There will be a new champion in Germany as MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg eliminated two-time reigning title winners FC Bayern Munich from the easyCredit BBL Final Tournament 2020 Quarter-Finals, losing Game 2 74-73 but securing a 160-157 aggregate win.

Marcos Knight led Ludwigsburg with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Jaleen Smith added 18 points and Thomas Wimbush scored 10 points. Ludwigsburg’s opponents in the Semi-Finals – which will be played on Sunday June 21 and Tuesday June 23 – will be either ratiopharm ulm or FRAPORT SKYLINERS, who were playing their Game 2 of the Quarter-Finals later in the day.

Bayern, which had lost Game 1 by four points, had four players score in double figures, paced by Paul Zipser with 16 points while Danilo Barthel had 14, Mathias Lessort 12 and Vladimir Lucic 11 points.

Wimbush scored five points for a 7-4 lead early. The Bayern sharpshooters started taking aim and Maodo Lo, Lucic and Zipser all buried three-balls for a 15-9 lead. Knight brought Ludwigsburg to within 15-13 only to see Bayern go on an 8-2 spurt to lead 23-15. Knight did end the first quarter with a trey to make it 23-18.

Zipser started the second quarter with a huge dunk over Wimbush and then completed a four-point play as the Bayern cushion grew to 29-18. Knight responded with a three-ball and a 7-2 surge got Ludwigsburg within 33-28. Lo drained a triple as Bayern got the lead back up to nine – 39-30 – but Lo committed an unsportsmanlike foul which resulted in four points and two straight scores from Cameron Jackson cut the gap to 41-36. Bayern picked up the final four points of the first half and led 45-36 at the break.

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The second half started with an alley-opp for Nick Weiler-Babb for his first points of the game. But Ludwigsburg could not really produce offensively and a TJ Bray three-pointer had Bayern up 54-42. Ludwigsburg focused on shutting down the Bayern offense, which converted just two free throws in the final 6:27 minutes of the third quarter and Smith drained a three-pointer at the buzzer as Ludwigsburg pulled within 56-52 – essentially tying the series.

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Ludwigsburg’s 19-year-old Radii Caisin opened the fourth quarter with a three-ball and Smith also hit from long range and John Patrick’s team was up 58-56. Barthel responded with a three-ball, which was Bayern’s first basket in 9:29 minutes. Ludwigsburg were shooting themselves in the foot with missed free throws – Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann missing four straight at this stage.

Smith and Lucic exchanged triples and it remained close with Wimbush hitting a big three-pointer to put Ludwigsburg up 71-70 with 1:11 minutes to play. Lessort answered with two free throws and after a WoBo turnover Lessort scored a basket but missed the bonus free throw for a 74-71 Bayern lead – meaning Bayern missed a chance to tie the series. The free throw was tipped out of bounds by Ludwigsburg and Bayern had another chance only to have Petteri Koponen with 4 seconds left throw the ball right into the arms of Knight, who was fouled and made two free throws with 3.8 seconds remaining to make it 74-73 for Bayern. The champs had one more chance to send the game to overtime with a three-pointer but Lucic’s shot was off target and the champions were eliminated.

QUOTES: Ludwigsburg’s Jaleen Smith: “I can’t explain it. Playing against a team like Bayern, they have a lot of history. I just wanted to come out and just show what I can do. You saw it today. We did it as a team. In the end we just pulled together and just came out with the W.”
(How it was possible to beat Bayern over 80 minutes): “Wow, they are physical you know. But we have a lot of guys who are hungry and just want to win. And we really wanted these two games.”
(What is possible for Ludwigsburg): “I would say the sky is the limit for us if we keep playing the way we are playing, keep playing together. Then I can see us doing something special.

Bayern’s Oliver Kostic: “Actually we won today but unfortunately not by enough to go to the next round. We had a very good game today. Of course we had our chances to win this game but in the end we just didn’t make good decisions on the floor. We let them back into the game and after that we played for the one possession – and even at the end we had let’s say a good shot at the three that could have turned the game in a different direction. But I can say the guys did everything that is right now possible. We fought well. We did all what we need, but that’s sports. You don’t get everything how you plan it. Ludwigsburg was a good opponent, congratulations to them. Wish them good luck in the next round.”

 
 
 

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