Tough Start in the Euroleague
Thu, 06/10/22, 11:05
The first show at the Audi Dome: FCBB against favorite Fenerbahce
What an entry into the new EuroLeague season 2022/2023: The new star ensemble of Fenerbahce Istanbul, which was re-created in the summer, is the first opponent of the Bayern basketball team on Thursday evening (20:30) for the opening game of the top division. In general, the team of head coach Andrea Trinchieri faces a huge kick-off to the league season. Next week it continues with the first away game in Bologna at the immensely ambitious EuroCup champion Virtus, before the next guests in the Audi Dome within just 48 - FC Barcelona (18.10.) and Olimpia Milan (20.10.), which once again massively upgraded in the offseason including adding Johannes Voigtmann, Kevin Pangos and Deshaun Thomas who switched from the FCBB.
VIP shopping has been en vogue this summer in the EuroLeague, and the Audi Dome catwalk is ready for the first big show: The hall will be packed, and remaining tickets are still available online or at the box office.
Trinchieri: "They are favorites, but we play at home".
"They are loaded with talent, every one of them can score," Trinchieri said Wednesday before the final practice, enumerating the Turkish champions' many options. "Wilbekin of course, but Edwards is also an incredible scorer; they have the versatility of a Bjelica, the energy of Motley, the toughness of their rebounder Jekiri. I think they're a real powerhouse. It's the first game and they're the favorite - but we're playing at home and we're going to try to overcome all odds and find a way to keep up with them until the end."
Scottie Wilbekin will naturally be at the center of Munich's defensive efforts. The 29-year-old US guard has turned over a new leaf after four years in Tel Aviv. Last season, he was the fourth-leading scorer in the competition with 15.4 points per game and hit more threes per game than anyone else (2.6 pg). He also shouldn't be sent to the line: With an accuracy of 94.1 percent, he was the best free-throw shooter ever.
Collectively against Wilbekin & Co.
His partner in the backcourt should be Nick Calathes, the Greek national player, who was also the top assister in the EuroLeague (6.4 apg) last season, when he was still playing for Barcelona, and has delivered more assists than anyone else: 1,711 are a record.
The Bavarians will try to surprise a Final Four contender through a team effort as they are used to doing. They will still be missing Isaac Bonga, who is back in training but still needs a bit after a foot injury. Last season, Munich celebrated a 71-63 win against the 2017 EuroLeague winners and 2019 finalists on the way to their second playoff appearance. Fener won the second matchup 81-76.
FCBB center Freddie Gillespie says ahead of his EuroLeague debut: "I'm really looking forward to the game. I know a few of the players personally: I did some workouts with Carsen Edwards in the summer, Jonathan Motley and I went to the same college. Fenerbahce has very good players overall, so it will be an exciting game. It's the first EuroLeague game this season and directly a bigger challenge for us!"
And national player Andreas Obst says: "With the new coach and the new players, Fenerbahce is currently still a team that has to find itself. But nevertheless they have a lot of talent, individual class and also a lot of experience in the team. All of that has to be controlled. They are also a team that can run hot from the three-point line. Overall, I expect a very physical and fast game."