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Champions League: Brose Bamberg squanders lead in the final period

Bamberg, 12-10-2019

Hopefully that will not turn into a downward spiral: Brose Bamberg’s 80:84 loss to the Czech club ERA Nymburk was its fourth straight defeat across all competitions – and once again the team of Head Coach Roel Moors was not able to hold on to a double-digit lead (71:61). As a result, it now lags far behind the top teams in its Champions League group.

Unlike in the game on the road in Prague two months ago (71:91), Brose Bamberg got off to a lightning start: Louis Olinde (13 points), Nelson Weidemann and Assem Marei literally took the visitors’ defense apart to give their side a 11:2 and then a 19:9 lead. However, Moors’ team was unable to maintain the strong shooting percentages of the opening minutes and so Nymburk cut the deficit to 24:18 by the end of the period. Youngster Mateo Seric drained two threes in a row in the space of a minute to the jubilation of his teammates and the 5,317 spectators, but his bucket to make it 34:22 was to be the widest lead Bamberg would have, as the home side conceded six turnovers by the break, allowing Nymburk to produce a 3:12 run and snatch a 44:45 lead with 40 seconds remaining. Christian Sengfelder managed to put Bamberg back in front at half-time with a lay-up (46:45).

After the break, Bamberg’s game was riddled by nervousness, while Nymburk mercilessly exploited mistakes in defense and steals to leave the home side trailing by 50:57. Christian Sengfelder then took the game by the scruff of its neck and almost single-handedly sparked his side’s comeback by adding seven points in the space of 41 seconds. After tying the encounter at 57:57, Bamberg produced a flowing display, with Paris Lee (11 points) draining two buckets from downtown and Sengfelder and Olinde following suit to make it 71:61. In the fourth period, Bamberg found few ways to break down the zone defense of the Czech club and only managed to make one of its shots from beyond the arc through Retin Obasohan. Nymburk was able to equalize with one minute remaining (80:80). Whereas the visitors made two of their four free throws in crunch time (80:82), the lay-up from Elias Harris and the attempted three by top scorer Christian Sengfelder (17 points) missed their mark. Bamberg finally went down to defeat due to a weak final period which it lost by 9:20.

Brose Bamberg’s Head Coach Roel Moors commented: “It was again the case that we weren’t able to close out the game. That’s now also a mental problem. However, we also lack a player who can take control of the game in the crucial phase. Even though it’s difficult, we have to tick off the game fast, since the next tough task awaits us on Saturday.”

Brose Bamberg face an encounter in the quarter-final of the cup on the road at Basketball Lions Braunschweig on Saturday, December 14, 2019, and aims to keep its chances of defending its title alive by advancing to the semi-final.

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