Bayern Munich coach Andrea Trinchieri believes his side’s series against Olimpia Milano is like a chess game where “they’ve taken the first steps, now we’ll try to follow suit again”. The German side won the first-ever EuroLeague playoffs tie in their history in Munich on Wednesday, 85-79, with Vladimir Lucic (27Pts) having a hot hand to bring his team back into the series after having been down 2-0. Like Real Madrid, Bayern will be hoping to force a Game Five next Tuesday with another win on Friday.
“It’s just going to be about adjustments,” Trinchieri explained, “They’re going to change a few things, we’re going to change a few things as well.”
Trinchieri shifted his argument towards lauding Slovenian Zan Mark Sisko, who aided the team with nine points and eight assists in 26 minutes on Wednesday.
“Sisko is a pure point guard and I think he fits perfectly with Baldwin, because they are completely different. Having them both together can help us a lot, like in Barcelona. If you look at the other squads in the EuroLeague, you can’t find two guys like that anywhere else at only 24 years old (Baldwin is 25 as of late). We did something right there,” Trinchieri said.
Milan coach Ettore Messina highlighted the physicality of the games with Bayern so far.
“Every game against Bayern is always a physical match, in which rebounds are of enormous importance. In this respect, we will have to take a decisive step forward,” Messina told the club’s website.
“So far, each time there have been different protagonists on both sides. We want to build our game on cohesion and the ability to help each other as we have done many times during the season and as I am sure we will do this time too.”
First Final Four since 2014
On Wednesday, Barcelona’s Brandon Davies scored 22 points for Barca to take a second win in a row against Zenit with a second half performance which brought out the experience of the top seed. Another win on Friday will mean that the side would advance to the EuroLeague Final Four for the first time since 2014.
That being said, Zenit will be looking to stop this from happening by forcing a Game Five on Tuesday with a series-levelling win in St Petersburg. Zenit coach Xavi Pascual told the club’s website that his side will have to reduce their mistakes if they are to take back the series.
“First, we must minimize our mistakes. We know our competitor is of the highest quality. We can talk about defensive rebounds, but they are taller and stronger than us, it’s not so easy to do this. We need to improve our game on defensive rebounds like we did in Barcelona,” Pascual said.
“Of course, Barcelona have the best defense in this tournament, but we also need to be better. In general, we generally need to reduce the number of mistakes: rebounds, ball losses. And also be more effective under the ring.
“Without (Mateusz) Ponitka and (Arturas) Gudaitis, we have fewer players. Of course, we have less rotation, but we must find a way out. Barcelona have 15 players, in the last game, Claver and Westerman were out of the rotation. They have more players they have quality, opportunities for rotation. This is a knockout game, I can say that we will give everything on the court.”