medi bayreuth lost its home game against group C leaders Banvit BK on the 11th matchday of the Basketball Champions League. In front of 2,359 spectators in the Oberfrankenhalle, the Heroes Of Tomorrow went down by 76:88.
Despite the defeat, medi bayreuth remains fourth in the table for the time being. With Banvit and Madrid in first and second, the clubs to advance to the playoffs from group C will be decided in the three remaining games, in which medi bayreuth faces Venice, Strasbourg and Athens – teams on the same number of points as it.
After the Heroes Of Tomorrow got off to the better start with two steals and three buckets, the contours of the game began to take shape midway through the first period. With the scores tied at 12:12, the visitors began to defend with greater intensity. And things also went well for the Turkish club in offense, whereas medi had problems with taking its chances. In particular, shots from beyond the arc just did not want to drop for the Heroes Of Tomorrow. A 12:2 run by Banvit with several threes put medi 16:27 behind after ten minutes.
The opening of the second quarter likewise belonged to medi bayreuth to begin with. However, Banvit again wrested control after an early timeout. The team from the Sea of Marmara region finished its attacks with great focus, remained alert in defense and had clear advantages beneath the boards up to the break (20:12 rebounds). Even early pressing by the Heroes Of Tomorrow did not throw the Turkish cup winners off their stride. Whereas the visitors drained six of their ten attempted three-pointers in the first half, the Heroes Of Tomorrow only managed their first after ten previous tries, when John Cox made it 31:43 on the half-time buzzer.
medi bayreuth came out after the break as if it was completely transformed. James Robinson drained a bucket from downtown right after the restart and Gabe York followed suit, halving the gap to 39:45 after three minutes. The Turkish club struck back with the right response and kept its cool initially. The encounter now picked up pace and grew in excitement. One key asset was De’Mon Brooks, who first made a three-point play and then stole possession to cut the gap to 52:55 in the 29th minute. Yet once more, the visitors struck back right away: Damian Kulig, who played almost immaculately, drained a three, as did Ridvan Öncel and Andy Rautins, keeping the Heroes Of Tomorrow at arm’s length again for the time being.
With the score at 54:64 going into the final period, medi bayreuth tried to turn the game around with early pressing – and Head Coach Raoul Korner’s team initially reaped success with that tactic. John Cox was able to reduce the deficit to 58:64 from the foul line. Yet once again, the visitors replied clinically and soon pulled back ahead by ten points. The 60:70 in the 34th minute therefore as good as sealed the encounter, since Banvit was the cleverer side and had the outstanding Damian Kulig in its ranks. The Polish player notched up eleven out of his total haul of 25 points in the final five minutes to lead his team to a deserved victory.