ZSKA Moscow next up for Bayern
Hello, Moscow: FC Bayern's basketball players will be travelling to the Russian capital to play in the EuroLeague twice eight days. First the German champion will play this Thursday evening (17.1., 18:00 CET) at the regional favourites, ZSKA Moscow and next week (Friday, 25.1., 18:00) they will play their city rival Khimki Moscow. In between, the Bavarians will have to play in the BBL next Tuesday at the up and coming BG Göttingen (22.1., 20:30 CET). After the return from the duel with Khimki they will travel on to Bayreuth (Sunday, 27.1., 15:00 CET). The sober summary by FCBB routine Nihad Djedovic: "Our schedule has been hard so far, but it will be the most difficult two weeks of the season".
As always, all games of the Bayern basketball players can be watched live on the channels of MagentaSport and on the club channel FC Bayern.tv.
ZSKA defeated city rival Khimki on Monday in the VTB Derby 75-65
The first of four away games before the next home appearance against Fenerbahce Istanbul (31.1.) brings the re-match at ZSKA and in the first matchup the Bavarians (9-9) initially had too much respect for the Russian army club and despite winning the rebounding battle, couldn't win at the end.
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"Since the first game against ZSKA, we have always improved our game, but against them only a concentrated performance over 40 minutes will be enough, if we want to be in the game at the end this time", said FCBB coach Dejan Radonjic. "ZSKA continues to be one of the top two or three teams to take the EuroLeague title. They have an incredible amount of quality on the squad."
The host's best scorer is former Ulmer Will Clyburn (14.8 ppg) ahead of compatriot Cory Higgins (14.7) and French Guard Nando De Colo (13.8). But every other player from this world selection, starting with the Spaniard Sergio Rodriguez (9.4) or US Center Othello Hunter (8.7), is able to have a huge impact. "It's going to be a tough game, against teams like ZSKA we have to show up and especially with rebounding, offensive as well as defensive. We have to improve on the boards especially as we still are missing Devin Booker," said Bayern-Forward Derrick Williams. "Besides, unlike in the first matchup, we have to prevent them from having open threes. Not only our guards are challenged, but also the big boys - all of us".
The fact that ZSKA is not invulnerable in the Megasport Arena was proven by Maccabi Tel Aviv last week, who lost 76:93 against the favourite. After an early lead (16:4) and a long balanced run they lost the last quarter with 14:29 points - and thus for the first time a EuroLeague home game since the eighth match day of the previous season. In the Eastern European VTB League, however, ZSKA won on Monday evening 75-66 over their city rivals Khimki. The team of Greek coach Dimitris Itoudis is undefeated after 13 games and the leaders of the regional league without a loss - like the Bavarians in the BBL (15-0).
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