Round of sixteen against Giessen
For their third appearance in the still young season, the Bayern Basketball players will have to pass a test with playoff character: In the round of 16 of the restructured BBL Cup, the defending champions will meet the Giessen 46ers on Sunday afternoon at 15:00 CEST. Giessen like the Bavarians, has started the season with two victories. The league has renewed the cup mode: The TOP4 final tournament with the seeded host is over and has made way for a knockout competition with all 16 BBL teams (excluding the teams promoted this season).
On the host side, it remains to be seen whether Power Forward Derrick Williams will make his debut. The 27-year-old American faced the media in a packed press lounge of the Audi Dome on Friday morning and basically asked for patience: "It will take time for me to get used to the game here," said Williams, who is now in team training under coach Dejan Radonjic. "But I've been here for two weeks now and I have to say that the team, the coaches, the staff, the organisation and also the fans have given me a great welcome. I will do everything I can to make it to the top with this team."
Whether Derrick Williams will be in the squad for the first do-or-die game of the season will only be decided on short notice. Either way, there will be suspense, and the Bavarians are determined to improve on their performance against Vechta (79-66).
For the Giessen 46ers, a Californian will be the focus of attention on Sunday: John Bryant is the linchpin for the Hessians this season and the former FCBB Center extended his contract in Giessen for another two years. "Big John" made a new attempt in the BBL last season after a lost year with short engagements in Valencia and Monaco. With an average of 18.2 points and 10.7 rebounds, he played a major role in Giessen's long playoff battle.
The fact that the 46ers could again orient themselves towards the knockout round rather than the relegation zone was already indicated by their first two BBL games: Like the Bavarians, they won twice, the opening success against the MBC (91-84) was followed on Wednesday by a similarly tight contest 92-90 on the road against recently promoted Crailsheim. Thus two potential competitors in the fight to stay in the top German league are taken care of and the self-confidence is intact with the team of coach Ingo Freyer, which is focused on the offense as usual. This certainly applies to Bryant, whose average is already 18 points and 12.5 rebounds over the first two games.
The cup round of the last sixteen:
Frankfurt - Ulm (Sat., 18:00 CEST)
Göttingen - Ludwigsburg (Sat., 18:00 CEST)
Bremerhaven - Bonn (Sat., 20:30 CEST)
Bamberg - Würzburg (Sat., 20:30 CEST)
FCBB - Giessen (Sun., 15:00 CEST)
Berlin - Bayreuth (Sun., 15:00 CEST)
Oldenburg - Jena (Sun., 18:00 CEST)
Brunswick - Weißenfels (Sun., 18:00 CEST)