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Recharging ahead of Bamberg semi-final play-off

FCBB captain Bryce Taylor and co. enjoyed a late dinner in the VIP area of the Audi Dome after securing their spot in the semi-finals. Exhausted but satisfied after a convincing 87-76 win in the deciding game against Ludwigsburg, Svetislav Pesic’s team had been combative and shown real will power irrespective of the personnel issues and injuries. Their reward is a trip to the semi-finals for a fourth consecutive year – they’re the only team to be in the top four for the past four years.

On Sunday, May 22nd, FCB will face off against Bamburg in a repeat of the 2015 final. The Franconians swept Würzburg aside 3-0. The main round winners enjoy home advantage, the game is in Bamberg at 13:20 CEST.

There’s limited time for FCBB to stop and catch their breath ahead of the first game against Brose Baskets. “We’ve just had a challenging and exhausting series against the strongest possible opponents,” said Svetislav Pesic on Friday. “Ludwigsburg really challenged us. I am therefore very pleased and proud that my team won and improved throughout the course of the series despite our personnel problems.” The two days break until Sunday will be enough so that “we can prepare tactically,” added the 66-year-old. “We’re not giving much thought about the entire series against Bamberg, rather just focusing on our next game. Our problem is that unfortunately we won’t have a complete squad. However, we gained self-confidence in the second half against Ludwigsburg and showed how we can and need to play.”

Reflecting on the series, CEO Marko Pesic commented that the team had shown “heart in the face of all injury problems and had two players who should not really have played.” He continued: “Now we have to see that we can put out a strong playing side. Bamberg are certainly favourites. For the first time, we’re now not the favourites and don’t have the pressure associated with that tag.”

Against Ludwigsburg long-term absentees Dusko Savanovic (finger) and Deon Thompson (calf) couldn’t play and they’re doubts again for Sunday; both guards Alex Renfroe and Anton Gavel, who missed game four, both went into the game carrying injuries. “They absolutely wanted to play, it was a big risk,” reported coach Pesic. Despite playing, there are question marks over whether they’ll be available for Sunday.

Regardless of any knee pain, Anton Gavel put in an impressive performance and was replaced with two minutes left on the clock to a standing ovation from the 5,400 fans. 24 points (3 out of 4 three-points, 7/8 in total, 5 assists) was his best return for FCBB and his highest tally since January 2014. Back then (for Bamberg), he also notched up 24 points in an 80-69 win against Ludwigsburg. “We’re very pleased to reach the semi-finals,” Gavel remarked and thanked coach Pesic as well as “the medical team for their work.”

The Brose Baskets lost just three of 34 games in the main round and remain unbeaten at home. Despite Bayern taking a 17-point lead, Bamberg won in the Audi Dome (97-90) in overtime. They also celebrated a thrilling home win in the cup semi-final in February (86-79). The Brose Baskets average 91 points per game (FCBB: 90) and boast a success rate of 54.1% (FCBB: 50.2). Their strong squad is led by Bradley Wanamaker (12.9 poins per game, 4.4 assists per game); Janis Strelnieks (11 points per game) and Daniel Theis (10.8 points per game) have also scored double digits for the star-studded Euroleague top 16 participants.

FC Bayern Basketball vs Brose Baskets Bamberg

BEKO BBL Playoffs, Semifinals
Best-of-five series

  • Game 1 - FCBB at BAMB, Sunday, May 22, 13:20 CEST
  • Game 2 - FCBB vs BAMB, Wednesday, May 25, 20:30 CEST, Audi Dome
  • Game 3 - FCBB at BAMB, Sunday, May 29, 19:30 CEST
  • Game 4* - FCBB vs BAMB, Tuesday, May 31, 20:00 CEST, Audi Dome
  • Game 5* - FCBB at BAMB, Thursday, June 2, 20:00 CEST

*if necessary