Can Bayern get its first victory in Belgrade?
"I expect a tough game in one of the most historic halls in Europe. But we are definitely going there with ambition," said head coach Andrea Trinchieri before leaving for Belgrade. "We know what a challenge this game will be because we were in the same situation a year ago. We have to focus on the things we can control, which is our performance and how we execute things."
Additions: Vildoza and Nedovic
After the very unfortunate defeat against title candidate Milan (83-81) a week ago, the Bavarians have fallen back to 0-4 as they did last year, and Adria League champion Red Star has the same record. A year ago, the Munich team won for the first time at the then also winless rival Kaunas at the fifth attempt and started a small streak.
While the FCBB is currently hoping for the return of Isaac Bonga, Elias Harris (both in rehabilitation training), Jason George (cold), Augustine Rubit (back), Zan Mark Sisko (infection) and Othello Hunter (thigh) in the short and medium term, the traditional Serbian club has already signed new players. Argentine guard Luca Vildoza returns to the EuroLeague after a year in the NBA (New York, Milwaukee). At his first station Vítoria in 2020/2021 he played well with a scoring average of 10.3 and 3.5 assists for the Knicks. Vildoza (10 points, 4 assists) made his debut in the 72-56 loss at Real Madrid.
"A Week of Practice Helped"
The second prominent addition, Serbian international Nemanja Nedovic (all-time: 12.3 ppg) is also expected to make his debut against Bayern after his move from Panathinaikos and a month-long injury layoff. The top scorer for the new coach Vladimir Jovanovic is so far forward Benjamin Bentil (14.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg). In addition, center Hassan Martin (from Olympiakos, 7.5 ppg) is a EuroLeague-experienced big man under the basket. On the offensive end, national player Ognjen Dobric (9.5 ppg) is likely to be the main support for go-to-guy Nedovic.
KK Crvena zvezda had a close game at home against Panathinaikos (77-75) and their other losses were against Baskonia (92-75) and at Efes (72-59). In the Eastern European ABA League, the defending champions have started with three wins.
"It's going to be a competitive game because both teams need the win," FCBB guard Cassius Winston suspects. "It's going to come down to our defense, our rebounds. We've been in all the games so far, just missing a few little details. That's where we need to continue to improve as a team and this week of practice helped us a lot."