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Bayern travel to Crailsheim to play Merlins

FC Bayern Basketball return to the court soon after the disappointing home defeat in the Euroleague against FC Barcelona (77-99). Svetislav Pesic’s side continue their marathon run of games and are fully focussed on the upcoming games. The game against the Spanish Champions was somewhat of a reality check for Bayern: “I am certain that we will learn a lot from the game and become stronger as a team because of it.”

The German Champions continue their title defence on Sunday when they visit the Crailsheim Merlins. The game tips-off at 15:00 CET and can be found live on “Telekom Basketball” or via FCBB’s Twitter account (@fcb_basketball). Bayern have good memories of trips to Crailsheim: In March 2011 a trip to Baden-Württemberg sealed promotion. The 69-58 against the Merlins ensured Bayern would return to the top-flight with seven games left to play.

The Merlins are playing in the Bundesliga for the first time in the history. The euphoria in the Hohenlohe Arena was short-lived as the reality of high-level basketball dawned: After nine games, Crailsheim have only won one game this season which prompted a change at the top. Head Coach Willie Young, who guided Crailsheim to second in the Pro A last season and consequently promotion to the Beko BBL, was recently relieved of his duties.

Ingo Enskat, who had been fulfilling the role of sporting director until this week, makes his coaching debut on Sunday afternoon against FCBB; Captain Stevie Johnson is his assistant. The change in coach is likely to reinvigorate the home side, so Bayern will need to maintain a high level of concentration throughout the game. Marko Pesic, FCBB CEO is fully aware of the dangers they pose: “I have followed a few of their games and have discovered that there is an incredible atmosphere in the arena. As always for newly promoted sides, it takes time for you to find your feet in the new league. I think that Crailsheim will start to climb the table sooner rather than later.”

The Merlins picked up their only win of the season against Trier but despite a difficult start to the season have players who are making an impression on the division. Five players are averaging at least 10 points per game, including: Shooting-Guard Chad Timberlake (14.6), Sean Mosley (13.8) and Timothy Garrett (13.1). Jannik Freese, who played for Oldenburg last season, is a key player under the boards for the Merlins (6.2 rebounds per game).  The Merlins will be without Johnson and Power Forward Jonathan Moore for the game.

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THE REMAINING HOME GAMES:

From Friday, 21st November (13:00 CET) tickets go on sale for the remaining regular season games of the Beko BBL season, however, tickets for the games against Brose Baskets Bamberg (17th April) and ALBA Berlin (26th April) will be made publically available at a later date. Supporters who buy one or more tickets for post-Christmas games before 18th January 2015 will be eligible for an exclusive pre-sale period. Tickets can be brought via the usual channels.

POST-CHRISTMAS HOME BBL MATCHES:

  • Sunday, 18th January 2015, 17:00 CET: FCBB – Eisbären Bremerhaven
  • Sunday, 1st February, 17:00 CET: FCBB – Phoenix Hagen
  • Sunday, 15th February, 17:00 CET: FCBB – MPH Riesen Ludwigsburg
  • Sunday, 1st March, 17:00 CET: FCBB – TBB Trier
  • Sunday, 15th March, 17:00 CET: FCBB – Basketball Braunschweig
  • Sunday, 29th March, 17:00 CET: FCBB – Crailsheim Merlins
  • Friday, 17th April, 20:00 CET: FCBB – Brose Baskets Bamberg
  • Sunday, 26th April, 17:00 CET: FCBB – Alba Berlin