"More aggressive than ever before" - Bayern host Bamberg
This is the duel that the basketball-nation have their eyes on: third placed FC Bayern Basketball take on Bamberg, who are one spot ahead of them in second place. In recent years the teams have encountered one another in controversial games time and time again. Ever since the 2013/14 BBL season in which Bayern achieved their third ever championship title, they have witnessed firsthand the incredible efforts of the Upper Franconians: Brose Bamberg defended their league title in 2016, and defeated FC Bayern in this year’s BBL-Pokal (74-71) in January.
On Sunday (19th March, 20:15 CET) there will be plenty of basketball talent on show, and the three dominant teams: undefeated league leaders Ulm (24-0), Bamberg (23-1), and Bayern (20-3) vie for position ahead of the upcoming playoffs. The 6,700 seat Audi Dome sold out within a week, showing the anticipation for the game.
“Nothing will be ‘over’ like it was in the Pokal, but of course we’re keen to win. To do this, we all have to focus and step up,” said head coach Sasa Djordjevic. “If we want a different result we have to come out aggressively on Sunday, more aggressively than we have ever been all season. Bamberg are an experienced team, and they know about us as much as we know about them. We have to disrupt their timing and their plays, but to do that we have to focus more when defending one-on-one than we did in the Pokal final, especially against Fabien Causeur. He has taken his game to the next level.”
Whether Bayern’s new addition Dru Joyce will be deployed, remains to be soon. The American guard trained on Wednesday for the first time with the team. “We are trying to integrate him as quickly as possible into our system,” reported the coach. “But Dru is an experienced veteran, who above all is someone our younger players can learn a lot from. His playmaking ability will definitely contribute to furthering our success, and his personality fits our team perfectly.
Whilst the Bavarians were unfortunately unsuccessful in progressing to the EuroCup semi-finals, the team from Bamberg are still competing in the Euroleague, but with a record of 9-17, their goal of making the playoffs is already out of reach, and this will be confirmed after they play their final four games. Regardless, the guests and their deep squad, which features nine foreign players, coped well with the best of the best in Europe. This meant that they were able to deal with guard Janis Strelnieks’ (shoulder) injury without too much trouble. The distribution of Bamberg’s points is a testimony to just how balanced the team is, with only French guard Fabian Causeur (11.7 PPG) and Darius Miller (10.1 PPG) averaging double figures in scoring.
The duel between Bayern and Bamberg sees two of the most accurate teams from the field face off, with Bayern hitting 52.5% of their field goals, and Bamberg sinking 51.4%. The teams are statistically even in terms of rebounds, both averaging 34.4 rebounds per game, but apart from that FC Bayern have a slight advantage in terms of the statistics. However, the Franconians have the 2016 semi-final series (3-0), the reverse game (90-59) and even the Pokal game on their side, to suggest they could cause FC Bayern a lot of trouble.
FCBB’s last success against Bamberg came one year ago with an 86-79 win in the Pokal semi-final last year. The goal for Bayern, is to add another home win to the tally.
Upcoming games (all times CET):
- Sunday, 19th March, 20:15 – FCBB vs. Bamberg
- Sunday, 26th March, 15:30 – Braunschweig vs. FCBB
- Sunday, 2nd April, 18:00 – FCBB vs. Jena
- Saturday, 8th April, 18:00 – Ulm vs. FCBB
- Thursday, 13th April, 20:30 – FCBB vs. Bonn
- Sunday, 16th April, 20:30 – Vechta vs. FCBB
- Saturday, 29th April, 20:30 – Bayreuth vs. FCBB
- Monday, 1st May, 15:30 – FCBB vs. Gießen 46ers