Bamberg ambushes Olympiacos in Piraeus for first Top 16 road win
A week after snapping a 21-game losing streak in the Top 16, Brose Baskets Bamberg made a huge statement by stopping previously undefeated Olympiacos Piraeus 72-77 on the road at Peace and Friendship Stadium on Friday. Both teams hold 2-1 records as five teams total now share first place in Top 16 Group F. Fueled by triples from Janis Strelnieks, Bamberg finished the first half with a 2-14 run, then scored the first 8 points of the third quarter to build a 26-47 lead. The difference reached as high as 31-55 before the Reds re-charged their defense, did not allow Bamberg to score a field goal for 6 minutes and used a 16-2 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to get back in the game. Darius Miller helped restore Bamberg's 18-point lead in the fourth quarter before Ioannis Papapetrou gave Olympiacos a final pus and Vassilis Spanoulis hit a triple that made it 72-74 affair with 12.7 seconds left. Brad Wanamaker hit 2 of 2 free throws then, and Bamberg held on to the victory. Miller netted 23 points on 4-for-6 three-point shooting to lead the winners. Strelnieks made 4 of 5 threes to finish with 15 points. Leon Radosevic scored 14, and Nicolo Melli had an all-round effort with 7 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists for Bamberg. Olympiacos finished with five double-digit scorers. D.J. Strawberry had 15 points, Spanoulis scored 11, while Papapetrou, Georgios Printezis and Daniel Hackett had 10 apiece in defeat.
First quarter: Bamberg takes early lead
Both teams needed more than 2 minutes to make the first basket as Melli scored a layup. The Reds needed another minute more to open their account, with Vangelis Mantzaris running a fastbreak and finding Georgios Printezis for an easy two. Nikos Zizis made a runner, and after Spanoulis made a reverse layup, Miller banked a shot high of the glass for basket-plus foul and 4-7. Othello Hunter scored inside, but Wanamaker bettered it from the outside before Patrick Heckmann made a floater and Strelnieks nailed his first long-range it from way downtown, opening a 7-15 lead. Hackett answered with a three-pointer, but Miller hit his own from deep for Bamberg, making it 10-18 at the end of first quarter.
Second quarter: Strelnieks opens double-digit margin
Darius Johnson-Odom and Miller traded three-pointers to open second quarter, and after D.J. Strawberry made a pair of free throws, Papapetrou raced the length of the floor for a fastbreak layup at 17-21. Gani Lawal's two-handed dunk cut the difference further and capped a 6-0 run for Olympiacos. Miller responded with a long jumper, but Strawberry buried a three-pointer at 24-25. Strelnieks hit his own jumper and Radosevic finished a fastbreak with a dunk, forcing an Olympiacos timeout. Strelnieks added a triple, and Wanamaker fed Radosevic for an easy layup, opening up 24-34 lead and forcing another timeout from the hosts. Yet another triple from Strelnieks opened a 13-point margin. A reverse layup from Mantzaris snapped a 0-12 Bamberg run, but Radosevic's free throws made it 26-39 at halftime.
Third quarter: Bamberg leads by 24, the Reds start a comeback
Radosevic drove for a layup then made a baseline jumper to open the second-half scoring. The same player added a tip-in, then Melli made a short turnaround jumper for a 21-point margin, 26-47. After a timeout, Strawberry made a three-pointer, but Miller answered with the same coin. Hackett made free throws, but Miller scored inside and Strelnieks hit from long range to make it 31-55 and silence the home crowd. Hackett answered from deep as the Reds went all out, pressuring aggressively, on defense. Dimitrios Agravanis and Printezis hit from close range to cut the difference to 38-55. Melli snapped a 7-0 run with a pair of foul shots, but Printezis nailed a corner three-pointer that made it 42-57 and forced Bamberg coach Andrea Trinichieri to call a second timeout in a short span. Strawberry continued the run with a fastbreak layup-and-foul, and Hackett scored a layup in traffic at 47-57. Miller made a pair of free throws to stop the 9-0 run of Olympiacos and send Bamberg into the fourth quarter with 47-59 lead.
Miller hit a triple to open the fourth-quarter scoring and end Bamberg's six-minute drought without a field goal. A dunk by Daniel Theis and a free throw from Strelnieks restored an 18-point margin as Olympiacos was held without a single point for more than 3 minutes. Strawberry and Spanoulis each only split free throws before Papapetrou made a three-point play midway through the quarter, cutting the deficit to 52-65. Papapetrou followed with a three-point shot, and after Zisis hit a jumper for Bamberg, Papapetrou finished another fast break with a dunk to make it 57-67. Radosevic made free throws to keep the margin in double figures, before Spanoulis and Printezis scored inside at 61-69. Wanamaker drove for a layup, but Ioanis Athinaiou answered with a huge corner triple and Strawberry made a pair of free throws at 66-71. Miller hit a key runner for Bamberg, and Strawberry made only 1 of 2 from the line as teams went into the final minute with a 67-73 scoreboard. Spanoulis banked in a runner, and after Wanamaker split free throws, Spanoulis hit a triple with 12.7 seconds to go, getting Olympiacos within 72-74. Wanamaker was immediately fouled, but this time made both foul shots. After a timeout, Spanoulis missed a tough triple, and Bamberg prevailed in Piraeus.
Friday, January 15, 2016