Bayern rallies from 17 down, overcomes Buducnost
FC Bayern Munich mounted a huge second-half comeback to down Buducnost Voli Podgorica 93-88, ending the calendar year in the EuroLeague on a winning note. Bayern trailed by 17 points in the second quarter, and 39-55 early in the third, but Braydon Hobbs and Derrick Williams got hot shooting from long range to lead the hosts to a victory that improves the team to 8-7, sitting in a share of the sixth place at the midway point of the season. Williams finished with 21 points on 4-for-6 three-point shooting, and Hobbs netted 14 points in 14 minutes, making 4 of 5 triples. Norris Cole had a stellar debut in a Buducnost uniform with 27 points and 6 assists, and 19-year old Goga Bitadze shined in his EuroLeague debut with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks for the visitors, which drops to 3-12.
Leon Radosevic had 6 points in the early going for the hosts, but Suad Sehovic and Earl Clark each hit a triple, before Edwin Jackson knocked down back-to-back jumpers and Bitadze had a three-point play to open a 10-17 lead. Williams got Bayern going, but Cole extended it to 14-21 at the end of the first quarter. Buducnost kept at it in the second quarter as Danilo Nikolic hit a triple, Bitadze had couple more three-point plays and Cole scored 6 points to put together a 3-17 spurt and pull away to 21-38 midway through the second. Williams knocked down a pair of three-pointers, and Radosevic added a three-point play to close the gap, but the visitors still took a 38-49 edge into halftime. Cole extended that lead to 39-55 early in the third, but Vladimir Lucic hit a triple before Hobbs got hot, netting three triples in less than 2 minutes. A three-pointer from Nemanja Dangubic cut the deficit to 60-62 before Petar Popovic stopped the visitors’ bleeding. However, Hobbs hit his fourth three-pointer late in the third, and Williams nailed back-to-back triples early in the fourth to put Bayern up 73-72. Cole scored two jumpers for the visitors, but Robin Amaize and Danilo Barthel knocked down back-to-back threes to help open up a 85-78 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Bitadze cut the deficit to 87-84 with 2 minutes to go, but Gordic committed an unsportsmanlike foul on Barthel who made free throws, and Nihad Dedovic followed it up with a three-point play that sealed the deal.
Braydon Hobbs had not made an appearance since Round 9 but he delivered on this occasion, going 4-for-4 from three-point range in the third quarter, fueling Bayern’s comeback.
Bayern was 2-for-10 from long range with 6 minutes to play in the third quarter, but then made 10 of 12 shots behind the arc in less than 10 minutes, turning a 39-55 deficit into a 81-76 lead with 6:30 to go.
A 19-year old rookie in his EuroLeague debut, Goga Bitadze needed only 18 seconds on the floor to score his first basket – a three-point play. He continued to shine throughout, making 5-of-8 two-point shots, pulling down 3 offensive and 4 defensive rebounds, and blocking 4 shots.
Norris Cole, who played with Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv last season, returned to EuroLeague in style, making 11 of 14 two-point shots to score 27 points in 26 minutes on the floor. It is a season-high for a Buducnost player.
Bayern will start the 2019 calendar year with a Round 16 visit to Anadolu Efes Istanbul, while Buducnost will play on the road against AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan.
Friday, December 28, 2018