Brose Baskets lost their final game in the Eurocup group stage on the road against CAI Zaragoza by the narrow margin of 78:76. Going into the game, Bamberg had already secured second place in the group and so a berth in the last 32, where the team of Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri will come up against Union Ljubljana, JDA Dijon and one of the two teams “relegated” from the Euroleague: Bayern Munich or Turow Zgorcelec.
Since the outcome of the game would not have any effect on Bamberg’s standing in the table, Andrea Trinchieri included youngster Andreas Obst in the starting five and gave the 18-year-old almost 17 minutes on court. Obst repaid his trust with three buckets from beyond the arc and nine points, his personal record for Brose Baskets. Nevertheless, the team from Upper Franconia had to play catch-up all the time in the first half. Its shooting was not accurate enough, especially from the three-point line and Zaragoza took the first period 21:14. Bamberg closed the gap to 23:21 with a three by Janis Strelnieks, but the Spanish club capitalized on the total of nine turnovers conceded by its opponents up to half-time and went in leading by 37:31.
Zaragoza was able to stretch the lead to 42:34 after the break, but then Trinchieri’s team stepped up a gear in defense and did not let the home side get in any more easy shots. In particular Brad Wanamaker, the top scorer with twelve points, Josh Shipp (11 points) and Daniel Theis (10 points) drained their shots after great combinations in offense. From trailing by eight points, Brose Baskets produced a 3:21 run to take a ten-point lead in the space of six minutes and went into the final period ahead by 50:60. However, their mistakes started mounting again, with the result that Zaragoza equalized by the last minute and then went 77:74 in front thanks to bucket from outside with 4.4 seconds left on the clock. After a timeout, Janis Strelnieks (11 points) ran free for the attempted three as dictated by Head Coach Trinchieri and the ball also went through the loop – but instead of tying the scores at 77:77 and so taking the game into overtime, Strelnieks’ shot was only awarded two. The Latvian player’s foot had barely touched the three-point line, meaning the score was only 77:76 – Bamberg’s defeat was sealed. With half a second to go, Zaragoza was awarded free throws and made one to run out winners by 78:76.
Andrea Trinchieri commented: “I always tell my players that a win’s a win and a defeat’s a defeat. But I have to say I’m not so disappointed at losing this time than I usually am. It was very difficult to motivate ourselves for this game because there was nothing at stake, we were second in the group no matter what happened and we have two more tough weekend games on the road. With a total of 38 assists, it was a decent game and we played hard, but we were also naïve and gave the other side too many chances from the line. That cost us the game, and we didn’t use our fouls cleverly enough. However, the game had quality.”
Brose Baskets face sixth-placed Artland Dragons on the road in the Beko German Basketball League this Saturday evening. The game tips off at 8:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on telekombasketball.de.