Next playoff test for Bayern at Real Madrid
TheBayern basketball team flew on from Istanbul to Madrid on Thursday afternoon. After their two games in the Turkish metropolis, the regular season of the EuroLeague will be concluded with the third tough away game this week at another title candidate, Real Madrid. Once again, therefore, the circumstances will give a taste of the playoffs, which will bring the attractive best-of-five duel with the favored star ensemble of the first-seed FC Barcelona around Nikola Mirotic. Again a full, noisy hall and in addition an opponent who has nothing else than the trophy of the royal class in mind will give Bayern a real test on Friday evening. Real first wants to secure second place behind archrival Barça with a win.
Tickets for game three against FC Barcelona (April 26 or 27) are already on sale. The game in Madrid kicks off on Friday evening at 20:45 with MagentaSport broadcasting live. On Sunday (15:00) things continue in Giessen, where the exhausting week-long trip will be concluded (also on free TV on Sport1).
"Even more complicated than it already has been".
Despite the two close losses at Fener and Efes, there was confidence in the Munich camp on the way to the Spanish capital. After the renewed Corona craziness and continuing to be without Nick Weiler-Babb and Corey Walden, the Bavarians were twice on a par against highly motivated hosts. In the end, defending champions Efes lacked only a little luck and cleverness in defensive rebounding in front of 14,200 fans.
"The game against Real will be the third EuroLeague game in five days, which has never happened before," head coach Andrea Trinchieri looks ahead. "This duel would already be very difficult under normal conditions, now of course it is even more complicated under these circumstances. But we have to overcome this situation and master the tough task as a team."
Real needs a win for second place
Co-captain Vladimir Lucic says: "Our week in Istanbul was not successful, but we are just missing two important guys in the guard rotation with Nick and Corey. Still, we had two very close games against two very strong teams. In Madrid, we want to finish the regular season in the best possible way. After that comes Barcelona in the playoffs, the best team so far this season. They were in the finals last year and they are so incredibly experienced. Many of them have been in the final before or even have won the EuroLeague. On top of that, they have one of the best coaches in the EuroLeague. It's going to be a huge challenge, but we'll keep going game by game and first comes Real."
Real has been in a difficult phase lately, winning only two of the last ten games for the team of longtime coach Pablo Laso. Recently they lost three times away from home, 93-90 at Efes, 75-74 in Tel Aviv and 87-86 in Athens a week ago. The defeat at home against arch-rivals Barca, which was a clear 86-68, was particularly painful.
"Music meets Basketball" against the MBC
Two weeks before the playoffs, however, the Spanish record champion wants to put itself safely in position to fight for its eleventh continental title at the Final Four. Real is also currently second in the ACB behind Barcelona with two more losses on the account than Bayern's opponents in the playoffs. To be second-seed a home win is needed for Real.
Center Walter Tavares stands out again this season from the Royals' wide-ranging top squad of 16 possible rotation players, averaging 11.8 points, eight rebounds - and his 7ft frame is such a game-changer. Second-leading scorer is former NBA forward Guerschon Yabusele (11.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg), who just signed a long-term contract. They also managed to bring back Argentine forward Gabriel Deck (10.1 ppg) from the NBA at the beginning of the year to play alongside big names like Sergio Llull, Rudy Fernandez or Adam Hanga.
Bayern returns to Munich on Sunday evening. Next home appearance of the Munich team is on Wednesday (April 13th, 19:00) for the "Music meets Basketball" event against the MBC with the concert highlight "Jan Delay & die Delaydies & DJ Mad".