May 22, 2024

Gillespie Center blocks FCB basketball to beat Belgrade – Sports

Even when Freddie Gillespie is standing in front of you in an oversized sweater and talking relaxed style, those long arms instantly catch the eye. Its wingspan is estimated at 2.30 meters, and its girth is 2.06 meters, which are very useful dimensions for basketball professionals. Like Thursday night in the match against Red Star Belgrade: In the furious final stage, Bayern Munich’s heart was a standout for the home team in the Audi Dome, and he decisively contributed to the 87:80 win.

With five minutes remaining, Munich were still nine points behind, to the delight of the Serbian crowd, who were clearly outnumbered and turned the dome into a madhouse. But then the hosts turned it on – and eventually the game. Above all, Bayern captain Vladimir Lucic clearly had little desire to concede defeat to the second Euroleague representative from Belgrade in front of his frantic compatriots after the home defeat to Partizan almost four weeks ago. The Serbia international contributed 12 of his 20 points in the final quarter, making him the leading scorer alongside Cassius Winston, who also scored 20. In addition, the 33-year-old has returned to form that makes him irreplaceable for his team after a long injury.

At the start of the season, Freddie Gillespie was still listening to the coach’s instructions with wide eyes, but now he’s applying them spectacularly.

Winston formed the game for Bayern Munich in the first half, after all, the playmaker came to Munich as part of the piñata that sports director Daniele Paesi brought to Izar from the USA. The second part is Center Gillespie, who, like Winston, is 25 years old and is coping better and better in his first professional stint outside the United States – and thus becoming more valuable to the team. At the beginning of the season, the giant often stood with his teammates with wide eyes and listened to the instructions of coach Andrea Trincheri. Meanwhile, he does this amazingly well. The circle of European debutants has also been expanded to include the winger who will replace Augustin Robett-Zylan-Chetham, who will be out until the end of the season. Cheatham comes from the New Orleans Pelicans’ farm team, which plays in the NBA’s G-League, and has a similar history to Winston and Gillespie. The 27-year-old followed the match against Belgrade behind Bayern Bank and posted the first videos.

Getting started in Europe wasn’t easy, says Gillespie: “It’s a different country, a different style of basketball, the court is smaller, and the game is more tactical. I had a lot to learn.” European professionals are better trained tactically, everyone has a high basketball IQ: “That’s why players like Luka Doncic or Nikola Jokic play a decisive role in the NBA.”

The FCB learning process seems to be going reasonably well, Gillespie is already the fourth best player in the Europa League. It’s still the amazing blocks with which he carried spectators away on Thursday night, but he’s also become a factor in offense. He contributed eight points to the victory over Belgrade, and in the exciting final stage he managed three very important points. “I think I’m learning more every day and now I feel more comfortable and confident on the pitch. That’s the biggest change.” What Bayern Munich also plays a big role: on the one hand, he feels very comfortable with his teammates, and “the club does a lot to make the change as easy as possible for you.”

Coach Trencherry Gillespie compares it to fine wine. It still needs the right amount of oxygen in order for it to taste good

And Gillespie is far from exhausting his opportunities, which his coach shared in his own way. No, “Freddy wasn’t very good the whole game,” Trenchery decided after the win. The Italian rarely doubts himself with too many compliments, preferring to use a metaphor he likes when describing his position: “Freddy is like a fine wine.” On the one hand, this documents the Milanese’s closeness to fine wines, but at the same time expresses the fact that he expects Gillespie to do better. A good wine needs “the right amount of oxygen” to fully develop its flavour. However, after two mistakes the quarterback made on defense, “my coaching staff listened and let him go,” Trinchieri reported. “Then he just had to protect the area, I think that was the key to winning.”

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Since then, Gillespie has defended the basket with his octopus arms against the Serbian stellar guards, who recently added Facundo Campazzo to first-choice duo Nemanja Nedovic and Luca Vildoza, who were knocked out of the NBA by the Dallas Mavericks. Bayern turned the game around 14-0 and, with their 10th win from 16 defeats, moved up to 14th in the table. The eighth and last place in the playoffs lost three wins in eight matches. Given the quality of competitors, this goal is probably of a theoretical nature. Not a problem for Gillespie anyway: “In the Euroleague, every game is so tough that you can’t look ahead too much. You have to focus on what’s right in front of you.”