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Bayern faces French powerhouse Villeurbanne

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A pizza, a four-and-a-half-hour bus ride and arrival at the Audi Dome at around 2 a.m. - that's the usual reward for the FC Bayern basketball team after a road game in Weissenfels. But with a win at the MBC (96-84) and a perfect 5-0 record in the BBL, the program can go with confidence into the next task on Friday evening (11.12., 20:30/MagentaSport) in the EuroLeague against Villeurbanne, the reigning French champion. The visitors are widely regarded as the favorites coming into the game despite a 3-8 record.

TO THE AUDI DOME QUIZ 

The team around Asvel coach TJ Parker, brother of four-time NBA champion Tony Parker, has recently put in four first-class performances in a row, confirming its qualities after long weeks in quarantine. Two of these games against big-name teams were clear wins, 97-73 against Panathinaikos - and 80-68 against league leading, FC Barcelona. In the two narrow losses at Real Madrid (91-84) and Tuesday at Efes Istanbul (72-68), they were ahead for a long time in the final quarter in each case, before fading in the face of the opposing talent.

"For me, they are one of the top three teams in the EuroLeague, especially in terms of performance," head coach Andrea Trinchieri praised the opponent in the highest terms. "They have found a very good balance and are playing incredibly well at the moment. They beat Barcelona and most recently deserved to win against Real and Efes as well. They are very athletic, very deep and have, for example, re-signed a very good four in Yabusele, who played for the Boston Celtics. I'm quite sure: At the moment, no coach wants to play against them in the EuroLeague. We already have to be close to perfection in terms of discipline and execution of the gameplan."

TO THE LIVE TICKER D.J. Seeley also makes international debut for FCBB on ONE TEAM gameday.

Bayern on the other hands continue to be in great shape with their 8-4 record after the 80-77 win against Khimki Moscow and have thus already celebrated as many victories as in the shortened 2019 season (8-20). Their latest signing D.J. Seeley will make his international debut on the ONE TEAM game day of the EuroLeague, having already impressed twice in the BBL. "It looks with him as if he has always played here," the coach said about the American.

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The Munich team is also hoping for the return of Nihad Djedovic, who rested again in Weissenfels as a precaution. Trinchieri: "It will be a short-term decision with Nihad. Against Khimki, maybe we shouldn't have let him play, but he wanted to help the team. And honestly, without his contribution, we wouldn't have turned the game around."

France's record champion from Lyon (19 titles) presents itself this season with a very broad, balanced squad, with a lot of athleticism and experience. Top scorer is U.S. guard Norris Cole, who moved to Asvel in the summer after EuroLeague time in Tel Aviv and Podgorica as well as Monaco (EuroCup) and is putting up twelve points and 4.3 assists per game. Playing his sixth season for Villeurbanne is forward David Lighty (11 ppg). He is followed by the gigantic 7ft Moustapha Fall, a French Shaq O'Neal light (10.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg), who will demand energetic boxing out especially from Jalen Reynolds and Leon Radosevic. The best scorer in the catch-up game at Efes besides Lighty was US forward William Howard, who played for Houston in the NBA and the D-League.

In the Bundesliga, Bayern's schedule continues just 41 hours after the final buzzer against Villeurbanne: Giessen will visit the Audi Dome on Sunday, starting at 15:00.

TO THE GAME PLAN

 


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