Important EuroLeague home game in the Audi Dome against the Spanish champions

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The last defeat was painful and put a damper on the Bayern Basketball team's hard-earned place in the standings before the final spurt of the first half of the EuroLeague. The 79-75 loss in St. Petersburg was a step backwards and a disappointment, and not just for head coach Andrea Trinchieri, because his team was in control for most of the game and was clearly the better team. But in the end, a few long-range threes by top scorer Baron (20) and Hollins' impossible shot from his own half at the end of the third quarter were enough for the hosts to throw Bayern decisively out of their rhythm.

The Munich team is eager to regain their momentum on Friday night: Starting at 19:30 , the Audi Dome will host Spanish champion Baskonia Vítoria-Gasteiz who also seek a playoff spot.



Even the ACB champion needs a win
On Sunday evening, the hunt continues for the FCBB in the Bundesliga as the undefeated league leaders have to prove themselves in the top game at the Oldenburger Baskets. The game starts at 18:00 and, as always, MagentaSport will be showing both games live.

After the unexpectedly big win on Tuesday night in Kaunas, Vítoria-Gasteiz has a record of 6-7 in the dense standings and now face fourth-placed Bayern 9-5. With the tenth win of the season, they could keep a competitor at arms length. The return of Vladimir Lucic (back) is possible and rather more unlikely is the debut of James Gist (individual training).

"If you ingest poison like we did in Saint Petersburg, you feel that bitterness in your mouth for a long time. The best thing against that is to get back on the court quickly and turn frustration into energy. That's what we want to do against Baskonia, although I have a lot of respect for them. They are playing above their expectations and have played very well overall in recent weeks. We have to leave everything on the court against this experienced opponent to be able to defeat them." - Andrea Trinchieri

The Bavarians have experienced how unpleasant it is to play against the multiple Spanish champions in the past season: the current fourth-placed team in the Spanish ACB won the duel with the FCBB both away (80-71) and at home (93-60) last season.        

After four wins in a row - against Fenerbahce, Panathinaikos, Olympiakos and Efes - Baskonia coach Ivanovic also suffered a setback on gameday 14.  He is trying to hold things together in a year after the surprising transfer of long-time captain Tornike Shengelia to ZSKA Moscow. After six years and the 76-69 final triumph over FC Barcelona in the Spanish championship final, the Georgian ex-NBA pro left Vítoria.

Ball thief and assist master Henry, top scorers Peters and Vildoza
The squad is nevertheless a good one, with American three-point expert, Alec Peters (6ft10/12.1 ppg, 46% three) moving to the Basque Country from Efes Istanbul, and Nigerian center Tonye Jekiri - second-best EuroLeague rebounder of the preseason (7.5 rpg for Villeurbanne). Among the guards, local playmaker Luca Vildoza (11.9 ppg) - who scored the final basket to win the title against Barcelona -, Pierria Henry (18.8 ppg) and Slovenian scorer Zoran Dragic (9.6 ppg), who transferred from Ulm last year round out the solid team.

Above all, the French national player Henry is playing very well and is currently the best ball thief in the EuroLeague (2.1 Stpg) and the third-best provider of assists (6.9 apg). One of the beneficiaries is Lithuanian winger Rokas Giedraitis (11.4 ppg), who turned down an extension in Berlin in the summer for the offer from Spain.