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Bayern returns to the EuroLeague against favorites ZSKA

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After a good week with a little time off and concentrated team training, the Bayern basketball players return to the spotlight this Thursday. The task is a tough one, as one of the perennial EuroLeague title contenders in the Russian star ensembleZSKA Moscow led by Alexey Shved, Will Clyburn and Tornike Shengelia will present itself at the Audi Dome. Since 2003, ZSKA has only failed to reach the Final Four once (2011), and the last time they won the European crown was in 2019.

The game starts at 19:00 on Thursday, tickets are available online and also at the box office at short notice.

The headlines on the day before the 25th EuroLeague game belonged to ZSKA: The guests signed another top star in Canadian playmaker Kevin Pangos shortly before the end of the transfer period. He signed through 2024. The playmaker made it - like FCBB forward Vladimir Lucic - in the Allstar-5 of the EuroLeague last season and led St. Petersburg to the playoffs for the first time (13.5 ppg, 6.7 apg). This summer, he signed in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who terminated the contract with him at the beginning of the week. It is unlikely that he will make his debut in Munich.

 

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28 points in the first matchup, but now missing: convalescent Darrun Hilliard

Top playmaker Kevin Pangos signed

Pangos' acquisition highlights the ambitions of the top club, which is behind the leaders with a record of 14-10 but clearly on course for a playoff spot. For their part, Bayern (12-12) are coming off a difficult period with numerous quarantine cases and injuries. In Ognjen Jaramaz (foot), convalescent Darrun Hilliard and Paul Zipser at least again a notable trio will still be out. Against his ex-club, FCBB top scorer Hilliard (15.8 ppg) had just come up big in the unfortunate loss of the first matchup (77-74) with 28 points - before he injuring his knee.

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"We are playing against one of the best teams we have ever faced," head coach Andrea Trinchieri points out about the opponent. "ZSKA is probably the team next to Real Madrid with the biggest advantage. We ourselves are coming back from a break and trying to reunite the players who returned after covid breaks or injuries into a team. We've been working hard and hopefully with the help of our fans we can create a great atmosphere to have an incredible night."

Clyburn, 2019 Final Four MVP, leads the visitors' offense, averaging just under 15 points per game, followed by Shengelia (12.7 ppg), Shved (11.0), Iffe Lundberg (9.1), recent in-form playmaker Daniel Hackett (game-day MVP 20 and 21), Marius Grigonis (8.5 each) and German international Johannes Voigtmann (8.4). And then, yes, there is seven-footer Nikola Milutinov (7.7/6.5 rpg), who is back after a long injury and dominated in the last win (91-72 against Berlin) with 21 points and eleven rebounds.

"ZSKA is a great opponent, it will be very difficult," says FCBB routinier Deshaun Thomas. As always, it will be all about defense, especially rebounding."

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