Showdown at the Audi Dome against Barça
Everything is ready for THESE games, the Audi Dome is prepared:Bayern Basketball welcomes the declaredEuroLeague favorites FC Barcelona on Wednesday (20:30) and Friday (20:45) for the continuation of the playoff spectacle. The series sits at 1-1 in the best-of-five series after the first two games played in Spain. Last week, after the 77-67 defeat including the loss of their top scorer Darrun Hilliard (collarbone surgery), the Munich team surprised the Spanish champion and cup winner in front of its crowd with a 90-75 upset in the second duel. Now the quarterfinals move to the Audi Dome - there are only a few remaining tickets.
FCBB head coach Andrea Trinchieri and his players continue to see Nikola Mirotic's Barça in the role of favorites: a year ago, the title contender maneuvered itself into the Cologne Final Four despite a 1-1 tie in the end with a 79-53 in game five against Saint Petersburg (3-2). They have earned a fourth game in their own hall and are only focusing on the next duel, according to the coach.
Here are the most important quotes from the press conference with Trinchieri, captain Nihad Djedovic and Deshaun Thomas as well as general manager Marko Pesic.
„Barcelona is again the favorite"ANDREA TRINCHIERI: "The game will be extremely physical again, with a lot of contact, they will play a lot inside through Gross. We have to react to that. So it will be a very difficult, a physical and also mental duel. (...)
I would say that Walden can't play, Hilliard of course can't play and with Leon (Radosevic) we'll know on game day. (...)
We know everything about both teams, so in the end it will come down to what players are able to do in certain moments. I was very happy (in the second game) to see players like Andi (Obst) and Deshaun step up. That gave us an incredible boost. This time, maybe other players will have to take over again. (...)
If I could write a book about this season, it would be a romance. Because the unity and the performance of my players cover up all the problems we had. That's why it would be a big mistake to look too far beyond the next game. We first have one in 24 hours against the best team in the EuroLeague, the top-ranked, the one with the strongest squad, the best coach. Only this game counts now. (...) I live in reality, I stay on the ground. Barcelona is still the top favorite for the title."NIHAD DJEDOVIC: "Nothing has changed: We are underdogs, that's clear. We won in Barcelona because we played an extremely good game. But we must not change our attitude now. It's about 40 minutes of fight, patience and concentration, that's the only option for a game like this to be able to win. But Barça is Barça, they have everything in the team, from MVP, NBA players and a coach who has won everything. Sure, with our fans behind us it will be a little easier. (...)
We might feel pressure now, but we don't think like that at all. We know that we are still the underdogs in this series. 1:1 means nothing. None of us is thinking about the Final Four, we want to go game by game and we'll see what happens tomorrow. They are the favorites and have more pressure than us. (...) The third game will be different again, Barcelona's style will change, for example where we were superior in defense. But we will do the same - it's like a chess game, you move the pieces and at the end you see where you stand. The important thing is that we never lose focus and show intensity over 40 minutes. We have to believe in it. The individual quality is on Barcelona's side, but with intensity and will we can do anything."
„THE COACH BELIEVES IN US"DESHAUN THOMAS: "It's clear that Barcelona continues to be the favorites. We have to play focused and know they will make adjustments. This is a big game and they will come out with very great intensity. (...) We don't need to put pressure on ourselves, we just need to believe in ourselves. We had a game plan (in Game 2) and we executed it. The coach believed in us and so did we this time. He encouraged me and Andi in particular and gave us confidence. (...) Each of us can take on a role like that, it's not always going to go the way it did in game two."
„To play against Barcelona, in a full Audi Dome, and to be in the playoffs, that's really special.”
Everything we did last Thursday won't be enough tomorrow (Wednesday). You have to show a top-top-top performance with a lot of concentration and commitment for us to have a chance. On the other hand, to manage the balancing act, to simply enjoy that as well, that's a challenge for the team. (...)
A win over Barcelona does not change anything and we do not need to talk about who is the favorite. But it seems that this is good for us. (...) In the first game we waited a bit too much. Now it seems that the team has the feeling that they can play. (...) With the attitude of jumping for every ball, that's how we won, not with the individual quality. (...) But Barça won't want to take the risk of falling behind 2-1. (...) Andrea has shown, also last year against Milan, that he has the gift to adapt the team better to the opponent from game to game. But if we dream too much, we won't have a chance. It will be exciting."