Brose Baskets were unbeaten in the Beko German Basketball League since November 16, 2015 – a period of five months –, keeping a firm grip on top spot in the table with 20 straight victories. However, the winning run came to an end with a 97:102 defeat at EWE Baskets Oldenburg on the weekend. With four matchdays left in the regular season, the team of Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri still heads the table, with three wins more than its pursuers.
Both teams displayed inspiring basketball from the tip-off, especially in offense: Bamberg’s Nicolo Melli (11 points) had already notched up nine points after six minutes, but was not able to prevent his side trailing by the narrow margin of 20:21 after the first period. Both teams continued to maintain a high scoring percentage and third-placed Oldenburg was briefly able to open up a 40:35 gap. However, Janis Strelnieks (22 points) replied with a lay-up plus bonus free throw and a bucket from outside to put his side 41:40 ahead, after which Lucca Staiger added a lay-up to complete the 8:0 run and extend the lead to 43:40. However, the home side equalized by the break (49:49).
The encounter remained close up to midway through the third quarter. After a lay-up by Nikos Zisis (14 points) to put Bamberg 55:53 in front, the team from Lower Saxony sparked a run of 12 points without reply to leave Trinchieri’s team trailing by 55:65. In particular, Brose Baskets were not able to get a handle on Oldenburg’s Brian Qvale – for the third time this season, the center finished as top scorer in the third duel between the two clubs and his 31 points made the difference in the game. Bamberg was only rarely able to stop him in defense, with the result that he drained twelve of his 15 shots and helped his side surge into its largest lead (88:74) with five minutes to go. Brose Baskets did all in its might to avert defeat and cut the deficit to 99:95, mainly thanks to buckets from beyond the arc by their top scorer Brad Wanamaker (23 points), Janis Strelnieks and Nikos Zisis. But it was too late to turn the game around.
Andrea Trinchieri commented: “Congratulations to Oldenburg. It deserved the win because it was better in all statistics. We weren’t focused enough to defy our inspired opponents. When we concede more than 100 points, something’s gone totally wrong. Oldenburg was already in playoff mode. Unfortunately, we weren’t, so we’ll work hard to achieve that in training.”
Brose Baskets face two games this weekend: they welcome Basketball Lions Braunschweig to the Brose Arena on Friday evening, April 22 (tip-off: 6:30 p.m.) and then are on the road for the top game of the matchday against second-placed FC Bayern Munich in the Audi Dome on Sunday, April 24. The tip-off in this game, which may decide who finishes top of the league after the regular season, is at 5 p.m.
For more information visit www.brosebaskets.de, www.euroleague.net and www.beko-bbl.de.