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Frankfurt / Ludwigsburg

Brose Bamberg suffers two needless defeats over Easter

Frankfurt / Ludwigsburg, 04-21-2019

Two avoidable losses on Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday mean Brose Bamberg have probably relinquished the chance of home court advantage in the playoff quarter-finals: As a result of the 79:86 and 95:96 defeats in Frankfurt and Ludwigsburg respectively, Bamberg are two wins behind fourth-placed RASTA Vechta with five games remaining – and also have the worse aggregate from the two games against the club that just gained promotion last season. The team of Head Coach Federico Perego now even has to keep a close eye at its rear: Bamberg is only two wins ahead of sixth-placed Bonn.

In Frankfurt on Maundy Thursday, Bamberg got off to a poor start, but woke up after trailing by 10:23 and closed the gap to 22:25 with a run of eight points without reply. The home side held on to a five-point lead at half-time (35:40), but the club from Upper Franconia managed to turn the tables in the third period, taking the lead for the first time thanks to a big haul by the two top scorers Tyrese Rice (18 points) and Augustine Rubit (15) and going into final period 62:59 ahead. The momentum seemed to have shifted completely to Bamberg with six points on one attack – a three by Hickman and another by Louis Olinde – to make it 68:62. Yet once more Frankfurt tied the scores at 72:72 with four minutes remaining and captured a decisive lead with a 2:7 run with one minute to go (74:79).

In Ludwigsburg on Easter Sunday, Bamberg got off to a better start (10:5), but the opposing side from Swabia equalized by the fifth minute (12:12) and overran Perego’s team after that. Backed by intense defending, Ludwigsburg forced the visitors to concede 13 turnovers by the break, as the home side pulled ahead point by point to lead 33:56. Six points by Elias Harris (18 in total) reduced the deficit a little before half-time (39:58). Tyrese Rice opened the second half with seven points in two minutes to help Bamberg produce a 9:0 run and close the gap to 47:58 right away. The comeback continued, as Cliff Alexander exploited a good spell by the visitors to cut the deficit to 67:71. Bamberg even took the lead midway through the final period after a lay-up by Rubit (83:82), but Ludwigsburg snatched it back right away and surged 83:90 in front. Tyrese Rice (30 points) drained three successive buckets from downtown to tie the scores again (95:95). Nikos Zisis was out of bounds on Bamberg’s next attack and so his side had to concede possession instead of having the chance to score and win the encounter. Ludwigsburg’s Crawford skillfully provoked a foul in the final second, drained one free throw reliably and deliberately hit the hoop with his second, so that the clock ran down immediately to give Ludwigsburg victory.

Federico Perego commented: “We didn’t get off to a good start against Frankfurt and had great problems coping with Leon Kratzer below the basket. We played a solid second half, but made a number of bad mistakes at the end. Ludwigsburg also played with breathtaking intensity against us. The 21 turnovers and 17 offensive rebounds we conceded were crucial. This isn’t our best spell of the season, but we’ll keep on working hard and improve again. We still have a lot of games ahead of us and we don’t intend to go down without a fight in any of them.”