The Bavarians want to get back on track against Zenit

St. Petersburg will be a test with Alex Renfroe and Gustavo Ayon

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After two clear losses on foreign terrain, FC Bayern's basketball players are back at home in the EuroLeague: On Friday evening (13.12.), Zenit St. Petersburg,  andformer FCBB Guard, Alex Renfroe, with the long-time Real Madrid Centre Gustavo Ayon, will be guests at the Audi Dome (tip-off at 20:30 CET). The Russians are currently 3-8 in the premier class while the German champions (4-8) are aiming for their fifth victory.

Tickets: FCBB vs. St. Petersburg

Bayern will then continue with two further EuroLeague games: On Wednesday (18.12., 20:30), Alba Berlin will host the first German rivalry game in the premier class, before they will meet again with former FCBB coach, Svetislav Pesic (2014) and his former final MVP Malcolm Delaney on Friday (20.12. 20:30) in a duel against the title favourite FC Barcelona.

Tickets: FCBB vs. FC Barcelona

One of the most spectacular transfers of the summer
First off is the very important duel with the team from the world's northernmost metropolis, with EuroLeague newcomer Zenit visiting Munich. The last time Bayern met the up-and-coming Russian representative in the EuroCup was in January 2018. In the 80-78 road win, the then FCBB power forward Milan Macvan (now with Tokyo) was seriously injured in his last game in a Munich jersey. While St. Petersburg won both EuroCup games against the FCBB in  2016, they won twice in 2018.

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The top scorer for Zenits is the two-time EuroLeague champion, Gustavo Ayon (13.6 ppg). The transfer of the 34-year-old center was one of the most spectacular of the EuroLeague summer. With an average of 5.7 rebounds, the Mexican is alson the best rebounder on his team - and third best offensive rebounder (2.7 orpg) in the league. He is supported offensively by the Polish forward Mateusz Ponitka (10,2 pppg), who will probably have to sit due to a muscle injury.

Josh Huestis finally back in training
A lot of responsibility lies on the shoulders of the former Munich resident Alex Renfroe. The guard, who played for Bayern for almost one and a half years (49 BBL games, 8.5 ppg), scored an average of 6.3 points and 5.2 assists per game. On the last gameday against Villeurbanne (75-70) the American led the team with 16 points (13 in the second half) and eight assists to clinch the first EuroLeague home win in the history of the club. Further successes also came at Olympiakos (77-68) and in Kaunas (82-70).  

Former Vechta forward Austin Hollins also provides double-digit scoring averages with ten points per game. In the Eastern European VTB League St. Petersburg currently occupies a rather disappointing eighth place and in their last game the team of the Spanish head coach Joan Plaza lost 108-101 to top-team Khimki Moscow around Devin Booker and Stefan Jovic.

In Munich, Greg Monroe (12.7 ppg), Vladimir Lucic (11.5) and Maodo Lo (11) have so far averaged double-digit points thanks a lot to their three-point shooting. Paul Zipser (8.6) and captain Danilo Barthel (8.3) have also been reliable. Monroe is the second best ball thief in the EuroLeague with 1.6 Steals.

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Meanwhile coach Dejan Radonjic has hopes for a timely aid to their depth. Josh Huestis is finally back in team training after a good two and a half months break due to a knee injury suffered in Miami. His return is planned for Berlin. Nihad Djedovic (knee pain), Leon Radosevic (ankle ligament injury). TJ Bray (foot operation) are also making good progress.

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