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Highlight-Week sees Bologna, Bamberg, Barça & Mailand

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Bologna, Bamberg, Barcelona, Milan - whew!

The upcoming seven-day schedule of the Bayern Basketball team, with four attractive and difficult games in just one week, is likely to be one of the most demanding stretches in the club's recent history. In detail: On Thursday evening (20:30), Andrea Trinchieri's team will face EuroCup winner Virtus Bologna under Spain's European Championship coach Sergio Scariolo, and on Sunday, the Cup round of 16 game in Bamberg - before the two title candidates Barça (Tuesday) and Milan (Thursday, both 20:30) present themselves at the Audi Dome within 48 hours next week.

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Spain's gold-winning coach Scariolo on the bench

The Munich team travels to Emilia-Romagna on Wednesday morning - for the first ever duel in the basketball-mad regional capital of Bologna. After almost 15 years, Virtus is making its comeback in the top flight thanks to winning Europe's second-highest competition. The 16-time Italian champions have already triumphed here twice (1998, 2001) and have made enormous financial efforts for a renaissance in recent years.

Sergio Scariolo has been on the sidelines at Virtus Bologna since 2021
Sergio Scariolo has been on the sidelines at Virtus Bologna since 2021. (c) Sgamellotti

By winning the third-highest competition in 2019, the Fiba Champions League, and with transfers of an armada of renowned additions such as Milos Teodosic, Daniel Hackett, Marco Belinelli, Tornike Shengelia and most recently Jordan Mickey, the traditional club is now back at its old level. Once stocked with stars such as Manu Ginobili (2000 - 2002), Predrag Danilovic (1998 - 2000) and Marko Jaric (2000 - 2002), the club experienced hard times after its heyday at the start of the new millennium with two stints in Serie B (2003 and 2016). Subsequently, the coffee giant Zanetti successively got involved and now the patron and owner has reached the top league.

Teodosic and Shengelia still questionable

In the summer of 2021, the Lombard Scariolo, Spain's world champion coach, took over. With him, the team won the championship again after 20 years and the EuroCup in the spring, which meant the right to enter the EuroLeague. Only the intimate rivalry with Fortitudo Bologna is currently on hold after the recent relegation of the local rival.

At the core of the prominent Virtus team is the Serbian floor general, Teodosic (currently injured), while veterans Hackett and Belinelli, and Kyle Weems are still with the club. Georgian Shengelia, released by ZSKA Moscow, has received a new two-year contract until 2024 but was also not ready for action. Danish guard Iffe Lundberg, who was signed after his NBA detour (Phoenix) also has experience with ZSKA. Scariolo has additional quality at his disposal in US forward Jordan Mickey (most recently of St. Petersburg), Italian guard hopeful Niccolo Mannion, center Ismael Bako and NBA-experienced forward Semi Ojeleye.

Tip-off in Bologna is on Thursday evening at 20:30 - live on Magenta Sport
Tip-off in Bologna is on Thursday evening at 20:30 - live on Magenta Sport. (c) Sgamellotti

Virtus defended the Supercup against champions Milan at the end of September. The EuroLeague comeback against one of the secret favorites, AS Monaco, was lost last week at the legendary PalaDozza. In the 83-66 loss Lundberg (14 points), Ojeleye and Mickey (11 each) scored in double figures.

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