FC Bayern Basketball host EuroCup winners Valencia
The EuroLeague season has not been going as planned for FC Bayern Basketball, with the German champions struggling on the road, as they did recently against Villeurbanne (75-65). However, Bayern have been showing a different side to their game at home in the Audi Dome, upsetting Maccabi Tel Aviv 80-68 last time out. With this in mind, Bayern (first in the BBL) are heading into their latest challenge in the form of Valencia Basket. The Spaniards stormed to a clear victory in the reverse leg (82-56) and have fought hard over the last few weeks. Despite starting the EuroLeague season with six losses from their opening seven matches, Valencia have now competing for the final two playoff spots. The Baskets have won six of their last ten games, with their record now standing at 11-12 (FCBB: 7-16).
After their EuroLeague game, Bayern will play two Bundesliga games in the span of three days before having a week off. On Sunday (15:00 CET) they play host to the Giessen 46ers, before facing in-form BG Göttingen on the road on Tuesday night (11.02, 20:30 CET).
Narrow loss to FC Barcelona
"Valencia have momentum on their side at the moment, and are currently on a good run," said FCBB head coach Oliver Kostic, who will be hoping to have the injured Nihad Djedovic (back) return to the squad. "They play a quick and aggressive style of basketball and are strong rebounders, especially on offence. We will do everything we can to deliver another strong performance in front of our fans. That's what we're working and fighting for."
Valencia are the defending EuroCup champions, having won the competition four times already (2003, 2010, 2014, 2019). On Wednesday, the 2017 Spanish champions nearly pulled off an upset against fellow Spanish side FC Barcelona. Valencia had a 68-53 lead at the start of the fourth quarter, but Barcelona were able to mount a comeback with the help of Nikola Mirotic (26 points) to eke out a narrow victory, 77-76.
"Valencia made life difficult for us in the reverse fixture," said Vladimir Lucic, who spent three years with the Baskets (2013-16). "They've won many games recently and are strong contenders to make the playoffs. It will be difficult and we will have to block out the memories from our last game, in order to take our chances."
Key players for Valencia include Spaniard Quino Colom (7.2 PPG, 4APG) as well as centre Bojan Dubljevic, who averages 14.5 PPG and 7.3 RPG. Veteran Fernando San Emeterio also impressed against Barcelona with 17 points. Jordan Taylor (11 PPG) will miss out due to injury, as will top passmaker Sam Van Rossom (4.6 APG). Valencia are also ranked fourth in the EuroLeague when it comes to offensive rebounds (11.5 PPG).
While Valencia are playing strong in the EuroLeague this season, their 10-10 record has them sitting in eighth in the LigaACB.
"FCBB Après Ski Night" begins at 18:00 CET
Fans heading to the match will also be able to enjoy "FCBB Après Ski Night." German duo Die Atzen will perform live ahead of tip-off as well as during half-time. The event will begin in the Audi Dome foyer at 18:00 CET, and will include a DJ as well as various refreshments.