It would have been understandable for EWE Baskets Oldenburg to roll over and accept defeat at Asseco Arka Gydnia. But head coach Mladen Drijencic’s team came up with an impressive defensive display in the fourth quarter as Oldenburg won its third straight game in the 7DAYS EuroCup - and second in a row away from home.
Oldenburg put together an 0-19 start to the fourth quarter in pulling off a 61-73 victory in Poland to move to 3-3 in Group D. The German side had built a 13-point lead and wasted it away, finding itself trailing by 10 points late in the third quarter. All signs looked like Arka would finally grab its first win at home this season in the EuroCup. But that’s when Oldenburg’s character kicked in.
Oldenburg dug down deep and held Arka scoreless for the first 7:58 of the final frame as the home side went 0-of-2 from two-point range and 0-of-7 from three-point range while turning the ball over five times. For the game, Oldenburg held Arka’s top weapon Josh Bostic to just 7 points - including just one made basket - just one week after he went off for 33 points against Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul.
Drijencic and co. were certainly road-weary by that point - playing their fourth of five consecutive away games between the EuroCup and German League: that quintet of contests coming over a stretch of 15 days. But Oldenburg showed how much it wants to advance to the Top 16 in its return to the EuroCup for the first time since 2016.
“To see them give so much energy in the second half on the road, I am so proud of my guys,” Drijencic said after the game.
Sitting in a three-way tie at 3-3 in Group D with four games to go, one of the biggest advantages Oldenburg has going forward is knowing that three of its final four contests are at home. Drijencic can be optimistic having already seen the energy his team can summon when beaten down by road travel.