BBC COBURG are closing in on the title in 1. Regionalliga. This past weekend, they beat fellow contenders VfL Baskets Treuchtlingen and bottom-feeders GGZ Baskets Zwickau in back-to-back home games and are now three games ahead of the pack in league rankings.
On Friday, a record crowd of 1,565 inside a packed HUK-COBURG arena saw an epic top-of-the-table clash between leaders BBC COBURG and 2nd-ranked VfL Baskets Treuchtlingen. The entire first half was a highly entertaining see-saw battle with both teams scoring virtually at will. Towards the end of the second quarter, the hosts managed to pull away, thanks to a barrage of mid-range shots whom BBC converted at a staggering percentage.
Early in the third quarter, the back-and-forth affair continued but Coburg always maintained a double-digit lead. While the home team featured a balanced attack with six players scoring in double figures, the visitors relied heavily on their “fearsome foursome” of point guard Tim Eisenberger, wings Simon Geiselsoeder and Florian Beierlein plus undersized big man Stefan Schmoll, who produced a combined 83 of 89 total VfL points. Eisenberger, who was essentially unstoppable all night, added eight rebounds and a whopping 14 assists, attacking the rim relentlessly to then kick out to open shooters.
When a Jordan Burris three-pointer from the top of the key and a Fabian Franke layup off a Burris steal extended the BBC lead to sixteen with seven minutes to go in the fourth, the home fans started to anticipate a blowout victory. But the Baskets were far from finished: they crawled all the way back into the game and suddenly found themselves only down by two with a minute to play. Two vigorous drives by point guard Eividas Molosciakas and wing Steffen Walde then sealed the deal for BBC.
Walde (19 points), Burris (17 pts, 9 reb), who basically played on one good leg after re-aggravating a previous ankle injury early in the first quarter, Franke (16 pts, 5 ass), center Daniel Stawowski (13 pts, 10 reb) and backup guard Kevin Eichelsdoerfer (14 pts, 4 ass in 19 min) were the Upper Franconians’ main contributors.
Michael Stoschek, Chairman of the Brose Group, one of BBC COBURG’s lead sponsors, congratulated the 1. Regionalliga newcomers on their excellent performance: “I find it heart-warming to see this program take off like this. It is run by enthusiastic people and our company is happy to provide support.”
On Sunday, a severely short-handed BBC COBURG squad put on a spectacular 113-83 display against an overmatched GGZ Baskets Zwickau. Missing top scorers Jordan Burris (ankle injury) and Fabian Franke (flu) while Sasa Gligorovic and Manuel Imamovic continued to be out with long-term ailments, it was third-leading scorer Steffen Walde who immediately embraced the go-to guy role. He carried the league leaders offensively all afternoon and finished with 30 points off an array of drives, mid-range jumpers and free throws. Young power forward Sebastian Wyczisk erupted for a 16-point, 13-board double-double and the guard rotation of Eividas Molosciakas, Kevin Eichelsdoerfer and Yasin Turan combined for 38 points and twelve assists. Ball movement was tremendous and on defense, the hosts roamed the passing lanes and grabbed every 50-50 ball.
With a 18-2 record, BBC COBURG are now three games clear of VfL Baskets Treuchtlingen, who lost again on Sunday.