Bonn · The strong Bonn team had a whiff of victory, but in the end were defeated 63:76 by Bamberg. In a Best-of-Five series, they are now behind 1:2. They need to win on Tuesday to maintain a shot at the semifinals.
What a struggle but what a fighting spirit. In the third game of the quarter finals series at Brose Bamberg on Sunday, the Telekom Baskets Bonn delivered a great game but in the end were defeated 63:76 (17:18), 12:18, 23:12, 11:28). Now the team of Coach Predrag Krunic need a win in their home game on Tuesday (8:30 pm) in order to keep their hopes alive to make it to the semifinals. If Bamberg wins, the basketball season is over for the Baskets.
One of the usual rituals in the Basketball arenas is for the fans to undergo the decibel test. First, the guest team fans have to cheer as loud as they can, and then the spectators who came out to support the home team. On Sunday in Bamberg, only around 50 Bonn fans appeared in an upper corner of the grandstand, while the home crowd demonstrated their acoustic might.
The Bonn team had to play without captain and playmaker Josh Mayo, who was out with a muscle injury. The Baskets showed that they had not just come with a plan to win the game, but that they also wanted to do everything they could to win. In the end, Bamberg coach Andreas Trinchieri said: "It was a battle. The Baskets forced us to give everything we had. Congratulations for giving us a great fight.”
After being behind early in the game, Bonn remained stable and fought back. Four points from Julian Gamble, a three-pointer from Ken Horton and a basket from TJ DiLeo brought them to an even 11:11 after seven minutes. The Baskets played aggressively, in tune and without reservation. If there was one point of reproach, it was the lack of presence in the rebound. After twenty minutes, Bamberg took the lead 36:29 in the Brose Arena with 6,150 spectators.
In the second half, Horton scored a three-pointer to shorten the Bamberg lead to 32:36. It was Julian Gamble who first brought Bonn in the lead to 44:43. And when the Baskets took a jump to 51:43, it seemed that an upset was possible, just like in the first game when they won (93:92). But Bamberg came back to take the lead 55:50 with a string of three-pointers.
Coach Krunic was proud of his team despite the loss. "This was an incredible performance with a great fighting spirit. We believed in ourselves and looked for our chances, but then Bamberg was successful with some very difficult throws,” he said. "In the last few minutes, we also lacked strength and a player like Josh Mayo to come back again. But we can take a lot of positive things into the fifth game,” said the 49-year-old.
Krunic does not expect Mayo to play on Tuesday. The player himself was less pessimistic. "I will work hard for it. We still have two days left. There's quite a chance that I’ll be playing," said Mayo.
Bamberg: Zisis 15 points / 2 three-pointers, Staiger 13/3, Miller 13/3, Strelnieks 11/3, Theis 8, Causeur 8/1, Melli 5, Radosevic 3, Olinde, Lo, Kratzer, Heckmann.
Bonn: Thompson 15, Gamble 15, Horton 11/3, Barovic 9, DiLeo 8, Silins 3/1, Bartolo 2, Sanders, Koch.
Orig. text: Gerhard Mertens | Translation: Carol Kloeppel