medi Bayreuth has started the new year with a victory on the road. The team of Head Coach Raoul Korner defeated SYNTAINICS MBC by 102:88 (49:57) on Saturday evening to notch up its sixth win of the season.
After a weak display in defense in the first half, Bastian Doreth and his teammates stepped up the pressure in that department after the break, conceding just 31 points (15 in the third and 16 in the fourth period) in front of a crowd of 2,800 in the Stadthalle Weißenfels. The energizer in the HEROES OF TOMORROW’s game was Lukas Meisner, who returned to action after recovering from a ligament injury. The 24-year-old scored 14 out of his total haul of 20 points after the break and finished up as medi Bayreuth’s joint top scorer together with James Woodard.
As in their away game in Berlin, the MBC Wolves were without the injured Micovic, Dorsey and Turudic and picked up right where they had left off in their narrow 108:116 defeat against ALBA. They kept on seeking to finish their attacks swiftly and did so with great success to begin with. The home side led 29:27 after the first period, mainly because it was more active in the rebounding department (11:6 in favor of the MBC).
In contrast, there seemed to be a split running through Bayreuth’s play in the entire first half: While it was able to keep on creating good options in attack, it was hardly able to get a grip on the sprightly Wolves. After scoring 29 points in the first quarter, the MBC added another 28 in the second to go in at the break with a deserved 57:49 advantage. The lead for the bottom-of-the-table club could have been even clearer if it had not squandered several simple chances to score.
However, medi Bayreuth’s time came at the start of the second half. As in the home game against JobStairs GIESSEN 46ers, the HEROES OF TOMORROW came back out highly alert and really fired up. Spurred on by their around 300 fans who had made the journey, they turned the game on its head, producing a 14:2 run in the space of just under five minutes to move 63:59 in front. Neither team was able to open up a gap in the second half of the third period and so the encounter was completely up for grabs going into the final quarter. And here, too, it was a run over just more than four-and-a-half minutes that proved decisive, this time one of 15:2 by the HEROES OF TOMORROW to extend their lead from 81:78 in the 33rd minute to 96:80 in the 37th and ultimately seal victory.
Raoul Korner, Head Coach of medi Bayreuth, commented: “A big compliment to Björn and his team, who made life extremely difficult for us here. We didn’t find a way to stop them in the first half and didn’t get a grip on them in defense. It was a bit like the game in Berlin. We then conceded just 31 points in the second half and that was the key. We were able to stop them and knew that we would always get a chance to score with our size advantage. I thought it was very disciplined by us to go inside-out in the second half and find our free spaces there. So at the end of the day our win was also deserved. I’d also like to pay huge thanks to our fans who traveled to support us in such large numbers today. They gave us a boost of energy that was extremely important for us.”
The HEROES OF TOMORROW now face a series of away games. The first takes the team of Head Coach Raoul Korner to Belgium, where it lines up against Spirou BC Charleroi, the former club of Nate Linhart, in the FIBA Europe Cup this Wednesday (tip-off: 8:30 p.m.).