Bakken, A Supreme Danish Dynasty

07 May 2014
9. Kenneth Barker (Bakken Bears Aarhus)
 Kenneth Barker was influential in guiding Bakken Bears Aarhus to a fourth consecutive Danish title

Bakken Bears have confirmed their utter dominance in Denmark by sweeping Randers Cimbria in the Basketligaen play-off finals and conquering a record 14th domestic league title.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the Bears have been crowned Danish champions while they have dominated the championship with an iron fist since the turn of the century, winning a total of 10 titles since the 2000/01 season.

Having rolled to 24 wins in 27 regular season games, Bakken confirmed their favourite status in style during the post-season, as they first brushed aside Horsens IC and then beat Cimbria 4-0 in the best-of-seven title series.

Bakken cruised to a 99-82 win at home in the first game, then clinched a 99-80 victory on the road and outlasted Randers 115-107 in a thrilling overtime clash in Game 3 at home.

In the deciding fourth encounter in Cimbria, the Bears turned on the screws on defence in the third quarter to give up only eight points to their hosts during that period and build a 69-52 cushion going into the final frame.

Randers attempted a comeback in the fourth but nothing could stop Bakken's march towards the four-peat and the Bears secured a 91-81 win to celebrate the championship conquest.

Kenneth Barker, who had a team-high 20 points for the Bears in Game 4, and paved the way to the title by averaging 21.8 points and 6.5 assists per game in the series, was named MVP of the finals.

Meanwhile, young Danish international Thomas Laerke had 18 points for Bakken in the fourth encounter and averaged 16 points per game in the finals, while veteran big man Nicolai Iversen contributed 16.3 points and 5.5 rebounds on average in the series.

5. Andreas Jakobsen (Bakken Bears Aarhus)
 Andreas Jakobsen announced his retirement following the championship win

The occasion was particularly emotional for 31-year-old Bakken captain Andreas Jakobsen, who has decided to retire from action after celebrating his seventh league title with this club.

"It was important to me that I always felt fit in training, developed as a player and performed at a high level," Jakobsen said.

"And this season, I could feel how hard it is to keep up at this level when you are not able to be 100% anymore," the shooting guard added.

Jakobsen, a former Danish international, had been a clutch player for Bakken during the past nine seasons and his buzzer-beating shot in their EuroChallenge clash with Kataja in mid-December gave the Danish team a 68-66 win and the ticket to the Last 16 of the competition.

"He [Jakobsen] will be missed as a focal point that could decide many basketball games, such as his crazy shot which secured us qualification in Europe," said Bears sporting director Michael Piloz.

"Andreas has helped to set standards at this club with his performance in practice and in games, as well as with his attitude and culture."




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