GHP Bamberg registered its second consecutive Euroleague win in Group A by downing Strasbourg 73-60 at home in Bamberg, Germany on Thursday night. Bamberg, a newcomer to the competition, improved to 2-1 to share the second spot in the group with Tau Ceramica, AEK and Zalgiris. Meanwhile, Strasbourg fell to 0-3, equal with Union Olimpija. Spencer Nelson did it all for the winners with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 5 assists. Tim Begley added 16 points, Demond Mallet 11 and Koko Archibong 10 for Bamberg. Zelly Wesson almost registered a double-double for Strasbourg with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Ricardo Greer added 14 points and Alvin Young 11. It was a close game for 35 minutes, as Strasbourg erased a 33-27 halftime deficit to get a 47-49 lead on the opening play of the fourth quarter. Begley took over then, scoring the first 7 points in a 13-1 run in which Nelson and Derrick Phelps shot from downtown to make Bamberg cruise to an important win.
Bamberg's Koko Archibong started very motivated on offense, taking Ricardo Greer to the basket for a 4-3 hosts' lead. Both sides worked very hard defensively as the first 5 minutes were marked by turnovers, steals and blocked shots. After an Archibong steal, Mallet raced down and buried a pull-up three-pointer for a 7-3 lead. Ensminger picked up his second foul then and Aymeric Jeanneau sliced to the lane for a layup to even things at 7-7. Nelson countered with a three-pointer to make it 10-7 but Young's layup and foul shot gave Strasbourg the lead, 12-11. After a Bamberg timeout, Uvis Helmanis arrived to bury a three-pointer for the hosts, while Mallet landed a floater and Begley grabbed a steal and layup for a 7-0 run to make it 18-12. Strasbourg's shooting troubles continued as Garrett buried a three to make it 21-12 after 10 minutes
The German champions kept up their intensity in the second quarter. Mallet's free throw gave them a 10-point bulge, 26-16. But Strasbourg shook off the 15-4 surge and used a 0-9 run - on back-to-back three-pointers by Ricardo Greer - to close to within 26-25. Bamberg found its game again as Garrett hit a driving layup and Nelson hit a jumper to push the lead back up to 5 points, 30-25. Mallet then added a three-pointer for a halftime edge of 33-27.
Ricardo Greer stayed hot, opening the second half with a jumper, followed by Young's drive to the basket as Strasbourg trimmed the lead to 33-31. After three failed trips, Nelson hit a clutch three to give Bamberg breathing room. But Wesson woke up then to score 3 straight baskets to make it 38-37. Bamberg picked up its defense yet again, made 5 free throws and added Begley's floating jumper to push the lead back up to 45-37. Strasbourg now showed why it had taken both AEK Athens and Benetton to the buzzer, rallying with a 6-0 run to within 47-46 after 30 minutes.
Jeff Greer put the Strasbourg ahead again to start the final quarter, but Begley's three-pointer and breakaway layup gave Bamberg a 52-49 advantage back. A Bamberg defensive breakdown allowed Crawford Palmer to tie 53-53 on a wide open jumpshot as the teams found themselves in a slugfest. Begley rose up and hit another three-pointer to put Bamberg up again, then stopped in the lane for a jumper that made it 58-53 with 3 minutes left. He wasn't finished. Begley struck yet again with a fall-away jumper before Bamberg started raining three-pointers: Nelson, Begley, Phelps and Archibong took turns in hitting from outside to close out Bamberg's second consecutive victory.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
David Hein, Nurnberg