Sat, 25/09/21, 07:16
Bayern's gets things started on Sunday against Ulm
In the end, the preseason went a little differently than planned, but despite all the personnel problems, the Bayern basketball team will be highly motivated when they take to the floor on Sunday. Starting at 18:00 the German Cup winners will host southern rival Ratiopharm Ulm in front of their own fans on their home court at the Audi Dome for their opening game of the new Bundesliga season. However, after the recent Corona intermezzo with the first cases ever in a year and a half of pandemic and the known absences of several regulars, head coach Andrea Trinchieri will be forced to improvise.
In addition to the Covid convalescents, who should return from quarantine in the next few days, Nihad Djedovic, Leon Radosevic and Paul Zipser, who are still recovering from injury, and Vladimir Lucic (suspended) are not an option for the time being. In return, Bayern has its fans back, "and we are really looking forward to the spectators," said youngster Jason George. "We hope as many as possible come." By the way, every guest will receive an FCB flag as a welcome gift on Sunday.
"The world does not end with the first, second or tenth game".
"I don't know yet with which squad I can play on Sunday," Coach Trinchieri said about the situation at the opening press conference at the Audi Dome. "But the goal now is not Sunday, not the first game in the EuroLeague, but to get through this critical moment with creativity and in the best way possible. (...) The team has a long season ahead of it and the world doesn't end with the first, second or tenth game. We have to get through a strange situation that I have a lot of players that I can't use - but better now than in a month which has 13 games."
Managing director Marko Pesic took a similar view: "Our focus now is first of all to help Andrea and the team from day to day to be able to play with the best possible lineup." Of course, the FCBB has "a great motivation to repeat our successful season once again with our fans, who were sorely lacking last season." But first, patience is needed, he said: "After the Magenta tournament, it was hardly possible to train and these effects are very, very difficult to make up for. So it will take some time."
Club President Hainer: "We want to grow as a club".
Club President Herbert Hainer also confirmed that despite all the "motivation within the club" to "take the next step" after the successful 2020/2021 season by reaching the EuroLeague playoffs and winning the Cup, this would "not only be based on the standings". But also on the fact that we want to grow as a club so that at some point we are permanently represented in the European top flight." Trinchieri chimed in, adding, "The EuroLeague playoffs aren't a goal, they're a dream, and we all work for dreams."
The present is Ulm on Sunday evening: The Swabians around coach Jaka Lakovic, after a 104-102 semi-final on the way to Bayern's acclaimed Cup victory have made quite a few personnel changes, just like the hosts. The most notable addition is long-time NBA center Cristiano Felicio, who made 258 appearances for the Chicago Bulls and was Paul Zipser's teammate there for two years.
Also new to the team is Karim Jallow, an international player who grew up at the FCBB, who transferred from Braunschweig but was injured recently. Philipp Herkenhoff came over from Vechta and has also already worn the DBB jersey. Semaj Christon will take over at the point guard position in Ulm. The 28-year-old American gained NBA experience for Oklahoma and last played in the Turkish league for Bursa (12.5 ppg) and before that in France and Spain.
Ulm NBA import Cristiano Felicio
His back-up, on the other hand, is playingon his farewell tour: former national player Per Guenther has announced his retirement at end of the season. The 33-year-old captain is without question the face of Ulm basketball. He will take 18-year-old shooting guard Fedor Zugic under his wing - the Montenegrin is considered an NBA prospect.
Another interesting addition of the EuroCup participant: athletic forward Jaron Blossomgame, who was drafted by San Antonio in 2017 and was one of the best scorers in Israel last season at Ironi Nahariya with an average of 18.5 points. Ulm will likely look to finish near the basket more than in the preseason, and Austrian guard Thomas Klepeisz is always a threat from distance.
The second vaccination action from 14:00 to 17:15 without registration and with a Kaefer voucher.
Access to the Audi Dome this season will be under 3G rules until further notice. After the successful vaccination campaign at the "MagentaSport Cup" with more than 130 participants, the FCBB, in cooperation with the city of Munich will also offer a convenient vaccination opportunity for everyone before the BBL start: Even interested parties without a ticket, people not registered in Munich and young people (with the consent of their parents) will have the opportunity to be vaccinated with a freely selectable vaccine.
The meeting point on Sunday is a clearly visible container near the main entrance to the hall at Westpark. Afterwards, all vaccination participants will receive a snack voucher from FCBB partner Feinkost Kaefer, which can be redeemed at the catering stations in the Audi Dome on gameday - including, of course, those vaccinated guests without a ticket.