Sport writes the craziest stories. Against his "old love", Mladen Drijencic manages his first victory as Head Coach of medi bayreuth. His medi team won 85:75 against EWE Baskets Oldenburg, for whom he himself had been head coach for a total of seven years between 2015 and 2022, on Friday evening.
For Bayreuth, it was the fourth win of the season and also the much longed-for signal to the entire league that they have by no means given up in the fight to stay in the league. Quite the opposite. The home victory against the play-off candidates from Lower Saxony once again underlined the excellent form in which the medi team had already presented itself in recent games.
The first basket of the game made many a medi heart beat faster: First, Kalif Young blocked T.J. Holyfield's throw. The ball went forward quickly and Jackson Rowe scored with extreme confidence. This sequence of play was emblematic for the first quarter, because medi presented fighting spirit at the highest level. As a team, they fought for every ball and were able to end the first quarter with a draw after ten minutes.
In the second quarter, too, the medi players showed pure will to win. An 8:0 run, initiated by a successful three-point shot by Brandon Childress, represented the highest lead so far. Now, however, came the strongest phase of the Lower Saxons, who ended the second quarter with a 44:42 lead.
In the third quarter, it seemed as if medi could continue to dominate the game. For a short time, the Bayreuth team even took the lead again. A short time later, however, they lost the lead again and when they acted unluckily in a few actions and missed some free throws, the Donnervögel got back into the game better and pulled away to 62:52.
It was not only loud, but incredibly loud in the Oberfrankenhölle in the last period. The energy from the stands was transferred bit by bit to the floor and the medi team. The seven-point deficit from the third quarter was quickly levelled out and as the strong medi defence visibly wore down Oldenburg and the team was offensively accurate, the hard work was finally rewarded and medi won the final period 30:13 and thus the game sensationally against the house-high favourites from Oldenburg with 85:75.
Mladen Drijencic: "Thank you very much for the congratulations! I am totally overwhelmed. The spectators carried us and then we got more and more stops, we got good one-on-one situations for the basket! Like I said, it was great and I'm happy for the guys that they finally got rewarded for all the hard training and hard work they've been doing lately."
Now it's a case of taking the energy from the game into the upcoming games. Head Coach Mladen Drijencic now has a little more than a week to prepare his team for the next opponent. On Sunday, 2 April, at 3 pm, the Wolves of the SYNTAINICS MBC will be our guests in the Oberfrankenhalle.