Munich - FC Bayern Basketball are in the middle of their Bavarian portion of the schedule that will decide their immediate future. The Ballers travel to Ulm this evening and then to Bamberg on Saturday, hoping to win on the road and clinch a spot in the German basketball domestic cup tournament, the DBB Pokal.
They split their first two derby matches, losing at Würzburg versus the s.Oliver Baskets before Christmas and then taking care of BBC Bayreuth at home before the turn of the calendar. One more win in either of these next two matches may help secure a spot in the mini-tournament that will add important matches to help give Dirk Bauermann's club more game time.
But the odds are stacked against Bayern when it comes to playing on the road, especially in the next two matches. They are a strong 8-1 at home in the Audi Dome, but a paltry 1-5 on the road. Sure, the defeats have been close, but still - a loss is a loss. And now they venture into hostile arenas against the top two clubs in the Beko BBL.
ratiopharm ulm sit second in the table, with a 12-3 record and 5-0 at the 'Witches Den'. They are led by Isaiah Swann's 14.9 ppg and John Bryant's 14.4 ppg and 9.7 rpg.
"This upcoming match in Ulm will be one of our toughest matches this season," admits head coach Bauermann. "They are a balanced team and have earned their spot at the top of the table."
And it won't get easier, as Bayern will travel to the Brose Baskets, the defending league champs, who currently lead the league standings with a 13-2 record. They are undefeated at home as well after seven matches.
Munich currently sit in a qualification spot for the domestic cup, but two losses may drop them out of the tournament that will make it's cut when the league hits the halfway point of the season schedule this weekend.
Bayern vs. ulm will be live on sport1 tonight and you can follow the action on Twitter @sal_TMT_sports.