Munich - FC Bayern Basketball head coach Dirk Bauermann was looking forward to his team's derby showdown today against s.Oliver Baskets. Not only to avenge last year's tough loss in Würzburg during both teams' promotion campaign, but also hoping that his team would be playing well enough into this important early season game.
After questionable losses in the Eurocup and on the road against Bremerhaven, Bauermann aimed to win the next two - which they have - and hope it continues today and through the season.
"We will have to bring that high quality basketball, control our nerves, and not be overhelmed by the atmosphere," said the 9-time BBL champion head coach.
Not only is this a regional derby, this match up has a little more spice as both teams were neck-and-neck last year in the ProA, the second division of German professional basketball.
On Oct 30, 2010, s.Oliver beat Bayern 63-55, FCB's only loss until the ProA championship and promotion was clinched. Leading scorer on last year's team, Jonathan Wallace was held to only 5 points in that loss. But he and team were able to exact some revenge in the return game.
At a soldout Olympiahalle, Munich jumped out to an early lead and held on for a 82-75 win on February 20th of this year. Wallace scored 22 points. But they will once again have to play against the elements at s.Oliver Arena - the crowd and the 'home court advantage' that resulted in the loss last year.
And if they don't get the calls again? "We are professionals, we've all experienced these situations - in EuroBasket, in college basketball," said German international Robin Benzing. "We have to keep cool heads no matter what happens."
Bayern will have to not only contend with the raucous crowd, but leading scorers Chris Kramer (11.7 ppg) and Ricky Harris (11.4). s.Oliver are coming into the match reeling after three consecutive league losses, two of them on the road and a home game against powerhouse Brose Bamberg.
They will be facing a Bayern team that has found it's stride over the past games, beating TBB Trier last weekend and then Cedevita Zagreb in their final Eurocup match. The Baskets will have to find a solution for Chevon Troutman, who leads the team with 15.7 ppg and 7.0 rebounds per game (rpg).
Despite joining the team after the season started, Troutman has established himself as the 'go-to guy'. "I'm just finding the rhythm inside this offense and I'm able to do more than just score on the block," said the American who recently played in Italy.
Tip-off is at 18:05 CET and while you wrap your last minute gifts, you can watch live on sport1. Or follow on Twitter @sal_TMT_sports.