68:82 defeat in top match at championship rival Thuringia
RSV Lahn-Dill traveled to Thuringia for the top match as leader of the table but had to leave the place in the sun to the home team after 40 mostly disappointing minutes of play. In the end, the Thuringia Bulls not only celebrated an 82:68 home victory (23:19/45:35/63:51) against the Central Hessians, but also won the direct comparison, which now catapults them to first place.
The summit meeting in the RBBL turned out to be a clear disappointment for the Wetzlarer team, who won the first leg 71-69 at the end of October. Although U.S. Paralympic champion Brian Bell had a very strong performance in Elxleben, the dominators on the floor were undoubtedly Aliaksandr Halouski and Vahid Gholomazad. The two Bulls centers not only scored a combined 49 points, but also grabbed 23 of their team’s 32 rebounds. In terms of pure statistics, RSV Lahn-Dill was almost equal to the Bulls in almost all respects, but only in almost all. From the three-point line, however, only one of a total of 16 attempts by the Hessians found its target and this was clearly too little to put the home side in greater need of action defensively.
At the beginning of the game, a balanced top game developed at first, in which the guests conceded an early 2:6 deficit (2nd), but after Hiroaki Kozai’s only three-pointer to 9:8 (4th) or Bell’s goal from the mid-distance to 17:16 (8th), they also had their noses in front several times themselves. But a quarter-long 4:11 run and two bitter threes from the outstanding national player Halouski shortly before the halftime siren, reflected the superiority of the Thuringians on the scoreboard for the first time that day.
After the change of ends, the defense of the Central Hessians was a bit better, but whenever RSV Lahn-Dill tried to reduce the deficit from the first two quarters, the Bulls fought back confidently. After such a 2:12 run to 45:61 (28th) and another of this kind from 58:67 (33rd) to 58:74 (36th), the top game was finally decided prematurely, even if the will of the guest to improve the result was evident until the final siren and was also reflected in the later result. Nevertheless, the RSV must soberly attest that the success of the Thuringia Bulls on this day was just as deserved as their own clear defeat.
“Thuringia was the clearly better team today, there is nothing to interpret. The only positive thing about this Saturday is that we have ruthlessly pointed out our construction sites and can now work on them,” said head coach Janet Zeltinger after the defeat.
First remains for the central Hessen however only the realization that on this 15th play day still no titles were assigned and in the past year the championship race did not go to the team, which lay after the main round on place one. However, to occupy this statistic in 2021/2022, RSV Lahn-Dill will have to improve significantly compared to this top match.
In addition to Brian Bell and Hiroaki Kozai, RSV Lahn-Dill was also able to please the British Simon Brown, while on the opposite side also the veterans Joakim Linden and André Bienek could contribute important impulses. The Thuringia Bulls now must defend their newly acquired lead in the standings next weekend in Cologne, while the Lahn-Dillers, on the other hand, have to lick their wounds in order to be able to redeem themselves next Saturday in front of their own crowd against the Dolphins from Trier.
Thuringia: Aliaksandr Halouski (25/3 threes), Vahid Gholomazad (24), Joakim Linden (13), André Bienek (12), Karlis Podnieks (4), Jens Eike Albrecht (2), Jordi Ruiz (2), Dylan Fischbach, Hubert Hager, Marie Kier, Jitske Visser.
Lahn-Dill: Brian Bell (22), Hiroaki Kozai (15/1), Simon Brown (8), Reo Fujimoto (8), Thomas Böhme (7), Jannik Blair (2), Dominik Mosler (2), Catharina Weiß (2), Quinten Zantinge (2), Mark Beissert (n.e.), Peyman Mizan (n.e.).