Six titles in nine years, three times in a row even the double – bamberg’s basketball players continue to be the mab of things in germany. Southern competition has rattled the throne, the brose engine has sputtered at times, but championship coach chris fleming has managed to get his staff together and instill the bamberg gene in time for the playoffs.
The missed qualification for the top 4 in the cup against bavaria was bitter, but the salvation for the fully exhausted team. While alba, ulm, the dragons and bavaria were fighting for the first title of the season at the end of march, gavel, jacobsen and co. Four days to put your feet up and recover from a grueling season that has given the double winners almost nothing but english weeks from the start.
After eight defeats in a row, the brose baskets finally celebrated another success in gieben and were able to concentrate fully on defending their championship title after 14 defeats in the top 16 of the euroleague, some of which were close and took away their self-confidence.
Due to the constant personnel changes, the team lacked the consistency this season that had distinguished it in the previous year. The leading players anton gavel and casey jacobsen as well as john goldsberry, who overcame his knee problems with iron will, carried the rest of the team along with their enthusiasm. Young germans such as maik zirbes, philipp neumann and karsten tadda, some of whom had to take heavy criticism from manager wolfgang heyder, also showed what they are made of.
If the bavarians from munich have their way, that will be the end of bamberger’s dominance. The "red giants will use their financial resources to lure many stars to the isar in order to make a splash not only nationally, but also in the euroleague by means of a wildcard.
The basketball-free period will be exciting even without dunkings and threes. Bamberg faces another upheaval. In recent years, however, chris fleming and wolfgang heyder have always managed to pull a nationally and internationally competitive team out of the hat – and that will be the case in the 2013/14 season as well.