Doreth fired up for big games with medi Bayreuth and Germany
BAYREUTH (Basketball Champions League) - Bastian Doreth of surprise package medi Bayreuth has a Round of 16 Basketball Champions League tie with Besiktas to get ready for. Before that, though, he's going to play in a battle of unbeatens for Germany against Serbia in the FIBA World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers.
Doreth, with Germany in Frankfurt preparing for Friday's clash with Serbia, has spoken about the challenges ahead with medi Bayreuth and his national team to the Basketball Champions League website.
Bastian, talk about medi Bayreuth's Basketball Champions League campaign.
It was quite challenging. It was a really tough and competitive group (Group C) and was new for us to play during the week and not just once (in the Basketball Bundesliga) but we handled it pretty well and I'm proud of the accomplishment.
Have the Basketball Champions League games helped you in the German league?
Yes, it brought us closer together and also gave us a really good game rhythm playing so many games.
Has reaching the Play-Offs captured the imagination of the fans?
Yes it has, I think not all of the fans thought we could go to the Round of 16 so some of them are really surprised.
How competitive was the Regular Season?
Our group was the best example, a really tight group, everybody almost beating everybody. It was a lot of fun. There was never an easy game and this is always the most fun to play in so it's already been a great experience.
Now you have Besiktas, one of the pre-season favorites to win the title.
It's going to be a really tough test. We know Besiktas is a big club and have a really big tradition and play with a lot of pride. They finished first in their Group D and that's a sign of a good basketball team but we're confident we can beat them. The first test at home will be very important to set the tone and go with a good feeling to Istanbul and play the second game.
Will the fans be up for this one?
I hope so. There are a lot of Turkish people in Germany so I think the gym will also be crazy at home and everyone is looking forward to it.
You also play for Germany's national team and have World Cup Qualifiers against Serbia and Georgia this week.
We feel pretty good about the first national team window (wins over Georgia and Austria) but now it's going to be a different level because Serbia are one of the top world teams. But we play at home and we have a good group of guys and go with the mindset we can, and we want to win this game. We then travel to Georgia where there will be a hostile atmosphere in Tbilisi, but we're happy where we are right now.
Why are Serbia, no matter who plays, such a hard team to beat?
They have so many great players around the same age so everybody knows everybody. Basketball wise, they can do almost everything. They are so well coached. This is a really hard team to beat. But I also think we made a big step in the right direction and I think we are not far away and in this window, I think we can beat them.
Is Henrik Rodl's approach similar to his predecessor's, Chris Fleming's?
The style changed a little bit with Dennis Schroder not with us. It's not that guard (oriented) basketball, but put the ball inside. We have strong big men with Danilo Barthel, Maik Zirbes and now with Andreas Seiferth. Henrik is a former player and does this more emotionally. He wants to give us a good feeling about ourselves and with Chris Fleming, it was a little more disciplined and structured. But there is a reason why Henrik is the national team coach now.
How important is this Serbia game for Germany?
It's not only important in the standings but important for our feeling, our confidence, important that we know we're able to beat a big team and this is a great time to do it. If you want to qualify for the World Cup, you have to beat a team like Serbia.
Do you like taking a break during the season to play for the national team and was playing for Germany a dream of yours?
The last couple of years you only saw your friends from the national team during the summer but now you also see them during the season and it gives you a different perspective about basketball. And yes it was one of the biggest dreams. It's a really big thing for me and I'm really proud I can wear the German colors. I think as a sportsman, it's the biggest thing you can do.