Going back-and-forth with the reigning back-to-back Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champions, FC Bayern Munich delivers a solid fourth quarter to defeat Anadolu Efes, 81-78, Thursday.
Tucking in three shots from beyond the arc, Cassius Winston went for 16 points in the exciting Regular Season Round 6 affair. Seven assists and four rebounds as well for the former Michigan State standout.
Playing his best game since returning to Germany from the NBA, Isaac Bonga threw in 12 points. “We always knew we can win every single game,” was the immediate reaction of the German guard, “Today, we just showed we work like a team and do whatever we need to do.”
Similar to Bonga, Elias Harris recently recovered from an injury and registered all of his ten points in the last quarter. Defensive specialist Nick Weiler-Babb had nine points and pulled down four of the impressive team total of 18 offensive rebounds.
“It was a great game but those offensive rebounds provided extra possessions for Bayern,” confessed Efes boss Ergin Ataman, “They deserved to win.”
Up against his former team, Vasilije Micic ended up with 24 points in the losing effort, including 12 in the third quarter. The two-time EuroLeague Final Four MVP kept quiet in the first half of the fourth quarter prompting the Munich outfit to draw the first double-digit lead of the game. The ensuing comeback bid fell short with both Micic and Will Clyburn missing chances to enforce an 81-81 tie with time running out.
After five losses to start the 2022-23 EuroLeague season, including three previous showings at Audi Dome, holding on to the slim advantage in crunch time meant the first win for the team coached by Andrea Trinchieri. Jason George (illness) remained on the list of unavailable players alongside injured teammates Zan Mark Sisko (finger) and Othello Hunter (hamstring).
“It was a great battle. Today, we believed in ourselves. We played hard with our mistakes. But we believed. And I think we deserved to win,” said the Italian tactician.
On the opposite end, both Shane Larkin (finger) and Rodrigue Beaubois (calf) were out. Also, Ante Zizic exited with an apparent ankle injury with 6:53 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Croatian center had 11 points in 16 minutes.
After a hot start and leading all scorers with 14 points in the first half, Clyburn made his way to a 21-point showing. Newcomer Isaiah Taylor went scoreless in six minutes debuting in European club continental competitions. The Turkish club was forced down to 2-4 with a second loss in as many games away from home.