EWE Baskets Oldenburg are so far the last team in the German Basketball League to have beaten champions Brose Bamberg (by 102:97 on April 14). The club from Lower Saxony gave the team of Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri a close call on Sunday afternoon and had the chance to tie the scores in the Brose Arena with nine seconds on the clock. However, Bamberg held on thanks to strong defending in the final seconds and free throws to run out winners by 83:77.
For three periods, it looked like it would be “business as usual” in the league for top-of-the-table Brose Bamberg: In the game against EWE Baskets Oldenburg, the second-placed team after last year’s regular season, the home side opened up a 23:13 gap at the end of the first quarter thanks to a strong performance by top scorer Elias Harris (15 points). Although Oldenburg closed that to three (37:34) in the second period, Harris scored five points in a row to make it 42:36 at the break. Nicolo Melli (12 points) and the “nine-point triumvirate” of Fabien Causeur, Nikos Zisis and Daniel Theis gave their side the highest lead of the game right at the end of the third quarter (68:56).
Yet despite this double-digit gap, the game was not yet decided in favor of Bamberg: Oldenburg opened the final period with a quick bucket from beyond the arc and lay-up to cut the deficit to 70:61. And then a number of dubious decisions by the referees gave the visitors a helping hand: A clean block by Daniel Theis against Rickey Paulding was called as a foul, causing Trinchieri to complain and concede a technical foul on top. The German league veteran Paulding gratefully accepted the five points on one attack to make it just 70:66 with seven minutes to go. And EWE Baskets now struck back after every Bamberg bucket with points of its own. Moreover, Bamberg’s players continued to have issues with the referees: A (very dubious) dribbling mistake was called against old-hand Nikos Zisis with two minutes left, while the foul on Daniel Theis as he was attempting a three was not penalized. And so there was a showdown with nine seconds on the clock: 80:77 for Bamberg with Oldenburg with an in-bounds pass and the chance to equalize. But Bamberg’s defense was rock-solid: Rickey Paulding was to shoot and Daniel Theis was assigned to cover Oldenburg’s top scorer. The five-second time limit for the in-bounds pass expired and the visitors failed to get the ball into play in time. At the other end, Darius Miller drained three free throws to give Bamberg a narrow 83:77 victory: its seventh win of the season and twentieth in a row in the German Basketball League.
Brose Bamberg now faces its next home game in the Euroleague on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, when the four-times champions Panathinaikos Athens visits the BROSE ARENA (tip-off: 8 p.m.). The encounter will be streamed live on telekombasketball.de and will also be shown live in the program RAN Basketball on the free TV station Pro7 Maxx starting from 7:45 p.m.