In the topsy-turvy world of the Bundesliga playoffs, the one-eyed man – i mean, no. 5 seed Brose Baskets Bamberg – is king after this weekend’s semifinal victory over New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig, 94-82 to sweep the no. 8 team out of the playoffs.
In a tournament which saw all four teams atop the table in the regular season fall in the quarterfinals, Bamberg now awaits the winner of the Deutsche Bank Skyliners-Eisbären Bremerhaven series, currently two games to one in the Skyliners’ favor. What is it they say about the regular season not counting…?
Official FIBA writeup follows.
(FIBA) – Brose Baskets Bamberg remained on course for a German Cup and league double after sweeping New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig in the Beko Basketball Bundesliga play-off semi-finals. Anton Gavel scored 23 points on Sunday and Predrag Suput poured in 21 as Bamberg prevailed 94-82 to win the series, 3-0.
Next up for Bamberg will be a clash with Deutsch Bank Skyliners or Eisbären Bremerhaven. Skyliners lead the semifinal series between those sides, 2-1, after winning Game 3 on Sunday, 79-53.
Bamberg claimed three narrow triumphs against Telekom Baskets Bonn to reach the semi-finals but they were far more convincing against New Yorker Phantoms, winning the first two contests by nine points.
In Game 3, with a sell-out home crowd of 6,800 looking on, Bamberg seized the initiative in the last four minutes of the second quarter.
After a John Allen bucket knotted the game for the New Yorker Phantoms at 31-31, baskets by Gavel and Casey Jacobsen sandwiched two free-throws by Suput for a 37-31 Brose Baskets advantage. Later in the period, Jacobsen scored inside the arc and Gavel followed with a three-point play as Bamberg extended their advantage to 44-35. A shot by Braunschweig’s Jason Cain reduced the arrears to 44-37 by half-time.
Cain had a team-high 22 points.
After the Bamberg lead ballooned to 14 early after the restart, New Yorker Phantoms dug in their heels and twice closed the gap to five in the quarter. In the fourth, however, Bamberg’s advantage never dipped below seven.
Gavel finished the game a scintillating six of 10 from long range.
Earlier on Sunday, Deutsche Bank won for the second game in a row to take a 2-1 lead in their semi-final against Eisbären Bremerhaven.
The Polar Bears had a 20-16 lead late in the first quarter but the wheels then came off spectacularly: Gordon Herbert’s men shut out the Bremerhaven team for nearly seven minutes and scored 19 points themselves for a 35-20 lead and they had a stranglehold on the contest the rest of the way.
The Skyliners had a balanced scoring attack with Pascal Roller, Dragan Labovic and Derrick Allen pouring in 11 points apiece.
Greg Jenkins, Quantez Robertson and Dominik Bahiense de Mello each scored eight for the Frankfurt team.
Roller, who played for Germany’s national team before retiring after appearing at the 2008 Olympics, said: “The series is not decided yet. But if we can keep up the intensity, I see the next game with optimism.”
The Polar Bears defeated EuroChallenge winners BG Göttingen in the first round of the playoffs after trailing in that series, 2-1. They will need the same sort of comeback to reach the finals.
“Congratulations to Frankfurt for a clear and absolutely deserved victory,” Bremerhaven boss Doug Spradley said. “I hope we put on a better show on Tuesday. After the game today [was] a bitter aftertaste.”
Should Bamberg and Skyliners meet in a title showdown, it would be the second time they have clashed with hardware at stake this season: Bamberg edged Skyliners 76-75 several weeks ago in Frankfurt to win the BEKO BBL Top 4.
Shortly after, Skyliners parted with coach Murat Didan and handed the reins to Gordon Herbert, who led the team to the 2004 German title, for a second time.