Despite all the warnings – BBC Coburg’s string of victories in the BARMER ProB South 2nd German Basketball League has come to an end after five games. The BBC went down 68:76 (37:29) to newly promoted TSV Oberhaching Tropics in the HUK-COBURG arena on Saturday evening – and, even worse, lost center Shore Adenekan.
Barely five minutes had elapsed when the British player suddenly lay on the floor. The 2.06-meter giant was no longer able to stand up and was taken directly to hospital, where the shock diagnosis came: a suspected torn Achilles tendon. The season is in all probability over for the soon-to-be father. The persons in charge at the BBC have therefore been planning since Saturday evening how to respond to the situation as soon as possible: “We’ll now sit down together and see what we can do and what budget we have. That’s not so easy with tall players, since every centimeter costs money and we’re midway through the season,” states the BBC’s Head Coach Ulf Schabacker, well aware that it will be no easy task to find a replacement for Coburg’s top rebounder (average: 8.5 rebounds a game).
It initially appeared on court as if the team could compensate well for the early loss of Adenekan: Whereas the opening spell was tight and fiercely contested, Coburg was slowly able to open up a gap toward the end of the first period and ended it 24:15 in front. The encounter waned a little in the second period, but then became a real fight between the experienced, clinical visitors from Oberhaching and the young BBC squad. A three by Princeton Onwas from just over nine meters out as the clock was running down and with the hand of his opponent in his face made it 34:20 in the 17th minute and was the only highlight in the second quarter. All the same, Coburg went in at half-time leading by 37:29.
After the break, it was suddenly almost as if the BBC were running into a wall: In the space of just two minutes, Schabacker’s players conceded four team fouls and first Sven Lorber (23rd minute), the last remaining center Moritz Bär (24th minute) and Princeton Onwas (25th minute) picked up their fourth personal foul one after the other. The lead melted away: Although Daniel Urbano kept his team in the encounter, the Tropics’ guard Justin Hedley tied the scores at 47:47 with two minutes remaining in the period. The BBC went into the final quarter with a wafer-thin 50:49 advantage.
Yet Coburg was able to hold on to that, also thanks to the support of the 600 spectators in the arena: Sven Lorber, who had just been brought on, drained a bucket from beyond the arc to make it 59:54 in the 33rd minute, but then fouled out shortly after that. After the visitors had gone ahead again for the first time since the opening spell, Constantin Ebert was able to produce a highlight for Coburg with a three (62:60 in the 37th minute), but then the game tilted the way of the visitors: They capitalized cleverly on what chances came their way and then, when the referees ejected the BBC’s Head Coach Ulf Schabacker after penalizing him with two technical fouls and captain Christopher Wolf likewise fouled out, the encounter was decided once and for good.
“We didn’t find a way to combat our opponent and defeated ourselves. We conceded too many easy buckets and missed easy shots in offense, including three or four certain scoring opportunities. So we didn’t make the crucial shots and then Oberhaching drained two threes when we actually defended well – and that was that. Frustration gets you nowhere, that’s why we also lost the rebounding duel by 18 in the end,” was Schabacker’s harsh verdict on his team after the encounter. BBC Coburg now has a weekend without a game and so the team and coach have time to analyze what happened. “Now we have to draw our lessons from the game in the next two weeks.”