FC Bayern’s basketball players have strong phases against Moscow’s favorite Panathinaikos Athens, as did TJ Bray’s debut in the Euroleague – but the game is lost again in the end.
Oliver Kostic had already set the goal for Bayern Munich’s Euroleague trip to Athens: He wanted to “take the second half against CSKA Moscow as a base,” the coach said. Munich had no chance against Moscow for a half last week, then they came back strongly in the second round. Bayern also showed their two faces at 83:98 at Panathinaikos Athens on Wednesday evening, but again it was not enough to win against a top team.
In the first quarter, the Munich team was torn apart by Panathinaikos, after five and a half minutes it was 19-2 for the favorite from Athens, who hardly missed a chance in the first quarter and always showed great moves. Bayern fought, however, and came up to ten points after ten minutes. Then, as against CSKA, they showed what they were capable of: the second quarter belonged to the Munich team, who were now much better on the defensive and played their quality up front. Greg Monroe was repeatedly staged by the playmakers, who in turn scored points from a distance: 50 percent triple through to half time and strong throws by Petteri Koponen, Josh Huestis, Paul Zipser and above all T.J. Bray, who was able to directly mark the Munich game with 14 points on his Euroleague debut, ensured a 53:53 break.
Oliver Kostic was still not completely satisfied: “We need more ball control,” the coach said in a half-time interview – and was heard. In the third quarter, Munich began as it had previously stopped. They controlled the defensive and continued their impressive series of three at the front: The result was an eight-point lead in the meantime, but then Athens came back with full force: The former Munich Tyrese Rice and the strong center Deshaun Thomas (seven offensive rebounds) brought Panathinaikos ten minutes before the end of the lead, the overpowering Greeks could finally not oppose the Bavarians in the fourth quarter (22: 8) – in the final phase they showed again the face that their coach sees so reluctantly.