One morning in Munich, seven days before the first game in the series that they are likely to lose, Ognjen Jaramaz is sitting in the FC Bayern basketball hall with his teammate Vladimir Lučić and laughing.

He just heard Lučić, the leader, raving about him, the newcomer.

Christopher Meltzer

Sports correspondent in Munich.

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And he felt Lučić tugging at his trousers with his hand and pretending to take a bill.

Even the otherwise rather quiet Jaramaz had to laugh louder.

Even if this good old gag was funny at the moment, one should still say to be on the safe side: At least since this season you don't have to be bribed to rave about Ognjen Jaramaz, 26 years old and 1.93 meters tall.

18 euros for a Barça victory

This Tuesday (9 p.m. on MagentaSport) the play-offs in the Euroleague, the most demanding competition in European basketball, begin for Jaramaz and FC Bayern.

They play in the quarter-final series against the first in the main round: FC Barcelona.

At least three times, at most five times.

Whoever wins three duels gets into the Final Four.

In Barcelona, ​​where they play on Tuesday and Thursday this week, there are so many top players waiting for them that it is pointless to list them all.

The balance of power can therefore also be represented with betting odds.

If you bet 100 euros on a win by FC Barcelona for the first game, you can win 18 euros.

If you bet 100 euros on a Bayern Munich win, you can win 370 euros.

In the betting shops everyone agrees that the Germans will have nothing to smile about from this Tuesday onwards.

Anyone who still relies on her in this series must also believe in Ognjen Jaramaz.

In his first Euroleague main round he collected an average of six points per game.

And although his form, his minutes and his points have increased in the second half of the season, his season statistics correctly classify his standing: he has a small role on the big stage.

So why should you believe in him?

You can say that without statistics: in order to win against FC Barcelona, ​​not only the leaders have to play at the highest level, but also the newcomers.

If you want to know what to expect from Ognjen Jaramaz, you have to ask Vladimir Lučić.

As basketball pros, they play in different positions - and yet have a similar path behind them.

They come from Serbia, where they were trained at Partizan Belgrade.

In the summer of 2021, Jaramaz left his homeland and moved to Munich, where Lučić has lived for almost six years and is now talking about Jaramaz.

About a young man who, for the first time in his life, is living in a foreign country with a foreign language for longer than six months.

And by a young player who is involved in the Euroleague for the first time in his career and who can cause a stir there because of his quick first steps.

Lučić says: "He does what he's supposed to do."

"He's a deep person"

“He made great games.

And he played terrible games.” That says Andrea Trinchieri, the head coach of FC Bayern.

He, who coached Jaramaz in Belgrade, calls him a "volume" player, one who always has ideas with the ball in his hands.

Sometimes these are great.

Sometimes terrible.

But he also says: "When someone has so many ideas and actions, you can't expect him not to make mistakes." And then there's something else that coach Trinchieri says about the player Jaramaz: "He's a deep person .

He has a tendency to overthink basketball."

Yes, says Ognjen Jaramaz later, there is probably some truth to that.

He is still in the process of adjusting to the level in Munich, the level in the Euroleague.

You can already see his assertiveness when he, who is smaller and weaker than many, puts the ball into the ring under the basket despite physical contact.

What kind of player will he be once he's adjusted?

His coach says: "It's not yet certain where his limit will be." That can be said not only about Ognjen Jaramaz, but also about his club.

A year ago, FC Bayern became the first German team to make it into the play-off round of the Euroleague in this way.

He has now confirmed that - even if he benefited from the exclusion of Russian clubs because of Putin's attack on Ukraine.

Playoffs as freestyle

Where the international limit will be for Bayern, who as shareholders have the right to start in the Euroleague, will probably only be seen from the end of 2023.

Then the Bavarians will move to the new hall in Munich's Olympic Park, which could open up new financial opportunities for them.

For FC Bayern, the play-off round of the Euroleague is still a freestyle.

It is mandatory for FC Barcelona.

Therefore, Trinchieri says: “If they play well and we play well, they will win.

If they play well and we play excellently, they can still win."