Bayern vs. Berlin: "We want to finish the week strong"
The conditions for the next basketball game in the Audi Dome couldn't be setup more ideally, because once again the Olympiahalle at Westpark is sold out. After the big victory in the EuroLeague against Panathinaikos (84-68), Andrea Trinchieri's team hosts Alba Berlin this Sunday evening (Jan. 8th) in front of 6,500 fans for the highly anticipated BBL rivalry game.
The 69th German classic starts at 18:00 live on MagentaSport. On Tuesday, Bayern will host Baskonia (Feb. 10, 20:30), the top team in the EuroLeague after the first half of the season.
Will Bayern manage another home victory?
The game will clearly be a close one. The guests (11-1) are on a par with the Munich team (11-2) in terms of wins, but have lost one less game and are currently in a slightly better position than the FCBB in terms of personnel. However, the latter is still undefeated at home in national competition, with Berlin winning the last five duels at the Audi Dome. In the EuroLeague derby, Bayern won 79:77 away from home.
Andreas Obst is still out due to injury as is captain Vladimir Lucic; it is also uncertain whether Corey Walden, who was ruled out against Athens with muscular problems, will play. Alba was recently without Procida (nose bone) but they have nine international players available anyway (FCBB: seven).
Waldens is a key piece
Bayern coach Trinchieri was pleased after the Panathinaikos game about the visibly increasing stability in his team's play, despite all the circumstances. He says: "This is a great duel, we have a great rivalry with Berlin. We want to finish this week strong after the wins in Rostock and against Pana. For that, we need to regenerate well until the game and prepare properly. For Sunday, we will try to put together a team again that plays hard above all. That's what will really matter."
Berlin has also gained self-confidence in the EuroLeague as after twelve losses in a row they won in Villeurbanne and on Thursday in front of about 6,000 spectators at home against the previous league leader Baskonia Vítoria. After an offensive exchange of blows in the first half (54-48), they won a tight game at the end, 85-84.
Smith is top scorer
The top player for Berlin at the moment is Jaleen Smith, who is also Alba's top scorer in the BBL (12.8 ppg, 48 % from three) ahead of captain Sikma (12.4) and national player Johannes Thiemann (11.0).
The best offense in the league (91.1 Ppg, shooting 50.5%/FCBB: 83.2; 44.7%) and also top in rebounding (40 Rpg/37.9) will meet the strongest defense in the easyCredit BBL in Munich. The FCBB allow only 75 points compared to 80 for Berlin.
"I hope we have regenerated well by Sunday," says Bayern center Elias Harris. "And then we will give everything again with our fans on Sunday and hopefully celebrate the next victory."
40.5 to 27.5
So far, the teams have faced each other 68 times: 40 wins have gone to the FCBB, 27 times Berlin has won; once a game ended in a tie (EuroCup first leg). The classic results by competition from Munich's point of view: BBL 30-23, EuroLeague 6-0, EuroCup one win and one draw, and in the Cup 3-4.