FCBB wants to secure playoff home court advantage
The frenzy has faded after the end of the great EuroLeague adventure with the spectacular playoffs againstFC Barcelona (2-3). A little disappointment from narrowly missing out on the Final Four may still be present butut the Bayern basketball team refocused on Thursday afternoon with the first training session after returning from Spain, and the most urgent goal of the season is now clearly in focus: the fight for the German championship.
It begins onFriday evening with three catch-up games at the end of the BBL regular season: starting at 19:00 head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team will play the top game against Ulm, which has also already qualified for the playoffs. On Sunday (18:00), ninth-place BG Goettingen will come to the Audi Dome and next Tuesday evening, 20:30 rival Alba Berlin will be the last showdown before the playoffs.
A win for third place
The starting position before the BBL playoffs (from May 13) is not yet completely clear, but some tendencies are recognizable. Berlin (52-12 points) has basically already earned pole position without the further EuroLeague burden and Bonn (52-16) is fixed at second place. Munich (46-16) would certainly come in at least third with another win and would thus have home rights in the first playoff round - in view of the tough parallel program, which resulted in the expected defeat in Oldenburg, for example, and the ongoing personnel problems, an acceptable constellation for the FCBB.
In the quarterfinals, they could face Ulm (42-22) or Chemnitz (44-22), and Ludwigsburg (44-22) is also a possible opponent.
The tricky task for Trinchieri & Co. is to secure home rights as early as possible, to regain a rhythm despite three games in five days, and to keep the energy tanks full. At the current sixth-place team in the league, Ratiopharm Ulm, this will presumably be attempted in front of a full house. When Corey Walden (back) will return is still open, Othello Hunter (muscular problems), who was injured in Barcelona, for Friday is day-to-day.
The hosts still have theoretical a chance for third place (with two wins and three Munich losses), they won the first matchup at the beginning of the season at the end of September - in the midst of the first Munich Corona wave - 86-83 after overtime. They also played well in the EuroCup, losing narrowly 83-77 to finalist Virtus Bologna in the quarterfinals. Jaka Lakovic's team then lost 85-74 to Bonn and won the rivalry game against Crailsheim 100-90 in overtime.
In Ulm, much runs through the US trio of Jaron Blossomgame (15, ppg, 5.5 rpg), Semaj Christon (14.6 ppg, 6.1 apg) and Sindarius Thornwell (13.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg). Long-time NBA center Cristiano Felicio, Philipp Herkenhoff and, unfortunately, former Bayern youngster Karim Jallow (shoulder) are injured and their seasons are over.
Göttingen in ninth place
BG Goettingen, on Sunday at the family game day in the Audi Dome as guests, gambled away the long possible playoff place last weekend against relegated Giessen (90-87) mainly due to injury. The loss of MVP candidate Kamar Baldwin (19 ppg) could not be compensated for, even though the re-signed playmaker Jeremiah Martin (18 ppg) also performed well. For US guard Jake Toolson (11.8 ppg), the season is also over prematurely due to injury. With 16 wins, however, BG is playing its best year since 2014/2015.