The 23rd matchday in the easyCredit German Basketball League ended with a clear 68:100 (38:47) defeat for medi Bayreuth on the road at Alba Berlin. In front of 11,697 spectators in the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Head Coach Raoul Korner saw his team lose to the currently second-placed side – and afterwards expressed his extreme dissatisfaction, in particular with his team’s mindset.
The Heroes Of Tomorrow were able to keep up with Berlin to some extent in the first half, but a 21:6 run right after the break put the home side on the path to victory. Whereas the Albatrosses thereby got into their stride, many Bayreuth players became disgruntled – and not only because of the lack of luck with their shots. The visitors conceded the second half by 30:53 and so ultimately lost by a wide margin.
Two weeks after the clear defeat in the cup semi-final, the Heroes Of Tomorrow were a match for the home side to begin with. Both teams showed good form in defense and offense and it was only when Siva drained a bucket from beyond the arc that Alba managed to open up a slight gap in the sixth minute (17:12). Whereas medi continued to exert a lot of pressure in defense, it squandered good opportunities when building its own plays, which Berlin capitalized on to lead by five points at the end of the first period.
The home side snapped up offensive rebounds to have a second chance to score and managed to pull 31:20 in front after two quick three-pointers, forcing Raoul Korner to call his first timeout. Berlin also replied to Bayreuth’s best move – a behind-the-back pass by Nate Linhart to De’Mon Brooks, who made it 28:38 – with a bucket from downtown. Berlin continued to repeatedly play that trump card and went in at half-time leading by 47:38.
Four points by De’Mon Brooks made it 44:52 in the 23rd minute. However, the Heroes Of Tomorrow would not get any closer on the evening. Alba Berlin struck back impressively with a run of 16 points without reply, which Assem Marei was only able to end in the 28th minute (46:68). Here too, Berlin drained several threes and benefited from an unsporting foul and a Bayreuth timeout that had no impact. Alba exerted a lot of pressure and even stretched the gap to 75:52.
Instead of playing out its lead, the Albatrosses kept up the pace and maintained a high shooting percentage from all positions in the final period. A further run, this time of 11 straight points, even made it 90:54 in the 34th minute and then shortly afterwards Bayreuth found itself trailing by 37 points, its largest deficit of the evening.
The Heroes Of Tomorrow now have little time to get back to their normal ways. The playoffs in the Basketball Champions League begin on Wednesday with a home game in the last sixteen. Their opponents in the Oberfrankenhalle will be the winners of Group D, Beşiktaş Sompo Japan Istanbul (tip-off: 8 p.m.).