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Preview // 09.01.2018 14:38 Uhr

Bayern looking to beat Vilnius at home in Top 16

After five away games within 19 days, the Bayern basketballers will finally contest their first home game of the New Year in the Audi Dome on Wednesday (10th January). The match against Lithuanian capital club Rytas Vilnius follows the 76-90 result in Turin one week ago to qualify for the Top16 round of the EuroCup. The situation is similar for the 2009 EuroCup winners – Vilnius narrowly lost at home in front of roughly 7,000 fans against joint favorites St. Petersberg 96-98 and are third in Group F. The top two placed teams will progress to the quarterfinals.

Tip-off is on Wednesday at 19:00 CET.

“The game will be decisive as to how far we can progress in the EuroCup; we absolutely want to win this,” says FCBB international player Danilo Barthel ahead of Bayern’s first ever game against Rytas. In Turin, the team “put in the worst performance of the season so far. We want to do ourselves justice. However, Vilnius are a very physical and athletic team and they have some great players.”

Bayern head coach Sasa Djordjevic characterises the guests as a “typical team of a country where basketball is the number one sport. They use their bench well, they’re very fit, they play with a high tempo and also have a coach who has won the EuroCup multiple times. But we’re playing at home; we love the atmosphere in the Audi Dome and our fans will push us on.”

Rytas Coach Rimas Kurtinaitis, a former Bundesliga player in Hagen and 1988 Olympic champion, won the EuroCup with Vilnius as coach in 2009 as well as twice with BC Khimki in 2012 and 2015. There are also plenty of home-grown talents in the team for his second spell at Rytas, led by forward Rokas Giedraitis (11.5 points per game). However, the top scorer is Greek-born – the EuroLeague-experienced center Loukas Mavrokefalidis (16.8 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game) and playmaker Chris Kramer, the long-standing Oldenburg point guard (11.9 points per game). With seven assists per game, the American is the best chance creator in the competition.

Alba Berlin saw how well the team can work together in the previous round in their duel for second place as they were beaten convincingly 73-94. Vilnius recently set an all-time record in their domestic competition LKL: Kurtinaitis’ men picked up 65 rebounds in Saturday’s 113-56 home win over Vytautas.

Upcoming fixtures:

  • Wednesday 10th January, 19:00 CET: FCBB – Vilnius/LTU (EuroCup Top16)
  • Wednesday 17th January, 19:30 CET: FCBB – St. Petersburg (EuroCup Top16)
  • Sunday 21st January, 19:00 CET: FCBB – Bamberg (Cup quarterfinal)
  • Wednesday 24th January, 18:00 CET: St. Petersburg – FCBB (EuroCup Top16)
  • Friday 26th January, 20:30 CET: Würzburg – FCBB (easyCredit BBL)
  • Wednesday 31st January, 20:00 CET: FCBB – Turin (EuroCup Top16)
  • Saturday 3rd February, 20:30 CET: FCBB – Bayreuth (easyCredit BBL)
  • Wednesday 7th February, 18:00 CET: Vilnius – FCBB (EuroCup Top16)