The November marathon begins in Valencia

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10 games in 24 days - alway busy schedule is even more intense for the FC Bayern basketball players until the first day of December. The first hurdles are two games within only 40 hours: On Friday evening (15.11., 21:00/MagentaSport live) the German champions will make the next attempt to win their first road game in the EuroLeague and even their record to 4-4. The host on Friday is the 2019 Spanish EuroCup winner, Valencia, who qualified for the the EuroLeague thanks to their 2-1 series win over Alba Berlin in April.


On Sunday, at 15:00 CET., the Audi Dome will be the venue for defending their Bundesliga crown as the BBL lead was taken over by top competitor Bayreuth (two BBL victories in a row). The next home games in the EuroLeague will follow next week in the "Greek Week", starting already on Tuesday with the duel against the Greek heavyweight Olympiakos Piräus before their rival and national champion Panathinaikos Athens will compete in the Audi Dome on Friday (22.11., 20:30 CET).


Djedovic and Lessort start with light training
"It's always very difficult to play in Valencia, we lost big in the EuroCup there a few years ago," recalled the then FCBB youngster and last year's Spanish professional (Burgos) Paul Zipser. "Especially in the EuroLeague, wins on the road are very hard to get and are a bonus. But of course we finally want to win on the road and hope that we can do that in Valencia."

Coach Dejan Radonjic could welcome two returnees from injury, although Nihad Djedovic (knee) and Mathias Lessort (torn ligament foot) have not yet joined in 100% of the training. Center Lessort will "not be able to play yet", the coach predicted before the departure on Thursday morning. "With Nihad, too, we have to see how he feels in the next few days. We don't want to risk anything, the season is still so long."              

Valencia (1-6) started the season badly but in the last home game against the French surprise team Asvel Villeurbanne (4-3) they celebrated their first success in the EuroLeague. The team of coach Jaume Ponsarnau has been missing a leading figure recently in the Belgian Guard Sam van Rossom who is out with an injury. The strong Spanish marksman Quino Colum, who Bayern still knows from the tight 2018 EuroCup quarter-finals against Kazan (2-1), is beginning to return to form after an injury at the beginning of the season (7 ppg).

"Valencia have already won the EuroCup four times, they were the Spanish champions two years ago and have won the cup and the Supercup once each - this is a top European club with very experienced players," Bayern coach Dejan Radonjic said, paying tribute to the hosts. "They are strong at home, and they had a close game against Efes Istanbul.  But if we reach our limits in terms of energy levels and, above all, defense, we'll certainly have a chance to win there."   

Valencia's top scorer is a new commitment that can currently call himself an NBA Champion. Last season US Guard Jordan Lloyd played twelve games for the Toronto Raptors and scored an average of 13.8 points in the first seven games shooting 58% from three. 

(Photo: Vladimir Lucic in jersey of Valencia Basket // Credit: EuroLeague/Getty)

In the Spanish ACB, last year's semi-finalist Valencia is currently in the middle of the standings with a record of 3-5. In the EuroCup round of the last sixteen, Bayern met Valencia in two games in 2015, both duels went clearly to the Spaniards (80-58, 94-60). FCBB wingman Vladimir Lucic, won the EuroCup with Valencia in 2014 and played for the Spanish champions of 2017 for three years (2013-2016).

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