Friday, December 9

A decimated Baskonia beats Bayern in Munich

Ehe Bitci Baskonia won again away from home in the Euroleague, more than two months later, after beating Bayern Munich in the AudiDome by 75 to 81. Those from Spahija attended the event in the draw, because although Kurucs ended up joining the expedition at the last minute, Simone Fontecchio ended up being discarded at the last minute for the flu. Thus, the absence of the Italian was added to those of Alec Peters, Rokas Giedraitis and Tadas Sedekerskis, leaving the Baskonista rotation greatly diminished a few minutes before the game.

The difficulties did not daunt the Basques, who started strongly led by an overwhelming Wade Baldwin IV. The American found himself like a fish in water before his exes and signed a huge first quarter, scoring 16 points without failure to take his team to a resounding 13 to 25 at the end of the first 10 minutes.

The locals found an effective response in KC Rivers, who emulated his compatriot in success as soon as the second period started. The forward scored Bayern’s 12 consecutive points, bringing Trinchieri’s men closer to 27-32 midway through the quarter. The rebound, which had been a fundamental weapon for the Baskonians, changed hands, providing second shots and opportunities for the German team. Costello sustained the Vitoria with 11 points, closing Marinkovic with a triple in the first half (42-46, min.20)

Baldwin resumed his scoring work as soon as the game resumed, finding in Landry Nnoko the ally he needed in the paint. The Cameroons restored their defensive solidity, which added to the regular contribution of Costello on both sides of the court, extended the advantage to 17 points (48-65, min.27). A small partial at the end of the third period kept the flame alive for Bayern, who entered the final phase 12 points behind (55-67, min.30)

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Fatigue seemed to take its toll on both teams from then on, although it was the most limited in rotation – the Baskonia – that survived the best. A huge dunk with additional Costello and a triple by Marinkovic stabbed Bayern almost definitively, returning the lead to 17 points (56-73) with the game entering its final stretch.

Personal fouls would still put another China in the way of Baskonia, who lost in just the blink of an eye its two ‘fives’ -Nnoko and Enoch-, forcing Spahja to finish the game -the last three minutes- with a quintet made up of 3 bases, Marinkovic of ‘four’ and Costello as the only post. 4 free throws by Granger and a final basket by Baldwin will end up certifying the victory from Vitoria in the final stage.

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