots after that like a heavyweight fight, and it seemed slowly the pedigree of Olympiacos would win out, leading 102-97 thanks to a bucket by Spanoulis.
Bayern fought back thanks to threes from Staiger and Schaffartzik. Olympiacos chose to foul Delaney, his ensuing free-throws tied it at 102-102. Bayern head coach Svetislav Pešić chose to match that strategy, putting Bryant Dunston on the line. He missed his second FT, but a key offensive rebound by Perperoglou, he was fouled and his two free-throws gave the two-time defending champs a 105-102 lead.
Piraeus chose once again to put Delaney on the line, who made the first from the charity stripe and purposely missed the second. The offensive rebound fell to Bayern, kicked out to Schaffartzik for the win – he had hit 5-of-8 from three-point-land at that point – his three-point attempt barely glanced off the rim and the Greek team won.
Delaney finished with a team-high 22 points and 6 assists for Munich, while Schaffartzik contributed 21 points thanks to 5-of-8 from three-point-land.
After a 3-1 start to the Euroleague regular season, Bayern have now lost 4 in a row and sit fourth in the Group C standings. They now face two must win games if they want to make the Top 16, at Unicaja Malaga next week and back home right before Christmas against Galatasaray Istanbul on December 20th. Olympiacos can now focus on the next round.
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