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100th German League game of Head Coach Raoul Korner – but no happy end for medi

Oldenburg, 04-14-2019

Injuries forced Head Coach Raoul Korner to reorganize his starting five for the encounter at EWE Baskets Oldenburg on the 28th game day of the easyCredit German Basketball League, with Eric Mika replacing Hassan Martin. Oldenburg dominated the opening minutes and was able to surge 12:0 ahead before Adonis Thomas chalked up medi’s first points from the foul line. Whereas nothing went right at all for the HEROES OF TOMORROW in a terrible spell at the start, they were now suddenly the better team and even snatched a 21:20 lead by the end of the first period thanks to more intensive defending and good finishing in attack.

An evenly matched game ensued in the second quarter. Neither side was able to create any crucial advantages, with Oldenburg in front at times, only for medi to strike back and go ahead again. The club from Lower Saxony went in at half-time with a narrow 42:40 lead. Whereas the HEROES OF TOMORROW had advantages in the rebounding department and benefited from EWE Baskets’ poor 3-point field goal percentage (0/6), the team of Mladen Drijencic had the better individual players in its ranks in the shape of Rasid Mahalbasic and Will Cummings.

After the break, Oldenburg initially maintained its narrow lead and medi no longer managed to go in front itself – mainly due to the home side’s improved shooting percentage from beyond the arc. In particular Rickey Paulding and Philipp Schwethelm proved dangerous from downtown in this spell. In contrast, the HEROES OF TOMORROW’s haul from outside remained meager, with the result that the Thunderbirds were able to open up a double-digit gap again in the course of the third period. Yet unlike in recent games, medi displayed a great improvement and fought with a lot of passion and tenacity. Nevertheless, it still trailed by 58:68 after the third period.

In the final quarter, the HEROES OF TOMORROW again showed that they had not made the long journey just to gift the two points away, adding five quick points to get back into close contention. medi was even able to close the deficit to 72:75 with 4:29 minutes remaining. However, the players of Head Coach Raoul Korner missed free throws and so the chance of closing the gap even further and perhaps even going in front. It was finally the small things that tipped the scales in favor of the home side, which lead the whole way through the second half and sealed a 90:81 victory at the death thanks to the very strong Will Cummings.

Raoul Korner commented: “One positive I can take away is that we put up tough resistance against a top team for so long. But we were very timid and lethargic at the start and we needed time to get into gear. Once again, we didn’t score well from outside, yet we were the team with the best 3-point field goal percentage for a lengthy time this season. We’ve lost that leading position in the last four games. We conceded too many turnovers and didn’t make any big plays in the crucial phase and so were not able to pull off a shock, a surprise today.”