On to the next challeng: Bayern welcomes Milan


Andrea Trinchieri did not mention the term "bad start" in the press conference after the 84-73 loss against FC Barcelona. The head coach of Bayern Basketball can assess the realities given the circumstances of the preparation at the beginning of the season as well as the tough starting schedule against the who's who of the EuroLeague. Munich is 0-3 after duels with powerhouses Fenerbahce, Virtus and Barça and the next guest on Thursday in the Audi Dome: Armani Milan. But Trinchieri is staying simple ahead of the reunion with his home club and said late Tuesday night: "We just need to win a game, then you see things from a different perspective again."


Just like last season, when Bayern started 0-4 in the EuroLeague - without their leader Lucic for weeks among other injuries- (only to make the playoffs again) they hope to improve. The important new building blocks Bonga and Harris are still missing, as is regular Sisko, who is ill. Trinchieri, meanwhile, has lost neither his sense of language nor his confidence in the process.

"We don't look back in fear"

"After Barça, we face Milan, the next Final Four team - so after struggling to climb Annapurna, it's time for Nanga Parbat, two of the toughest peaks in the world," says the 54-year-old. He knows that it won't be easy again: "We're going without complete equipment, we'll be missing players again. Nevertheless, we won't look back in fear, but will continue to push ourselves beyond the limit, with the firm intention of reaching the top of the mountain. We will try to do that by continuing to improve individually and as a team."

The balanced, physical first half (37-34) against Barcelona's elite group and the 40 minutes of support from the sold-out Audi Dome proved what such a summit storm could look like. And the third quarter (18-29) showed that "this team will certainly need some time," as general manager Marko Pesic had guessed at the end of September before the very first tip-off.

The present is now Milan, which has one goal this season: to win its first title in the highest competition since 1988. After the big build-up in recent years, Milan was back in the Final Four for the first time in 2021 and was also extremely active this transfer summer.

The Milan team has been very active in player recruitment again this summer.
The Milan team has been very active in player recruitment again this summer. (c) Stefanovic

Title candidate from Italy with Voigtmann

The Italian double winners brought back playmaker Kevin Pangos (10.3 ppg) from the NBA to the EuroLeague, as well as his scoring partner from their days together in St. Petersburg, US guard Billy Baron (12 ppg) and from Barcelona center Brandon Davies (8.3). Last year's FCBB forward Deshaun Thomas also joined the team and from ZSKA Moscow German international Johannes Voigtmann. Four-time EuroLeague champion Kyle Hines (6 ppg), Nicolo Melli (9.7), top scorer Shavon Shields (20) and Devon Hall fill out the strong rotation.  

On Tuesday, Milan kept the upper hand in the win over Partizan Belgrade 80-75 (41-49) for the second win, Shields (25 points), Davies (15) and Pagos (10) led the team in a strong second half. However, the previous week they were surprised by Alba Berlin at home, losing 80-74 in overtime. For the opener, Olimpia won 69-62 in Villeurbanne. In Serie A, like Bayern in the BBL, they have won their first three games.   

*Nanga Parbat is located in the Western Himalayas and, at 8125 meters, is the ninth highest mountain in the world, ahead of Annapurna (8091 meters).


Photos: Pahnke, Stefanovic