medi Bayreuth’s campaign in the second round of the FIBA Europe Cup began with a defeat on the road on Wednesday evening. The team of Head Coach Raoul Korner suffered a 92:110 (37:56) lost at Bakken Bears, the club that holds a record number of Danish titles, in front of around 750 spectators. In particular, the HEROES OF TOMORROW were not able to withstand Bakken Bears’ rebounding. Led on by Ryan Evans (26 points and 13 rebounds) and Michel Diouf (22 points and nine rebounds), the home side ran out highly deserved winners in the opening encounter of the second group stage.
Bayreuth aimed to not get off to as bad a start as in its last game against ALBA BERLIN. Unfortunately, those good resolutions came to nothing and after a little over six minutes it trailed by 9:21 – exactly the same score as in the recent home encounter against the Albatrosses. The team of Head Coach Raoul Korner had to play catch-up the entire game.
With the score standing at 28:48 with just three minutes to go to half-time, the encounter was reminiscent of the start to the first group stage away at BK Ventspils. medi Bayreuth had huge problems against its extremely athletic opponents, especially below the basket (9:23 rebounds up to half-time) and finished up losing the rebounding duel by 21:42. Evans and Diouf alone snapped up more rebounds for Bakken Bears than the entire medi team. Apart from the strong Ryan Evans, center Michel Diouf also had a field day: He had drained a mere four out of 14 attempts from beyond the arc in the whole of the first group stage, but made five out of seven against medi Bayreuth. Spurred on by a Bastian Doreth who toiled away magnificently, medi was able to cut the deficit to ten points in the final period (77:87 in the 35th minute), but the captain had too little support to turn the game around.
Raoul Korner, Head Coach of medi Bayreuth, commented: “Our performance today wasn’t acceptable. Our defending was disastrous, especially in the first half, and so we built up the other side and at the end of the day weren’t able to put up any real resistance. That was most evident in how we played in one-on-one situations and in the rebounding department. We completely fought a losing battle there. Bakken Bears snapped up twice the number of rebounds we did. That’s a joke. We were punished by a team that played with a great deal of energy and passion and was extremely motivated. Going into the game, we repeatedly emphasized that a team from a smaller division is always extremely motivated against a team from the German league, but it seems that warning went ignored. There was indeed a difference in class – but in their favor.”
The HEROES OF TOMORROW now have a weekend without a game, after which they face their next game in the FIBA Europe Cup on Wednesday, December 18, when SL Benfica, a Portuguese club steeped in tradition, visits the Oberfrankenhalle cauldron (tip-off: 6:30 p.m.).