Milan vs Bayern promises to be a good start to the Euroleague season


210 days ago is the last time the Bayern basketball players stood on the EuroLeague court with an 83-80 loss in Barcelona. they unhappily missed a surprise in early March, despite an overall good performance. Both Barça (Sarunas Jasikevicius) and the Munich team with Andrea Trinchieri are starting the 2020/2021 season with a new coach, but the basic starting position of the 18 teams in the premier class has not changed: Despite the Corona pandemic, the established big clubs have either set themselves up or retained the squad in accordance with their status.

The first opponent of the FCBB at the compulsory match kick-off on Friday evening in the Audi Dome (2.10., 8.30 p.m./MagentaSport) belongs in this category more than ever: Armani Olimpia Milan will start with a kind of all-star squad.

Andrea Trinchieri: "I expect the best effort that anyone can make.
Co-captain Vladimir Lucic has respect for this alleged over-team, "we know who we will be playing against," says the experienced Serb. "But we also have ambitions and are ready. Bavaria's captain Nihad Djedovic also assures: "We have done a very good job. We certainly need time to get into the new system. But we are ready and can't wait for it to get underway.

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Coach Trinchieri knows which task is coming up on Friday in the Audi Dome. "We're meeting a Final Four team, they had the best Free Agency in the summer," said the Italian at the Bayern's season-opening press conference alongside Club President Herbert Hainer and Managing Director Marko Pesic. He continued: "We ourselves are going a different way and trying to find young, fresh players who can develop. We have a fresh car and we still have to drive many kilometers to get to know it. So it will be very difficult, but our season will not end on Friday evening at 11 pm. You are by far one of the best teams in the Euroleague. I don't expect the perfect game from my team, we're not ready for that yet - but I expect the best effort that anyone can make".

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Herbert Hainer trusts the new Munich coach especially in this respect, especially "I really like his incredible passion", says the club boss. "On all his stations he has had a lot of success. I am firmly convinced that we have found the right coach for our requirements".

Milan's club owner, fashion tsar Giorgio Armani, 86, wants to go to the very top, as he did in the EuroLeague triumphs of 1987 and '88. As he showed in the previous year with the signing of coaching legend Ettore Messina, who came from the NBA, and no less expensive additions such as Sergio Rodriguez and Luis Scola. The latter is no longer on board (Varese) - but a new armada of EuroLeague players has replaced him. Armani's generous financial support made it possible, for example, to persuade Center Kyle Hines to reunite with playmaker Rodriguez after seven very successful years with CSKA Moscow.

Italian winger Luigi Datome, 2017 EuroLeague champion with Fenerbahce, was transferred to Lombardy after three years in Istanbul, as were established US professionals Zach LeDay (Kaunas), Kevin Punter (Red Star Belgrade) and Shavon Shields (Vítoria). And then there's good old friend Malcolm Delaney, MVP of the 2014 Bayern Champions. After a year in Barcelona, the American will now direct the Milanese basketball team.

What remains are centers Kaleb Tarczewski, Michael Roll, Jeff Brooks and Vladimir Micov. Playoff participation is presumably assured.

Marko Pesic: "They are currently the best team in Europe for me".
"They're already in the middle of the season, they won the Italian Supercup and spent an incredible amount of money. From their current starting position, they're the best team in Europe for me," Marko Pesic characterized the Milanese squad. Regarding his own goals, he said: "We want to play for victory in every game and be competitive. We want to have a team that fights to the end. That must be our goal. I am currently interested in the process within the team. There will certainly be setbacks. But in the end, we want to make a move and win the BBL title."

Milan is already very far away: Already at the end of July, earlier than any other club, four-time EuroLeague winner Messina (1998 and 2001 with Virtus Bologna, 2006 and 2008 with ZSKA) gathered their ensemble for the start of training. They have not lost since then, neither in preparation, nor in the Italian Supercup (75-68 final victory over Virtus), and they also won the league start on the weekend at Reggio Emilia (87-71). Top scorers were LeDay (17), Shields, Datome (14 each) and Hines (12).

"Milan is one of the six best teams, the players and the coach know how to win games at the highest level," judged compatriot Daniele Baiesi, Bayern Sports Director. "They have won this title twice in the past, albeit at a different time. They are good, very good, no question about it."

Micov and probably Punter will be injured on Friday at Milan. Nevertheless, the FCBB have probably the most complicated task to solve at the moment. In this case, it's good that their tour guide on the new EuroLeague expedition is quite familiar with the first guest. Trinchieri is Milanese. "Milan is my city, Olimpia was my club," confirmed the 52-year-old.       

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