SISKO_FCBB-Milan_EIRICH_0187-min

Bayern aims to level playoff series against Milan

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In the stands, President Herbert Hainer, his predecessor Uli Hoeness and Vice President Dieter Mayer applauded vigorously on behalf of the absent fans. And below, the team said goodbye with to the opponent, who would soon return to the Audi Dome for the win or go home Game 4. FC Bayern's basketball players added another chapter to their outstanding EuroLeague season on Wednesday night, as the 85-79 home win over favored Final Four contender Olimpia Milan finally gave them a chance in this best-of-five series. After an unfortunate 79-78 loss to start the series, and the equally hard-fought 80-69 loss in game two, both in Milan, head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team didn't allow a sweep thanks to a consistently convincing performance against the prominent Italian record champion.

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The win itself was historic because it was the first German playoff win in the EuroLeague, Bayern will be rewarded with a fourth game as the guests have had to book their quarters at Tucherpark for two more nights. The next clash on Friday night (30.4./MagentaSport), will start under similar conditions to the past games at 20:45: If Milan wins, Kyle Hines, Sergio Rodriguez & Co. will head to the semi-finals in Cologne (28.-30 of May) with the third victory. However, if the hosts win a second time to equalize, it would come to the ultimate showdown for series in Milan next Tuesday (4.5.).

"It's just going to be about adjustments. They're going to change a few things, we're going to change a few things as well," Coach Trinchieri guessed, looking ahead to Friday. "It's like chess, they've taken the first steps, now we'll try to follow suit again. In the preparation we have to dedicate ourselves to what to do, how and with whom."

In addition to their top scorer Vladimir Lucic, who was huge in Game 3 with twelve straight points in the third quarter to make it 60-42 (28th), JaJuan Johnson (nine points and rebounds each) and especially playmaker Zan Mark Sisko made valuable contributions in game three. The 23-year-old Slovenian put up eight assists in addition to nine points and directed Bayern against a renowned three-guard lineup with Delaney, Rodriguez and top scorer Punter (14.8 ppg), who was held to eight points.

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Sisko's colleague Wade Baldwin had to take a seat on the bench already in the 31st minute with five fouls but Diego Flaccadori and D.J. Seeley relieved Sisko, who carried responsibility for about 26 minutes and received special praise from the coach: "Sisko is a pure point guard and I think he fits perfectly with Baldwin, because they are completely different. Having them both together can help us a lot, like in Barcelona. If you look at the other squads in the EuroLeague, you can't find two guys like that anywhere else at only 24 years old (Baldwin is 25 as of late). We did something right there."

From a good 40 percent in the regular season to currently 31 percent, Olimpia's three-point shooting has declined in the postseason. Winning the rebounding duel like on Wednesday (37-29) is mandatory for a win as well.

"This game will be completely different again," believes Andrea Trinchieri. "And it will be very, very difficult."

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