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Coach Messina: “Bayern is discipline and defense, we need to rebound and obstacle their ball movement”


Olimpia’s EuroLeague season begins on the road, in Munich, against Bayern (the game is going to be played on October 3, Thursday). The two teams battled last season in a couple of very close games, as they had done in the 2014/15 season, for a spot in the playoffs which eventually escaped both. The game will be played in the historical Audi Dome, the venue that hosted the 1972 Olympic final. Bayern won the German championship last season and is still coached by Dejan Radonjic: during the preseason, they played in South America and then debuted against Hamburg in the German league, winning 111-55. Bayern should play without guard TJ Bray and forward Josh Huestis: both of them missed the league game last Monday. It will be the first EuroLeague game for Greg Monroe, a former NBA’s first-round pick from Georgetown with several NBA stops in his career, the most successful ones in Detroit and Milwaukee.

OLIMPIA – Olimpia has just lost its first game of the season, in the Italian league, against Brescia. The 2-for-21 in three-point shooting cost dearly. Historically, the team is 6-7 in European debuts, 2-4 when playing on the road, but the last win dates back to last season, in Podgorica. The team leaves for Munich and stays on the road until Saturday night when it will play in Trieste. The game could be the first for Luis Scola in the EuroLeague since the 2006/07 season. Scola is the only player with Felipe Reyes of Real Madrid (older than him by about a month) to have taken part in the first edition of the current EuroLeague in 2000/01. Vlado Micov, who didn’t play in the Italian league last game, because of back spasms has yet to completely recover, so he stayed in Milan for more treatment sessions. Nemanja Nedovic and Arturas Gudaitis are recovering, but remained in Milan to complete the process.

COACH ETTORE MESSINA – “We start this EuroLeague campaign in Munich, against a team that changed some players, but kept the same philosophy under the same coach. They are a very good defensive team, disciplined, that will try to ride its new star, Greg Monroe. In order to try to win the game, it will be important to obstacle their ball circulation and to control the rebounding battle”.

THE OPPONENT – Bayern kept several key players from last season, such as the dead-eye shooter Petteri Koponen (a 45.5% career three-point shooting specialist who converts 91.7% of his free throws), the Serbian national team forward Vladimir Lucic, the Germans Maodo Lo, Alex King, Danilo Barthel, plus the naturalized center Leon Radosevic and obviously Nihad Dedovic, an iconic player for Bayern, entering his seventh season in Munich. Stefan Jovic and Derrick Williams are among the most significant players that left the team in the summer, but many important players were signed, three of whom with relevant NBA experiences, such as Greg Monroe, Josh Huestis (four years in Oklahoma City, although with many stints in the G-League) and the German small forward Paul Zipser (103 appearances with the Chicago Bulls). Newcomers are also TJ Bray, a dominant player in Vechta during the last season in Germany, and the French rim runner Mathias Lessort, who spent the last season in Malaga. Experienced guard DeMarcus Nelson was signed after Bray’s injury, which should be out, and the Bergamo-born Diego Flaccadori is also a newcomer.