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Brose Bamberg fails to click in Vitoria without Hackett

Vitoria, 2018-21-03

Brose Bamberg lost 79:103 at Baskonia Vitoria, its 11th away defeat in a row, and so does not now have any mathematical chance of reaching the playoffs in the Euroleague. Daniel Hackett had fallen ill and so did not travel to the Basque country, meaning the team of Head Coach Luca Banchi was missing a key stalwart in defense and so was not able to recover from a poor start to the game.

Bamberg was caught napping in the opening spell, allowed the home side to score easy points, and was also too slipshod with the ball in offense. After three minutes without getting off the mark, Banchi’s team trailed 0:10 after making life easy for the Basque club by conceding three turnovers. The home side drained four buckets from beyond the arc by the end of the period, leaving Bamberg 14:27 behind. After that, Vitoria stretched its lead to 17 points at one stage, after which the visitors defended more toughly and got better into the game in attack. Ricky Hickman chalked up eight of his 14 points in the second quarter, then Dorell Wright drained his first two buckets shortly before half-time to reduce the deficit to 39:50.

After the break, any resistance on Bamberg’s part soon dissipated, as it again gave the home side too much space. In particular, Jayson Granger was unstoppable. The point guard scored eight points in four successive attacks to extend his side’s lead to 43:58. Whereas the German champions bemoaned their lack of luck with their shots and only added 13 points in the third period, the home side scored at will and notched up 30 points in it. With the scoreline at 52:80 going into the final quarter, the encounter was already decided, so Luca Banchi then tried to spread his players’ time on court so as to rest them for the two other games in the next three days. Bamberg took the final period by 27:23 thanks to top scorer Nikos Zisis (17 points) and Leon Radosevic, but Vitoria still ran out clear winners by 79:103.

Luca Banchi commented: “Vitoria is playing its best basketball at the right time. We didn’t stand a chance, but if you can’t match the other side for skill, you at least have to put up physical resistance and play with energy. We didn’t manage to do that. We’re in a learning process and defeats like this one are part of that. The important thing is to draw the right conclusions. And we’ll do that.”

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