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Brose Bamberg succumbs to Vechta in the quarter-finals

Bamberg, 05-28-2019

The 2018/2019 season is over for cup winners Brose Bamberg! An improved performance was not enough for the team of Head Coach Federico Perego to capture its second win against RASTA Vechta and it went down 86:90 at home in the Brose Arena. Vechta, which was newly promoted just this season, fought selflessly to deservedly take the quarter-final series by 3:1.

Bamberg began the fourth quarter-final game with a change in tactics, in particular in offense: Tyrese Rice and Augustine Rubit were on court from the outset, while Daniel Schmidt – a strong defender – was called up to the starting five with the aim of shutting down RASTA’s sharpshooter T.J. Bray. The home side got off to the better start, creating space with a lot of passes to move 9:4 ahead. However, Vechta also got better into the game after that: Center Michael Kessens, who was missing in the first two games, played Bamberg’s defense dizzy under the basket and made three lay-ups to give the visitors a narrow 19:21 advantage. The lead changed hands three times in the second period before Bamberg had its best spell before half-time, producing a 9:0 run after a bucket from downtown by Patrick Heckmann and lay-ups from Elias Harris (12 points) to pull 44:38 in front.

After the break, the visitors – who as in the entire series played with just seven men – began to display the first signs of fatigue. Bamberg exploited interceptions and in particular set up Bryce Taylor at the three-point line to move 57:47 ahead. Yet after that, the home side became disgruntled with the line adopted by the referees – Vechta was repeatedly awarded fouls and, thanks to ten free throws and three buckets from beyond the arc, left Bamberg trailing by 62:70. Bamberg snatched the lead back when Tyrese Rice (19 points), Augustine Rubit (14) and Elias Harris helped create a run of 10 points without reply straddling the periods to put their side 86:82 in front with 90 seconds to go. What then happened was symptomatic of Bamberg’s entire season: Vechta missed its shot, but somehow snapped up the offensive rebound to drain a three and make it 86:85 with one minute left. Elias Harris then played a poor pass at the center line and Vechta capitalized on that mistake to go 86:87 ahead with 30 seconds left on the clock. Rubit missed the mark on the next attack and Vechta scored (86:88). Tyrese Rice took the last Bamberg lay-up, but was blocked – and so Bamberg was deservedly eliminated from the playoffs.

Federico Perego commented: “Congratulations to Pedro and his team. We displayed a solid performance, but Vechta was the better team, not just in the fourth game, but in the whole series. It’s a painful defeat and I’m lost for words at the moment. But: We’ve achieved a lot in the past four months, won the cup, and reached the Final Four. We lost against a strong team. You have to acknowledge that.”