Brose Baskets also won both games on the second weekend with two matchdays at the end of the regular season in the German league. On Friday evening, Bamberg sent Alba Berlin packing in the Brose Arena by 80:64 and followed that up on Sunday afternoon with a 92:77 victory against Bremerhaven Polar Bears, its 17th home win out of 17 home games this season. In the quarter-finals of the playoffs, the German champions now face their local Franconian rivals s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg.
After it had already secured first place in the table in the regular season last week, the team of Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri had a pretty tough time getting into the game at the start of the tussle with Alba Berlin. The current cup winners displayed incredibly intense and effective defending in the Brose Arena; Trinchieri’s players did not make their shots, making just two out of twelve from the floor, and so trailed by 5:15 and then 10:21 at the end of the period. Yet although the game had no bearing on the German champs’ standing in the table, Bamberg put on a fabulous display from the 16 minute on (when it trailed by 21:31) . Lucca Staiger, the second-best scorer with 15 points and five out of seven threes, sparked the recovery with his first bucket from beyond the arc, while Brad Wanamaker added three free throws and two lay-ups. And after Berlin had called a timeout, Darius Miller drained the next shot from outside to give Bamberg the lead for the first time (34:31). After the break (34:35), the home side played its fast basketball against the slackening Alba defense and, especially thanks to Daniel Theis (13 points), was able to open up a clear gap and go into the final period 57:46 ahead. Top scorer Brad Wanamaker then really turned on the heat again, bagging eight of his 21 points and enabling Brose Baskets to capture what in the end was a comfortable 80:64 victory.
There was actually nothing at stake in the encounter against Bremerhaven Polar Bears on Sunday afternoon – the opposing side from Lower Saxony had avoided relegation on Friday after a poor season. Bamberg’s Head Coach Andrea Trinchieri had to do without his two key players Nicolo Melli and Nikos Zisis at short notice – both went down with upset stomachs. Nevertheless, the home side built a 46:32 lead thanks to Elias Harris, Daniel Theis and Patrick Heckmann, with the three German players contributing 27 points on their own. Yet the club from Northern Germany did not want to be humiliated in its last game of the season and now became stronger in defense, also due to inconsistent refereeing that meant Bamberg had players at risk of fouling out. The Polar Bears sliced the deficit to 60:62 shortly before the end of the third period. But the home sided then took control of the game again and top scorers Daniel Theis (16 points) and Brad Wanamaker (15), as well as youngster Aleksej Nikolic with five of his seven points, extended the lead.
Andrea Trinchieri commented: “There were no compromises in the game against Berlin. In the first period, we had great problems adapting to Berlin’s physical play. In the third period, we played magnificently, moved the ball well and also put on a top-class shooting display. That was pretty much like a playoff game. Against Bremerhaven, we spread the time the players had on court well, there’s not much else that needs to be said about the game. The regular season is now over and we can focus on the playoffs. We now start a new chapter in the season, one that will demand greater intensity. We’re looking forward to getting the playoffs underway in the Franconian derby next week in the great atmosphere here.”
Brose Baskets embark on the quarter-finals of the playoffs this weekend against their local rivals from Lower Franconia, s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg. The tip-off in the first game of the best-of-five series in on Sunday, May 8, 2016, at 8:30 p.m.