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Brose Bamberg defeats tenacious Frankfurt by the narrow margin of 74:73

Bamberg, 02-13-2019

That was a close call! Thanks to a floater by Tyrese Rice, Brose Bamberg went 74:73 in front against Fraport Skyliners from Frankfurt with just 25 seconds left on the clock and defended strongly against the last attack to capture its 14th win of the season. The dress rehearsal in a fiercely contested game before the cup final on Sunday went successfully for the team of Head Coach Federico Perego.

Appearances were deceptive in the opening minutes: Bamberg played at a high pace and combined securely and on the first four attacks always found a free-standing teammate. Tyrese Rice with a lay-up and bucket from beyond the arc and Cliff Alexander (11 points) with a slam-dunk gave their side a quick 7:0 lead after three minutes. Yet that was to be Bamberg’s biggest run of the encounter – the opposing side from Hesse became more and more bothersome in defense, covered Bamberg hard and always on the verge of fouling, fought for every ball, and so robbed the home side of its strength in offense. Bamberg managed to hold on to a 21:19 lead going into the second period and was five points in front again after a three by Hickman in the 16th minute (28:23). But then it seemed as if the basket had been boarded up for the rest of the half. Numerous threes danced on the rim and did not drop, and seven shots from outside by Bamberg failed to hit their mark. Frankfurt went ahead with a run of nine points without reply to leave the home side trailing by 33:38 at the break.

Bamberg’s shooting from downtown improved in the third quarter: Tyrese Rice drained two threes, and Ricky Hickman, Bryce Taylor and Augustine Rubit added one apiece. And since Rubit beavered away better under the basket and made his lay-ups, Bamberg was able to reduce the deficit to 56:58 by the end of the third period. The game remained on a knife’s edge until the very end: Daniel Schmidt put Bamberg back in front again for the first time (59:58), after which the lead changed hands on almost every attack. Bamberg focused again on its inside game instead of shots from beyond the arc, and the strong Elias Harris (15 points) added one lay-up after the other and put his side 72:70 ahead with 55 seconds remaining. Yet Frankfurt struck back with a three with 40 seconds left on the clock (72:73). Top scorer Tyrese Rice (17 points) shouldered responsibility again, drove to the basket past three Frankfurt players and, in almost casual manner, drained the difficult floater to make it 74:73. Frankfurt hit the hoop on the final attack and Elias Harris snapped up the rebound with eleven seconds to go – Bamberg had won!

Federico Perego commented: “That was an important victory. We won against a side with a good team chemistry. Frankfurt is one of the great teams in the German league, despite its position in the table. They posed a number of problems for us in attack. The win means we’re still among the league leaders.”