FC Bayern Munich continued its fantastic start to the season by battling with Valencia Basket before finally pulling away late for a 90-79 victory.
Bayern marches on to first win over Valencia
FC Bayern Munich continued its fantastic start to the season by battling with Valencia Basket before finally pulling away late for a 90-79 victory. Bayern closed the game on an 11-1 run over the final 2:30 minutes to improve to 6-2 with six wins in the last seven games. Vladimir Lucic collected 22 points, 7 rebounds and a career high index rating of 35 while Paul Zipser poured in 20 points. JaJuan Johnson picked up career bests of 17 points and 8 rebounds and Malcolm Thomas chipped in 11 points as Bayern beat Valencia for the first time. Valencia dropped to 4-3 despite Klemen Prepelic tallying 18 points and 5 assists, and Bojan Dubljevic scoring 12 points.
Johnson got the hosts on the board first but Valencia followed with the next 9 points – 4 from teenager Jaime Pradilla - to go up 2-9. The Bayern defense stepped up, allowing just one basket in the next 5 minutes while Lucic tallied six points in a 16-2 run which also included a Johnson three-point play and a Thomas triple to go ahead 18-11. Fernando San Emeterio came off the Valencia bench to stop the drought with 5 straight points and Bayern’s lead was 21-18 after 10 minutes. Louis Labeyrie and Derrick Williams came up big early in the second quarter as Valencia moved ahead 26-27. Nick Weiler-Babb punched right back with a three-pointer for Bayern, which also got 4 points from Thomas to stay ahead until Prepelic picked up 5 straight points for a 37-39 lead at the break.
Lucic twice - once from deep - evened the game early in the second half with a Johnson jumper making it 44-42. Dubljevic answered with four points and Prepelic added a three-point play as Valencia moved ahead 46-49. After a Bayern timeout, Weiler-Babb nailed a triple, Zipser followed with a four-point play and the hosts were up 53-51. The push continued with a Jalen Reynolds three-point play and a Zipser three-pointer to open some daylight, 61-55. Valencia trimmed the gap to 62-60 after 30 minutes, and San Emeterio opened the final frame to even the score. But Bayern put together a 10-5 surge with Lucic picking up four points for a 72-67 advantage midway through the quarter. Williams responded with two foul shots and a three-point play and Dubljevic’s free throws knotted it at 74-74. With the score 79-78 with under 3 minutes left, Zan Sisko hit a driving layup followed by Lucic adding a steal and dunk and a three-point dagger to make it 86-78 with 77 seconds left. The only point Bayern allowed the final 2:30 minutes was a free throw after a technical on the Munich bench as Bayern finished strong for the win.
Bayern’s first win over Valencia
Bayern finally broke through to secure its first victory over Valencia. The Spanish club won both games in the EuroLeague last season and also beat Bayern twice in the EuroCup Eighthfinals in 2015.
Did you notice?
The starting lineups of the teams featured two teenagers. Bayern’s Sasha Grant, who won’t turn 19 until next February, started his second straight game and played 2:50 minutes without registering any statistics. Meanwhile Valencia head coach Jaume Ponsarnua gave the 19-year-old Jaime Pradilla his first start in the EuroLeague and he picked up 4 points and 1 rebound in 11:27 minutes.
Valencia came into the game with the fewest turnovers in the league with just 11.0 per game, but Bayern forced the Spanish side into 18 turnovers. Valencia was also held to just 25.0% on three-pointers while Bayern drained 52.6% from long range.