German champions Brose Bamberg have returned home from their “weekend on the road” with two wins beneath their belt. On Friday evening, Bamberg strolled to a 92:64 victory in Erfurt against newly promoted Oettinger Rockets. On Sunday evening, it won by “only” 81:73 away at Tigers Tübingen after leading by 20 points at the end of the third period.
The encounter in Erfurt turned into a clear-cut affair. The newly promoted club had seven players injured and so could only call on a squad of seven, two of whom were from the youth side. Bamberg pulled away from the outset and led by 14:2 after four minutes. Bryce Taylor drained three buckets from beyond the arc in the second period to put his side 56:30 in front, after which Maodo Lo and Patrick Heckmann extended the gap to 61:32 at half-time. After the break, Bamberg was content to play out its lead. The upshot was a weak period it lost by 12:20. However, top scorer Leon Radosevic stretched the lead again to almost 30 points with his three lay-ups and two free throws at the end.
Bamberg began very focused again in Tübingen. With the help of the three new signings Bryce Taylor, Luca Mitrovic and Augustine Rubit, the reigning champs quickly surged 26:11 ahead by the end of the quarter. The Serbian Mitrovic, who finished as top scorer, produced a strong performance and helped Bamberg storm 40:19 in front. Despite a small comeback by Tübingen, Bamberg maintained the lead at just under 20 points. Maodo Lo drained a bucket from downtown to make it 62:42 shortly before the end of the third period. But suddenly Bamberg’s flow was disrupted. Tübingen’s Kris Richards turned on the heat and caused a burst of emotion in the up to then quiet Paul Horn Hall by draining five three-pointers. Poorly executed attacks by Bamberg meant that just one attack stood between the home side tying the score with three minutes to go. But fortunately, the champs did not show any nerves. Daniel Hackett made his free throws, Luca Mitrovic capitalized on a fast attack by adding a lay-up, and Maodo Lo stole the ball from Tübingen’s playmaker to follow suit. The run of seven points without reply with a minute left decided the game, which finished 76:66.
Assistant coach Ilias Kantzouris commented: “We need time to weld the team together. We knew from the outset that we mustn’t underestimate the Rockets, even though they only had seven players in their squad. The Rockets have a lot of quality. We expected a tough game in Tübingen and that’s how it turned out. Tübingen plays with a lot of confidence at home. Our goal at this point in the season is to win games and we did that twice at the weekend. Now we have to prepare for the Euroleague.”
The German champions begin their campaign in Europe’s top club competition this Thursday (October 12, 2017), when Maccabi Tel Aviv visits the Brose Arena (tip-off: 8 p.m.).