Audi Dome, Munich - FC Bayern Basketball are slowly becoming like their big brother on the football side. Sold out arena, celeb sightings, highly entertaining games, and international stars. Oh, and victories.
Most of the starting 11 of FC Bayern München were in the stands and they witnessed their mirror image on the court. German internationals Steffen Hamann and Robin Benzing both scored 16 points as the Ballers dominated EWE Baskets Oldenburg 102-71 in front of a soldout, frenzy crowd Saturday night.
From the beginning, Hamann was intent on setting the pace. He had two early steals and took the ball to the hoop and was fouled. He hit on all six free-throws to help build an early 11-3 lead.
Hamann got his teammates involved as well, his two assists established early ball movement for the men in the middle - Chevon Troutman had 7 points early - and for the sharp shooters. Desmond Greene hit consecutive three-pointers that effectively ended the game FIVE minutes into the 1st quarter.
Bayern did not take their feet off the pedal after building a 27-16 lead at the end of the opening period. Dunks by Benzing and Hamann and long-range bombs by Greene, Jonathan Wallace and Je'Kel Foster buried the visitors 51-37 by halftime.
Foster was a welcomed sight for the team. He was injured over the past weeks, missing seven league games. Before his injury, he was leading the team with 14.9 ppg and was a leader on the floor. In his return, he hit three 3-pointers and finished with 9 points.
Jared Homan was the main man in the middle. His presence blocking (2) and changing shots, grabbing rebounds (9) and scoring a majority of the team's 40 points-in-the-paint was the difference. Homan's dunks and Benzing's three's put a nice little ribbon on the team's present to Bayern president Uli Hoeness, who was serenaded in the pregame for his birthday.
The only thing in question at the end was whether or not Munich would score 100 points. When Jonathan Wallace hit a three with :07 second left, the crowd was able to really celebrate. When all was said and done, six Bayern players finished in double figures. Wallace added 12 points, along with Troutman's 11 points and 9 rebounds, and Greene also tallied 11 points.
"We played well on both ends of the floor," stated FC Bayern's head coach Dirk Bauermann. "Our defense early on was real important and we wanted to keep the pedal to the metal (throughout the game)."
"Bayern jumped out to an early lead in the 1st quarter and it was tough for us to get back into the game," admitted Baskets coach Predrag Krunic. "There was a moment in the second half where we had a chance, but Bayern were too confident and they continued to score."
The victory improves Bayern's home record to 9-1 and with their 10-8 overall record, they now sit 7th in the league standings, passing up the Baskets. Oldenburg have the same record, but Munich win the tie-breaker thanks to their blowout.
Most of the team will be off the next two weeks as the league will showcase their stars at the Beko BBL All Star Day on Saturday, January 21st in Ludwigsburg. Benzing, Troutman, Foster and Philipp Schwethelm will play in the game. Troutman will also be in the Dunk Contest. Keaton Nankivil of ratiopharm Ulm, who beat Bayern on a last second trey last on January 4th, will take part in the Three Point Contest.
Munich will return to the Audi Dome on Sunday, February 5th when they host BC Göttingen, tip-off at 16:00.
Celebrity Watch - spotted at the game to celebrate Bayern President Uli Hoeness' 60th birthday: former Bavarian Minister President Edmund Stoiber, football head coach Jupp Heynckes, current footballers Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gomez, Jerome Boateng, Thomas Müller, Holger Badstuber, and Hans-Jörg Butt