Fri, 05/06/20, 10:15
Bayern starts the BBL final tournament against Ulm
89 days after their last game, FC Bayern Basketball is finally continuing the 2009/2020 season: The defending champions will begin the the Finals Tournament with a home game against southern rival Ulm for the BBL Championship 2020. This first game tips off on Saturday evening (June 6th, 20:30/MagentaSport and FC Bayern TV LIVE). At the beginning of March, the Munich team won 91-75 in Bayreuth, extending its commanding lead in the standings. The Franconians are not part of the Final10, but 9 of the teams were among the top 10 in the BBL when the main round was abandoned. The other group opponents for Bayern will be Crailsheim (8.6., 16:30), Goettingen (12.6., 16:30) and Oldenburg (14.6., 19:00).
"The final tournament gives us the opportunity to make the best of the situation and finally fight for success again", says Bayern Sports Director Daniele Baiesi, "it can give us hope again after a very difficult time". Coach Oliver Kostic also emphasises that it is "good to be back". And captain Danilo Barthel says: "I see the continuation of the season as a great opportunity. It is important that we play again, if only to protect professional basketball in Germany. There are a lot of jobs involved, not just for the players."
13 players in the FCBB squad, Ulm brings in Dylan Osetkowski
On Friday afternoon, after a final medical test for the corona virus, Bayern will move into the tournament quarters in the "Leonardo Royal Hotel" at the Olympic Park in Munich, where, in accordance with the strict hygiene concept, all teams, the referees and officials will be accommodated in isolation. 13 players will be part of the final squad as in addition to the normal group, national player Ismet Akpinar and 18-year-old youngster from the FCBB U19 team, Sasha Grant, will take part.
"The first game will give us feedback on where we stand," said Oliver Kostic."That certainly applies to all the teams. The cards are being reshuffled in view of the changes in the squad and the ultimately worthless main round (19-2 Bayern wins). "Everyone who participates has a chance to go far, that's the special thing about this format."
In addition to the unusual group phase and shortened play-offs (best-of-two) within three weeks (June 6-28), there will be plenty of unexpected issues to overcome, according to Sports Director, Baiesi: "It will be interesting to see where the players stand not only physically but also mentally."
"Bayern will have less of a home advantage in the Audi Dome because the other teams will quickly get used to the baskets and everything else in the Audi Dome," says FCBB Managing Director Marko Pesic. And Captain Barthel points out: "Maybe the situation is even a bit more difficult for us at the hotel because we know that the family is only 15 minutes away - but we all have to keep our distance."
Lucic: "Berlin will be highly motivated"
The basketball festival in the Audi Dome will certainly soon be dominated by high rivalries. "Alba will be highly motivated to clinch their second title this season after winning the German Cup" says co-captain Vladimir Lucic after asked who will be the favorites in the tournament. The Berliners will arrive with a complete squad and are considered candidates for the Final games held on the 26th and 28th of June.
In group A, the FCBB start off against ratiopharm Ulm. Young playmakers Killian Hayes, Seth Hinrichs and Center Grant Jerrett have cancelled their participation but Austrian guard Thomas Klepeisz (from Braunschweig) and 23-year-old US Center Dylan Osetkowski (12.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg), who shone in Goettingen, are now wearing orange for the Ulmers. And, of course, Per Guenther, who provided a counter-attack in the debate on racism. "Dear easyCredit players. If you want to express yourself at the upcoming tournament and take a stand against racism - please feel free, the first 10,000 in fines are on me."
FC Bayern Basketball at the easyCredit BBL Final Tournament 2020: