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Medi Bayreuth loses top encounter at FC Bayern, but only after overtime

München, 01-06-2019

Bayreuth had the reigning German champions on the brink of defeat. However, the still unbeaten leaders in the easyCredit German Basketball League were able to save their neck literally at the last second and win the top game on the 15th matchday after overtime. medi Bayreuth finally lost by the narrow margin of 95:101 (40:47, 84:84) at FC Bayern Munich in front of 5,828 spectators in the Audi Dome on Sunday afternoon, but – like in the Upper Franconian derby – once more produced a magnificent team performance.

Munich was highly focused from the outset and soon pulled away thanks to good team play and had already built a double-digit lead after just under four minutes. However, medi Bayreuth steadied itself midway through the period and was at least able to prevent the gap from growing even wider by the end of the quarter, which ended with the score at 18:29.

In the second period, medi confirmed the upward trend it displayed toward the end of the first ten minutes. In particular Nik Raivio emerged as a valuable factor in offense in this spell. Since Bayern was also not able to maintain its good shooting percentage from the opening, Bayreuth cut the deficit to two points midway through the period. However, it was not able to snatch the lead, since Munich now struck back in the true style of a league leader, chalking up a 7:0 run to restore a somewhat more comfortable cushion. Nevertheless, the team of Head Coach Raoul Korner took the second period by 22:18 and only trailed by 40:47 at half-time.

medi Bayreuth continued to put up defiant resistance against the hot favorites after the break, cutting the gap to three points after three-and-a-half minutes through Nik Raivio. However, Bayern always had an answer up its sleeve at this stage. medi had problems in particular when Nihad Djedovic and Maodo Lo were on court. And it was those two who, together with Vladimir Lucic, helped produce a spurt with three minutes left in the period and give Bayern a 13-point lead. Yet even that did not make any lasting impression on Bastian Doreth and his teammates. In the remaining minutes, they were able to keep the period almost evenly poised and, going in to the final quarter, were again in striking distance at 58:66.

Without Hassan Martin, every single player had to raise his game again in order to pull off a shock win. And that is precisely what Bayreuth did. With even more bite in defense and, as in the encounter against Bamberg, calm and collected in offense, the visitors managed to equalize through Gregor Hrovat midway through the quarter. And this time they did not allow Bayern to pull away again and instead even went ahead for the first time (78:76) thanks to a bucket from downtown by Kassius Robertson with 2:42 minutes to go. The game was now on a knife’s edge. Both teams had the chance to decide the game in their favor at the death. Bayreuth’s Kassius Robertson missed what was perhaps the crucial three-pointer with 19 seconds left on the clock, with the result that Munich had the opportunity to snatch victory on its next attack. However, its best player, Derrick Williams, likewise failed to hit the mark. The two teams thus went into overtime with the scores tied at 84:84.

The team of Dejan Radonjic then unfurled all its individual class in the five extra minutes and looked like certain winners with the score at 96:90 with just over a minute remaining in overtime. Yet two free throws by De’Mon Brooks and another bucket from outside by Kassius Robertson cut the gap to just one point with 14 seconds to go and rekindled medi Bayreuth’s hopes of pulling off a sensation. However, FC Bayern Basketball drained its free throws to run out winners by 101:95 in the fiercely contested encounter.