The meeting between Zalgiris and Bayern will take place on Friday, November 17, in Lithuania. The match starts at 20.00 Kyiv time.
Despite the fact that the new Euroleague season began relatively recently, and each round fundamentally changes the appearance of the standings, many teams have already been distributed across its floors. It is not surprising that matches between such neighbors arouse increased interest, and victory in a head-on fight over a direct competitor carries a lot of weight. One of these meetings will take place today in Kaunas, where two teams who are trying to reach the playoff zone will come face to face. We are talking about the Lithuanian Zalgiris and the German Bayern.
The Baltic club did not have the most outstanding transfer campaign in the offseason, especially compared to most other Euroleague teams. However, this did not stop Kazys Maksvytis’s team from making an excellent start (three wins and one loss). However, things didn’t go well for the Lithuanians. In the next four matches, Zalgiris suffered four defeats, and their opponents were not the tournament leaders, except for the Spanish Valencia, with whom they can still play. The successful start of the new season so far allows the “green-whites” not to fall to the bottom of the standings (before the ninth round, the Lithuanian champion was in thirteenth place), but if the current winless streak continues, then such a turn of events may turn out to be quite real.
Here is a complete list of Zalgiris’ results in the current Euroleague:
October 5. “Virtus Bologna” (Italy) – “Zalgiris” (Lithuania) – 79:82
October 13. “Zalgiris” (Lithuania) – “Crvena Cvezda” (Serbia) – 79:74
17 October. “Real” (Spain) – “Zalgiris” (Lithuania) – 93:79
October 19. “Basconia” (Spain) – “Zalgiris” (Lithuania) – 82:99
27th October. “Zalgiris” (Lithuania) – “Valencia” (Spain) – 72:87
November 2. “Zalgiris” (Lithuania) – “ASVEL” (France) – 88:91
November 9. “Anadolu Efes” (Turkey) – “Zalgiris” (Lithuania) – 86:82 (OT)
15th of November. “Panathinaikos” (Greece) – “Zalgiris” (Lithuania) – 73:71
The leaders of the Lithuanian club at this stage of the season are American guard Keenan Evans (14.8 points per game on average + 3.9 assists, efficiency rating – 17.1 points) and Latvian big man Rolands Smits (13.5 points + 4.9 rebounds, efficiency rating – 15.5 points).
Before the start of the current season in Munich, they decided to build a new basketball project with much larger funding than before. Serious players were invited to the team, such as defender Leandro Bolmaro, big man Devin Booker or the recent world champion in the German national team Isaac Bonga. And the main signing of Bayern was the Spanish big man Serge Ibaka, who at the end of his career returned from the NBA to Europe. The Spanish coach Pablo Laso, who won two Euroleagues with Real Madrid, was invited to head the renewed German club, but in 2022 the continental giant stopped working with him due to serious health problems with the coach.
However, as often happens in the history of such projects, the first seasons for them are not stable and are rather a grinding period for realizing their capabilities and potential. Something similar can be observed in Bayern, which either beats the powerful Partizan at home, then loses to clubs of the caliber of Panathinaikos and Maccabi Tel Aviv in a bitter fight, or loses heavily with a difference of -39 to the Spanish Barcelona. Currently the club is in fourteenth place in the standings.
Results of Bayern in the Euroleague 2023/2024:
October 5. “Bavaria” (Germany) – “Alba” (Germany) – 80:68
October 12. “Panathinaikos” (Greece) – “Bayern” (Germany) – 78:71
17 October. “Basconia” (Spain) – “Bavaria” (Germany) – 68:76
The 20th of October. Barcelona (Spain) – Bayern (Germany) – 98:59
27th October. “Bayern” (Germany) – “Fenerbahce” (Türkiye) – 67:76
November 2. “Crvena Cvezda” (Serbia) – “Bayern” (Germany) – 74:68
November 9. Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) – Bayern (Germany) – 93:90
15th of November. “Bavaria” (Germany) – “Partizan” (Serbia) – 94:85
The leading roles in the team at the moment are American big man Devin Booker (9.5 points scored + 5.9 rebounds, efficiency rating – 11.8 points) and the status of Spanish ex-NBA player Serge Ibaka (9.9 points + 6 rebounds collected) , efficiency rating – 11.4 points).
Zalgiris and Bayern have already lost quite a lot at the start, so another defeat is definitely not included in their plans. Especially from a direct competitor in the fight for a place in the playoff zone. The strengths of the teams are approximately equal, which is confirmed by their neighboring places in the standings. But it can be assumed that the Lithuanians, with the help of the always loud home stands, will be able to defeat the guests from Germany.
Sport.ua forecast: Zalgiris victory
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