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Anderson makes last lay-up to turn the Oberfrankenhalle into a madhouse

Bayreuth, 04-25-2019

Following the victory over Bonn, Head Coach Raoul Korner once more put his trust in his starting five with captain Bastian Doreth against ALBA BERLIN. Nevertheless, the opening spell again belonged to the visitors. medi got off to another hesitant start and in particular failed to capitalize on too many chances in offense. In contrast ALBA, who was without Niels Giffey, Martin Hermannsson, Derrick Walton and Johannes Thiemann, who sustained an injury during the encounter, uncompromisingly seized the opportunities it was offered. After leading at one stage by 15 points, Berlin took the first period by the still wide margin of 23:12.

Things finally went better for medi Bayreuth in attack in the second quarter. Since the HEROES OF TOMORROW also stepped up their intensity in defense and made it tougher for the Albatrosses to score, they were able to produce a 7:0 run midway through the period to reduce the gap to 26:30. However, that was not enough to turn the game around, as ALBA BERLIN struck back commandingly after such runs and medi committed somewhat too many errors in such phases. However, the home fans were now right behind their team – and all the more so after a thunderous slam-dunk by Eric Mika leaping over Luke Sikma. medi more than halved the deficit from the first period and trailed by just 35:41 by the break.

Back on court for the second half, the HEROES OF TOMORROW were initially not able to draw closer, since Berlin kept on scoring through its best players Rokas Giedraitis, Landry Nnoko and Luke Sikma. It was only midway through the period that Raoul Korner’s team got to within three points. Yet as in the second quarter, it did not manage to snatch the lead – any such hope was again thwarted by strong actions by Berlin or turnovers. As a result, medi Bayreuth once more trailed by double digits at the end of the period instead of being ahead or at least reducing the deficit further. The score after 30 minutes was 52:62.

The HEROES OF TOMORROW again summoned up everything they had at the start of the final quarter and were soon back in contention thanks to a bucket by Nik Raivio and a three by De’Mon Brooks. They were also more energetic in snapping up offensive rebounds and so had a second or even third chance to score. It was after an offensive rebound that Nik Raivio cut the gap to 63:65 with just over six minutes remaining. Yet the Albatrosses again hit back in the manner of a top team: Buckets from downtown by Rokas Giedraitis and Luke Sikma helped them surge briefly ahead. It was then that Kyan Anderson stepped up to the plate and scored twice to get his side back in touch again. The visitors held on to their narrow lead, but medi did not let ALBA pull away anymore. Adonis Thomas drained a hugely important three to cut the gap to 78:79 with 47 seconds to go. On Berlin’s subsequent play, the attempted shot from outside by Joshiko Saibou ended up being too short and Kassius Robertson snapped up the defensive rebound, meaning the HEROES OF TOMORROW suddenly had the chance to win this intense and thrilling encounter on the final attack. Kyan Anderson plucked up courage, drove to the basket and drained a difficult shot under pressure from several Berlin defenders to make it 80:79 to the roars of the crowd with 2.2 seconds left on the clock. After the last Hail Mary shot by Peyton Siva missed the mark, the Oberfrankenhalle was finally transformed into a madhouse and medi’s happy end was complete.

Kassius Robertson:

“That was a very important win for us and the whole team did its bit. We were more than ten points adrift and still didn’t give up. Our bench also made a key contribution to our victory. I’d especially like to single out Nik and Gregor and then of course Kyan, who made the enormously important shot at the end. But not only that one – he also had a lot of other good actions. We played very well as a team in defense. Big praise goes to our coaching team, which scouted ALBA very well. That was a big step forward for us to finishing the season as well as possible.”

Raoul Korner commented: “First of all, thank you for the congratulations. It was an important and magnificent win for us against an absolute top team. We only led for two seconds, but they were the right seconds. What we now need to do as a team, and that goes for the players and coaches, is to fully focus our mind and all our energy on the next game. We mustn’t linger too long over this game here, but have to direct all our attention to the encounter against the MBC on Sunday, otherwise all we achieved today is not worth much.”