Despite great injury worries, the team of Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri did not want to go down without a fight against the top club in the Euroleague. Fired on by 6,200 spectators, the home side displayed strong body language and was also able to match ZSKA’s superstars, in particular in the first half. A bucket from beyond the arc by Daniel Hackett put Bamberg 6:3 ahead, after which the lead often changed hands. Augustine Rubit, who was forced to retire early on in the encounter against Bonn last Sunday due to a bone bruise, surprisingly returned after five minutes to the loud cheers of the crowd. The American posed a number of problems for Moscow’s defense and scored quick points with an impressive slam-dunk and lay-up. After trailing 20:22 at the end of the first period, Bamberg produced a spurt of seven points without reply – with a lay-up by Nikos Zisis and five points by the strong Maodo Lo – to pull 27:22 in front. Although Bamberg was solid in defense and did not give the visitors any easy shots, the Russian club snapped up six offensive rebounds up to half-time, scored a number of times at the second attempt and so turned the game around by the break (39:42).
When the teams came back out, Leon Radosevic and Ricky Hickman tied the scores again with two threes. However, the star ensemble from Moscow stepped up a gear after an energetic lay-up by Daniel Hackett to make it 52:54. Led on by playmaker Nando De Colo, the visitors capitalized mercilessly on a number of small mistakes by Bamberg to surge 57:67 ahead. Although Bamberg was able to finish a number of impressive moves with beautiful points, it was no longer able to close the gap on the strong opponent from the Russian capital. The encounter thus ended with a 76:92 victory for the visitors.
Andrea Trinchieri commented: “We played a very good first half, displayed the right energy on court and did a lot of things right. However, we weren’t good enough after the break. One figure says it all: They had 36 rebounds, we had just 22. We matched them pretty evenly in the other statistics, but we didn’t snap up enough rebounds. CSKA plays physically, yes, but that’s a department where we need to improve very soon. If we have a problem with rebounding, that’s something the whole team has to work on.”