The Bayern vs. Berlin-Saga, Part V
It has been and remains the duel that moves the basketball fans of Germany the most and for the fifth time this season, the Bayern basketball team will meet its national rival Alba Berlin, this time in the second matchup in the EuroLeague at the once again sold-out Audi Dome.
The game kicks off at 20:30. on Friday evening, with MagentaSport broadcasting live as usual.
"Every win sets the tone"
The two teams will play a presumed record number of games should the teams reach an expected playoff series in the BBL and due to the German Cup game at the TOP4. At the German Cup head coach Andrea Trinchieri's team was able to dethrone the Berliners on the way to the title with a strong semi-final performance (83-77) - all FCBB fans can take selfies with the trophy in the Audi Dome on Friday and Sunday (15:00) at the "Music meets Basketball for Kids" event against MBC.
"It's the fifth game of this saga and we're playing at home in front of our fans," said head coach Andrea Trinchieri. "We want to play a very good game, but it wouldn't be different against Zalgiris or against any other team. However, since it is the fifth duel with Alba, it only multiplies our desire to play a good game. Tactically, there will be hardly any changes for both teams."
3-1 record for Bayern
The 76-71 win in the BBL two weeks after the Cup victory in Berlin means that the FCBB's current season record vs their record is 3-1, with Alba only narrowly winning the first matchup in the Bundesliga 80-79 in Munich at the beginning of January. In the EuroLeague, the BBL runner-up Berlin is at the bottom of the standings with a 7-21 record while the FCBB (11-17) is fighting to make it to top half of the league.
Coach Trinchieri has famously been away from the EuroLeague standings for some time due to the troubled nature of the season, but he does attach great importance to the German rivalry game: "Every win against a team you meet again is important, because you set the tone," the Italian stresses. "In the cup we were not healthy, but we played very consistently there for 40 minutes and controlled the game. In the last game in the BBL we struggled after a weak start, but we stayed in the game mentally and managed to win again. That means we can manage to win in different ways, which is positive."
"Definitely want to win again"
National player Isaac Bonga also cares little about the moderate importance of the prestige duel regarding the Euroleague standings. "We will go in and play as well as possible and we definitely want to beat Berlin again. Of course, we know that Alba probably has had enough of us after the last losses but nothing changes for us - we definitely want to win again."
In the easyCredit BBL, Berlin (20-2) gave up the first-place spot in the standings to Bonn (21-2) after losing at home to Bayern, while the hosts are in third (16-6). In the EuroLeague, Alba recently lost just as clearly at home to Bologna (96-74) as Munich also lost their last game albeit at league leader Olympiakos Piraeus (102-74). Former Bayern guard Maodo Lo was in good form at the start of the week, scoring 25 points in Berlin's 87-77 win in Weissenfels.
Babb and Lucic are game-time decisions
Augustine Rubit and Elias Harris are still missing due to injury and the return of Nick Weiler-Babb and Vladimir Lucic's (back) return to the squad will be decided on Friday. Zylan Cheatham will make his EuroLeague debut.
The all-time record of the classic series: 42 wins for the FCBB, 28 wins for Berlin; once it ended in a tie (EuroCup first leg). The record from Munich's point of view: BBL 31-24, EuroLeague 6-0, EuroCup one win and one draw, and in the Cup 4-4.