Bayern wants to stay hot vs Panathinaikos

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It's Gameday number 28 in the EuroLeague and the drama continues. The Bayern basketball team proved its resilience in the top half of the premier league with a big win in Belgrade with a 78-76 thriller. Head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team moved up to fourth place in the Euroleague with the victoy. Just how coveted road victories are and how tight the standings are in the world's second-best league is is evidenced by the home victory of last-place Khimki Moscow against Real Madrid (16-11), which now even has one more loss than Bayern (17-10). Baskonia in eleventh place (13-13, as of Wednesday evening), which will also host the Bavarians, also still has its sights set on the playoffs. In this respect, Bayern quickly turned their attention away from the standings after returning from Serbia and towards their next job in this Double Week: Thursday night's home game against Greek champions Panathinaikos Athens.

Either way, it's a special game for Bayern as it's already their 50th game of the season - and it takes place exactly one year after the last basketball game with fans in attendance, the EuroLeague home duel on March 4th 2020 against Baskonia Vítoria-Gasteiz. "Of course, this is kind of a sad anniversary, because we miss our fans tremendously and it's hard to imagine what would be going on in the Audi Dome at the moment with our performances," says captain Nihad Djedovic. "But we have to make the best of it and play for our fans now more than ever."

The game tips off at 20:30 on Thursday and, as always, MagentaSport will broadcast live.



Photo: The last game in front of spectators on March 4, 2020 against Baskonia Vítoria-Gasteiz.

NBA forward Hezonja new to the team and immediately top scorer
"We have to erase everything that was and find the energy for the next tough duel," Trinchieri said before returning to Munich late Wednesday afternoon. About the five-time EuroLeague champions (last in 2011). Panathinaikos currently has personnel problems, but fought for a long time against league leader Barcelona on Tuesday for its tenth win of the season (85-77).


"Panathinaikos has a lot of size at every position, that's why we have to move the ball on offense and compete with a physical style."

Bayern-Coach Andrea Trinchieri

Panathinaikos won the first matchup this season against Bayern, 83-76 at the end of November after a very good performance on their end. In the meantime, the traditional Greek club has switched coaches to former Israeli pro Oded Kattash, who won the EuroLeague with the club in 2000 as a point guard. In February, they showed their potential with wins against Valencia and at archrival Olympiakos, but injuries and Covid personnel issues helped in preventing them from attacking their traditional playoff spot.

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Recently, the two top scorers Nemanja Nedovic (16.7 ppg) and Ioannis Papapetrou (12.1) have been out. Instead, Croatian forward Mario Hezonja (330 NBA games, 6.9 ppg), who was just signed from the NBA, was the top scorer against his former club Barcelona with 21 points. In the first matchup, 7ft center Georgios Papagiannis (9.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg) was a big problem for Bayern.

In the all-time record, Athens is up 5-2 but Bayern will be justifiably confident in the Audi Dome: Of the total of 13 EuroLeague home games this season, only three have been lost so far.


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