Friday at 20:45
Fri, 04/03/22, 10:28
Euroleague-Highlight: Favorite Olympiakos visits the Audi Dome
It's not quite clear yet how things will work out on Friday night, just 48 hours after the most energy-sapping and emotional evening in ten years of the Audi Dome. After all, Olympiakos Piraeus will be the guests from 20:45 onwards, the fourth-placed team in the EuroLeague (15-9) will come to Munich rested and ambitious. The Bayern Basketballers (12-12), on the other hand, managed an impressive 86-75 victory against Hamburg on Wednesday after trailing 46-28 at the break. But the thoughts were and are with Nick Weiler-Babb, who fell hard on the court after a dunk and who will be missing on Friday, of course. The most important thing, however, is that the U.S. guard made it well through the night in the hospital and the examinations revealed no broken bones in the area of the head, no bleeding. A severe concussion and bruises were suffered by the 26-year-old, who was still in the hospital on Thursday.
The FC Bayern Basketball thanks also in the name of Nick for the well-wishes and the numerous recovery wishes.
The fourth in the standings has lost only nine times
Paul Zipser, who was back in the squad for the first time after his serious illness unexpectedly even played a few seconds on the pitch. "That was a first, small step, but a very important one," said a visibly agitated head coach Andrea Trinchieri on Wednesday night. What's more, Darrun Hilliard also returned three months after ligament damage in his knee against the Towers, as did captain Nihad Djedovic (knee), for the first time since late December - it was his 300th BBL appearance.
"We had a very intense evening in the league, just 48 hours later we now have to somehow find the physical and mental energy for an extremely tough game," Trinchieri said ahead of Bayern's 25th EuroLeague game. "Olympiakos is playing an incredible season, they are a Final Four team for me, with a wealth of talent and even more experience."
Olympiakos is without question one of the most positive features of the season so far. Having last reached the playoffs of the top flight four years ago, the EuroLeague winners of 2012 and 2013, the Greeks are firmly scheduled for the knockout round this time around. With a 15-9 record they are clearly on course. The traditional Greek club started the second half of the season with four defeats, but recently they held two top teams at bay in Efes Istanbul (87-85) and Milan (67-58).
February MVP Vezenkov
And just at the beginning of the week, the EuroLeague announced its "Player of the Month February" - the Bulgarian Olympiakos forward Sasha Vezenkov. At 26, he is probably one of the youngest veterans in the league, playing his seventh EuroLeague season with 174 appearances so far (7.4 ppg) - by far his best. With 12.9 points per game (40.3% threes), the left-hander is the second-best scorer behind Tyler Dorsey (13.1) and ahead of playmaker Kostas Sloukas (11.6/4.3 apg). In the last five games Vezenkov increased his average to almost 17 points per game.
Another building block for the Piraeus upswing is French center Moustapha Fall, transferred from Villeurbanne, who uses his 7ft frame effectively with 8.5 points, five rebounds and at least one block per game. Fall extended his contract on Monday until 2025. In the first matchup the FCBB got to feel especially the defensive class of the guests (83-60) and it will probably be about the defensive performance on Friday as well: Both teams only allow around 73 points from their opponents (73.5 to 73.4 PpS/Piraeus). Bayern leader Vladimir Lucic: "Olympiakos is one of the best teams this season, they are a tough match-up. But at home we want to show a better performance than in the first duel with them."
Collection campaign for Ukraine refugees
For those affected by the war in Ukraine, the Bayern Basketball players are organizing a collection campaign: Before the Bamberg home game, the following donations can be made at the main entrance of the Audi Dome between 3 and 6 pm:
- First-aid kits
- Medicin articles
- Sleeping pads
- Sleeping bags
The action is carried out in cooperation with the "Society for Integration and Culture in Europe e.V.", which was founded in 1998 as the non-profit organization "GOROD" (info: https://de.newgorod.org) and operates the cultural center of the same name in Arnulfstraße. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Parish Community of Munich (info and donation account: http://deutsch.ukr-kirche.de) also supports the campaign.
Both partners will pass on the donations through their direct channels - we ask for active participation.