medi bayreuth won this year’s expert Jakob Cup in a thrilling final. The team of Head Coach Raoul Korner defeated the top-class Greek side PAOK Thessaloniki 66:65 thanks to a strong final spurt. De’Mon Brooks from the Heroes Of Tomorrow was chosen as the tournament’s most valuable player. In the third-place playoff, German champions Bamberg beat FRAPORT SKYLINERS by 83:64.
Brose Bamberg vs. FRAPORT SKYLINERS (83:64)
The German champs started the third-place playoff with a 7:0 run and led 12:5 after Miller drained a bucket from outside. Frankfurt stepped up a gear and produced a run of 9 points without reply to move 14:12 in front. The game then remained open. After ten minutes, the club from Hesse was able to open up a narrow 23:20 gap.
The two teams also remained evenly matched in the second period. Although the SKYLINERS only had a squad of eight players, they managed to put on a defiant display against Bamberg with its deep bench. Whatever Bamberg tried, Frankfurt had an answer up its sleeve and scored what was probably the game’s most beautiful bucket on the half-time buzzer: Old-hand Quantez Robertson hit the mark from the center line while running at full speed to make it 40:35.
The encounter remained open until midway through the third period, when Bamberg pulled away with six straight points (49:42). However, Frankfurt struck back again to equalize with free throws from Freudenberg (51:51). The scores were also tied at the end of the 3rd quarter (56:56).
Two factors decided the game in the final period: Frankfurt’s decimated squad, whose strength visibly become more and more depleted, and Bamberg’s Quincy Miller. With 14 points in the final quarter alone, the American steered the German champs to third place in the expert Jakob Cup.
medi bayreuth vs. PAOK Thessaloniki (66:65)
The around 1,300 spectators in the Oberfrankenhalle got a foretaste of Champions League basketball in the final of the expert Jakob Cup. After an evenly poised start, medi went 11:7 in front with a three by York and then pulled away to 15:10. Thessaloniki hit back, went 18:16 ahead after Linos Chrysikopoulos drained two buckets from outside, and led 23:21 after the first period.
As in the third-place playoff, the final remained on a knife’s edge and open in the second quarter. After De’Mon Brooks made it 31:31 from the foul line, the Greek side went 35:31 in front thanks to free throws by Antonios Koniaris and a bucket from Evangelos Margaritis, but medi was able to tie the scores at 37:37 with a further three by Gabe York. Kevin Dillard then drained a buzzer beater to put PAOK 39:37 ahead at half-time.
The lead changed hands on just about every attack in the third period. Both teams were evenly matched and the game was fiercely contested at both ends of the court. There were many free throws, resulting in points from the foul line, as both teams refused to show any weakness. The final bucket in the period went this time to medi, with Andreas Seiferth making it 55:54.
The team from Thessaloniki got off to the better start in the final period and pulled away to 65:57 by the 37th minute. However, the bucket by Zaras was to be the visitors’ final one, thanks to tough defending by the Heroes Of Tomorrow and the good atmosphere in the Oberfrankenhalle. Five free throws in a row – three from Gabe York and two from Assem – cut the deficit to just 62:65. Nate Linhart then reduced it by two further points, after which Assem Marei drained a bucket at the second attempt and sealed a 66:65 victory to the jubilation of the home crowd.