17 successive wins in Division 1 of the Federal Basketball League! The Brose Baskets seem to be unstoppable on their march to the title after the league stage – and this would guarantee home advantage in all the playoff games. After the clear 79:64 win over the fourth-placed MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg, the Brose team is now four wins ahead of the second-placed Bayern Munich with 8 games to go in the main round.
Everyone got goosebumps even before the game started, because the fans massed in the South Block performed their special choreography show to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Bamberg basketball – they'd been working on the show for months and the whole South Stand of the Brose Arena was alive with their coordinated movements!
In the first quarter, the Brose Baskets struggled against the tactically clever Ludwigsburg team. After their strenuous win against Khimki Moscow only four days earlier, the Swabians really wanted to catch the German champions on the back foot with some hard defending and constant physical contact. Our Trinchieri team lost the ball five times in the first ten minutes and the visitors of course took advantage, going on a 15:4 run to lead 20:14, but 3-point shots and layups from Nikolaos Zisis (11 points) cut Ludwigsburg's lead to 17:22 at the end of the first quarter. The Brose team came out after the break, scoring with two free throws and Zisis passed brilliantly to Daniel Theis for an alley-oop which leveled the scores at 25:25. On the back foot, Ludwigsburg replied with even harsher defensive tactics, gifting Bamberg free throws which resulted in a lead of 31:25. Top scorer Janis Strelnieks (13 points) scored 7 points to give his team a 43:32 lead at half-time.
The guests came roaring out of the blocks and reduced the Bamberg lead to just four points in seven minutes (49:45), veteran Nikos Zisis scored 4 points himself to make it 53:47 and then put top scorer Daniel Theis (13 points) in twice with great passes. That took the Trinchieri team into the final quarter with a 60:47 lead. Then the Brose Baskets went to town, taking the hearts out of the Swabians with the second 13:0 run of the game. Four minutes before the end it was 75:52 and Ludwigsburg could only manage a 79:64 final score.
Brose Baskets Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri: "Ludwigsburg is a very good team. We had to fight hard, but we also played cleverly. We performed well, even after playing three hard games in a week. The points runs in the second and fourth quarters gave us the win. I'm very happy with our team performance overall. Having to play so many important games in such a short time means that my players can’t always play perfectly.
The next vital Euroleague match takes place on Thursday, March 24. CSKA Moscow are the top dogs of the Top 16 Group F – and the Trinchieri team needs a win to have even a slim chance of a place in the playoffs. The game starts at 20:45 and will be shown live on TV in 166 countries as the “Euroleague Game of the Week”.