Zielona Slam Past Bayern
Audi Dome, Munich – For three quarters, the Euroleague game between FC Bayern Basketball and Stelmet Zielona Gora was close between two clubs hoping for a pivotal win. But it took one quarter for one team to separate themselves and bring Group C into chaos.
Vladimir Dragičević notched a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead Zielona to a 78-71 win against Bayern Basketball and revitalized their hopes to make it into the Euroleague Top 16.
For the first 20 minutes, the teams battled back-and-forth, neither team gaining an advantage of more than seven points. Munich were able to take a 35-31 lead into halftime. Thanks to a turnover disadvantage of 10-1, the hosts let their Polish counterparts to stay in the game. But the same could be said for Zielona, who allowed Bayern to control the boards 28-12.
Both teams came out shooting after halftime, Przemyslaw Zamojski and Lukasz Koszarek nailed three-pointers to tie the game at 37-37. Boris Savovic and Nihad Djedovic answered with long distance shots themselves for a 43-39 lead. But then the Polish league defending champions turned it up to another gear. Dragičević scored a bucket, former NBA draft pick Christian Eyenga followed with two more scores for a short lead, a Bayern timeout and Deon Thompson hoop, and the game was tied – for the last time- at 45-45.
From there, Zielona outscored their hosts 18-7 simply running a bit faster, jumping a bit higher, and creating more opportunities. After Djedovic made it 55-50 with two free-throws, Adam Hrycaniuk scored two buckets part of the second 8-0 run of the quarter and extended the lead to 63-50. Bryce Taylor set up some hope before the final quarter, but Bayern trailed 63-52.
The fourth quarter was tightly called in the opening minutes, not much offense as each team were trying to establish themselves. Munich scored the first five points after three minutes in, but Aaron Cel’s trey woke up Zielona. At 69-60, Bayern looking to get back, but a fastbreak was turned away when Taylor was blocked, Dragičević scored on the transition to make it 71-60. And the final nail for Bayern who were careless once again with the ball, Eyenga sprinted past everyone to grab the ball and scored the easy bucket. Eyenga finished with 14 points.
Zielona (2-4) got 14 points and 6 assists from Zamojski, and Koszarek added 13 points and 7 assists. Bayern fall to 3-3 despite Djedovic’s 17 points and 10 points from Malcolm Delaney.
A loss for Stelmet would have put their dreams of moving on in the Euroleague on ice, but now sit only one game behind Munich. The win not only sets them up emotionally for the finish, but sets up an important game on Thursday against Unicaja Malaga, who may also be tied after their game today against undefeated and defending champions Olympiacos.
Bayern Basketball go on the road for a Bavarian matchup in the BEKO BBL in Würzburg against the s.Oliver Baskets on Sunday, and then travel to Italy against Montepaschi Siena next Friday night.
Please visit our Facebook page for more pictures from tonight’s game.
Follow FC Bayern Basketball, the BEKO Basketball Bundesliga, and the Euroleague on Twitter @SportEagleTV