The victory against Ludwigsburg at the end of November marked the start of Brose Baskets’ winning streak of 16 German league games in a row, but that record run for the season came to an end on Saturday evening when they lost 73:83 in the return game on the road against MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. The team of Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri rarely found a good antidote to the home side’s extremely aggressive defending and also conceded 20 turnovers.
Bamberg only led twice in the whole game: by 2:0 at the beginning after a spectacular slam-dunk by Trevor Mbawe and when Darius Miller made it 17:16 after Bamberg clawed back a 6:14 deficit with a bucket from beyond the arc by Strelnieks, four free throws and a slam-dunk by Thompson. However, Ludwigsburg struck back to add four points and take the quarter by 20:17. The rest of the game then proved the truth of the old adage that basketball is a “game of runs.” Ludwigsburg opened up a ten-point gap at the beginning of the second period (27:17), after which Darius Miller and top scorer Janis Strelnieks (21 points) reduced it to 27:24. Yet before Brose Baskets could equalize, the number of turnovers they conceded began to mount again – and Ludwigsburg capitalized on that to surge 37:26 in front. However, two three-pointers by Ryan Thompson and Janis Strelnieks and a lay-up from Dawan Robinson put their side back within striking distance (44:41). The picture did not change much in the second half, either: Trinchieri’s team did not come to terms with Ludwigsburg’s unusual defensive tactic, with the Bamberg player in possession being attacked aggressively deep in his own half. In addition, playmaker Brad Wanamaker had a bad day, both in building moves (four turnovers) and with his shooting from the field (1 bucket out of 10 attempts). Ludwigsburg went 62:52 ahead shortly before the end of the quarter, but Bamberg’s best two players on the day – Ryan Thompson (16 points) and Strelnieks – cut the deficit to 62:59 in the space of 60 seconds. A turning point in the game was the 35th minute: Darius Miller made it 67:65 and Brose Baskets had the ball and at last the chance to go ahead again: Darius Miller made space nicely, but his open shot from outside only hit the hoop. However, Ryan Thompson snapped up the offensive rebound and passed to the freestanding Janis Strelnieks, but his attempted three-pointer bounced out of the basket. Ludwigsburg countered quickly to score from outside (70:65). On its next attack, Bamberg again lost possession and Ludwigsburg made it 72:65, then Ryan Thompson missed his attempt from beyond the arc and Ludwigsburg stretched the lead to 72:65. Since Brose Baskets conceded four further turnovers in the final four minutes and committed two offensive fouls, they were no longer able to avert defeat.
Andrea Trinchieri commented: “We were too soft, egoistic and anything but clever. We deserved to lose this game and at the end of the day it’s only the result of our really very poor performance. I find it hard to say something positive after this game, because my players were brushed off at every contact for the whole 40 minutes.”
Brose Baskets now welcome Walter Tigers Tübingen to the Brose Arena on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2015 (tip-off: 5 p.m.). They beat the opposing side from Swabia by 92:81 in the league game earlier in the season.