Weekly roundup for our English-speaking fans by David Hein.
Week 19 - May 6th 2014
Brose Baskets Bamberg finished off the 2013-14 regular season with a strong 88-68 victory over Telekom Baskets Bonn on Thursday May 1 and locked up second place in the Beko BBL standings and home court advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs. Awaiting the four-time champions in the first round of the post-season are the Artland Dragons.
Game One is Saturday May 10 at brose ARENA with Game Two scheduled for Tuesday May 13 in Quakenbrück. The teams split their two games this season with Bamberg losing at Artland on October 12 71-68 and then beating the Dragons 78-72 on March 9 at home.
Third playoffs meeting in four seasons
Bamberg and Artland are facing off for their third time in the last four playoffs with Brose winning 3-2 in the 2011 semi-finals and then sweeping the Dragons 3-0 in the 2012 semis – both times finishing their seasons with league crowns. Bamberg and Artland also played in the 2007 finals with Bamberg winning 3-1 against the Dragons, who were then led by current Brose coach Chris Fleming.
Brose entered the game against Bonn needing a victory to ensure second place and home court advantage in the semi-finals as well. Bamberg played the game without point guard Jared Jordan, who missed the final four games of the regular season. But Fleming’s troops shot 48 percent for the game with 22 assists. Brose also made 20-of-27 free throws (74 percent) compared to 12-of-15 for Bonn.
Rakim Sanders and Sharrod Ford both scored 14 points to lead the way with Ford also grabbing seven rebounds. Jamar Smith and Casey Jacobsen both added 12 points, Anton Gavel scored 10 and D’Or Fischer chipped in seven points, eight rebound and four blocks.
Sanders and Gavel combined for the first 10 points in opening a 10-4 lead. Ford’s three-ball increased the margin to 15-6 and the gap was 21-15 after one quarter.
Jacobsen opened the second quarter with a triple to make it 24-15. Bamberg went scoreless for nearly three minutes but Fischer’s three-point gave them a 29-20 lead. Two Sanders free throws pushed the lead to double figures and then a Ford put back increased the margin to 37-24. Brose were up 39-29 at the break.
Harris opened the second half with a trey and an offensive rebound put back and Fischer extended the advantage to 46-29. Bamberg would not let Bonn mount a comeback and Ford’s three-ball made it 60-41. Bonn finally put together a mini 7-0 run but the score was 62-48 after three quarters.
The margin grew to 20 points early in the fourth quarter when Smith was fouled on a basket and Bonn’s Steve Wachalski was hit with a technical for a five-point possession. Smith followed that with a three-pointer to push the lead to 71-48. After a Maik Zirbes three-point play, Bonn scored seven straight points to trim the margin to 74-58 with five minutes left. Fleming called a time-out and Jacobsen and Sanders responded with three-balls and the lead was back to 82-61 with under four minutes to play. And Bonn would not get closer to 16 points the rest of the way.
"We’ve taken back our home court”
“In the first half we missed some open shots that we created. In the third quarter we noticed that we needed to do a bit more and we did that. I think we can finished a bit better. But we won all four quarters and defensively we were dominant. We’re finding our ways to move the ball better and getting it to our best players,” said Fleming.
“The way we won was important. Now we have home court advantage in the first two rounds but more important than that, we have taken back our home court. We didn’t play our best game here the last three games. But it’s good heading into the playoffs.”
Ford said the team has some momentum back heading into the playoffs: “We’ve been making some good steps forward. That’s good going into the playoffs. Now we have some good momentum.”
Harris meanwhile said the win was important to show the competition that Bamberg are back, adding: “It’s good that we had a strong victory to finish the regular season and show who we are and what we stand for. The playoffs can start now. The talent and the potential are there. We know what we have to do. We just have to do it.”
Baunach finish second in ProB
Bamberg’s farm team Bike-Café Messingschlager Baunach were unable to beat Baskets Akademie Weser-Ems/Oldenburger TB in the ProB finals. Baunach did knock off Oldenburger 76-74 in Game Two in northern Germany with Marcos Knight collecting 21 points and 10 rebounds while Andreas Obst added 15 points. But Baunach had lost Game One at home 82-74. By taking second place, Baunach earned promotion to ProA.
Foto: Daniel LöbAlle Nachrichten