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Brose Bamberg loses on the road in Bonn

Bonn, 04-07-2019

Brose Bamberg suffered a needless defeat away at the team just below it in the league, Telekom Baskets Bonn. The 80:91 loss is a setback in the battle for one of the top four places that would guarantee the team of Head Coach Federico Perego home court advantage in the playoffs. Bamberg is now in fifth and has the same number of defeats (seven) as third-placed Vechta – but the worse aggregate from the encounters between the two. Fourth-placed Alba Berlin and Oldenburg in second currently have two losses less.

Perego was without his center Cliff Alexander, who twisted his ankle in training. Just how important the 23-year-old American with his physical play is now for Bamberg was evident over the entire 40 minutes. The visitors were rarely able to get a handle on Bonn’s center Charles Jackson, who drained seven out of nine shots to notch up 21 points. Two buckets from downtown by Maurice Stuckey and Nikos Zisis and free throws by Augustine Rubit enabled Bamberg to produce a run of eight points without reply to move 12:5 ahead, but Bonn was back within striking distance by the end of the period (22:21). Bamberg twice opened up a gap (35:29 and 40:35) in the second quarter as well thanks to two threes by Ricky Hickman (11 points), but Bonn hit back right away to equalize (35:35 and 40:40).

After the break, Bamberg lacked sufficient intensity to put up any fierce resistance to Bonn in defense. Bonn built a nice cushion (57:65), although Ricky Hickman reduced that to 60:65 at the end of the quarter with his third bucket from downtown. The home side pulled 70:61 in front at the start of the final period, but Bamberg’s two top scorers Elias Harris and Tyrese Rice (15 points apiece) struck back: A slam-dunk and lay-up by Harris and a three by Rice tied the encounter at 70:70 with six minutes remaining. However, Bonn again exploited weaknesses in Bamberg’s defending against shots from outside and, whereas Bamberg conceded a number of turnovers in attack, Stefan Bircevic drained three threes to give the club from the Rhineland a clearer lead and ultimately victory.

Federico Perego commented: “The Baskets deservedly won today because they were more physical and played with a lot of energy. It was our fourth game in ten days, so we found it difficult to match their intensity. We seldom managed to create a counterbalance to Jackson in the paint. We as a team – and by that I mean the team and coach – should have invested more in that.”