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Basketball: Frankfurt defense gives BBC no chance

Bayreuth, 03-10-2024

Setback in the battle for a playoff spot in the BARMER 2nd Basketball Bundesliga Pro A: BBC Bayreuth had no chance in its 62:80 defeat against FRAPORT SKYLINERS Frankfurt this afternoon. The strong defense of the club from Hesse in particular made Bayreuth despair.

The BBC started the game against the runners-up in the table with Philip Jalalpoor, Selim Fofana, Esa Ahmad, Aaron Carver and Lenny Liedtke. Injury woes struck again, with Besnik Bekteshi having to miss out at short notice and Moritz Plescher and Marios Giotis still injured. Mohamed Sillah was on the scoresheet for Bayreuth for the first time this season.

Frankfurt got off to a strong start and was 10:2 in front after just three minutes. The BBC's Head Coach Mladen Drijencic then called his players to the sideline for a timeout. Selim Fofana then cut the deficit to 5:10 with a three, but the visitors were not deterred and stretched their lead to 15:5 and so to ten points in double digits. Philip Jalalpoor responded with a three to make it 8:15. After a three by Kevin McClain, the second-placed club in the table led 21:8 with just under three minutes to go in the quarter. The BBC finally closed the gap to nine points by the end of the first period. Bayreuth did not move the ball enough and relied too much on individual actions.

Frankfurt began with a three by Bruno Vrcic, but the BBC responded with a jump shot by Philip Jalalpoor and a bucket from downtown by Lenny Liedtke to make it 17:24 after just over twelve minutes. Frankfurt then stepped up the pace again and went 35:19 in front after 16 minutes. The BBC had great difficulty coming into its own in offense and playing sensible systems in the face of Frankfurt's switch defense. Bayreuth then got a little better again and Esa Ahmad, who had remained pale up to that point, completed a 6:0 run with a lay-up to make it 25:35. Kevin McClain then added another three for the visitors to make it 38:27 and FRAPORT SKYLINERS led 40:30 at half-time.

Frankfurt was 44:34 ahead after 23 minutes. After a good 25 minutes, it was 50:35 for the club from Hesse. The BBC found it very difficult to score against the visitors, who were strong in defense, in a game characterized by mistakes. As a result, Bayreuth closed the gap to 42:52. Shane Gatling scored two free throws to cut the deficit to 44:52 with two minutes left in the quarter. Esa Ahmad got the BBC back into the game with a three-point play to make it 47:52. Frankfurt had finally restored its eleven-point lead at 58:47 by the end of the quarter.

Selim Fofana first cut the deficit to 50:58 with a three, but Bayreuth pulled further back to 52:59 after just over 32 minutes. However, Frankfurt struck back right away and went 63:52 in front again with just over five minutes remaining with 65:54. The visitors then stretched the gap to 68:54 as time ran out and Bayreuth's hopes faded. In the end, the game ended with a clear and sobering 80:62 win for the second-placed BBC. Bayreuth now has 13 wins and 13 defeats to its name after 26 games and suffered a setback in the battle for a playoff berth because of the defeat.

In the away game next Saturday, March 16, 2024, against direct playoff rivals Münster, it's almost all or nothing for the BBC. Kick-off is at 7:30 pm.