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Easycredit-BBL: Brose Bamberg defeats Medi Bayreuth

Bayreuth, 09-24-2019

That was a very commanding performance in the cauldron that was the sold-out Oberfrankenhalle, as Brose Bamberg got the new German league season off to start with a comfortable 88:75 win on the road at medi Bayreuth. The team of Head Coach Roel Moors impressed in particular with the pace of its combinational play in offense, but also had to overcome a short weak spell after leading by the clear margin of 22 points.

That was by large a strong and homogeneous display for a totally rebuilt team – and all the more so given that Bamberg was playing away in a prestigious local derby against Bayreuth, its rival from Upper Franconia. Moors’ team tamed the home side in the first quarter with its fight, tenacity, speed and all-round team play. Bamberg was solid in defense, made it difficult for Bayreuth to get shots away and rarely let the home side snap up offensive rebounds. Moors’ players then stepped into top gear in offense, advancing swiftly to Bayreuth’s basket and scoring a high percentage of its shots, whether through lay-ups or after forcing a foul and winning free throws. Bamberg opened up a gap right at the start, also thanks to the strong top scorer Kameron Taylor (25 points) and his ten points, leading 11:4, then 18:8, and ending the first period 26:15 ahead. The margin grew even wider at the start of the second quarter: The talent Nelson Weidemann added five points in a 7:0 run to help put Bamberg 41:21 in front after 15 minutes. The visitors took a 47:29 lead in with them at the break, also thanks to their great superiority in rebounding (23:13 at half-time and 39:23 in the game as a whole).

Moors’ players stretched their lead to 55:31 after the restart, but then Bayreuth summoned up all its resolve to avert its impending humiliation. Subjected to growing pressure from the home side, Bamberg lost some of its focus in defense and its control up front, producing three to four hasty attacks on which it failed to score, whereas the home side drained three buckets from downtown. Bayreuth cut the deficit to ten points (55:45), but the strong Elias Harris (14 points) extended the lead to 13 by the end of the period (63:50). In the final quarter, the visitors unnecessarily allowed the game to become a cliffhanger, as a shot from outside by Bayreuth’s Bryce Alford danced on the hoop with the score at 70:62, but Bamberg’s captain Elias Harris went down the other end to restore his side’s ten-point advantage. However, Bamberg was then far more clinical, especially in the final three minutes, and carved out open shots when things got critical. Its most recent signing Michael Carrera showed flashes of his ability with two important lay-ups, while Bamberg’s home-grown Louis Olinde (12 points) drained a three shortly before the end to make it 83:67 and seal the away win.

Brose Bamberg’s Head Coach Roel Moors commented: “I’m very happy about this victory. It’s always tough at the start, but especially in a derby before such a magnificent crowd. Bayreuth has good shooters and is coached very well. Nevertheless, we managed to keep causing problems for it, above all thanks to our strong defending. I was therefore very pleased with the first half, but not at all with the second. There was a moment when we let the game slip out of our grasp. We mustn’t let that happen. In the end, it was our good rebounding that won us the game.”

Cup holders Brose Bamberg face their first “crunch game” on Sunday, September 29, 2019, when they travel to Gießen 46ers for an encounter in the last sixteen of the German cup (tip-off: 6 p.m.). The club from Hesse is under pressure after losing its first game of the season to Crailsheim at home by the margin of 92:108.

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