An all-around successful evening in the Rittal Arena

Top scorer Böhme & Co. take the lead in the standings with 71:69

An all-round successful Saturday evening for RSV Lahn-Dill gave the Wetzlar team a good backdrop with a correspondingly sparkling atmosphere, a highly exciting top game against the Thuringia Bulls, a sporting happy ending and, last but not least, the lead in the RBBL table. At the end of an intense evening, the hosts were able to win a 71:69 in front of exactly 1,046 spectators in the Rittal Arena in Wetzlar (18:23/42:39/54:54) and celebrate home victory over the rival from the east of the republic exuberantly.

What the good scenery got to see was a duel between the reigning Champions League winner from Hesse and the reigning German champion from Thuringia, which both sides led from the beginning on an equal footing. Initially, however, the advantages were with the guests, who had a slight lead through Aliaksandr Halouski and newcomer Jordi Ruiz over 8:4 (4th) and 14:12 (7th). On the part of the Central Hessian hosts, it was national player Thomas Böhme who kept his team in the game with twelve points and a strike rate of almost 86 percent from the middle distance before the Bulls shocked RSV with three threes within a good 100 seconds. Halouski and newcomer number two, US boy Dylan Fischbach, were the ones who brought their team forward to 23:18 after the first quarter.

But RSV Lahn-Dill rarely let themselves be disturbed that evening and never lost sight of their goal. So, the three Bulls threes followed in the second ten minutes of the game perhaps the best quarter of the season so far for the team of head coach Janet Zeltinger. Defensively, RSV had now adapted perfectly to the two long centers Halouski and Vahid Gholomazad, took them well out of the game, and even in Böhme had an outstanding player on the floor. Well staged by his teammates, the 30-year-old already increased his points account to 24 points by half-time. So the hosts turned a 27:33 (16th) in the final spurt into a 42:39 break lead, which the audience in the Rittal Arena considered with a lot of scene applause.

After the change of sides, a real head-to-head race developed, which was both sporty and dramaturgically worthy of a real top game.  In total, the lead changed ten times from the Lahn-Diller side to the Thuringians and back again. The intermediate scores of 46:45 (25th), 48:52 (28th) and 58:54 (32nd) witnessed a rollercoaster of emotions. Against an equal opponent, however, the Wetzlarer did not manage to close the bag and so the great opportunity remained unused to extend the lead with a four-point lead and their own possession. In the style of a class team, the Bulls took advantage of this and countered the RSV ice-cold to 58:60 (35th).

In the following timeout, Janet Zeltinger found the right words, straightened her heads up again and the team thanked her and assistant coach Günther Mayer with a successful final phase, which top scorer Thomas Böhme rang in with a three-pointer to 66:65 (38th). Now it was Paralympic champion Brian Bell, who owned the last few minutes and took over the responsibility in the style of a world-class player. With nine points in the last section, including the important 70:67 about 25 seconds before the end, he secured the narrow success and the associated championship lead for his team.

“As a team, as well as each individual player for himself, we acted with concentration and determination right from the start. As a result, we brought an extremely high intensity to the game right from the start, which was ultimately decisive for the success. This game was a very important step for us and we now have to build on that,” said the 44-year-old head coach after the end of a game that was as exciting as it was intense. All in all, two equal top European teams faced each other in the Rittal Arena on Saturday evening, where the guests had a slight advantage in the inside game, while the hosts threw their strong defence into the balance. A 34:29 rebound superiority of the Bulls with 30:14 points in the zone, a balanced hit rate and twelve by the RSV forced ball losses at the Bulls are in the statistics. When looking into the faces, the winners of the game were not only the Wetzlarer themselves, but above all the fans on site, who got to see a class game with excitement and drama. The more than 1,000 spectators, who came to this top game in large numbers for Corona conditions, from which almost all team sports still must suffer significantly, should not have regretted their coming. The new leader of the RBBL from Wetzlar has to defend his place in the sun next Saturday at the Dolphins from Trier, while the Thuringia Bulls should at the same time look for the chance of a rehabilitation in the home game against promoted Cologne.

Lahn-Dill: Thomas Böhme (35/1 triple), Hiroaki Kozai (12), Brian Bell (11), Reo Fujimoto (6), Quinten Zantinge (4), Simon Brown (2), Dominik Mosler (1), Jannik Blair, Catharina Weiß, Mark Beissert (n.e.).

Thuringia: Aliaksandr Halouski (20/1), André Bienk (8), Dylan Fischbach (8/2), Jordi Ruiz (8), Joakim Linden (6), Karlis Podnieks (6), Jitske Visser (6), Vahid Gholomazad (5), Jens Eike Albrecht (2), Hubert Hager (n.e.), Marie Kier (n.e.).

RSV-Magazin Defense