63:58 victory secures first place in RBBL
RSV Lahn-Dill successfully handled their first major hurdle of the season on Sunday in Zwickau. In the much anticipated match up of the two top teams in the league the RSV won by a narrow margin over RSC Zwickau 63:58 (14:10 / 37:27 / 46:43). Team captain Joey Johnson led his team to a comfortable lead early in the game but with just 1:29 remaining before the final buzzer Zwickau took over the lead, but then Lahn-Dill demonstrated their strength and proved why they are the defending champions.
"That was close, it really showed that compared to last year both teams have become stronger" said Coach Nicolai Zeltinger, with almost no voice left. In the last few minutes he tried to get his team to control the pace of the game. He implemented numerous tactics and repeatedly changed the defense trying to keep the opposition off balance. In the fifth minute with the score 8:4 for the hosts coach Zeltinger went to his bench and subbed Dirk Koehler and Gesche Schünemann for Michael Paye and Kai Gerlach. This impacted the game immediately giving the RSV another defensive and offensive weapon, the RSV Lahn-Dill then took the lead 20:12.
In the second quarter Piotr Luszynski was determined to keep his team in the game, hitting some tough shots from outside including a three pointer. Zwickau crawled back to within seven points of the RSV (27:34), but with just seconds remaining in the half Michael Paye had the answer. He hit a three pointer of his own to give his team a 10 point lead going into halftime.
Early in the third quarter the RSV continued to expand their lead with scoring from Kai Gerlach (44:31). The RSV fans, who made the trip to Zwickau, celebrated even as their team was unable to continue the scoring trend. Canadian Joey Johnson who hit two foul shots was the only player from the RSV to counter the 12:2 Zwickau run. The score at the end of the third quarter was 46:43 for the RSV Lahn Dill, but Zwickau had gained some momentum.
In the final quarter, top scorer Richard Peter and American Paye were very effective working together, but it was Schünemann who was even more dangerous scoring 6 key points and adding three assists (55:49). The fans were a little nervous as the two teams traded baskets throughout the quarter. With 1:29 remaining in the game the Polish Luszynski gave his team their first lead since the first quarter (58:57)."In the last few seconds, we played with more heart," Zeltinger paid tribute to his team at the end of their great victory for their respect and unconditional will to win. "We still have a lot to improve on, especially on offense, but a strong victory like this one today in Zwickau makes us very proud," said the head Coach.
Next Saturday the team will travel to Frankfurt to play another tough road game. RSC Frankfurt is currently third in the RBBL. The next home game will be when RSV host Osnabruck at the August Bebel gym on December 6th.
Zwickau: Piotr Luszynski (23/2 3pt shots), Mehmet Hayirli (14), Mateusz Filipski (9/1), Matthias Heimbach (8), Günther Mayer (4), Marcin Balcerowski, Rostislav Pohlmann, Frank Oehme (DNP), Rainer Müller (DNP).
Lahn-Dill: Richard Peter (16), Michael Paye (15/1), Joey Johnson (10), Dirk Köhler (6), Gesche Schünemann (6), Kai Gerlach (4), Thomas Gundert (4), Annika Zeyen (2), Marco Zwerger, Jan Kampmann (DNP), Felix Schell (DNP).