The Bavarians visit Vítoria-Gasteiz
One week after the spectacular home win in double-overtime against EuroLeague leader Fenerbahce Istanbul, the Bayern basketball team will travel to Spain where Baskonia Vítoria-Gasteiz will play host to the German champions on the 22nd gameday of the EuroLeague. The traditional Basque club - whose Fernando Buesa Arena with a capacity of 15,500 spectators will host the Final Four in May - is a direct competitor for the battle of the coveted playoff spots. The Bavarians are in seventh place with an 11-10 record directly ahead of Vítoria, who were beaten 77-71 at home in the first matchup. The game starts on Friday, February 8th at 20:30, MagentaSport and FC Bayern.tv will broadcast live starting at 20:15.
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Bayern is right back at it on Sunday afternoon in the BBL already (10 February) in the AUDI Dome against Alba Berlin for the family day beginning at 15:00. The next EuroLeague home game will take place on Thursday, March 7th at 20:30 against Israel's top team, Maccabi Tel Aviv.
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This is the first time ever that FC Bayern's basketball players have played in Vítoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the Spanish autonomous region of Basque. They are still without Milan Macvan and Devin Booker, but Maodo Lo is back in training after his illness.
"Vítoria is the prelude to a series of three tough road games in the EuroLeague with Madrid and Podgorica," said Bayern-Guard Petteri Koponen. The Finn played in the Spanish ACB for two years and knows what to expect: "It's always hard to win in Vítoria because the fans there are absolutely basketball crazy and there's a very special atmosphere in the hall. We can't be impressed by that. They are a top team and they also want to be in the Final Four on their home court".
Vítoria will also be confident after a 24-point win over Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Basques recently responded to Center Tornike Shengelia's prolonged injury by signing former NBA Forward Jalen Jones. In addition, German international Johannes Voigtmann, who has been in the starting line-up for six games has scored an average of 12.7 points and eight rebounds since then. Against Maccabi it was 20 points with 4/5 threes. FCBB captain Danilo Barthel's buddy was also the top scorer for the weekend league game against Gran Canaria (101-83) with 23 points.
Bayern coach Dejan Radonjic said: "We had a very good reaction against Jena on the weekend and despite the battle against Fenerbahce we played a very concentrated game. However, Vítoria is a very difficult opponent who is in very good form with their new coach Velimir Perasovic. Especially at home they are always very strong. We still have a lot of away games ahead of us and very strong opponents like Madrid, Maccabi, Kaunas and Barcelona. There is a difficult remaining schedule for our team."
Baskonia coach Perasovic took over his old club in November and since then he has claimed eight wins to go with six defeats. The Croatian once played for Jugoplastika (three EuroLeague titles) and later in the 90s for Vítoria for a number of years and is now coaching the club for the third time. In the domestic ACB, Baskonia has worked their way up to second place behind FC Barcelona.
"Vítoria just has a good rhythm," Bayern winger Nemanja Dangubic said. "We will have to try to play with a lot of energy again. The game against Fenerbahce has to be completely forgotten. From now on it counts to always prepare just as well for the next opponent."
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The fight for the playoffs in the EuroLeague and for first place in the BBL is entering the decisive phase. In the premier class, the last game against Gran Canaria could be very important - the advance sale for the home game on April 5th (20:00) has just begun. Tickets are also now available for the BBL duel in the Audi Dome against the strong play-off candidate Löwen Braunschweig (Family Game Day on April 14th, at 15:00).
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