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A victory to start the final home games

Coburg, 03-31-2019

BBC Coburg embarked on its final three home games in the playdowns in the BARMER ProB South 2nd German Basketball League with a 99:90 (45:44) win over Dragons Rhöndorf. Dino Dizdarevic was Coburg’s top scorer with 20 points in front of 628 spectators in the HUK-Coburg-Arena – but in the final period it was a player who had failed to make a mark up to then who turned on the heat.

After Kevin Franceschi put the first points of the game on the board (3:0), an evenly poised encounter ensued between the home side, who was already certain of avoiding relegation, and the visitors, who still need every win to avoid the drop. Two free throws by center Max von der Wippel put his side 13:8 ahead in the 7th minute and shortly afterwards Dino Dizdarevic produced an artistic lay-up and a bucket from downtown to make it 19:12 in the 8th minute and give Coburg its widest lead up to then.

Yet Rhöndorf quickly struck back in the second period, tied the scores at 22:22 and then, a little later, even snatched the lead through Joe Koschade (25:27 in the 12th minute). Then the emotions flared: Christopher Wolf and Julian Jasinski were involved in an altercation and shortly after that Rhöndorf’s power forward, who is also a member of the squad at German first-division club Bonn, was disqualified after a technical and unsporting foul and left the court sarcastically blowing kisses to the crowd in the HUK-Coburg-Arena. That fired up the BBC to begin with: The players of Head Coach Ulf Schabacker were now more alert, agile and aggressive and stepped up their pressure in defense. The upshot: Rhöndorf conceded turnovers and gave Coburg chances to pull away. Yet the home side failed to exploit them and so went in at the break with just a narrow 45:44 lead.

The visitors got off to the better start in the second half as well and were five points in front midway through the third period (52:57 in the 25th minute). The home side lacked penetration in offense, and had also picked up five team fouls early on, with the result that Rhöndorf was able to step up to the free throw line after every foul. Yet Steffen Walde and his teammates fought their way back into the game and went into the final period leading by 64:62.

It took some time for Coburg to find the key to victory: It finally drove more uncompromisingly into the paint and either added lay-ups or forced Rhöndorf to commit fouls. The strong Dino Dizdarevic tied the scores at 73:73 in the 35th minute – and then began the big Chase Adams show: The American, who had not made any mark up to then, had spent some time on the bench and now worked off all his pent-up energy on court. His haul at the start of the final period was five points – and he was to increase it to 19 by the end. The encounter was as good as decided at the latest when Rhöndorf’s assistant coach was sent out of the arena by the referees and Adams went on to bury four free throws to make it 91:79. At the end, the guard could even have helped his side break the 100-point mark, but he missed one of his two free throws and so the final buzzer sounded with the score at 99:90.

“Chase wasn’t so fired up to begin with as you’d expect from him. Then his spell on the bench gave him time to think and he came back on in a favorable phase when players like Steffen Walde and Yasin Turan had turned the game around a little and then showed the sort of form he’s displayed all season,” said a delighted Head Coach Schabacker about his successful ploy afterward. However, he admitted: “I said to the boys before the game that passion would be the key to victory today. It was obvious for a long time that Rhöndorf was more fired up than we were. However, we ultimately got back into the game and so ran out deserved winners in the end.”