In a duel between teams placed at the bottom of the Group B standings, Dolomiti Energia Trento and Hamburg Towers granted the fans the opportunity to enjoy an exciting game in which both sides played high-tempo basketball with fearless offense.
The contest was balanced for 40 minutes as neither team managed to take a double-digit advantage despite several runs and lead changes. In the end, visiting Hamburg prevailed, going for a 90-99 victory at the BLM Group Arena to grab its second road win and inch closer to the playoff spots with a 3-5 record.
Most of the credit for the win should be given to the trio formed by Caleb Homesley, Jaylon Brown and Maik Kotsar, who provided 27, 20 and 15 points, respectively, for Hamburg. All are EuroCup newcomers, but a lack of experience didn't prevent them to perform at the highest level when Trento seemed to have gained control at 72-66 with 9 minutes left.
In what was left of the game, Hamburg managed to score 33 points while holding Trento to 18. Homesley, Kotsar and Brown were responsible for 27 of them, 9 more than Trento as a team. Brown drained a three-point play, a couple of treys and a dunk to reach 11 points in the last quarter. Homesley had 10 behind a triple, a three-point play plus a couple of layups. And Kotsar went for 6 thanks to a three-point play, another free throw and an inside basket.
Kostar would finish with a team-high performance index rating of 30, his best of the season thanks to an all-around display. In addition to his 15 points, Kotsar posted 11 rebounds – 7 of them on offense – 5 assists 4 steals and 6 fouls drawn. All except scoring were his season highs, too, as the Estonian center continues confirming – after having posted 18 points and 24 PIR in the previous round against Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar – that he has already adjusted to European basketball coming from the NCAA.
Homesley and Brown have been awesome to date, too. Homesley has scored 10 points or more in all games and now averages 20.3 points, ranking third in the EuroCup. Brown has scored in double figures in six of eight games for a 15.0-point average.
As such, it's no surprise that Hamburg has one of the most productive offenses in the league, averaging 87.3 points per game after having crossed the 90-point mark five times so far. Besides the 90-99 win in Trento, the visitors scored 97 against Partizan NIS Belgrade in Round 1; 91 against MoraBanc Andorra in Round 3; and 100 against both Lietkabelis Panevezys and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in Rounds 4 and 7, respectively.
However, after the win in Trento, Hamburg head coach Pedro Calle wanted to warn his players that they would need more defense in the future.
"I really liked the mentality and attitude of my players today. It is never easy to win on the road. But our defense has to improve. Again, we allowed the opponent 90 points," he said after the game.
Overall, all the victories Hamburg grabbed so far came when the team scored 99 or more points. That might disturb the coach but is probably making the team's fans more than happy.