s.Oliver Würzburg did not manage to follow up its strong performance at home against Oldenburg in the capital city: In front of just over 10,000 spectators in the Mercedes Benz Arena, Alba Berlin controlled the encounter on the 25th matchday from the tip-off and ran out winners by the deserved margin of 99:75 (52:29). The Albatrosses, for whom five players got into double digits, stamped their mark on the game with intense defending in the first three periods. “Basically, the game was over after ten minutes,” said s.Oliver Würzburg’s Head Coach Dirk Bauermann.
As expected, he was without Lamonte Ulmer, who is still suffering from the aftermath of his ankle injury. However, it was hardly noticeable from the home side’s performance that it was also missing Peyton Siva and Tony Gaffney: Dragan Milosavljevic slipped into the role of playmaker and not only drained two threes in this spell, but also made five assists.
However, Berlin’s start-to-finish win was initiated by Nils Giffey and Akeem Vargas, who drained the first two buckets to make it 5:0. Sebastian Betz, in his 250th German League game, struck back with a three for Würzburg (5:3). Yet the home side then quickly opened up a double-digit gap thanks to aggressive defending and beautiful moves in attack. A free throw by Vargas put his side 17:7 ahead in the 7th minute. Whereas everything Berlin did in the first thirty minutes came off, Würzburg’s play was increasingly riddled by mistakes and poor finishing. “Berlin made its mark on the game with its strong defense and we didn’t get into our stride in offense,” said Bauermann: “It’s disappointing we never managed to put up the resistance we needed to.” The momentum then shifted completely and definitively to the home side at the start of the second period at the latest: With the exception of a lay-up by Maurice Stuckey, the club from Lower Franconia did not put any points on the board for almost the first five minutes of the quarter. The Albatrosses pulled away by 37:20 in the 16th minute and by half-time had surged 52:29 ahead. In particular, the visitors – unlike in the home victory against Oldenburg – hardly managed to drain a shot from beyond the arc before the break: s.Oliver Würzburg made just two out of 11 attempted threes in the first half (18 percent), whereas Alba Berlin scored seven out of 13 (54 percent).
And Berlin continued to dominate after the break: It increased the gap to thirty points (64:34) after 26 minutes and even to forty (86:46) after a three by Nils Giffey in the 32nd minute. Only little changed until with two minutes to go, when the visitors were able to put a better complexion on the result: After Dragan Milosavljevic buried two free throws (99:63), Würzburg produced a run of 12 points without reply to reduce the deficit to 99:75.
s.Oliver Würzburg has a rest this weekend. Its next game is at home on March 24, when its former Head Coach Doug Spradley returns to the s.Oliver Arena with his new club RASTA Vechta (tip-off: 7 p.m.).