BBC Coburg ended the regular season in the BARMER ProB South 2nd German Basketball League with a 73:75 (34:44) defeat against FC Bayern Munich. However, that did nothing to change the final placements: Coburg finished fifth in the table and advances to meet Dresden Titans in the playoffs.
The visitors were able to celebrate victory at the end, but Frankfurt’s simultaneous defeat in Ulm meant the club from Bavaria will have to compete in the playdowns, whereas Coburg’s players looked at the live league ticker with eager anticipation to see who their opponent in the last 16 would be. In the end, that was decided on aggregate and so the BBC will face Dresden Titans starting next week.
Before that, the 1,226 spectators – who included the Head Coach of the Austrian national team and medi Bayreuth’s Head Coach Raoul Korner – saw an exciting game. The home side had its neck ahead in the opening spell: Tidjan Keita opened the game with a slam-dunk, shortly after which a three-point play by Princeton Onwas made it 11:8 in the 5th minute. Munich struck back with an 8:0 run, but five points in a row by Timo Dippold at the start of the final minute in the first period tied the scores at 18:18.
However, Coburg’s play suffered from the fact that both Keita and Moritz Bär quickly amassed three fouls apiece and so had to sit it out on the bench: The visitors added 12 points without reply in the space of five minutes to create the foundation for its 44:34 lead at the break. And Munich scored from even the most impossible of positions: Erol Ersek, for instance, drained a buzzer-beating bucket from downtown off the board despite having a hand in his face.
Most of fans remained in their seats during half-time, since the juniors from the Effect’s dancing team put on a highly entertaining show with great choreography at the break.
After the restart, Coburg displayed more energy and focus than in the first 20 minutes: Christopher Wolf scored despite being fouled and also made the bonus free throw, Onwas drained a bucket from beyond the arc and Keita added a slam-dunk to tie the encounter at 46:46 midway through the period as the atmosphere in the arena reached boiling point. Yet Bayern was not perturbed and hit back clinically to leave Coburg trailing by 53:60 going into the final period.
However, the BBC refused to give up: Constantin Ebert drained a three to make it 62:68 and force the FCB’s Head Coach Demond Greene to call a timeout. Yet that did not reap any rewards for Bayern to begin with: Sven Lorber added a lay-up and, after a decent defensive sequence, it was again Ebert who reduced the deficit to 67:68 with a three. However, the young Munich team kept its cool and its nose in front, skillfully exploited its chances, proved reliable from the foul line and prevented the BBC from turning the game around again. And so Coburg was not able to avert defeat, despite Onwas draining a buzzer-beating shot from outside to make the final score 73:75.
“The defeat hurts, but you have to pay tribute to the other side. That was an equally matched encounter, but we made too many small mistakes and Munich punished them,” were the words of praise from captain Christopher Wolf for Bayern’s performance afterwards.
BBC Coburg now faces its first playoff game in the Margon Arena in Dresden on Sunday, March 15 (tip-off: 4 p.m.). The second starts at the same time in Coburg a week later.