It was not an ordinary game for the Pesic family. Coaching legend Svetislav Pesic was sitting on FC Barcelona Lassa's bench, trying to lead his team to its first win in this year's Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Sitting in the VIP tribune was his son, Marko Pesic, FC Bayern Munich's general manager. Both Svetislav and Marko Pesic had worked together in Bayern for three seasons but this is the first team that Barcelona and Bayern faced each other since Coach Pesic's return to Palau Blaugrana last season.
"I have the advantage that I know all the players in their team and their coaches, their president and vice-president, and especially their general manager," Pesic said afterward. "But sometimes this doesn't help."
Barcelona led almost all the way and showcased all the virtues that have made Pesic's teams famous over the years. Barcelona shot the ball well (61.9% 2FG); was aggressive, outrebounding Bayern by 37-20; and took good care of the ball, getting 20 assists to just 12 turnovers. As many as five players scored in double digits, and the team hustled for 8 steals and 5 blocks. The PIR difference left no doubt about which team wanted it more: Barcelona finished with 107 and Bayern had 70. It was also a bittersweet return for two Bayern players who formerly wore Barcelona uniforms. Petteri Koponen went scoreless, while and Nihad Dedovic ha 9 points, but could not help his team get a valuable road win.
Pesic praised his opponents right after the game, making clear the respect he has for Bayern and head coach Dejan Radonjic.
"It was a difficult game for us because we played against a very physical and well-coached team," Pesic said. "It is very difficult to play against a team that plays team basketball. Bayern is a team that will surprise many opponents in the EuroLeague."