By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
After an admirable second half, UNICS Kazan managed to get the 73-70 win 0ver Bayern Munich and finally got its first win of the season after losing twice at home. Despite trailing by 16 at the start of the second half, UNICS managed to get a 12 points lead (67-55) with Isaiah Canaan and Mario Hezonja scoring big threes.
Canaan finished the game with 21 points, Hezonja added 15 and Lorenzo Brown scored 16. For the losing side, Corey Walden scored 16 points, cutting UNICS’ lead to three (70-67) in the last minute of the game and Darrun Hilliard also finished the night with 17 points.
With the game on the line, Tonye Jekiri (7 p. 10 r.) made the most crucial bucket of the game (72-67) and in the next possession, Deshaun Thomas stepped on the sideline.
Hilliard scored three free throws with just one second left, but couldn’t affect the final outcome.
“We had a very good couple of practices and prepared the game very well”, said Hezonja. “We didn’t start the game very well, I think we were turning the ball over too much, but thanks to my teammates, Tonye [Jekiri], Isaiah [Canaan] took big shots today and scored them. John [Brown], too. They did a great, great job, Lorenzo [Brown], too. Thanks to them, we won.”
Bayern started the game the right way, getting a 37-26 halftime lead and then pushing the point-different to 16 points (42-26), thanks to a quick 6-0 run at the start of the third period.
However, UNICS reacted swiftly and managed to make it a five-point game (50-45) entering the last quarter, while Bayern’s Othello Hunter (4 p. 5 r.), a key defensive presence for the Germans was already on the bench with four fouls. On the other side, John Brown (4 p. 8 r.) was the glue that kept UNICS alive when things got tough.
A made three by Lorenzo Brown and a goal foul by Hezonja gave UNICS the lead (51-50) and suddenly the game started from scratch. Bayern lost their chance and now have a 0-3 record.
As Bayern coach Andrea Trinchieri said: “We had a very poor performance. We didn’t look like a team. We really played very badly, looking to our mentality, our desire to fight. And this is, by far, our worst game. We cannot play like this. We cannot throw opportunities in the garbage like this. We didn’t execute [in the second half] and didn’t play as a team. And these little things crunch me the most. We were controlling pretty well in the first half but the guy who changed the game was Canaan with some tough shots. I believe he is super talented and had some big plays, but we didn’t control too many players. We didn’t control Canaan, Brown, Hezonja. It is a little bit too much to win on the road in the EuroLeague. I hope that we feel the desire to bounce back.”
Bayern is still missing Vladimir Lucic and Nihad Djedovic didn’t play despite being on the bench, however, UNICS still awaits the debut of O.J.Mayo.
Photo credit: EuroLeague