Andrea Trinchieri and visiting coach Georgios Bartzokas still had a lot to say to each other after the final siren, and they clearly didn’t share a completely unanimous opinion. After the 71:82 defeat, the FC Bayern basketball coach also spoke of a few “Solala decisions” made by the referees in the final phase of this Euroleague game. And when asked whether one could at least speak of a good team performance, the 54-year-old replied that one could read some good things about it, but what really interested him most was: “We had a chance to win.” In short: Trinchieri was annoyed that he didn’t take anything countable – although as a table penultimate you shouldn’t be so angry about it against the second in the table.
The demands on themselves have risen again after the team responded to a false start with five consecutive defeats in international competition with two wins. In addition, Trinchieri finally had his entire team together and, last week, he also gained an experienced player in Niels Giffey.
Finally, the coach can draw on the full, but then the flu strikes
But the next setback came in the middle of the week: several players signed off because of influenza, including Corey Walden and Elias Harris; Paul Zipser was out due to a bruise. It is not known whether the virus caught was of the alpha, beta, gamma or delta genus, but the failures left the team with insufficient depth to compete against the Greek alpha males. It was only enough against the beta selection. Because the starting line-up of the guests around the Bulgarian Sasha Vezenkov, who was in impressive form, and the 2.18-meter center Moustapha Fall dominated the game. On the other hand, when the second guard was on the field, Bayern dominated. But not enough to make up the deficit.
“The first quarter cost us the game,” said Trinchieri in his analysis, because Bayern showed nerves against the commanding starting lineup of Olympiakos (and their frenetic supporters in the Audi Dome): Othello Hunter let the shot clock run down, Isaac Bonga set a simple layup next to it, Cassius Winston broke off a throw while moving, the ball fell at the opponent’s feet. The fact that the core squad of ten players then came within four points at all was all the more remarkable. With captain Vladimir Lucic and Ognjen Jaramaz posted midweek for Serbia (who narrowly won a crucial World Cup qualifier against Turkey), Lucic was on the pitch for nearly 24 minutes against Piraeus.
“That’s why I don’t look at the negative things, but at the good things,” said Trinchieri then somewhat forgivingly. Jaramaz, the best shooter with 12 points despite only ten minutes of play, commented on the lack of teammates: “Hopefully they’ll be back soon so that our positive development can continue.” In his opinion, it is only a short, health-related interruption to this development. A big point of criticism from the coach, however, was that his team fouled too much – Piraeus scored nine points more from the free-throw line than Bayern.
A series of away games are planned for Bayern in the coming days. After the guest appearance at Mitteldeutsche BC (Saturday, 6 p.m.) they go to Lyon on Wednesday for the first game in a long time against a Euroleague table neighbor. The season is still long, Bayern have to hope that the flu season will be much shorter.