It was a weekend of mixed success for German champions Brose Bamberg: On Friday evening, the team of Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri failed to pull off a major shock by the narrowest of margins, losing its opening game in the Euroleague by just 66:67 against last season’s runners-up Fenerbahçe Istanbul. A bare 45 hours after that encounter ended, Bamberg defeated Bremerhaven Polar Bears on the road 93:87 in the German league thanks to a dynamic Lucca Staiger after trailing by eight points at one stage and defended its top spot in the table.
A strong performance was ultimately not rewarded with a shock win: For the entire 40 minutes, the German champs produced an impressive display, especially in defense, against last season’s finalists Fenerbahçe Istanbul. The club from Upper Franconia surprised the top-class team from the Bosporus in the first period in particular, with Darius Miller helping his side take it 22:18 with two lay-ups. However, the Turkish club demonstrated in the second quarter that it also has a team that combines well together and has been strengthened: The home side’s players kept on breaking through on Bamberg’s basket, turned the game around and took a 33:36 lead in at half-time. Bamberg trailed 56:62 at the beginning of the final period, but fought its way back with a slam-dunk by Daniel Theis, a bucket from beyond the arc by Janis Strelnieks and five free throws by top scorer Darius Miller (17 points) to snatch a 66:65 lead with 80 seconds left on the clock. Fenerbahçe responded with two free throws, after which Bamberg had the chance to win the game with its last two shots – but unfortunately the two attempts from downtown by Darius Miller and Nicolo Melli rebounded from the hoop.
In its German league encounter in Bremerhaven, Bamberg was not able to impress until the final 15 minutes. The Polar Bears produced a deluge of threes, especially in the first half, and notched up 53 points against the German champions in it, thanks to eight buckets from outside out of just eleven attempts. They even led by 61:53 shortly after the break. Yet Trinchieri’s squad also has a genuine three-point specialist in the shape of Lucca Steiger – with his five buckets from downtown out of seven attempts in just fourteen minutes on court, the 28-year-old turned the game around to put the reigning champs 70:67 in front at the end of the period. Nikos Zisis also contributed important threes and 16 points to the hard-fought win for Bamberg.
Andrea Trinchieri commented: “Not many teams will have the chance to win on the last shot on the road against Fenerbahçe. Unfortunately, we didn’t execute our last attack well, but we should have played better before that. We ought to have risked more in offense. In this season with so many games, a lot will revolve around how much energy we have. If we find that energy, we’ll not have problems in the course of the season. Fortunately, we were able to summon up the energy we needed to win the game in Bremerhaven in the second half. Bremerhaven played excellently and with a lot of intensity, whereas we didn’t play well for long spells.”
Brose Bamberg now faces the first of at least 15 home games in the Euroleague on Thursday, October 20, 2016, when the Russian club Unics Kazan, which likewise lost its first game in Europe’s top club competition, visits the BROSE ARENA (tip-off: 8 p.m.).