Before Real and Alba

Bayern looks to win on the road in Milan

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Buckle up, please: The Bayern basketball players are approaching the holidays with a heck of a schedule, a stretch with six games in twelve days and each game more challenging than the last. First the German champion will compete on the 13th gameday in the EuroLeague with the Italian title holder Armani Olimpia Milan, starting on Wednesday evening at 20:45 in the "Mediolanum Forum" with  and expected 12,700 spectators at .

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Up next in two days, FCBB will start with two home games that are no less difficult: On Friday (21.12., 20:00 CET) EuroLeague Champion Real Madrid will visit the Audi Dome, and less than 48 hours later, on Sunday at 18:00 CET it will again be Alba Berlin, this time in the cup quarter finals.

The Bavarians can't afford to look forward to the approaching guest appearance of the "royals" in view of the task ahead in Milan. "If you want to play EuroLeague, you have to be ready for such a schedule," said FCBB coach Dejan Radonjic, who doesn't accept "any excuses". "We just have to concentrate on the next game."

After two home wins, Radonjic's team has a balanced record (6-6), as have three other teams, including Milano. After a great start, the three-time EuroLeague winner (1966, '87, '88) has suffered four defeats in a row, due in large part to several injuries. Serbian  guard Nemanja Nedovic was absent for a few weeks, but he made his comeback for the undefeated Serie A leader for the 107-106 victory in Sassari this weekend.

"They have an excellent squad, this time created for big goals," said coach Radonjic. There's a lot of respect for playmaker Mike James, one of the best shooters in the league with 20.5 points per game and he's been outstanding so far". The experienced American came out of the NBA (Phoenix, New Orleans) this summer. Forward Vladimir Micov, former Radonjic student at Podgorica (14.5 ppg) and Center Arturas Gutaitis (12.6 ppg/7.4 rpg) are also difficult to defend.

With 12.5 offensive rebounds, Milan is second in this category - a discipline that was difficult for the Bavarians during their 83-81 win in the BBL over Berlin. FCBB-Guard Petteri Koponen said: "We have to improve at rebounding, we just have to box out better. Milan has a very talented team. All we have to do now is concentrate on this next task, because we want to try to surprise with a victory in Milan".

The Bavarians will be missing the former Milan professional Milan Macvan (cruciate ligament) and Devin Booker (ankle joint) as well as the ill Alex King and Braydon Hobbs (both infections). According to Randonjic, King, who was not used against Berlin, is again scheduled for Real and Berlin. In place of Hobbs, FCBB talent Nelson Weidemann travelled to Milan on Tuesday, the youngster led the young ProB team to their home victory over the Ulm farm team this last weekend with 28 points.

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