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Brose Bamberg captures next win on the road

Weißenfels , 02-08-2019

An away win with an unpleasant aftertaste: Brose Bamberg dominated the encounter at Mitteldeutscher BC for three periods, opening up a 22-point gap (71:49), but then lost its focus in the final 12 minutes and only ended up winning narrowly by 96:89 – also thanks to a personal record by Elias Harris.

There were some new tidings from the Brose camp before the away game: The next round of the Champions League had been drawn in Zurich. Bamberg faces the Turkish club Banvit Bandirma in the Round of 16 and, if it comes out on top, will go on to play the winners from the Greek derby between defending champions AEK Athens and PAOK Thessaloniki. In addition, the contract with Stevan Jelovac was dissolved – the Serbian player will move to Gaziantep in the Turkish league with immediate effect. Jelovac was no longer called on by Head Coach Federico Perego in recent games due to his weak displays in defense.

In the game in Weißenfels against the MBC, whose form has increasingly weakened in recent weeks, Bamberg initially exploited the many turnovers conceded by the home side to score on fast breaks. Augustine Rubit was fired up, drained all his shots in the first period and chalked up eight of his total haul of 10 points to help put his side 25:17 ahead after ten minutes. Bamberg stretched the gap further with fast offensive basketball – playmaker Tyrese Rice (7 assists) often set up center Cliff Alexander (8 points) or himself added easy points, as the visitors went in at half-time with a secure 50:37 cushion.

After the break, it was again a one-ended affair to begin with: Nikos Zisis (10 points) drained two buckets from downtown, while Elias Harris got better into the game and buried just about every shot. Bamberg extended its lead to 71:49 by the 27th minute. Yet suddenly it seemed as if the visitors wanted to conserve their energy for the cup final in the coming week. They were no longer so belligerent in defense and lacked concentration in attack, with the result that they lost possession nine further times after conceding just five turnovers in the first 25 minutes. Only Elias Harris put up stiff resistance against the club from Weißenfels: Bamberg’s stalwart notched up 23 points after the break and a total haul of 27 to break his previous German league record of 25 – and it was his important buckets that saved his side’s skin after the MBC had closed the gap to 85:92 with three minutes to go.

Federico Perego commented: “We have to be more on top of things mentally. We showed very good signs and controlled the game. We knew the MBC would be ready for us and exploit our mistakes mercilessly. We were 22 points ahead and squandered 15 of them. We can’t afford to do that, especially on the road. That’s a big risk.”