81:68 success in a high-class top game
Title-defendants RSV Lahn-Dill kept their perfect record in this top-game in Zwickau. In the end the Wetzlar Rollis beat the hosting team, who hadn’t lost at home yet this season, 81:68 (21:17/39:37/59:53) and by that secured the first spot of the table early and are now in the best position for the playoffs in March.
The visitors came to see a high-class game, and the Zwickau team displayed a very strong performance, most of all in the first half. They were leading until captain Michael Paye scored the 12:7 in the fifth minute, after an early time-out to assess and adjust. This lead to a positive development for the guests to 21:13 (9th min), but the Saxons stayed dangerous, predominantly centre Adam Erben who scored alone 10 points in the second quarter and even got his team to a tie again at 31:31 (17th min).
“We may have controlled the first half, but we definitely didn’t play well.” was RSV-head coach Nicolai Zeltinger’s critical analysis after the game. Whilst RSV were scoring sixty per cent, Zwickau topped them scoring 68 per cent. But when RSV Lahn-Dill kept their high percentage up during the rest of the game, Zwickau dropped in their hit-ratio noticeably.
This was partly due to the fact that the Middle-Hesse team upped their defence, they acted aggressively and with determination and therefore cost the opposition a lot of energy. So it was at 45:43 (23rd min) by top-scorer Ghazian Choudhry that the Zwickau fans could cheer their team’s lead for the last time. Only five minutes later the ten-fold German Champions from Wetzlar were leading again with 57:49 (28th min).
“This was awesome! It was great to see the team improve their performance after change-over, very impressive.” Nicolai Zeltinger seemed a lot happier after the second half. He, as well as assistant coach Ralf Neumann had a special compliment for Junior World-Champion Thomas Boehme for his performance in offence as well for his fantastic defence. He added 18 points to the score, right after US-Americans Michael Paye and Steve Serio with 26 and 25 points respectively.
But RSC-Zwickau did not give up and fought against the first home-defeat of this season. They did not get closer than the 55:61 (31st min) though, and at the 73:59 (36th min) by Dirk Koehler, who had his back towards the basket, the game was decided early and the first spot of the main round secured early. A big factor to this win certainly was the high number of rebounds for Wetzlar compared to Zwickau (29:16).
RSV now have eight points difference to the second team RSB Team Thueringen, and therefore cannot lose their spot at the top anymore. So they are in the best position for the playoff-semi-final, which will take place from the middle of March onwards and be played in a “best-of-three”-mode.
Zwickau: Ghazian Choudhry (21), Adam Erben (16), Abdi Jama (16), Rostislav Pohlmann (7), Kai Moeller (6), Matt Sealy (2), Bryce Doody, Tim Lange (n.e.), Guenther Mayer (n.e.), Frank Oehme (n.e.).
Lahn-Dill: Michael Paye (26), Steve Serio (25), Thomas Boehme (18), Dirk Koehler (8), Joe Bestwick (2), Bjoern Lohmann (2), Annabel Breuer, Felix Schell, Marco Zwerger, Jan Haller (n.e.), Christopher Huber (n.e.).