The timing of the clash may not be ideal in view of Munich's personnel situation - and yet the Bayern basketball team is looking forward to a festive day at the Audi Dome: for its very first home game in the EuroLeague, head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team welcomes one of the title favorites, FC Barcelona this Thursday (Oct. 7, 20:30)
The Catalan star ensemble aar season last year with a 24:10 record, with two losses coming at the hands of the FCBB. In the final of the Cologne Final Four, however, Barça was beaten 81-86 by Efes Istanbul. In Spain, after winning the cup, they also won the championship against archrivals Real Madrid.
This season, the team of coach Sarunas Jasikevicius is once again considered the title favorite. Despite all the headlines from the club's soccer division, the team around top star Nikola Mirotic has largely remained together - and has even been strengthened. The start of the season has been perfect: In the ACB, the team is undefeated after four games, just like Real, and in the EuroLeague, the team got off to a good start with a 96-64 win over Alba Berlin.
A look at FC Barcelona's "Players to watch":NIKOLA MIROTIC:
The superstar. Switched back to his home country in 2019 after five years in the NBA. Record: an average of 12.3 points in 319 NBA games. The naturalized native of Montenegro is considered the highest-paid professional in Europe. The 6'8 winger has scored 19 points per game and 15.6 points last season (5.9 rpg) for Barcelona since his spectacular transfer. Against Alba, he scored 22 points - without a miss and in just over 17 minutes.
The assist king. The Greek, formerly also active in the NBA (Memphis), delivered at least 250 or more successful assists per season in the past four years. Last season: 6.5 assists per game (7.8 ppg). As a playmaker he is the extended arm of former playmaker Jasikevicius.
The all-round MVP. After four years with ZSKA Moscow, now in his third year with Barcelona. His consistent shooting percentages (51% twos, 44% threes) are one thing, his excellent defense another. The 32-year-old US guard won the EuroLeague with ZSKA in 2016 and (with Othello Hunter, among others) in 2019.
The Reliable. A 6'8 center with great athleticism and a good shooting hand. Also in his third year at Barça. In the opening game against Berlin, he was placeed in the starting five rather than the Turkish addition Sertac Sanli, a classic zone player who made his breakthrough last season when he won the title with Efes.
The future. The 20-year-old Lithuanian guard, traded from Kaunas, was drafted No. 34 overall by Oklahoma in the draft, but still wants to develop under his compatriot Jasikevicius and alongside experienced colleagues like Calathes, Nicolas Laprovittola (from Real) and Kyle Kuric. The potential of the nimble left-hander is enormous.