The basketball players of Bayern are against Brunswick clear favorite. The team around captain Danilo Barthel has the most quality in the squad.
That the coach extended prematurely? "Congratulations," says Danilo Barthel, but he is currently less concerned with personal details: "Now there are playoffs, everything else is unimportant." Just in time for the finals, Bayern have extended the contract with Dejan Radonjic for a season, which should provide security on the way to the title defense. The drop is high at the champions, who not only as a favorite in the playoff quarter-final against Braunschweig, which begins on Saturday with the home game in the Audi Dome (20:30 clock).
Munich lost only three games in the main round and despite the double load in the Euroleague even almost as the first German team reached the round of the last eight. Brunswick solved the playoff ticket only on the last match day, which is sufficient for outsiders chances. The fact that one should underestimate any opponent is for Bayern since last year more than a rush, there were the Munich despite home advantage against Frankfurt with 1: 2 in the behind, another away defeat would have meant the premature end. "I still have that in my head," says Captain Danilo Barthel, "we suddenly stood with our backs to the wall." Following a lax attitude: "If you do not take the first round seriously, it can quickly backfire." He will refresh this memory in the circle of colleagues, "especially with the guys who were not there". Barthel himself can do something to prevent such mischief. The 27-year-old was voted the most valuable player in the playoffs last year, and he has continued to evolve. When Barthel moved to Munich three years ago, the young international always emphasized that he wanted to learn in the first round of the many top players. Modest he is still, Barthel speaks softly and wisely. Loud, he is only on the floor, where he is getting better, not infrequently consider him already for one of the best power forwards of the entire basketball league. How much the colleagues value him, shows his choice to the captain, a like the 2.07 meter tall Barthel like to know at his side, a fighter who never gives up.
Since the Euroleague-out in early April, players and coaching team can concentrate on the league, which brought with it some extra shifts in the training hall. Especially in the past three weeks "we had to work very hard," says Barthel, which even gave the staff "one or two blushes". But now, in time for the final phase of the season, all players are fit, only Robin Amaize, who still pinches his knee, will probably be missing for now. No good news for opponents Braunschweig, who in turn has to relinquish a key player in Center Scott Eatherton injury. A bitter loss, the Americans is the second best points collector in the team of Lower Saxony. Thus even more responsibility on Braunschweig's top scorer DeAndre Lansdowne load, the playmaker scored just under 20 points on average.
A comparison with the Bayern squad prohibits anyway, in this team is even Danilo Barthel one of many. Whether NBA import Derrick Williams, Vladimir Lucic, Petteri Koponen, director Stefan Jovic, Maodo Lo or Center-Brocken Devin Booker: Coach Radonjic is spoiled for choice with a collection of high-caliber talent, he can rotate without noticeable loss of quality and thus save resources. A foreigner must even take a seat in the stands, as only a maximum of six per game may participate. Nevertheless, says Barthel, it is indispensable to confront the adversary with respect and due seriousness, the defeat in Bonn in the last major round game reminded this in good time: "We have to remain closed and hold together, even if one game time in another direction goes. "
The coach's wish is simpler: "Better defend than against Bonn," Radonjic says. Whether he is pleased about the contract extension? He says, "I have more important things in my head."
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