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style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Sun 18th Dec, 2011

Bayern Basketball host TBB Trier to stop losing streak

Audi Dome, Munich - Bayern Basketball are at a crossroads.  

After their elimination from the Eurocup earlier this week in Italy, and then suffering a heartbreaking loss on the road at Bremerhaven, Munich has two choices:

Not let the elimination from European competition ruin their domestic season, or allow the disappointment to seep into the morale.

Head coach Dirk Bauermann discussed how they are working to get back on track.  "We are looking at things that (the team is) doing well and try to be as positive as possible.  Our confidence is a little down."

Munich will get a chance to turn things around Saturday night when they host TBB Trier, tip-off 19:00 CET.

Bayern had earned a questionable wild card directly into the Eurocup this year, after only earning promotion into Germany's top league last year.

In a podcast with The Munich Times back in October, Bauermann did not shy away from the fact that Bayern Munich is a brand name in European sports and attracted the competition to include them despite not playing in the BBL.  But he also added that the qualification was an appreciation to the club for their accomplishments, coming from nowhere and earning promotion into Germany's top basketball league.

(Editor's note: listen to the SOS Podcast with guest Bayern Basketball head coach Dirk Bauermann.  Download here.)

The group draw was a tough one for Munich, and after winning the first one at home against Benetton Basket, the club fought hard but dropped the next four matches, including a blowout loss by the revenging Italians.

"I thought we played well as team," said Bauermann.  "They just shot the lights out, they had great rhythm and confidence.  We played just as well but they just made every shot.  And we gave them too many uncontested shots and layups underneath."

Now the club turns its attention back to the Beko BBL, where they sit 8th in the table.  Since a 4-1 start, the team has lost 4 of their past 7 games, including 3 close losses on the road.  

Against the Ice Bears last Saturday, Bayern held a five point lead in the final two minutes, only to let Bremerhaven finish on a 9-0 and steal the victory.

And if form holds, the 5,000 fans expected Saturday night should expect a victory, as Bayern have alternated between wins and losses the last seven games.

Even during their victories, Bayern has been unable to finish off games as their offense disappears in the 4th quarter.  Two months into the season, the club has not fielded a steady lineup due to players coming and going, and the usual injuries.  The ever-changing rotation may have caught up to the team.

"We are not playing bad basketball, but if you can't get over the hump and win those (close) games, it takes a toll on your confidence."

The question is now that Bayern are not in Europe, they will revert to one game a week, and will playing less games help them?

"The more games we play, the better we become," countered center Jared Homan.  "We now have more time to practice and grow as a team, but there's no substitute for playing actual games."

Inside the Numbers:  Bayern have been outscored in the fourth quarter (and overtime) in 10 of their first 12 Beko BBL games so far this season.

Editor's Note:  Salman Mitha will be tweeting live from game on Saturday night, follow @sal_TMT_sports

Next up for Bayern Basketball at the Audi Dome

Sat, Dec 17th vs. TBB Trier (BBL), 19:00
Tue, Dec 20th vs. Cedevita Zagreb (Eurocup), 20:00
Thu, Dec 29th vs. Bayreuth (BBL), 18:05

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