Fraport Skyliners had won ten home games in a row – but they were to be denied an eleventh, as Brose Baskets turned in an impressive performance to force Frankfurt into submission and capture a clear 69:85 victory in the Fraport Arena.
The home side from Hesse was able to keep up only in the opening minutes. Brad Wanamaker and Trevor Mbakwe quickly canceled out its early 9:5 lead and the very physical game remained evenly poised up to when the score stood at 16:16. Then Bamberg displayed more intensity in defense, winning a number of turnovers and capitalizing on them to add eight points in the space of 83 seconds to surge 16:24 ahead. New signing Dawan Robinson (13 points), who immediately slotted into the team very harmoniously and with great oversight, gave Bamberg its first double-digit lead (16:26), after which Elias Harris stretched the gap to 18:30 with a slam-dunk. Frankfurt’s defense, the league’s third-best after Bamberg and Berlin in terms of points conceded, was powerless against Brose Baskets’ quick and accurate passing. Top scorer Janis Strelnieks (15 points) drained a bucket from beyond the arc to finish a brilliant pass by Robinson and make it 26:42, but the home side was then able to cut the lead slightly to 34:47 by half-time.
The team of Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri also did not show any weakness after the break, stepping up the pace in offense and capturing its highest lead of the game (38:57) thanks to buckets from Trevor Mbakwe and Ryan Thompson (both 9 points). After that – and especially in the three minutes after Janis Strelnieks made it 54:72 with a three-pointer – Frankfurt made a valiant attempt to avoid defeat and produced a run of 9 points without reply to cut the deficit to 63:72. However, Bamberg’s top scorer Josh Duncan (15 points) scored twice in a row after crazy moves by draining tough shots as the shot clock ran down. On the next attack, Daniel Theis was also able to score when pressed for time and then Brad Wanamaker (13 points) stretched the lead to 65:80 to seal victory.
Andrea Trinchieri commented: “It was a very tough, yet very good game of basketball. I’ve great respect for the way Frankfurt plays and for Gordon Herbert’s work. We have a similar vision of how to play. We produced a good game and played together well as a team, both in attack and defense. Our objective was to control the game, which we also managed to do after a weak start. We were able to move the ball to the right spot at the right time. It was a big win for us, because it’s not easy to win here in Frankfurt.”
Brose Baskets now face a key game in the Eurocup on Wednesday, January 28, 2014, when they travel to JDA Dijon to seek revenge for the 81:86 home defeat a week ago. The tip-off is at 8:30 p.m.