Thanks to a strong first quarter effort, Bamberg ran out winners against young team Skonto (average age 19 years old) tonight in Bamberg.
The first quarter was a sure thing for the experienced home team which had a 25-9 lead after ten minutes. Bamberg opened the game with a 12-1 run against the young guys from Riga who seemed to have some problems facing a taller opponent under the boards, while rising Lativan star Andris Biedrins missed his first seven shots in the game.
Skonto's woes were multiplied when guard Darren Kelly picked up an injury and was forced to sit on the bench for the rest of the game.
|Game-MVP: Bamberg's Chris Ensminger|
German coach Bauermann wasn´t happy with his team's start in the second quarter when Bamberg missed some shots and had some turnovers so that the Lativan vice champion pulled a little bit closer.
After a bad start in the game, Skonto's center Hill emerged on offence with 11 points and managed to tie the second period . Nevertheless, Bamberg earned a huge 42-23 lead when Steffen Hamann, Uvis Helmanis and Gert Kullamäe each scored 10 points, while US-Center Chris Ensminger dominated under the baskets with 11 boards (18 for the game).
The third and the fourth quarter was similar to the second. Bamberg didn´t play a high class game with full intensity and made some easy mistakes, but it was still enough to freeze their lead between 20 and 25 points.The Lativans couldn´t take any advantages of the German weaknesses, because of their bad shooting percentage and lacking a dominant inside presence who could have disturbed Ensminger in the middle.
In the last minutes Riga hit some outside shots, but couldn´t really impress on Bamberg who finally won the game easily 74 – 56. The best player on the court was 2.08 m tall center Chris Ensminger who scored 16 points and grabbed 18 boards tonight. The best effort from the losing side was made by forward/center Dametri Hill with 23 points.
Game-MVP: Chris Ensminger