IWBF EuroLeague creates international flair

Mode – Schedule – Tickets – Opposition – Athletic goals
For the first time in history the IWBF EuroLeague will take place in Wetzlar this year. Five teams will be fighting for two spots at the Champions Cup in Madrid, a tournament that RSV would love to participate in for the tenth time in a row. Wetzlar will welcome French runner-up Hyéres Handi Basket, the Italian Series A teams Padua Millenium Basket and GSD Anmic Sassari as well as RSV-centre Joe Bestwick’s former team, Wolverhampton Rhinos.
At the same time as here in Wetzlar there will be ten more teams fighting for spots in the Champions Cup in Giulianova, Italy, and Toulouse, France. One of those teams are RSV-rivals RSC-Rollis Zwickau, who will travel to the Abruzzi.

IWBF EuroLeague I 
Gruppe A in Wetzlar: Hyéres Handi Basket (FRA), Padua Millenium Baskets (ITA), GSD Anmic Sassari (ITA), Wolverhampton Rhinos (GBR), RSV Lahn-Dill (GER).
Gruppe B in Giulianova: Besiktas Istanbul (TUR), CS Meaux (FRA), GSD Porto Torres (ITA), RSC-Rollis Zwickau (GER), Tercas Amicacci Giulianova (ITA).
Gruppe C in Toulouse: Uniphol Briantea ´84 Cantu (ITA), BSR Ave Gran Canaria (ESP), Santa Lucia Sport Rom (ITA), Beit Halochem Tel Aviv (ISR), Toulouse IC (FRA).
The first two teams of each EuroLeague I group in Wetzlar, Giulianova and Toulouse will qualify for the Champions Cup, which will take place from the 2nd until the 4th of May in Spain’s capital Madrid. The winners of the groups will be joined there by title-defendants Galatasaray Istanbul and hosting team CD Fundosa ONCE. The third teams of each group will qualify for the final rounds of Andre-Vergauwen-Cup from the 25th until the 27th of April in Getafe, Spain.
Ten games in a round robin-mode will take place at Wetzlar’s August-Bebel-Sporthalle. They will start on Friday at 11:15 between the Britons from Wolverhampton against the French team. Hyéres will also be the first team to play against RSV Lahn-Dill at 15:45, who will then again have their second game at 20:15 against Millenium Basket. On their second game-day RSV will start at 15:00 against GSD Anmic Sassari from Sardinia. The final game of the IWBF EuroLeague will be Saturday evening at 19:30 against Wolverhampton Rhinos, RSV-centre Joe Bestwick’s former team with which he won the British double in 2011. You can find the complete schedule here.

Day-tickets for all five games in one day are available for 14,- Euros (11,- Euros discounted). A two-day ticket for all ten games is 25,- Euros (19,- Euros discounted). Members of the Fan Club get a deduction of 1,- Euro on the day ticket and 2,- Euros on the two-day ticket. Season tickets for Bundesliga, Playoff- and DRS Cup-games are not valid for the event. August-Bebel-Sporthalle will open 60 minutes before the first game on each day.

Die Kontrahenten
Hyéres Handi Basket
The team from the French Mediterranean coast is the runner up in their national league with 12 wins in 13 games and is probably the strongest opposition this EuroLeague weekend. RSV Lahn-Dill have already had their encounters with the team surrounding US-National player and top scorer Joshua Turek. One of these games became a tough one in 2009, but RSV managed to decide the game in their favour 58:57. Other strong players next to Turek that the RSV-defence will have to keep an eye on are sharpshooter Ouahid Boustila as well as Joshua Rodriguez and Nicolas Jouanserre.

Padua Millenium Basket
The team from one of the oldest towns in Italy is fighting relegation in the national Series A at the moment, and could be called the underdog of the tournament. With Albanian Eriond Rrasa and Moroccan Rida Maataoui the Italians do have two very interesting players though. Joe Bestwick’s fellow countryman Mark Peter Scholefield (19) is said to be one of Great Britains greatest young talents, and Padua’s top scorer is old-dog Marco Dal Fitto. The team coached by Filippo Chiarello won Willi-Brinkmann-Cup in 2008 and reached the final last year.

GSD Anmic Sassari
In Wetzlar two Champions Cup successes are closely linked to the Sardinian team. RSV beat the Italian guests 2004 in Madrid and 2006 in Istanbul in the finals. Anmic won the Champions Cup once in 2002, and their last bigger international success was last year, when they reached the Andre-Vergauwen-Cup final. In their national league they won 5 out of 13 games and are therefore in the midfield of the Italian Series A.

Wolverhampton Rhinos
The former team of RSV-centre Joe Bestwick will bring many young talents to August-Bebel-Sporthalle. Juniors National Player Phillip Pratt is one of the greatest talents in Europe in his position, and with Jon Hall they have a National Player who became European Champion in Nazareth 2011 and participated in the London Paralympics. The 31-year-old is also the top-scorer for his team and therefore the centre of his team. Joe Bestwick won the British double with the Rhinos, whose biggest success so far was participating in the final of the Challenge Cup in 2010.

Athletic goals
The aim for the ten-fold Champion Cup winners from Middle Hesse is to reach the Champions Cup again, to make up for last year’s bumbler. 2013 in Valladolid RSV as title-defendants collapsed early and only got into the seventh and last-but-one spot after winning only one out of five games. This also meant the drop in the European ranking, where they are now even with the opposition from Madrid and Rome and behind Turkey’s top-team Galatasaray Istanbul. So already the first game on Friday against Hyeres has a special meaning, as they are said to be the strongest opposition. Coaches Nicolai Zeltinger and Ralf Neumann can nearly pick from the whole squad, as only long-time injured player Thomas Gundert won’t be eligible to play.
All current information about the EuroLeague, including results, tables etc. can be found on our website www.rsvlahndill.de, on Facebook www.facebook.com/rsvlahndill and through our App for iPhone and Android from Friday.

RSV-Magazin Defense