Exciting start into Playoffs in Trier

Hard work, but in the end 78:65 success in semi-final
Title-defendants RSV Lahn-Dill won their first playoff semi-final in Trier and therefore accomplished the 1:0 in this best-of-three series against a mentally and tactically brilliantly prepared team, Goldmann Dolphins Trier. The teams were playing in front of a crowd which included local politicians, and the result of the game seemed unpredictable until the 34th minute, before RSV managed to decide the game for themselves  78:65 (24:12/36:32/53:48).
Around 650 spectators came to see a classic playoff-fight, in which the hosting team gave everything to be able to start with a win into the next game on the upcoming weekend in Wetzlar. This was especially noticeable in the fact that the Dolphins nearly got to level out their earlier 22:32-deficit before half-time. Also helpful for Trier was a fault on Steve Serio’s chair, which led to confusion and the need of changing the line-up. The hosts took advantage of the situation and before changeover they were up 32:36.
“Trier were prepared brilliantly for us and got over a critical phase early on very well” says RSV-coach Nicolai Zeltinger after the game. After the break an open exchange of blows followed, in which the Dolphins made use of their qualities very well, an intense and emotional game, awesome to watch for the visitors. Pushed by the cheers of their fans Trier kept fighting and their score close to RSV’s, changing the 43:50 (27th min) to 56:57 (34th min) and also displaying a convincing performance at the free-throw-line.
The free-throw-line was an area where RSV did not score so well and failed to calm the game a bit for themselves. Especially Trier’s Latvian low-pointer Karlies Podnieks had a great game, which did not let RSV lose their nerves, but they also didn’t manage to live up to their reputation. “I was actually hoping for us to go up a gear, but Trier stopped that successfully.” continues Zeltinger. Only when he changed the line-up in favour of his tall players and put Felix Schell on court, the team got on the path to success in the 34th minute. Old-dog Dirk Koehler played to his potential and was brilliantly supported by 24-year-old Schell. Both centres scored 16 points in this phase and pushed the score to 71:61 (38th min). Five more points by Steve Serio in the last couple of seconds got the cheer of the fans who had travelled with their team and in the end all went well.
“This first semi-final was intense and full of exciting and emotional scenes. It was a great wheelchair basketball game, in which we had more routine in the end.” Nicolai Zeltinger was exhausted but obviously relieved after the 1:0 in this series of games. This opens up the possibility of getting into the final early next Saturday, if the Wetzlar team manage to beat Trier again in the next game. If Trier should win said game, a deciding third game would take place on Sunday at four o’clock.
The German champions from 2003 and 2009 Zwickau won their first game in the semi-final against RSB Team Thueringen 80:66, but only in the last couple of minutes as well. Like RSV they have now the chance to get into the final early.

RSV-Magazin Defense