Bayern hosts surprise favorites Baskonia
The game kicks off at 20:30 on Tuesday. Two tough road games will complete the week: On Wednesday, Munich will travel to Istanbul to play title contender Fenerbahce (Thurs., 18:45) and, after returning home will head immediately to Ludwigsburg for the next BBL top game (Sun., 18:00./MagentaSport).
On a level with Real und Barça
Baskonia is having an outstanding season so far. Despite the recent loss in Berlin (85-84), the team of new coach Joan Penarroya (previously with Valencia) is level with league leader Olympiakos and national heavyweights Real and Barça with an 11-6 record.
They are also in first place in the Spanish ACB. In contrast to the FCBB, Baskonia won its top game against Valencia 85-79 on Sunday and is 12-3 with the same record as Real and Barcelona. The outstanding player in front of 11,000 spectators in Vitoria was US guard Markus Howard with 28 points.
"Baskonia is having an incredible season, their pace is outstanding and is their trademark," Bayern head coach Andrea Trinchieri said. "We can only hold our own against them if we stay focused on defense and reach the highest energy level despite the short recovery time." Center routinier Elias Harris sees it similarly, "There is not much time for us to prepare for this top team. We know from the first matchup what class they have and how they perform. We have to now quickly forget the disappointment of Sunday's game and try to really challenge this good team."
Highspeed-Team with the most threes
In the first matchup at the beginning of December (78-53 loss), Bayern was basically out of the game with no chance to win for the first time this season, scoring just four points in the final seven minutes.
Summer addition Howard is certainly the key player for Baslonia. The 23-year-old, former NBA professional (Denver) is averaging 15.6 points with a three-point percentage of good 46 percent. The return of French floor general, Pierria Henry (10.8 ppg), who is averaging six assists, has also paid off. American Darius Thompson (10.5/5.6 apg), who transferred from Russia, rounds out the strong guard guard guard of the second-best EuroLeague offense (85.9 ppg/FCBB: 75.1) with the most made threes per game (11.2 on 29.1 attempts/9.8 on 27.8).
In terms of personnel, Trinchieri's options are unchanged from Sunday: captain Vladimir Lucic is gradually training again but, like Andreas Obst (both elbow ligament injuries), is not yet an option. Corey Walden (muscular problems in the thigh) will be a game-time decision.