Brose Bamberg started the new 2021/22 Bundesliga season with a win. Head coach Johan Roijakkers' team deservedly won 82-76 at his former club BG Göttingen, but after twice holding a double-digit lead, the Bambergers had to tremble a bit in the end.
After the hard stroke of the elimination in the Champions League qualification, a defeat after a 20-point lead, the reaction of the Bambergers was to be expected. For the Lower Saxons, the team started strong without newcomer Derek Cooke Jr. who injured his knee, the prudent playmaker Frankie Ferrari distributed the balls smartly in the build-up of the game and initiated the offensive actions solidly and calmly. Especially Christian Sengfelder scored reliably at the center position in the beginning, the captain made nine of his 16 points in the first quarter. At the back, Roijakkers' team was tight, defended aggressively and so the guests steadily pulled away from the start and ended the first ten minutes with a double-digit lead (25:15). Playmaker Justin Robinson (14 points) opened the second period with a three-pointer and a basket to make it 30:15, but after four minutes the home side from Lower Saxony got better and exploited smaller gaps in Bamberg's defense. Twice Göttingen was able to bag a three-point play (basket plus foul free throw) within ten seconds, tearing the 2,000 fans from their seats and cutting the gap to 37:32 with another three-pointer. Bamberg responded energetically. Sengfelder, Owen Prewitt and center Martinas Geben scored for a 45:36 halftime score.
After the break, Bamberg lost the ball too often and traded some of Göttingen's points through quick attacks. The result was a 55:58 deficit after 28 minutes, but Justin Robinson and Trevis Simpson (8 points) turned it back into a one-point lead at the end of the quarter (59:58). Bamberg started the final quarter very concentrated. Simpson and top scorer Omar Prewitt (19 points) hit two three-pointers for a double-digit lead (72:62) four minutes before the end, but Göttingen came back to within 73:74 with 70 seconds left. Prewitt responded with a basket to make it 73:76. Göttingen now fouled on every Bamberg attack - with a better free-throw rate, only six hits on ten throws, the Roijakkers boys would not have had to make it so exciting for the last thirty seconds.
Johan Roijakkers (head coach Brose Bamberg): "I congratulate my players - it was a deserved victory. Göttingen had its chances to turn the game around, but we reacted in the right moments. It wasn't easy because we got a tough mental blow in the Champions League qualifiers. But everyone was there today, which makes me very happy."
Brose Bamberg's first home game at Brose Arena is already scheduled for September 28, 2021. Starting at 7 p.m., Roijakkers' team will host the jobstairs Giessen 46ers, who have also started the season with a win.