ALBA BERLIN came up with a strong answer to their first game and used their high-octane offense to pick up a 98-91 victory over Brose Bamberg to improve to 2-0 in Group B of the easyCredit BBL Final Tournament 2020.

Landry Nnoko paced six Berlin players in double figures with 15 points while Kenneth Ogbe added a career-high 14 points, Marcus Eriksson had 13, Luke Sikma 11 and both Peyton Siva and Rokas Giedraitis chipped in 10 points. Martin Hermannsson also had 9 points and 7 assists and Johannes Thiemann pitched in 5 points and 10 rebounds.

Bamberg dropped their first game in Group B despite Jordan Crawford pouring in 20 points, Elias Harris collecting 16 points, Retin Obasohan hitting for 13 and Kam Taylor scoring 11 points. It was a strong start for a Bamberg team that was the last to play its first game in Munich.

After not playing in the first game, Giedraitis started the game for Berlin and started the scoring with a three-pointer – one of four ALBA treys in putting together a 17-6 lead. Harris and Obasohan combined for 15 points in a 17-4 Bamberg run to go up 25-24 with the game deadlocked 27-27 after 10 minutes.

Crawford drained two triples early in the second quarter and Tre McLean added a long ball as well to put Bamberg up 41-36. Ogbe came off the Berlin bench and knocked down two triples as Berlin moved back ahead 50-46. But Taylor answered with with two scores and Bamberg were up 56-55 at the break.

Crawford helped Bamberg increase the margin to 62-58 before Berlin went up 63-62 on a Siva trey. That was the first of eight lead changes to go with three ties and Berlin were up 75-72 after three quarters thanks to long balls from Niels Giffey and Hermannsson.

Thiemann produced five points to help in a back-and-forth of five lead changes before Ogbe’s three-pointer tied it 83-83 and Marcus Eriksson drained back-to-back treys to push Berlin ahead 91-85. Crawford fouled out with 1:33 minutes left in the game and Bamberg only managed one free throw over a 3-minute stretch late as Berlin grabbed the victory.

Quotes: Berlin’s Kenneth Ogbe: “Bamberg is a very talented team. We knew that from the beginning. We knew that it would be an incredibly difficult game. They have so much talent to score, and are tough and physical. So we knew it would be really tough.
“In the first half we had some problems with the transition defense. That will be something (to work on). There are a lot of games in only a few days so the intensity is high. But we need to be better in transition defense and that will help us.”

Bamberg’s Elias Harris: “For the first game, I think we did a pretty good job over long stretches. We had a big chance to pull away a bit at the beginning of the third quarter but we didn’t use our chances. Berlin started to find their way back into the game and their rhythm. But for our first game we can be satisfied.


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