Only 40 hours after Barcelona Maccabi comes for a visit
Return from Spain on Wednesday afternoon, a light regeneration training after arrival at the Audi Dome, Thursday morning shooting warmup with tactical dry runs - this is the rudimentary preparation for a big duel in the highest European competition in the marathon of the Bayern basketball players this season. After the narrow 72-66 loss at FC Barcelona, the team of head coach Andrea Trinchieri hosts the Israeli record champion Maccabi Tel Aviv on Thursday evening at 20:30. The five-time EuroLeague winners celebrated their third win in a row in a 94-78 win in Kaunas on Tuesday and are just behind the Munich team (11-12) with a 10-11.
"Maccabi is on a winning streak, led by absolute top players like Wilbekin and Nunnally," Coach Trinchieri said of the visitors. "After our intense fight in Barcelona, we have to somehow find enough energy again to be able to fight for the victory against a very good team once more."
Tel Aviv with three wins in a row
After several quarantine phases and a series of losses, the team of coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos is back up to speed although the Greek play caller was absent in Kaunas due to illness. Even without him, the trio of big names worked: The top scorer with a career-best 32 points, was US forward James Nunnally (13.5 ppg), who returned to the EuroLeague from the NBA. Fellow countryman Scottie Wilbekin (15.4 ppg, 4.4 apg) was as usual almost unstoppable with 20 points and five of seven from three. Center Ante Zizic (12.9 ppg; 5.4 rpg) also reconfirmed his top form with 13 points.
Center Jalen Reynolds returns to the Audi Dome for the first time after his year in Munich, averaging 8.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game he is still behind his numbers while in the FCBB dress. The second old acquaintance, dunk specialist Derrick Williams (10.6 ppg, 43% threes), seems somewhat better integrated into the game than, for example, last season in Valencia. In addition to this prominent quintet, US guard Keenan Evans (8.2 ppg, 3.9 apg), who transferred from Haifa, has established himself as effective offensive support.
„"We continue to be in a good rhythm despite the loss [in Barcelona], with several wins in the last two weeks and a very good atmosphere."”
"We continue to be in a good phase"
Apart from the familiar task of controlling Wilbekin -at leat a bit - the rebounds will probably be the main focus of Munich's performance. The Bavarians lost the first matchup 69-68 at the start of the season at the end of September after a long lead, Wilbekin (28) was responsible for the late turnaround. The guests were then still missing the Corona invalids Vladimir Lucic (13.2 ppg) and Andreas Obst as well as Leon Radosevic. On Thursday, convalescents Darrun Hilliard, Nihad Djedovic as well as Paul Zipser will still be spectators.
"I think we played a very good game in Barcelona for almost the whole time, just unfortunately we lost," said Bayern guard Ognjen Jaramaz, second-leading scorer behind Lucic with 15 points (7 of 11 from the field) on Tuesday. "But we are still in a good phase despite the loss, with several wins in the last two weeks and a very good atmosphere. Hopefully, at home against Maccabi with our fans, we can keep the energy level and concentration that we can get the next very important win for our goals in the EuroLeague."