BBC Coburg continues to feel on top of the world on the road in the BARMER ProB South 2nd German Basketball League: EBBECKE WHITE WINGS Hanau also proved unable to stop the visitors, who took both points home with them from Hesse after their 78:67 (42:41) victory on Saturday evening.
“It really can’t give a reason why things are going so well for us on the road at the moment. At any rate, we don’t go into our home games more relaxed than into our away ones,” said Coburg’s Head Coach Ulf Schabacker with a smirk after the encounter. By capturing its sixth away win in a row (the last three of which were again clubs from Hesse: Frankfurt, Gießen and Hanau), the BBC maintained a spot among the top four in the table, exacted revenge on Hanau for the defeat earlier in the season, and took a big step toward qualifying for the playoffs for the first time. Coburg now has an advantage of three wins over the team in ninth spot, with seven games left.
The game in the Main Kinzig Arena was tight and fiercely contested from the tip-off. The home side was once able to open up a gap (8:3 in the 4th minute), and a little later two buckets from beyond the arc by Sven Lorber and Tidjan Keita made it 21:16 in the 9th minute. Otherwise, the encounter in the first period was what is termed a one possession game: A duel that can be turned around, or where the scores can be tied, on a single play. The BBC accordingly took the first period by the narrow margin of 25:22.
After that, the visitors usually had their nose ahead, at least by a little, and were able to open up a five-point advantage a bit more frequently – which seemed to be the highest conceivable lead in this encounter. Princeton Onwas missed two free throws shortly before half-time, whereas Till-Joschka Jönke, who has played in the top flight, securely drained two from the line at the other end. The teams went in at the break with the encounter evenly poised at 42:41.
Coburg got off to a good start to the second half, preventing the home side from scoring for four minutes and itself producing a 6:0 run to build a small cushion. Schabacker’s players were able to take a 61:55 lead into the final period.
In the final quarter, the visitors managed to keep Hanau at arm’s length and Constantin Ebert notched up the first double-digit lead of the encounter (69:58 in the 34th minute). The home side kept on fighting, but Coburg now had the momentum on its side and was able to keep the Swans at a distance. When center Tidjan Keita stole possession with two minutes remaining and then added a lay-up to make it 76:64, the game was decided. It was then left to captain Christopher Wolf to cap his strong performance and make the final score 78:67 from the foul line.
“The very highest praise for the entire team,” said Schabacker afterwards. “Everyone did their job, whether the starting five or bench players. We played with more energy today and that won us the game. Hanau didn’t expect we could build so much pressure on the ball and that was our opportunity. Everyone put that game plan into action well.”
Coburg can take its next step toward qualifying for the playoffs in the ProB for the first time next Sunday. And when Anton Gavel and Ulm call at the Lauterer Höhe, the BBC can perhaps show that it can play just as successfully at home as on the road.