Brose Bamberg remains unbeaten in the Basketball Bundesliga and takes the lead in the standings with its fourth win in a row. In the top match against the previous first-place team MLP academics Heidelberg, Johann Roijakkers' team prevailed 72-68 in a contested game after the Bambergers had already led 57-42 in front of 3297 fans.
Bamberg was warned against the promoted Heidelberg. The team from Baden had won all its Bundesliga games so far and also showed the best defense in the league. The Ignjatovic boys allowed only 69.2 points per game to their opponents. Roijakkers' team started with a correspondingly high level of concentration, especially on the offensive end. The strong Dominik Lockhart scored with three long-range shots in the first quarter and was thus instrumental in the 13:4 lead. Gradually, the Heidelberg defense sorted itself out so that Bamberg could no longer score so easily. The score was 23:18 after ten minutes. In the second quarter, top scorer Omar Prewitt (16 points, 7 assists) in particular whirled around the Heidelberg defense, also netting his three distance shots, one to the great jubilation of the Bamberg fans with the halftime siren at 45:35.
After the change of ends, Bamberg initially pulled away, captain Christian Sengfelder (12 points) taking a fade-away jumper to make it 57:42. But from then on, the Heidelbergers defended harder, always going to the foul line in every defensive sequence. Top scorer Prewitt relied too often on hard contact being penalized on his baskets, but the whistle failed to blow. By the end of the quarter, the visitors had cut it to 60:49 and playmaker Justin Robinson's three-pointer made it 66:55, but from then on the home side suffered from a four-and-a-half-minute scoring drought. Bamberg lost nine balls in the final quarter and Heidelberg pulled back to 66-63. Bamberg's savior in crunch time was Patrick Heckmann, who twice went to the basket after strong passes from Robinson (10 assists!) and finished with a dunk and a layup to make it 70:64. Heidelberg used a Bamberg offensive foul for the 0:4 run, 20 seconds before the end Heckmann was free under the basket after an unbelievable pass across the whole court by Omar Prewitt, could only be stopped by a foul. Heckmann (13 points) showed no nerves and converted both free throws for a 72-68 win.
Johan Roijakkers (head coach Brose Bamberg): "First of all: what Heidelberg has achieved so far deserves great respect. They will play a good role this season. About the game: it was a defensive battle. Both teams defended physically. We had some 'big plays' at the end, especially from Patrick Heckmann. Overall, it wasn't easy, but we led for 40 minutes, so I think we deserved to win."
On October 24, 2021, Brose Bamberg will be looking to defend its lead in the table with its next win: starting at 8:30 p.m., the Roijakkers boys will be challenged in Braunschweig. The sixteenth-placed team in the table is under pressure after three defeats in a row.