The second half of the season in the easyCredit German Basketball League has begun with a surprise for medi bayreuth. The performance by the team of Head Coach Raoul Korner has always been an extremely positive source of astonishment so far, but the Heroes Of Tomorrow went down to a shock defeat for the first time this season at Basketball Lions Braunschweig on the 18th matchday.
The club from Lower Saxony, which is struggling to avoid relegation, invested a lot of effort from the outset and fought tooth and nail. Whereas medi bayreuth never really found its rhythm, the home side’s confidence grew minute by minute. Whenever the Heroes Of Tomorrow had a good spell, such as before the break when Kyan Anderson turned on the heat, the Lions always skilfully struck back after such runs. As a result, the team of Head Coach Stephen Arigbabu, standing in for Frank Menz who was absent through illness, played at a level that medi bayreuth was not able to match on the afternoon in front of around 2,500 spectators in the Volkswagen Hall and so ran out deserved winners.
Like all teams apart from those in the ALLSTAR Day in Bonn on January 14, the Heroes Of Tomorrow now have a two-week break before they face Brose Bamberg in the Oberfrankenhalle on January 22 (tip-off: 3:30 p.m.) in a qualifier for the German cup’s Top Four tournament.
Brief summary of the encounter
After medi took the lead for the first time with a bucket from beyond the arc by Trey Lewis and when Andreas Seiferth made it 5:4 in the 2nd minute, the Lions got into their stride. A 6:0 run with points by Carlos Medlock and Geoffrey Groselle turned the game around. Bayreuth also produced a run of seven points in a row, with Assem Marei making it 15:14 in the 7th minute – the last time Bayreuth would be ahead. Dyshawn Pierre struck back with a three and Braunschweig ended the period 19:15 in front.
The encounter was evenly poised up to when medi’s new signing David Gonzalvez drained a bucket from downtown to make it 22:22 in the 14th minute. Braunschweig then managed to produce an impressive 14:1 run to extend its lead to 36:23 by the 18th minute. Kyan Anderson then took things into his own hands up to the break. The American notched up nine of Bayreuth’s 11 points to make it just 34:38 at half-time.
Andreas Seiferth added two points to reduce the deficit to 38:41 in the 22nd minute, but then Braunschweig pulled away again with another run: 14:0 up to the 26th minute. After a bucket from downtown by Sid-Marlon Theis (55:38), Raoul Korner called a timeout. Things went better for his team after that and it reduced the gap to 50:60 at the end of the third period.
Braunschweig then sealed victory early on in the final quarter. Free throws by Geoffrey Groselle put the home side 69:52 in front in the 33rd minute. medi was never able to close that gap. On the contrary: Basketball Lions Braunschweig continued to score from just about all positions to run out commanding and deserved winners.