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Brose Bamberg returns with a strong victory after the international break

Gießen, 03-02-2019

Brose Bamberg chalked up a 97:90 win on the road at Gießen 46ers, its fifth straight victory in the German league and seventh in succession if the cup is included, to strengthen its grip on fifth spot in the table. It now has a good chance of capturing home court advantage for the playoff quarter-finals in the last 14 games of the regular season.

As in the earlier game between the two that ended 109:101, the duel between the cup winners and Gießen looked set to be high-scoring from the very first quarter. Bamberg’s first five shots all hit their mark; however the home side was also in accurate shooting form and capitalized on most of its chances. The team of Head Coach Federico Perego trailed 14:18 after six minutes, but then stepped into top gear to add two buckets from downtown and two lay-ups and move 29:26 ahead after the first period. Tyrese Rice was outstanding in it, notching up 11 out of his final haul of 19 points. Bamberg opened up a seven-point gap at the beginning of the second quarter, but Gießen then clinically punished its mistakes in defense and kept on adding points. With his side trailing 45:51, the strong Augustine Rubit was able to cut the deficit to 47:51 with a thunderous slam-dunk just before the break.

Federico Perego must have given his players a serious talking to about their defending in the dressing room. Although Gießen began the second half with a three-point play to take its largest lead (47:54), Bamberg’s top scorer Augustine Rubit was unstoppable in the third period. The American added 14 points and all his shots from the floor ended up going through the hoop. Rubit tied the scores at 58:58 with a lay-up and then put his side in front with a three. In the final quarter, Bamberg’s defense was so solid that Gießen only managed to add two free throws in four minutes, by which time Elias Harris, Cliff Alexander and Rubit (with his best haul of the season: 25 points) had given the visitors a clear 89:72 lead. Much to the annoyance of Federico Perego, Bamberg lacked focus in defense in the final six minutes and so enabled Gießen to put a better complexion on the final score.

Federico Perego commented: “I was a little worried about this game after the cup final. After our cup win and the 15-day break for internationals, Gießen was the worst opponent for us, since it plays with a lot of talent and can put a lot of points on the board pretty quickly if you let your concentration slip. And that was what happened in the first half. As soon as you lose your focus a little, Gießen strikes. Although we were 17 points ahead at one stage, they struck back very quickly. I think we made a big effort to win the game and so I congratulate my team on this victory.”