Brose Baskets goes out with victory over Laboral
Brose Baskets Bamberg finished its Top 16 campaign in style, routing playoff-bound Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz 89-69 on Thursday night at Brose Arena. Despite the win, Bamberg will not advance to the playoffs. Bamberg, which improved to 7-7 in Group F, also needed losses from FC Barcelona Lassa, Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow in order to advance to the playoffs, but Coach Andrea Trinchieri’s men learned early in the second quarter of this contest they have no chance to go through when Barcelona beat Zalgiris Kaunas. On the other hand, Laboral dropped to 9-5 and as a second-place team from Group F will hold home-court advantage in the best-of-five playoffs series against Panathinaikos Athens. By the time Bamberg was out of the playoff race, the hosts already built a 21-point margin, thanks in great part to a fantastic first quarter, during which Bamberg hit 5 triples and grabbed 5 offensive boards, putting together a 15-0 run to build a 29-14 lead. Darius Miller scored 13 points as the lead climbed to 38-17 in the second. Daniel Theis was the motor that kept Bamberg’s lead in double digits after the break. Jaka Blazic had 13 points in the third-quarter that helped cut Laboral’s deficit to 63-52 after 30 minutes, but the visitors never got any closer. Theis finished with a career-high 21 points, and Miller netted 16 of his 19 in the first half and made 5 of 6 threes for the night. Bradley Wanamaker chipped in with 9 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds in victory, and Nikos Zisis with 7 points and 9 assists. Blazic scored 19 in defeat, while Ioannis Bourousis, Adam Hanga and Darius Adams each had 11 for Laboral.
First quarter: Bamberg pulls away with a 15-0 run
Hanga opened the scoring with free throws, and after a fastbreak layup from Bamberg’s Wanamaker, Adams nailed a step-back triple to make it 2-5. Zisis made a runner with contact, and after Ilimane Diop scored inside, a basket-plus-foul from Elias Harris sparked a big Bamberg run. Miller hit a triple, Wanamaker and Harris followed with back-to-back shots from downtown to open a 15-7 lead. After a timeout from Laboral coach Velimir Perasovic, Bamberg’s charge continued with Wanamaker’s steals and dunk, followed by a driving layup from Miller, that made it 19-7. Mike James hit from way downtown to snap a 15-0 run. After a Bamberg timeout, Miller hit another three-pointer, then drove coast-to-coast for a two-handed slam and a 24-10 advantage. Free throws from Hanga and Bourousis cut into deficit a little bit, but Radosevic made a short fadeaway jumper and Theis knocked down a three that made it 29-14 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Miller keeps Bamberg with a big lead
Zisis hit a short jumper that opened a 17-point margin. Blazic nailed a long three on the other end, but Theis had a dunk and made a jumper, before another three-pointer by Miller in transition opened a 38-17 difference with 6:35 left in the first half. After a Laboral timeout, big man Darko Planinic scored from close range to snap a 7-0 run. Kim Tillie knocked down a corner triple, and Adams also hit from long range, cutting it to 38-25. Patrick Heckmann and Radosevic scored inside, and after a triple from Hanga for Laboral, Miller beat the buzzer with a circus three-point shot from the right corner, making it 45-28 at halftime.
Third quarter: Blazic keeps Laboral alive
Zisis fed Janis Strelnieks for a layup, and after a Blazic jumper, Wanamaker threaded the needle on a pass to Theis, whose dunk made it 49-30. Blazic and Theis traded triples, and after Tillie muscled his way inside, Theis nailed another one from the outside to restore a 21-point margin. Adams scored a fastbreak layup, and Bourousis made a little jumper. A triple from the same player cut it to 56-42 as the visitors held Bamberg without a basket for almost four minutes before Radosevic hit a jumper. After Blazic and Theis traded layups, Boruousis’s foul shots and a Blazic three-point play cut it to 60-49. Harris answered with a basket-plus-foul of his own, but Blazic made a corner triple that got Laboral within 63-52 at the end of three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Bamberg cruises to victory
Zisis scored first basket of the fourth quarter, and Miller’s fifth triple opened a 69-52 lead after only 62 seconds in the final stanza. Bourousis fed James for a layup, but Radosevic buried baseline jumpers from each side to open a 73-54 edge. After a two-minute drought, Blazic hit his fourth three-pointer, immediately forcing a Bamberg timeout. Bourousis scored inside, before Lucca Staiger and Adams traded triples. Heckmann’s foul shots kept the margin safe, at 80-62 with three minutes to go. Hanga had a basket-plus-foul, but the winner was already decided. Staiger hit another triple in the final minute, and Aleksej Nikolic made free throws, the final points in the game and in Bamberg’s best-ever Top 16 campaign.
Thursday, April 7, 2016