Cup winners are back to the grind in Maccabi's witches' cauldron
On Ash Wednesday, the time to purely celebrate was over. But still a good feeling continued to spread among the Bayern basketball players three days after the Cup victory and an already legendary party deep into the night at the "Rodman". A difficult road game in the EuroLeague at playoff candidate Maccabi Tel Aviv around Wade Baldwin and Lorenzo Brown will surely bring Bayern down from their high.
The 25th game of the season starts on Thursday at 20:05 and MagentaSport will broadcast live as usual.
Wade Baldwin has dominated
As is always the case with Israel's record champion, the Munich team can expect a packed arend with 10,500 fans where Maccabi has a strong 9-3 record. With a 12-12 record, the ambitious EuroLeague winners of 2004, 2005 and 2014 are just one win behind sixth-placed Partizan.
For Bayern (9-15), the road to another top-8 finish is very long for well-known reasons, "but we will fight hard for every win until the end," assures head coach Andrea Trinchieri. He will be missing Augustine Rubit (Achilles tendon surgery) and Elias Harris (foot); captain Vladimir Lucic, the unexpected returnee at the TOP4 in Oldenburg, will at least make the trip but is unsure to play.
"The best homecourt in the league"
"Maccabi has a super athletic team with some familiar faces," Trinchieri said of the hosts. "They are playing well this season, especially Wade, and they have one of the most difficult home courts you can play at in the EuroLeague. We used a lot of energy over the weekend, of course. I hope that the euphoria of the Cup win will still give us enough strength for a good performance."
Wade Baldwin, who made his breakthrough two years ago under Trinchieri in Munich and led Bayern to the playoffs for the first time, has dominated for Maccabi, especially in recent weeks: Spain's European Championship MVP Lorenzo Brown has been missing due to injury so the dynamic guard took over and, like his colleague, is currently averaging 16.6 points per game. He topped his recent best of 33 points against Berlin (87-74) with 38 points in their last game against Red Star Belgrade, which celebrated one of the rare away victories in the Menora Mivtachim Arena (89-86).
Tuesday against the French champion
The second ex-Munich player is Darrun Hilliard (4.9 ppg), who has recently been given a larger play time after injury and internal squabbles.
Bayern's next home games at the Audi Dome are the sold-out visit of Red Star after the international break (Thurs., Mar. 2, 19:00) and the duel with French champions Lyon-Villeurbanne the following Tuesday (Mar. 7, 21:00).