ratiopharm ulm surprised two-time defending easyCredit BBL champs FC Bayern Munich with a 95-85 victory in their first game of the Final Tournament 2020 – thanks to the duo of Tyler Harvey and Thomas Klepeisz.

Harvey scored 21 points while Klepeisz collected 17 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in Ulm’s impressive start to the tournament. Ulm committed only eight turnovers and held Bayern to just 38 percent shooting from inside the three-point line. Bayern were deadly from long range, hitting 15-of-28 threes (54 percent) not to mention converting on 22-of-27 free throws (81 percent). But the 23 points from Vladimir Lucic, 16 from Paul Zipser and Danilo Barthel’s 13 points were not enough for the host team.

The victory leaves Ulm and BG Göttingen tied atop Group A at 1-0 while Bayern and HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim are 0-1.

Bayern had a strong start to the game with Koponen draining two three-pointers and Maodo Lo also hitting from the outside for a 15-8 lead. Per Günther and Thomas Klepeisz hit three-balls at the other end and the the gave was even 18-18 with Bayern up 20-18 after 10 minutes.

Bayern could not pull away and Ulm was still deadlocked 25-25. Bayern did put together an 8-0 surge for a 33-25 lead, but Ulm fought back and were up 41-40 at the break – Bayern making 8-of-14 three-pointers but just 3-of-12 from inside the arc. Bayern also forced only 3 Ulm turnovers in the first half.

The tough Ulm defense continued and Jaka Lakovic’s team got three-pointers from Tyler Harvey and Andi Obst for a 58-52 advantage, which was 58-54 after 30 minutes.

Ulm refused to back down and Klepeisz knocked down a three-pointer as the Ulm lead grew to 58-67. An unsportsmanlike foul led to four Bayern points but Harvey answered with a five straight points and the margin was double figures 72-62. Ulm regularly won the loose ball battle – diving for the ball while Klepeisz nailed a triple and two free throws and Ulm were up 79-69 with less than 5 minutes. Bayern tried coming back but Klepeisz countered with a four-point play to make it 83-72 with under 4 minutes remaining.

Bayern got three-pointers from Zipser, Barthel and Lucic to get within 85-90 only to see Archie Goodwin throw down a dunk with 50 seconds to decide the game.

Ulm’s next game will be on Monday June 8 against EWE Baskets Oldenburg while Bayern face HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim on the same day.

Ulm’s Thomas Klepeisez: “The guys welcomed me right away and gave me the feeling that I was an important part of the team and that showed.”

Bayern’s Maodo Lo: “We were not able to defend the pick-and-roll. We were really bad in one-on-one early on. We didn’t hit our open shots. We didn’t have a rhythm offensively. That was the game for us today. No flow. We played poorly – especially defensively. We are lucky that it wasn’t a knockout game. But if we keep playing like this, we will not win too often here.”

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