The fans are back, but Brose Bamberg's squad is getting thinner due to injuries. Despite the long-term absence of Patrick Heckmann, coach Oren Amiel's team is able to clearly dispatch the Lower Franconian rival of s.oliver Würzburg with 97:78 in front of 731 spectators.
Brose Bamberg's injury misfortune has been merciless this season: Patrick Heckmann is now the third German national player to miss out after Kenneth Ogbe (fractured metacarpals) and Dominic Lockhart (torn tendon). Of the seven German players with whom Bamberg had started the season, only professional players Christian Sengfelder and Marvin Omuvwie are currently available to head coach Oren Amiel.
The Bamberg team was not distracted by the bad news on the floor. Marvin Omuvwie moved into the starting five and, in addition to a committed defense, rewarded the coach's trust with a three-pointer to make it 6-0. It was one of four three-pointers that landed in the basket for the overtaxed Würzburg team. Robinson laid it in from distance, Mitchell also hit for three after Omuvwie, Kyzlink first took the layup after Mitchell won the ball and then ended the 14-0 run of the home side with the fourth three-pointer - all in the first 164 seconds! With this quick lead, the Bamberg team became sloppy in defense for a short while and the Unterfranken team cut the deficit to 18:15, but coach Oren Amiel immediately took a timeout and got his boys back on track. The Israeli helped the team to gain more and more self-confidence, his appropriate interplay between praise and criticism, interjections, directing and running, explanations to the players on the bench, visibly did the Bambergers good. The 25:22 after ten minutes was followed by a strong second quarter, in which the Bambergers thrilled the 731 fans with beautiful passing sequences, fast fastbreaks and successful individual actions. Center Martinas Geben improved continuously compared to the Roijakkers era, danced out the Würzburg "bigmen" several times under the basket and completed all nine throws with points. His eighth point in the first half meant the 43;26, the highest lead before the break (45:32).
After the change of ends, Bamberg continued undeterred, giving Würzburg no chance at all to come back. Despite this, Amiel continued to experiment with unusual lineups, and even had his team play two centers at the same time. Mitchell was the anchor point of the team, along with the "permanent top scorer" Christian Sengfelder (19 points). He cleans up under the basket, creating spaces for his teammates and is an outstanding passer for a big center (7 assists). Mitchell also hit three of his four three-point attempts, as he did when he threw down a shot for a 72-50 lead, the highest of the game. Justin Robinson and Tomaz Kyzlink also scored in double figures. Forty seconds before the end, Oren Amiel let two German youngsters onto the floor to the cheers of the fans: Lukas Passarge (17) from cooperation partner BBC Coburg and Kristian Ortelli from Bamberg's youth BBL team. For Ortelli, it is an entry in the history books: at 15 years 9 months and 28 days, he is the youngest Bundesliga player ever.
"It was my first game in front of fans. They were overwhelming and pushed us. A big thank you for that, because it's not a given in the current situation, we really appreciate it. About the game: we had a good start, which gave us a lot of confidence. We also drew on that when things didn't go so well at one point. But all in all, I'm satisfied because we made the best of the current situation," said Oren Amiel (head coach Brose Bamberg) after the game.
Brose Bamberg is off again this weekend and will next play the return game at s.oliver Würzburg. Jump in the s.oliver Arena is on February 6, 2022, 3 pm.