Brose Bamberg’s winning streak remains unbroken after the 13th Franconian derby since s.Oliver Würzburg regained promotion, thanks to a 88:78 victory. The German champions also extended their string of home wins in the easyCredit German Basketball League to 34.
Due to the limit on the number of foreign players in the German league, Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri rested Nikos Zisis and Darius Miller; in addition, the injured Elias Harris was still not back in the squad. Nicolo Melli was not in the starting five for the first time this season and was replaced by Daniel Theis. After an evenly poised opening (7:7), the home side surged ahead with a run of 12 points without reply in front of the 6,150 crowd in the sold-out Brose Arena. Four times in a row, Trinchieri’s players passed the ball around quickly in attack and then finished the play perfectly with four buckets from beyond the arc: Daniel Theis with two and one each from Jerel McNeal and Fabien Causeur put their side 19:7 ahead. In the second period, the team from Lower Franconia with its Head Coach Dirk Bauermann, who had previously led Bamberg to two championship titles, was able to reduce the deficit initially (23:18), but then Bamberg stepped up the pace and the gap grew quickly again thanks to the home side’s 54% field goal percentage. Bamberg stretched its lead to 45:28 at half-time thanks to 14 points from Daniel Theis and eight by Fabien Causeur (16 points in total).
The home side again managed to put the first points on the board after the break, but after taking a 49:28 lead, the German champs switched down a gear too soon. Only Maodo Lo, who bagged eight of his 17 points in the third period, maintained his accuracy in shooting. Würzburg, who defended far more aggressively under Dirk Bauermann than before their change in Head Coach, capitalized on that. It was repeatedly able to prevent Bamberg from scoring and slowly closed the gap at the other end with buckets from downtown. Two threes by the visitors in the final seconds of the third period shrank the lead to 64:52. And things got even tighter on paper: First of all Daniel Theis, who chalked up two season bests (20 points and 12 rebounds), increased the lead to 67:52. Then the former Bamberg player Maurice Stuckey scored a total of six threes to cut Würzburg’s deficit to 78:72 with two minutes remaining. An annoyed Trinchieri called a timeout, after which Fabien Causeur with a lay-up and Nicolo Melli with a bucket from outside sealed the game.
Andrea Trinchieri commented: “We played solidly today and defended well in the third period. We were a little unfocused in the final six minutes. Stuckey drained difficult threes in that spell. We committed a number of mistakes against Loncar. Würzburg produced a good performance. It was a lesson for us: Würzburg played for the whole 40 minutes and never gave up. We displayed a commanding performance today without Miller and Zisis.”
Brose Bamberg now face a tough game on the road in the Euroleague at Panathinaikos Athens on Thursday, February 12, 2017 (tip-off 8 p.m.) and aims to exact revenge for the earlier 83:84 defeat at home.