With a strong 76-70 away win at Pinar Karsikaya, Brose Bamberg became the first team in the Champions League to get its ticket for the playoffs. With four wins in four games, the Roijakkers boys are no longer to be ousted from first place in the preliminary round Group F.
What is particularly remarkable about the Bamberg team's clean slate is that they have had to play three of their four games away from home - and coach Roijakkers' team has improved from game to game. Although the guests started a bit unfocused against Karsikaya in Izmir, which has won five times in the Turkish league lately, and kept the deficit constant (15:22).
In the second quarter, Bamberg played a very good defense under their own basket. The former center of Ulm Raymar Morgan, who had already scored nine points by then, could not make a move. And since the Roijakkers' team played very variably in the offense, different players scored with good throws: Kenneth Ogbe scored a basket after a fine pass from Bennet Hundt, Christian Sengfelder took a three-pointer to make it 22:26, and playmaker Hundt himself shortened the gap to 29:30 with a long-range shot. Bamberg had the chance to take their first lead twice, but three turnovers before halftime allowed Karsiyaka to pull away 33:38.
But five minutes after the break the time had come: David Kravish and Chase Fieler (11 points) took turns with strong actions: with blocks, rebounds, dunks and layups, the two big Americans gave Brose Bamberg its first lead (45:43). After David Kravish's next basket at 56:50, the Roijakkers team was briefly inattentive and Karsikaya was back on it at 56:55. Dominik Lockhart (9 points) hit a three-pointer for the home side as the clock expired to make it 59-55 at the end of the quarter.
In the first five minutes of the final quarter, Bamberg kept its own basket clean with a very strong defense, but Roijakkers' team was not able to pull away decisively. Except for a free throw by top scorer David Kravish (14 points, 10 rebounds) and a three-pointer by Chase Fieler at 63:55, Bamberg did not score any baskets. After Bennet Hundt had missed the temporary decision with a three-pointer, Karsikaya mobilized the last reserves and caught up with a 2:8 run to 65:63. But Bamberg did not let itself get nervous: Hundt made a basket, Michele Vitali (13 points) also converted a bonus free throw for the second time after a three-pointer and Christian Sengfelder, who scored 13 points, lead the team to 73:63. The game was decided.
Johan Roijakkers (head coach Brose Bamberg): "I am of course very happy about the victory. To win in Turkey, especially here in Karsiyaka, is not easy. That's why I'm proud. We didn't start well defensively, but then caught ourselves and created good offensive actions as a result. We also got into foul trouble quickly but managed that well. Toward the end, we did an excellent job hitting good shots and had key offensive rebounds."
After the Christmas holidays, Brose Bamberg has to play FC Bayern Munich on Sunday, December 27, 2020. Jump is at 8:30 p.m.