For Brose Bamberg fans it’s time for a reunion with two of the most impactful players in recent history. In round 22 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague the team of head coach Andrea Trinchieri will face the reigning champion Fenerbahce Istanbul with Brad Wanamaker and Nicolò Melli at 6.45 pm CET on friday. Wanamaker played in Bamberg from 2014 to 2016 and led the team to two German championships. Melli put on the Brose jersey from 2015 to 2017 and also won two national titels before joining Istanbul last summer. Telekomsport will broadcast the game live.
The current title holder had to take a tough loss against Olympiacos Piraeus (70:95) after winning five in a row and is now in third place right behind CSKA Moscow and Piraeus. In their national Süper Ligi Fenerbahce is the top of the table after a 26 point win against rival Efes in their last game. Even though Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul struggled in their latest loss, the Turks still are one of the league’s top teams. Bamberg had to realize this in the first leg of the season. Fener took over the BROSE ARENA with a 80:57 win.
Bamberg lately proved its doubters wrong in the international competition beating Panathinaikos Athens with 95:74. In their national league the team’s engine stuttered badly though. The champion came up short against Berlin (75:81) and currently makes the playoffs just like that standing in eighth place. In the EuroLeague table Bamberg recently climbed up to the eleventh seed. Against Panathinaikos especially forward Augustine Rubit was on fire. 26 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and eight drawn fouls made the Texan Bamberg’s first EuroLeague MVP of the week since Fabian Causeur and Nicolò Melli won the title in December 2016, dominating in round twelve and eleven. Still Bamberg’s top scorers are Ricky Hickman (11.6 points) and Dorell Wright (11.3).
Rubit’s predecessor as MVP of the week is Fenerbahce’s Brad Wanamaker. The playmaker shone in round 19 with 18 points, eight assists and four rebounds. One week later he put up 24 points, five rebounds and seven assists. The Turk’s top scorer is the Czech center Jan Vesely with an average of 13.2 points. Their best rebounder is Nicolò Melli with 5.2 catches per game. The spectacular Vesely – top scorer in the first leg with 15 points – secures five boards per contest.
While Istanbul will miss sharpshooter James Nunnally, Bamberg has to make up for Luka Mitrovic, Bryce Taylor and Elias Harris. Head coach Andrea won’t travel with the team either. Whether Leon Radosevic will be able to play will be decided at short notice. For the rest of the Brose Bamberg players it will be all about selling theirselves dearly and not adding any other player to the injured list. An away win – it would be Bamberg’s first away win in all competitions since November 4th when they bet Braunschweig 94:68. – wouldn’t be anything else than a sensation.
Ilias Kantzouris: “We will face the current champions. They have lost their last EuroLeague game, therefore we know which reaction they will show. We have to put everything we have against it. We have to be in the game mentally and physically for 40 minutes and try to play our best game.”
Patrick Heckmann: „Fenerbahce is a very talented team with the best roster in the EuroLeague. They play very physically and have a good game intelligence. It will be a tough game. We have to play with the energy, will and commitment we have shown against Panathinaikos. Everybody has to be able to contribute for the team’s success.