What a sensation in Istanbul! The 65:54 win on the road against the Turkish club Darüssafaka Dogus means that Brose Baskets are one of the best 16 teams in Europe and have qualified for the next round, the Top 16, with three matchdays left in the group stage. No other German club has managed that so quickly in the Euroleague than the team of Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri.
Brose Baskets had twice previously qualified as one of the top 16 teams (in the 2005/2006 and 2012/2013 seasons), but only managed to do so both times on the final matchday. But this season, Brose Baskets are not wasting any time: with their fourth win in a row, they now have a great record of five victories and two losses in the group and have booked their ticket for the next round. That means they are now not under any pressure in their final three games in the group stage against CSKA Moscow, at Maccabi Tel Aviv and against Sassari. In Istanbul, Brose Baskets showed from the outset what makes them stand out: Darüssafaka Dogus had strengthened its ranks in the previous ten days by signing two NBA players, but Trinchieri’s team played as if unleashed and without any respect for the big names on the opposing side. Darius Miller and Elias Harris made the first lay-ups right away to put their side 6:0 in front, a lead Nikos Zisis stretched to 8:1. However, the Turkish club exploited Bamberg’s weakness from beyond the arc, tied the scores at 17:17 at the end of the quarter and even went 18:17 ahead at the beginning of the second period. Brose Baskets, who were without Lucca Staiger, who was weakened by flu, struck back with a lay-up from Brad Wanamaker and an alley-oop by Daniel Theis, after which Melli and Harris increased Bamberg’s lead to 32:24. However, Trinchieri’s team suffered a barren spell in attack up to half-time, enabling Istanbul to reduce the deficit to 32:29.
After the break, the strong Nicolo Melli (12 rebounds, 4 blocks) produced a number of spectacular actions in defense to stop Istanbul scoring, while at the other end top scorers Daniel Theis (13 points) and Brad Wanamaker (11) gave their side a double-digit lead (50:39). When Wanamaker made it 54:41 at the beginning of the final period, the home side summoned up everything it had and cut the gap to 58:51. However, Janis Strelnieks hit back clinically with a three as the shot clock ran down to make it 61:51 and seal the game.
Andrea Trinchieri commented: “We defended very well. Even though we made mistakes, we always had an answer and were able to come back. We played as a team in offense, as can be seen from the fact that no player scored 20 points. I’d like to single out Daniel Theis, because he was really strong. It’s his first season in the Euroleague. He always found the gap and we have superb playmakers who then also fed him the ball.”
Brose Baskets welcome CSKA Moscow, the Russian club with a string of national titles to its name, to the Brose Arena on Thursday, December 3, 2015. The tip-off is at 8:45 p.m.