Bonn. An 80:90 loss against Naharija in Israel was enough to advance the Telekom Baskets Bonn in the Europe Cup. They now move on to the semi-final with Nanterre as their next opponent.
They made it: For the first time in their club history, the Telekom Baskets Bonn have reached the semifinals in a European competition. After the first-leg win 89:68 against Ironi Naharija, they fell 80:90 to the Israelis ((22:26, 19:18, 22:20, 17:26). As in the Telekom Dome, Naharija had a hard time against Baskets center Julian Gamble, who had an outstanding performance with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Coach Predrag Krunic put his trust in starters Josh Mayo, Ryan Thompson, Yorman Polas Bartolo, Ken Horton and Julian Gamble. Because of foreigner regulations in the Europe Cup, Krunic had to withhold one of his non-German players. Filip Barovic, who had just come back, took over from Jamarr Sanders.
It was a rather tough start for Bonn with a few missteps. But they aimed to do a solid job and this they achieved, never entering the danger zone with more than a 21 point difference, which would have kept them from advancing.
Florian Koch, as usual marked his personal entry into the game with a three-pointer, giving Bonn the lead (28:26). It wasn’t only the score that kept the few fans in the hall a bit reserved, it was also the way the Baskets performed, leaving the Israeli team little hope to advance to the next round.
Whenever the Israeli team approached the ten-point difference, Bonn seemed to step on the accelerator to leave absolutely no doubt. It was Ryan Thompson who threw in a three-pointer which hurt Naharija and quieted the spectators who had just been getting louder. Then it was Ojars Silins who shortened the lead to 41:44 just before the break.
Gamble made such an impression that he only stood in the way to prevent a quick attack from Nicholas Faust - and that was enough for Faust to miss the basket. Towards the end, there really wasn’t much hope for the Israeli team to reach the semi-final.
Ironi Naharija: Faust 9, Kitchen 12/1 three-pointer, Gates 25/1, Nash 4, Asante-Asare 1, Berkowitz 2, Bar-Even, Nesterenko 2, Hopson 31/3, Skjoldebrand 4.
Telekom Baskets Bonn: Silins 2, Thompson 11/1, Richter, Gamble 22, Sanders, DiLeo 2, Koch 5/1, Bartolo 9/3, Mayo 14/2, Horton 15/2.
(Orig. text: Tanja Schneider)