As in the semi-final against FC Bayern Munich (82:59), title-holders Brose Bamberg also strolled to a commanding victory against EWE Baskets Oldenburg in the first game of the playoff series in the final of the German championship. The score after 40 one-sided minutes was 96:60 – the highest win by a Bamberg team in a final and the second-highest in the history of the German league.
Whereas the team of championship-winning Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri was able to prepare and regenerate for a whole week after winning its semi-final 3:0, Oldenburg was back on court again in the Brose Arena just three days after winning the long series against Ulm by 3:2. And it was noticeable that the team from Lower Saxony was tired. Right from the tip-off, the home side impressed with aggressive defending and did not allow Oldenburg any open or easy shots. As a result, Bamberg led 11:0 after six minutes, even though it had missed a number of shots up to then. The home side stretched its lead to 20 points in the first period (24:4) thanks to two buckets from beyond the arc by Maodo Lo, a lay-up from Janis Strelnieks and free throws by Theis and Harris, after which Oldenburg added a lay-up to make it 24:6 at the end of the quarter. Although the visitors were able to score more frequently against Bamberg’s strong defense in the second period, the home side still strung beautiful moves together in offense and so nevertheless extended its lead by the break (43:22). Bamberg’s dominance was evidenced by two statistics: The five Bamberg players on the bench who were not in the starting five bagged a total of 23 points between them – one more than the entire Oldenburg team. And the fact that the home side scored 13 points on fast attacks compared with zero by the visitors was testimony to how brilliantly Trinchieri’s team gelled in defense and offense.
Shortly after the break, Bamberg’s Darius Miller made it clear why he was named Most Valuable Player in the 2016 final: The American drained three buckets from outside from the right corner in just under 150 seconds and extended the gap to 54:27 with 11 of his 14 points. 27 points – that was precisely how much Oldenburg trailed by in its second semi-final game against UIm and yet was still able to run out winners. After a brief spurt by the club from Lower Saxony to make it 62:41, Nikos Zisis almost restored the gap at the end of the period with a three and free throws (69:43). In the final quarter, Head Coach Trinchieri rested his key players in particular – Fabien Causeur (10 points), Nicolo Melli (7 points, 8 rebounds) and Nikos Zisis (10 points) did not need to spend longer than 21 minutes on court. Lucca Staiger with two buckets from downtown, Leon Radosevic (10 points) and top scorer Maodo Lo (17 points), who did not miss a shot, helped their side stretch its lead continuously in the final period.
Andrea Trinchieri commented: “The five games against Ulm sapped a lot of strength out of Oldenburg, so I’m not impressed by the gap at the end. It’s immaterial whether you win by one point or a very wide margin in the playoffs. We were focused, blended as a team and played well in defense. We’ll face a completely different opponent on Wednesday. Oldenburg will play with a great deal of energy and they’ll drain shots from the parking lot. We only won the first game on Sunday and now have to prepare for a tough battle on Wednesday.”
The second game in the final of the German championship is in the EWE Arena in Oldenburg on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, and tips off at 8:30 p.m.