The Bavarians visit econd place Oldenburg
On paper this will be a big-time game in the BBL: The Bayern basketball team will play on Thursday evening (14.2., 18:30) against their top rival Oldenburg who rank second in the league with a points record of 30-8 second only to Bayern's 38-0. The team of coach Dejan Radonjic won the first leg with surprising ease, 95-74. Oldenburg is strong at home though and are eager to defeat the FCBB for the first time in their arena which is sold out with 6,000 spectators.
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Like all FCBB games, MagentaSport and FC Bayern.tv will broadcast the top game live starting at 18:15 as well as Sport1 on free TV. Afterwards the Bavarians will have a free weekend, before they compete in the EuroLeague next Friday (22.2., 21:00) against defending champion Real Madrid.
"We now had some time for regeneration and training", Coach Radonjic reported before the departure. "Oldenburg, however, is very strong at home and well-rehearsed with a consistent squad. Mahalbasic is an excellent inside player and Cummings determines the rhythm. We want to defend our position, but to win we have to play there with a lot of energy."
Oldenburg is the only team from the upper league field, apart from newcomer Vechta, not represented in any European cup this year and can concentrate completely on the BBL. They recently suffered a tough loss to Frankfurt 93-84 but this was followed by a 103-89 home win over the play-off candidate Braunschweig and the derby success on Sunday at Bremerhaven (88-83).
For the Bavarians it is the 21st meeting with Oldenburg (12-8) with eight wins going to Oldenburg including six times in their own hall.
Leaders on offense for the EWE Baskets (90.1 ppg/FCBB: 88.4) are Will Cummings (19.2 ppg), who came over from Darussafaka Istanbul in the summer, as well as Center Rasid Mahalbasic (14 ppg, 8.7 rpg). The rotation also includes veteran Rickey Paulding, Nathan Boothe, Frantz Massenat, ex-Bayern player Philipp Schwethelm, Vojdan Stojanovski and Karsten Tadda.
"We know that Oldenburg is playing very well this season, now they welcome us at home," said FCBB Guard Robin Amaize. "They will demand everything from us, but our claim is that we want to win every game despite the lead of currently eight points - we still have hunger to win."
The Bavarians will continue without Milan Macvan, Devin Booker and playmaker Stefan Jovic as the Serb has had muscular problems in the hip area since the Jena game. Radonjic hopes to have him on board again "in two or three weeks".
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