Thursday, April 1st, 2021
Euroleague playoffs reached
Bayern’s basketball players tremble to victory
The performance of the FC Bayern basketball players against the Lithuanian team of Zalgiris Kaunas was not sovereign. Nevertheless, it is enough for a narrow victory. The Munich team is the first German team to buy the ticket for the playoffs in the Euroleague.
FC Bayern was the first German team to reach the basketball Euroleague playoffs. The Munich team defeated Zalgiris Kaunas with a trembling 71:70 (37:36) at the last moment and thus secured a place in the knockout phase of the best eight teams in the most important European club competition.
In a long game, coach Andrea Trinchieri’s team achieved a historic basketball success thanks to two free throws from Vladimir Lucic 2.3 seconds before the end. With a total of 13 points, the Serb was also the top scorer in Munich.
In the empty Audi Dome, the hosts had a hard time right from the start. Above all, the nervousness was noticeable offensively, and throws were repeatedly risked from bad positions. A scene at the end of the first quarter, when Bayern conquered the ball, was characteristic: With ten seconds remaining, JaJuan Johnson then pulled completely unnecessarily from the center line and did not hit. Zalgiris got another chance and pocketed a three-point throw.
“We have to find our energy”
In the second section, the Munich seemed to catch up and were with five points ahead. But even there the Lithuanians came up again. “We have to do a better job, we are not good on the defensive and we put too little pressure on the players in contact with the ball. We have to find our energy,” said Trinchieri at half time.
Then Munich found out about the home defeat of the Spanish team from Baskonia against Anadolu Istanbul – so it was clear that a success against Kaunas is mathematically enough for a place in the playoffs. However, the favorite’s game remained error-prone, with Kaunas leading again for a long time in the third quarter. With a few successful three-pointers, however, Bayern passed and triumphed over time – because match winner Lucic kept his nerve on the line and, as a personal highlight, also blocked Zalgiris’ last throw.