By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
It could go either way in crunch time between Bayern Munich and Khimki Moscow and it was ultimately the Bavarian side that survived the battle to win 80 – 77 and bounce back after two straight losses.
Khimki, on the other hand, fell to 2-9 and remains the bottom-placed team in the competition. The visiting side led up to 15 in the first half until Bayern fully erased that margin after the break. The two teams traded blows down the stretch and the game was decided in the very last minute.
Nick Weiler-Babb scored the last four points of the match, including the go-ahead free throws with 42 seconds remaining and another pair after an offensive rebound with just two seconds left on the clock. Alexey Shved had the chance to put Khimki up with the score 78 – 77 but his 3-point shot with 26 seconds to play was off target. On the other end, Rimas Kurtinaitis’ players didn’t foul and didn’t secure the defensive rebound following a missed shot Zan Sisko.
After Weiler-Babb’s 2-2 free throws for the 80 – 77, Greg Monroe was the one to take the game-tying attempt that didn’t go in.
Wade Baldwin (19 points, five assists) and Paul Zipser (18 points) led the way overall for Bayern. Khimki, that saw guard Stefan Jovic making his season debut, had Alexey Shved scoring 20 points, dishing out nine assists and grabbing eight rebounds. Monroe dropped 18 points vs. his former team.
““It’s huge. You never want to lose three in a row, and we lost two before this one,” Baldwin said. “It was important to get back on track against a tough Khimki team. They’ve got every good player you can imagine, and I’m so happy for our team the way they closed out the game, rebounding the ball, playing tough.
“Stefan Jovic played his first game in nine months so for sure he’s not in perfect condition, but he played well and helped us a lot,” Khimki coach Rimas Kurtinaitis said. “We’ve got a good roster and good players, we just need to win a couple of games to get back our confidence.”
“It doesn’t look good but the taste is amazing”
Bayern Munich coach Andrea Trinchieri used the above line – one of his classics – to sum up his feelings about the game.
“On one side I have to put the great effort of my players to win a game when we started really bad, were not able to do anything on defense, not even make fouls,” Trinchieri said. “When you don’t make fouls it’s a clear signal you are not ready to play defense. But on the other side I put the great effort to come back and find a way to win the game. From a coach’s perspective it doesn’t look good, but the taste is amazing and all the credit to my players that they found a way to take a W home.
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball