Bayern's last EuroLeague game of the first half of the season
The end of the first half of the EuroLeague and a huge meeting of the top two German teams: Two highlights await the Bayern basketball team in the second part of the week, which they opened with a 78-65 victory in Rostock. Munich will host two sold-out games at the Audi Dome on Thursday against Panathinaikos Athens (Jan. 5, 20:30) and Sunday against Alba Berlin (Jan. 8, 18:00).
Tickets are still available against the surprising EuroLeague leader Baskonia Vítoria next Tuesday (Jan. 10, 20:30), which will be followed by two tough road games at Fenerbahce Istanbul (Thu., Jan. 12) and in Ludwigsburg (Jan. 15).
During this chaotic schedule, head coach Andrea Trinchieri has tried to stay on top of things with a game-by-game approach. On Wednesday, after returning from Rostock at noon, he promptly gathered his dozen players at the Audi Dome to prepare them for Panathinaikos first in a meeting and then on the court. His team (5-11) could match the 39-time Greek champions record at 6-10.
Trinchieri commented: "Having played on the road not even 48 hours before this game against Panathinaikos we have to focus mainly on ourselves, offensively and defensively. We have to try to raise the level as always, although of course that's easy to say. We have to implement as a team what will be required and also do our jobs individually."
After a few disappointing years, the guest has awakened new hopes through ambitious transfers, most notably the addition of Derrick Williams (14.7 ppg), whom Bayern once brought to Europe from the US (2018/2019.) In Athens, his former coach, Dejan Radonjic, has been at the helm since this summer, with whom the Munich team celebrated their last title wins to date.
The acquisition of another NBA-experienced player and EuroLeague top scorer Dwayne Bacon - carried "Pana" to four wins in a row in the meantime. However, the mood has recently been dampened by just as many losses in a row, with the low point being the clear home loss last week in front of a full house against arch-rivals Olympiakos (95-71).
Bacon is the top scorer in the EuroLegue
The Athenians are likely to want to make amends in front of their 400 or so euphoric visiting fans who have registered to be at the Audi Dome on Thursday.
The Greeks are carried by Bacon, who currently leads the EuroLeague in scoring with an average of 21.2 points. Radonjic has familiar personnel at his disposal at the guard positions in Nate Wolters (8.5 ppg), Paris Lee (8.6) and Lithuanian Marius Grigonis (8.7). Poland's European Championship hero Mateusz Ponitka (8.4/5.5 rpg) on the wing and center, captain Georgios Papagiannis (6.9/5.8 rpg) round out a solid squad.
Trinchieri's squad is, as of Wednesday afternoon, at least numerically complete. Niels Giffey was back on the floor after the flu in Rostock for twelve minutes and the rested veteran Othello Hunter will also return. For Andreas Obst and captain Vladimir Lucic the wait and rest period will continue.