A game very much to the liking of 1.400 spectators
A game on a knife edge, aggressive and intense with a happy ending for RSV Lahn-Dill. The wheelchair basketball Bundesliga classic between Wetzlar Rollis and their old rivals RSC Rollis Zwickau was a great game to watch for the 1.400 spectators in the sold out August-Bebel-Sporthalle in Wetzlar, the fans were able to cheer for their fresh-faced team after a psychologically valuable 61:56 –win (12:11/24:27/41:41).
The rivals from Middle Hesse and Saxony, both with newly put-together teams, delivered a passionate and open game on this fifth match-day, who despite the new faces on court reminded us a lot of old times. Whilst from the start the two new Zwickau protagonists, new accrual Brit Ademola Orogbemi and Pole Marcin Balcerowski performed well, whilst for the hosts both Felix Schell and Thomas Bohme held them at bay. That way the game kept swaying back and forth (8:6 5th min/ 16:19 14th min), and at half time the Saxons were leading.
At that point Coach Nicolai Zeltinger had quite a hard time, most of all with his team’s low hit-percentage caused by Zwickau’s defence, which prevented a possible lead. But after the break it seemed, step by step, that the tables had turned. Whilst the RSV physically improved their offence and worked hard for their rebounds, their hit-quota finally rose to the same extent that Zwickau coach Aleksandr Kharchenkov’s team’s hit-quote decreased. In minute 23 it was captain Michael Paye who turned the August-Bebel-Sporthalle into a madhouse bringing his team to a first significant lead when he hit a three, putting a 40:36 (28th min) up on the scoreboard.
But Zwickau gave their best, trying to match every RSV-success, before the final decision in the fourth and final quarter. With two quick baskets by Thomas Gundert and Michael Paye, who with twelve assists demonstrated he is superb leading material, the team took off to a 48:42 (32nd min). Zwickau’s Erben shortened the difference to a 44:48, but seconds later had to leave the court early after his fifth foul. The young team RSV took advantage of the startled opposition and proficiently gained a 55:46 (35th min) lead through a repeatedly strong Thomas Boehme.
Everything suggested win number 39 in the 53rd national league game, but neither the spectators nor the hosts took the current table-leader into account. A three by a strong Bryce Doody followed by two points scored by Rotislav Pohlmann, only two out of six possible free throw chances on RSV side and another basket by Doody (57:53 in 39th min) made the game suddenly and unnecessarily tense again. When Brit Orogbemi sunk another desperate but spectacular three, an unexpected turnaround seemed to be lurking, and three time-outs in the last 70 seconds only added to the suspense. But Michael Paye and his team did not stay awe-struck for long and 4 hit free throws and an offence rebound by Thomas Boehme turned the game into a deserved win for RSV Lahn-Dill.
“This defining step strengthens us on our way with this great young team. We’re improving week by week and have brilliant potential for further improvement.” RSV-Head-Coach Nicolai Zeltinger is happy after this psychologically important success against arch rival Zwickau: “Of course the season’s outcome will only be decided in Spring 2013, but today we have answered the Saxon’s challenge in our own way. “
The Wheelchair Basketball Bundesliga will now pause for a week to make room for the first Cup game this weekend. RSV-Lahn-Dill are travelling to Heidelberg, where they will meet their Bundesliga competitors Munich, before the Hesse derby against Mainhatten Skywheelers on the 3rd of November.
Lahn-Dill: Michael Paye (18/1), Thomas Böhme (15), Jan Haller (8), Dirk Köhler (7), Felix Schell (7), Joe Bestwick (4), Thomas Gundert (2), Björn Lohmann, Gesche Schünemann.
Zwickau: Adam Erben (14), Ademola Orogbemi (14/1), Marcin Balcerowski (10), Matt Sealy, Bryce Doody (9/1), Ghazian Choudhry (5), Rostislav Pohlmann (4), Wolfgang Almer, Frank Oehme, Joachim Pawle.
Photos from Jörg Theimer at www.gute-blende.de.
Interviews and videos from the game at www.mittelhessen.de.