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Basketball: BBC Bayreuth probably squanders last playoff chance

Bayreuth, 04-07-2024

BBC Bayreuth squandered what was probably its last chance to qualify for the playoffs in the BARMER 2nd German Basketball League Pro A with an 84:87 home defeat against Eisbären Bremerhaven. A very poor third quarter was mainly responsible.

The BBC started the encounter against the Polar Bears with Shane Gatling, Moritz Plescher, Selim Fofana, Aaron Carver and Lenny Liedtke. Bayreuth was without Marios Giotis, while Esa Ahmad and Besnik Bekteshi, who had been injured recently, were back on board.

The BBC got off to a good start with a 7:2 lead. Bayreuth ran the ball and was also able to set up Aaron Carver well under the basket. Philip Jalalpoor drained a three with one second left in the first period to give the BBC a 25:16 lead and its highest to date.

Bremerhaven initially closed the gap in the second period. The visitors had reduced the deficit to 29:35 after 14 minutes. Two minutes before half-time, Philip Jalalpoor was penalized for an unsporting foul. However, Bremerhaven was not able to exploit the advantage. A three by Moritz Plescher put the BBC ahead by double digits for the first time. Bayreuth went in at half-time with a 46:37 lead. Bremerhaven's good rebounding prevented Bayreuth from opening up a clearer gap.

Bremerhaven then reduced the deficit with an 8:0 run in front of 2,029 spectators. Aaron Cook drained another three-point play to give the Polar Bears their first lead of the game 51:50. The visitors now really stepped on the gas both in offense and defense. Ultimately, Bremerhaven led 66:60 going into the final period after the visitors' fireworks in offense in the third quarter. Bayreuth was no longer able to pull off its plays and get its big men into position under the basket.

Bremerhaven held its nerve in the final period despite only having a seven-man rotation, showed its will and commitment and stretched its lead further. With 70 seconds remaining, Lenny Liedtke stepped up to the free throw line and completed a 9:0 run by the BBC to make it 80:83. Due to a technical foul against Selim Fofana with 30 seconds left, the visitors scored from the free throw line and led 84:80. The visitors were awarded another free throw with 6.5 seconds remaining. In the end, Bremerhaven won 87:84 despite a final three by Moritz Plescher.

BBC Bayreuth faces an away game against EPG Baskets Koblenz on Saturday, April 13, 2024.