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Disappointing display by Brose Bamberg in the first quarter-final game

Vechta, 05-19-2019

It was a sobering, disappointing performance by the cup winners to start the playoffs: The team of Head Coach Federico Perego was sent packing with an 85:96 defeat on the road in the first game of its quarter-final series against RASTA Vechta. Although the home side, which just gained promotion this season, was without four key professionals through injury, the seven-strong squad representing the club from Lower Saxony played as if possessed and did not give Bamberg a chance.

It actually looked as if things had tilted Bamberg’s way going into the first quarter-final game: Perego’s team was brimming with confidence again after two wins against Bayreuth and Würzburg. And the league’s surprise team was seriously beset by injury woes and will be without Clint Chapman, Tyrone Nash and Seth Hinrichs for the rest of the season – three players who between them have averaged 36 points a game. It was also missing a further center, Michael Kessens, on Sunday evening. Yet Bamberg was not able to capitalize on that. It failed to exploit its size advantage under the basket by feeding Augustine Rubit and center Cliff Alexander, and its two usually dependable scorers turned in a disappointing display in every respect. When Perego took off the weak Alexander after just five minutes on court midway through the second period, Bamberg was trailing 22:38. In its only strong spell after that, its three top scorers Elias Harris (21 points), Tyrese Rice (18) and Bryce Taylor (17) cut the deficit to 41:48 at half-time. Harris was the only one to perform strongly below Vechta’s basket (10 out of 11 lay-ups hit their mark), while Taylor drained five out of his nine shots from downtown.

Yet after the break Bamberg invited the home side to merrily add to its tally by committing too many mistakes in defense. RASTA drained 18 threes, with an outstanding percentage of almost 50, and so exposed the great weakness in defense of Perego’s team. In addition, the home side snapped up 15 offensive rebounds after missing shots and so scored 22 points at the second attempt (whereas Bamberg won just six offensive rebounds to add nine points). The gap had grown to 52:69 midway through the third period, but Bamberg managed to slash it again to 69:73 thanks to three buckets from outside by Tyrese Rice. Yet the home side, which had only seven players to call on, exhibited more fight, commitment and passion in the final quarter and so deservedly took a 1:0 lead in the quarter final.

Federico Perego commented: “I don’t have much to say about this game. Vechta played with incredible energy and outplayed us. We had no answer to that. I take the blame for that. We simply weren’t ready and willing to counter their physical play and aggression. What will we do now? Show a different face and prepare for game two. We now have to deliver at home. The good thing about a playoff series is it’s still only one-nil.”