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Bamberg suffers second international defeat

Bamberg, 10-23-2019

That was an affair that was hard to stomach for Bamberg’s fans in the Brose Arena on the second game day in the Champions League: After a disastrous 25 minutes and trailing by 28 points (27:55), Brose Bamberg woke up far too late against Nizhny Novgorod and was only able to reduce the deficit to 58:73. This second defeat means Bamberg is under heavy pressure to win at Gaziantep in Turkey in a week’s time.

The encounter was evenly poised for just four minutes: After a lay-up from Paris Lee to tie the scores at 7:7, Bamberg’s hopes were dashed in a spell lasting almost 20 minutes, as it was not able to cope with the tough play of the Russian club’s tall players in defense. Apart from top scorer Elias Harris (15 points), who at least in the first period was able to add points from all his three lay-up attempts, the other Bamberg players constantly became bogged down by Novgorod’s defense, lost possession and were then too open at the back. In contrast, the visitors stuck resolutely to their game, did not concede a single turnover in the first quarter, produced fast combinations in offensive, and so led by 11 points shortly before the end of the period. Novgorod stretched the lead to over 20 points for the first time at the start of the second quarter with a 1:12 run to leave the team of Head Coach Roel Moors trailing by 24:44. Since the referees allowed a lot of body contact, Bamberg let itself be disconcerted by the opposing side’s physical play. That was compounded by hasty shots and shaky defending, as the home side lost a disastrous second period by 7:20 to go in at the break 24:46 behind.

Christian Sengfelder opened the second half with a bucket from downtown to make it 27:46, but the next four minutes still belonged to the visitors, who added 9 points without reply to extend the gap to 27:55. Louis Olinde then woke up his teammates with his great fighting spirit – the youngster added eight of his 11 points in the third period and captain Elias Harris also notched up point after point from the foul line and so was able to help produce a 17:4 run to reduce the deficit to 44:59 by the end of the quarter. However, Bamberg’s comeback stuttered in the fourth period: The three by Louis Olinde cut the gap to 51:63, but after that it seemed as if the basket was boarded up again. Although Moor’s team stole possession a number of times with tough defending on in-bounds passes by the visitors, none of Bamberg’s players had luck with their shots on the evening: Whether Paris Lee (10 points), Christian Sengfelder, Tre McLean or Retin Obasohan (10) – the ball danced on the hoop and refused to drop. Only one out of ten Bamberg attempts from close distance hit its mark in the final period. That was too little to cut the deficit to below the ten-point mark, especially since Bamberg only managed a weak shooting percentage below the basket (13 out of 38) over all the quarters – a major reason for the defeat.

Brose Bamberg’s Head Coach Roel Moors commented: “I have to apologize to our fans. They were magnificent and got behind us all the time. But we didn’t pay that back. Our display in the first 25 minutes was shameful. Every single one of us has to look himself in the mirror and ask: Did I give my all today? Now we need to analyze precisely why we went into the game with so little fight. We have to show a different face in the coming games.”

Bamberg now faces an encounter in the easyCredit German Basketball League on the road at Hamburg Towers on Saturday, October 26, 2019. The tip-off in the Arena is at 8:30 p.m.

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