FCBB ready for the showdown with Barcelona

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After winning six games in a row, it won't be easy for the Bayern Basketball team to continue this impressive run. That's because head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team takes on one of the two teams that, based on impressions of the season so far, are prime contenders for the 2022 EuroLeague title - FC Barcelona - on Tuesday evening.

After a troubled start to the new year with some illnesses and injuries, which resulted in the loss of the top spot in the standings to archrival Real Madrid (18-3), the Catalan star ensemble (17-5) is back on track: Last week they defeated Villeurbanne 84-71 and on Sunday they won in the ACB - where they are tied with Real in losses (13-3 resp. 16-3) - the derby against fifth-place Badalona in front of 5,900 fans.


The BBL leaders will kick off at the Palau Blaugrana at 21:00 on Tuesday, with MagentaSport broadcasting live as usual. Just 48 hours later, on Thursday at 20:30 the FCBB will host Israel's record champion Maccabi Tel Aviv for gameday 24 at the Audi Dome.

Mirotic top scorer with almost 18 points

"Barça is definitely a Final Four team, their squad is bursting with quality and they are having another great season," Bayern coach Trinchieri said. "But we are also in a good phase right now and hope we can confirm our performances and deliver a good game in Barcelona."   

Barça coach Sarunas Jasikevicius will have to do without center Sertac Sanli (quarantine), Alex Abrines (knee) and veteran Pierre Oriola (back), while a return of U.S. guard Corey Higgins appears imminent. However, with a dozen near-equal rotation players in the Lithuanian's squad, such details are generally of little consequence. Bayern continues to miss top scorer Darrun Hilliard, captain Nihad Djedovic and Paul Zipser.


Against Badalona, Argentine point guard Nico Laprovittola (9.3 ppg; 3.3 apg) bore the brunt of the scoring with 21 points and five threes, followed by top star Nikola Mirotic (17.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 49.4% threes) with 15 and center Brandon Davies (11 ppg) with 13. In the EuroLeague, behind former NBA pro Mirotic, there are more than a handful of players who can decide a game. In the first matchup (80-72 loss), in addition to Higgins (16), Davies (15) and Mirotic (11), young Lithuanian guard Rokas Jokubaitis (8 ppg, 3.2 apg) and the experienced sharpshooter Kyle Kuric (9 ppg) added on to the win.

"Barça ist in jedem Fall ein Final Four-Team"

FCBB-Headcoach Andrea Trinchieri

"We have to play physically"

The assist king of the EuroLeague, Greek playmaker Nick Calathes (7.3 ppg, 5.7 apg), is also back in his usual form. With 83 points per game, Barcelona is the best offensive team in the EuroLeague (FCBB: 74.5 ppg), and their average of 35.5 rebounds (FCBB: 30.8) is second best. At home, they lost only one game so far, three weeks ago against Milan (75-73), weakened by injuries.    

"This is one of the best teams in Europe, well coached and with great players," says Bayern center Augustine Rubit. "We have to play physical against them and just be ready to compete with them. Especially in attack, we have to be very precise and disciplined."    


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