Brose Baskets are back at the top of basketball in Germany! With an 88:84 home win in the fifth game of the final series, they dethroned FC Bayern Munich and regained the German championship after just one season without a title. There was nothing that could restrain the jubilation in the Brose Arena after the final buzzer as the 6,800 fans turned it into one big red sea of joy.
Brose Baskets got off to a furious start in the deciding game of the final series: For the first time, Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri changed his starting five, beginning with Daniel Theis instead of Elias Harris – a ploy that paid off immediately. Theis, once again supported on the sideline by his buddy and NBA star Dennis Schröder, was a great impetus to his team’s play in the tall wing position. Karsten Tadda opened the deluge of points in the first minutes with a lay-up, after which a bucket from beyond the arc by Ryan Thompson and two jump shots from Daniel Theis gave the home side a perfect start (9:0 in the third minute). The German center made all his ten points in the first period, which Bamberg claimed by 26:19. Brose Baskets continued to pull away in the second quarter, mainly because they rebounded strongly and allowed Munich hardly any offensive rebounds and so second shots. Janis Strelnieks (11 points) drained his only three (31:21), Trevor Mbakwe stretched the lead to 39:24 and Bamberg went in at half-time 13 points ahead (49:36).
After the break, the team of Andrea Trinchieri continued its tough, resolute defending and kept the defending champions away from the basket well, with the result that Munich was able to add just one free throw in a five-minute spell. In the meantime, Janis Strelnieks and Ryan Thompson (10 points) extended the gap to 55:37 after 25 minutes, Bamberg’s highest lead. Yet the inexperience of Trinchieri’s players in playoffs then made itself felt. The title-holders came back strongly and buried wild threes to make it 63:50 at the end of the third period. Munich quickly reduced the deficit to 63:55 in the final quarter, but the NBA legionnaire Darius Miller (12 points) drained a bucket from outside, then added a lay-up and two free throws to give his side a comfortable 69:56 cushion. Top scorer and rebounder Trevor Mbakwe (20 points, 13 rebounds) and Janis Strelnieks put Bamberg 82:67 in front with three minutes to go, but the game was still not over. With a series of threes and an unjustified unsporting foul and five points in the space of 20 seconds, FC Bayern managed to slash the gap to 86:84 with four seconds left on the clock. However, Dawan Robinson sealed victory with two free throws (88:84) to crown Brose Baskets 2015 German champions, meaning they also qualify for the Euroleague, Europe’s topmost club competition.
Andrea Trinchieri commented: “I’m going through a lot of emotions. That was a special job for me today as coach. We won deservedly and the game was very charged. It was magnificent playing in front of this crowd. We controlled the game for 38 minutes and at the end we found a way to win. We’ve come along very well in the season. Now we’re the champions and that’s a really good feeling. I’d like to thank everyone who worked behind the scenes. I’ve experienced a lot of love here in Bamberg. ‘I’m finished’.”