FCBB in home duel vs French champion Villeurbanne
A week between two games, that has almost never happened before and will not happen again so quickly: The Bayern basketball players enjoyed a weekend off before intensive preparation for theEuroLeague home game on Thursday (Dec. 2) against the French title holders Asvel Villeurbanne. They began again with two training sessions on Monday. Saturday evening they play at the MBC, Monday evening in the Audi Dome against Heidelberg, making three games in five days.
But first Villeurbanne: The 13 game of the Euroleague season will start at 19:30. As things stand, it could be the last game with a crowd for at least several weeks; as is well known, the "2G PLUS" rule applies for Thursday (for people aged twelve years and three months and older): vaccinated, recovered plus current test (rapid antigen test, max. 24 hours old or PCR test, max. 48 hours old), as well as the FFP2 mask requirement (medical mask up to 15 years old). Due to specifications on minimum distances, the maximum capacity in the Audi Dome is just under 1,300 fans.
„"After the tough defeat in Moscow, where we played very well, a win would of course be valuable. But it's going to be a very physical game and we'll all have to get the maximum out of ourselves together."”
EuroLeague top scorer Elie Okobo
"We have a lot of respect for Villeurbanne, they are playing an excellent season so far and we are facing a very, very difficult challenge," said head coach Andrea Trinchieri. "They have a lot of athleticism and individual quality. One of our tasks will be to control their great quality in one-on-one in defense. But that is far from everything given their offensive talent. We have to perform as a cohesive team." Trinchieri will still have to do without Leon Radosevic and Paul Zipser, but playmaker Zan Mark Sisko could make his comeback on the court.
In any case, the audience can look forward to an extremely interesting duel, because Asvel Villeurbanne is one of the positive phenomena of the season so far: The guest has already celebrated seven victories (FCBB: 5:7), including last week's buzzer beater victory in the French derby vs Monaco (85-84) thanks to a half-court three-pointer by William Howard. The US forward (7.7 ppg) was also named gameday MVP for his total of 23 points and ten rebounds.
The young star of the very athletic-physical team is French guard Elie Okobo, who is currently leading the EuroLeague scorers list with an average of 18.9 points, while putting up impressive percentages (56.2% twos, 47.4% threes). The 24-year-old moved back home after two years in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns (108 games) and a start to the season in the G-League. In Chris Jones, the team of TJ Parker, brother of club owner Tony Parker, has a second very offensively strong guard: Traded from Maccabi Tel Aviv, the American is playing his strongest season to date with 14.3 points on average.
Reunion with James Gist
There will be a reunion with James Gist after the veteran center joined the French this summer and contributes 5.3 points and 2.7 rebounds to Asvel's overall success. His team relies primarily on athletic strength in one-on-one situations and scoring from distance; its three-point percentage of 39.5 percent is the second-best in the EuroLeague.
Bayern is the third-best team in the top division when it comes to three-pointers with a 37.5 percent scoring rate. Top scorer Darrun Hilliard (15.8 ppg; three-point-rate 41.8 percent) takes a lot of responsibility here with a good six attempts from distance per game; but also Corey Walden (48 percent with a good four attempts per match), Vladimir Lucic (34.3 percent with 4.3 shots) and Deshaun Thomas (34.2 percent, 3.1) take plenty of attempts from beyond the arc.
"This is an extremely tough opponent and an important game for both teams, especially for us because we have a home game," says FCBB guard Ognjen Jaramaz. "After the tough loss in Moscow, where we played very well, a win would of course be valuable. But it's going to be a very physical game and we'll have to get the maximum out of ourselves already all together."E