BAYREUTH (Germany) – Bastian Doreth is targeting FIBA Europe Cup glory with medi Bayreuth this season, almost 20 months on from when their previous title charge was cut short in unprecedented circumstances.
The 32-year-old point guard was part of the side that advanced to the Semi-Finals stage of the 2019-20 edition before the season was cancelled at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And, now returning to the competition – having had to battle through the Qualifiers – Doreth is hoping for another prolonged run with the desired culmination in becoming the second German team to lift the title after Fraport Skyliners won the inaugural edition in 2016.
„There is definitely unfinished business for us,“ stated Doreth. „Two years ago, we had a great chance overall to go on and win the competition. COVID maybe took that from us. So, that is one of our goals this season to get back to that situation and have another chance.
„This is a good competition. There are lots of good teams and it is great to experience different atmospheres. We need to get everyone healthy and we have to make sure that we focus on every game that we have.“
medi Bayreuth’s last loss in the competition had come in the first leg of the 2019-20 Quarter-Finals, but their unbeaten start to the current campaign ended in a 91-81 defeat to London Lions last Wednesday.
Both sides had entered the contest with 2-0 records with the Lions now taking control of the group . The London side led by as many as 16 points but the visitors battled back to cut the deficit to single figures despite having seen captain Doreth pull out through injury in the pre-game warmup.
„At the end, I think it’s good that we only lost by 10,“ said Doreth, who hopes the injury is not too serious. „I think London played a pretty good game with a lot of confidence offensively. We had a bit of lack of energy, maybe because of the short rotation. But, I am confident we can fix this when we play them in Bayreuth.“
The town in northern Bavaria has become the home of Doreth since a switch from Artland Dragons in the summer of 2015. The veteran point guard is now in a seventh season with the club as part of a 14-year professional career in his native Germany.
Doreth also previously had a two-year spell at FC Bayern Munich at the start of their rise back to prominence, but it is at Bayreuth that the on-court general has settled and taken on the responsibility as the face of the team; masked with a distinguishable beard.
„Bayreuth is my family, it’s my home,“ he declared. „I’ve been there so long now. I take a lot of pride in being there so long and carrying the team internationally and representing our great city. I love being a part of this.“
Looking further ahead, FIBA EuroBasket 2022 is fast approaching with Germany co-hosts of the major tournament with Cologne one of the four cities for the group phase before Berlin takes center stage for the Final Phase.
Doreth has past experience of competing in the flagship European event having been on the Germany squad – alongside current teammate Andreas Seiferth – at the 2013 edition, while his last appearance for the national team came in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers.
„It’s huge for us. Every EuroBasket is huge and having it in our own country is a highlight. I think we have a good chance with a really great team. We want to make some noise and to make basketball as a sport bigger in Germany than it is already now.“
First, medi Bayreuth look to make their own mark on the European stage and are well placed with a 2-1 record at the halfway stage of the Regular Season with their remaining group games all taking place at home at Oberfrankenhalle.
Quelle: FIBA Europe Cup, 29. Oktober 2021