Barcelona Run Over Bamberg
Posted by Salman Mitha
Posted in Basketball
Stechert Arena, Bamberg – During the pre-game introductions, the Brose Baskets mascot, Freaky, ran towards a bullfighter, attempting to poke fun at their opponent’s sporting culture.
But it was FC Barcelona Regal who acted like the bulls that run over the drunken tourists at the annual “Running of the Bulls” in Pamplona, stomping on Bamberg and running away 86-66 in Euroleague Group D play.
Former Cincinnati Bearkat Pete Mikeal led the Spanish giants with 17 points and 7 rebounds, and was part of a defensive effort that shut down the Baskets in the second half, outscoring their hosts 39-24 to break open what was a tight game.
The first quarter opened up with both teams shooting lights out. Bamberg’s Teddy Gipson hit a pair of treys and Bostjan Nachbar hit 3-of-4 from the field for 7 points, including a three-point-play to give them a 22-21 lead near the end of the period. Erazem Lorbek kept FCB close with 7 points himself so that his team could take the lead at the close of the first 10 minutes, 23-21 after a bucket by Nate Jawai. The opening rush saw six lead changes and three ties.
Barcelona continued scoring in the 2nd quarter, three pointers by Juan Carlos Navarro and Joe Ingles – he hit two – were part of a 13-4 run that built a 34-28 lead. Casey Jacobsen’s three pointer sparked a 12-4 run and Gipson tied the game at 38. Nachbar brought Brose back within 42-20, scoring 9 points during the stretch. Mickeal countered with a couple of buckets himself. After Anton Gavel made it 44-42, came the turning point. Navarro beat the halftime buzzer, giving Barcelona a 47-42 lead into the locker room and set the tone for the second half.
Bamberg did start the third quarter on a 7-2 run to tie the game, once again it was Gipson who tied it, his trey drew the game even at 49-49. But the sold out crowd of 6,800 witnessed the strength of one of Europe’s best clubs. Barcelona went on a 12-0 run, mixing an inside-outside game that Brose were unable to stop, or counter with any scoring – they held Nachbar to zero points. The 15-4 run to end the quarter gave FCB a 64-53 lead.
Credit the three-time defending German league champs, they battled at the beginning of the final quarter, getting within 8 points, but starting with an emphatic, in-your-face dunk by Xavier Rabaseda, Barcelona closed the game out on a 20-8 run. Mickeal scoring 7 points for the icing on this cake. Lorbek controlled the inside with 14 points and Navarro finished with 13 points, 3-for-5 from beyond the arc.
Editor’s Note: Visit our Facebook page for more pictures from the Euroleague clash between Brose Baskets and FC Barcelona Regal.
Nachbar scored 18 points, hitting his average in the Euroleague season so far at 18.6 ppg, but due to fatigue from a sickness over the past days, he was only able to score one point in the second half. Despite Gipson tallying 12 points with three treys and Gavel adding 11 point, the team could not keep pace with FCB.
Barcelona credits their defensive effort as a reason for their 6-0 start to the Euroleague. They came in giving up 62.2 points per game, so 66 tonight is right up their alley. The Final 16 is in their sites, and they will continue their road next week hosting struggling Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (1-5), who lost against CSKA Moscow 71-62.
Bamberg will try to regroup, falling to 2-4 in the group and will try to stay above both Rytas and Partizan Belgrade and catch up to Besiktas JK Istanbul (3-3) when they travel to Turkey next week. Besiktas shocked Brose back on October 18th with an 86-71 win.
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