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Giordan Watson(CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu) The BBL Is In My Head For Sure But Again Frankfurt Is Just Another Game That I Must Do My Best

April 26, 2015

Giordan Watson is a 29 year old 178cm guard from Southfield Michigan. He is playing his second season for  CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu (Romania-Liga Nationala). He is an unselfish player who gets others involved but also has the ability to score if needed. He sparks the team with passing and ball movement and is a great defender. He played at Central Michigan from 2004-2008 and in his senior season he played 31 games averaging 16.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.5apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 41.7%, 3Pts: 38.6%, FT: 75.0%. As a rookie he played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven playing 33 games averaging 10.1ppg, 2.7rpg, Assists-5(3.8apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 73.4%. In 2009-2010, he played for the Giants Noerdlingen (Germany-ProA) playing 17 games: 15.2ppg, 3.3rpg, Assists-4(5.2apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 72.7. In 2010-2011 he played for  UMFN Njardvik (Iceland-Express League) playing 6 games: 22.7ppg, 3.7rpg, 7.5apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 68.4%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 75.8%. In 2011-2012, he played for U.M.F. Grindavik (Iceland-Express League) playing 31 games: 16.3ppg, 4.4rpg, Assists-1(7.2apg), 1.8spg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT-2(43.4%), FT: 78.3%. In 2012-2013 he played for Karhu Kauhajoki (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 53 games: 16.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 4.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 83.3%. Last season for CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu, he played 29 games: 11.7ppg, 3.1rpg, Assists-3(5.5apg), 1.8spg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 72.0%. He spoke to German Hoops before the 2015 Eurochallenge game for third place against the Fraport Skyliners.

Giordan a tough loss to Trabzonspor in the 2015 Eurochallenge semi-final 83-63. You wanted to achieve so much in this tournament. Despite the 20 point loss what positives yould you take out of the game?

The game was a learning experience, but this is a bad time for that. Hopefully we can take that loss into our domestic league playoffs and remain focused for the entire game

Energia was lead 22-17 after one quarter, but then were outscored 22-9 in the second quarter. What was key for Tranzonspor to go into halftime with the nine point advantage?

They remained strong while we had some mental lapses. At this time in the season, mental breakdowns will cost you

What did head coach Antonis Constantinides tell the team do better in the third quarter. What adjustments did the team make and did it succeed?

Our biggest focus was just to make sure we stayed concentrated. We got away from what gave us the lead early, and lost assignments defensively. We fought back, but in the end it wasn’t enough

Dwight Hardy led all scorers, but in the fourth quarter it seemed like Sean Marshall and Andrija Stipanovic sparked the team. Was Trabzonspor just deeper off the bench with more energy?

Their depth was definitely their strength in the semi final game. The more guys you can play at a high level, it usually works in your teams favor.

The rebound line of 42-19 in favor of the Turkish squad was one of big keys in the game. Did the banging down low have a big effect in conserving energy in the second half?

Losing on the glass like that will also guarantee a loss. Controlling the paint is something both teams wanted to do, it’s a must in games like this.

You played against many top guards in the Eurochallenge, but where did Dwight hardy rank up with the best guy that you played against in this competition?

Hardy played exceptional. He got a ton of great looks and knocked them down. He got hot and it was tough after that.

I was hoping for a Frankfurt-Rovinari in the final, but instead you will meet in the game for third place. How difficult will it be getting ready for this game after the disappointing loss?

Playing in this game will be tough because I’m sure both teams wanted first place so bad. So now, you have to refocus quickly on being the best you can be instead of the best. We have mature guys, and so does Frankfurt, so I expect both teams to come out ready.

The Fraport Skyliners had a tough loss against Nanterre losing in crunch time. What kind of game can we await and what will be key to winning the game?

I know the back court of Frankfurt is strong, so I expect a lot of hard work going in. I think the team that wants it more will win.

With what kind of feelings are you going into this game? You last played in the Beko BBL in the 2008-2009 season and I thought you had a very respectable season with Bremerhaven, but you never played in Germany again. How motivated are you to show the BBL that you have become a top point guard in Europe?

At this time in the season, my motivation for every game is high. Of course I want to have a great game being that I played in BBL before, but it’s not something I get emotional about. It’s in my head for sure, but again, Frankfurt is just another game that I must do my best.

Trabzonspor face off against Nanterre in the final. What kind of game can we expect and who do you think will win?

It should be an interesting game because the teams have different styles. The French teams and generally more athletic and a bit undersized upfront, while Trabzonapor has big, physical guys up front. The home court of Trabzon or the athleticism of Nanterre, should be interesting.

Steph Curry recently nailed 77 three pointers in a practice in a row. What was the most you ever made in a row?

Haha, I don’t know the most I’ve made, maybe around 33.. But that’s a long way away from 77!

Thanks Giordan for the chat.

Porter Troupe(CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu) I Have Always Believed In Myself And Just Stayed True To My Dream

April 26, 2015

Porter Troupe is a 32 year old 196cm guard from San Diego, California that is playing his fifth season with CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu (Romania-Liga Nationala). He started his basketball career with Portland (NCAA) in 2001 and finished at Warner Pacific College (NCCAA) in 2005. It took him three years until he came to Europe in 2008 and in the meantime he played for the Vancouver Volcanoes (IBL). In Europe he also played for Al Moutahed Tripoli (Lebanon-Div.A) and Cytavision Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A). He spoke to German Hoops before the game for third place in the Eurochallenge against the Fraport Skyliners.

Porter a tough loss to Trabzonspor in the 2015 Eurochallenge semi-final 83-63. You wanted to achieve so much in this tournament. Despite the 20 point loss what positives could you take out of the game?

Hi Miles, thanks for the opportunity! Definitely a tough loss, in the semi-final. To be honest with you, it’s tough for me to find the positives so quickly after losing a game like that. I wanted the victory so much, maybe too much. But what I will say is that I’m aware of what my team has achieved in the competition by just reaching this point. To make it here was a dream in the beginning and we had the opportunity to go to the final, so looking back on the whole season I can say it was a success.

Energia was lead 22-17 after one quarter, but then were outscored 22-9 in the second quarter. What was key for Tranzonspor to go into halftime with the nine point advantage?

In the first quarter we played as a unit, and I feel that we lost a sense of unity in the second quarter. I can’t explain why, but that’s what I feel. We definitely didn’t pay attention to the small details, and in a game of this magnitude details make all the difference.

What did head coach Antonis Constantinides tell the team do better in the third quarter. What adjustments did the team make and did it succeed?

I think we just focused a little more on the details, and we believed we had a chance. The goal was to keep the game close, and take it at the end. So we were where we wanted to be at the end of the third. What was working was making them shift sides of the floor defensively, and in the third we made them do just that. Also defensively we paid more attention to the details, and made them take tough shots. Doing that helped us get back into the game.

Dwight Hardy led all scorers, but in the fourth quarter it seemed like Sean Marshall and Andrija Stipanovic sparked the team. Was Trabzonspor just deeper off the bench with more energy?

I feel they were deeper than us for sure. I think the last 5 min of the game showed that, and also I think we just couldn’t get over the hump. I think the frustration of not getting over the hump took over and we just gave in. Also playing on their home floor inspired them, you can tell they rode the momentum of their home crowd.

The rebound line of 42-19 in favor of the Turkish squad was one of big keys in the game. Did the banging down low have a big effect in conserving energy in the second half?

Losing the rebound battle was the biggest key for them winning the game. They kept throwing big bodies at us, and it wore us down.

You played against many top guards in the Eurochallenge, but where did ex Boston College star Sean Marshall rank up with the best guy that you played against in this competition?

I respect everyone I have matched up with in this competition. Individually I was more impressed with Terry Smith from Lukoil. He was a tough matchup because he could score at will 1 on 1. Yesterday’s game, Tranzonspor played a great TEAM game. Dwight Hardy and Sean Marshall were the beneficiaries of that. Great ball movement and great reading of the game from all their players helped create easy opportunities for them.

I was hoping for a Frankfurt-Rovinari in the final, but instead you will meet in the game for third place. How difficult will it be getting ready for this game after the disappointing loss?

It will be hard, no one wants to play for 3rd. You come to the final four dreaming big. So it will be tough, but I’m a competitor and if you told me at the beginning of the Eurochallenge season that my team would finish 3rd I would take it.

The Fraport Skyliners had a tough loss against Nanterre losing in crunch time. What kind of game can we await and what will be key to winning the game?

Hats off to Nanterre for making it to the finals it’s a great achievement for the French club. I think that Frankfurt have a good team and could have very easily be in the final. Good guards, good inside game. Keys for us will be defense and playing as a unit. When we focus on these two things we can beat any team in the competition. Also, we have to do a much better job finishing defensive possessions with rebounds so we can get into our transition game.

After a seven point game and four fouls, you surely will be very motivated to play Frankfurt. Besides getting the win, what will you be focusing most on in your game to help your team win?

For me, I excel when we move the ball and create opportunities for each other. So for me to have a better game offensively, we as a unit have to play much better. But certainly from my side I will hunt my shot more aggressively. I think I waited for the game to come to me too much in the semi-final and it got me out of rhythm. Defensively I just need to be myself and stick to the principles and everything will be okay.

You have a very interesting story as a player. After playing at Warner Pacific, it took you 3 years to get to Europe. In the meantime you played semi pro basketball with the Vancouver Volcanoes (IBL). Did you ever doubt that you could make it as a professional in those times? How were you able to survive these hard times?

My story is interesting because there are a lot of things that happened in between going to Europe. I was actually offered a contract to Italy Lega due after excelling at Hart Sports Management camp in 2007. Things fell through and it was disappointing. I have always believed in myself, and just stayed true to my dream. Belief in God, staying close to the game, and working hard kept my dream alive.

You have played almost your whole career with CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu. What makes this organization so special that you have decided to return almost every season?

Well first, until now the Romanian league wasn’t respected as I believe it will be going forward. There have been many good import players playing in this league, but it has been looked down upon by western European countries. I am a very loyal person, so staying here was never a problem for me. They have always treated me right, and I have a strong bond with the community and fans.

Is CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu a team where you could imagine finishing your professional career with?

Playing in this Eurochallenge has given me the exposure I have always wanted. I also played in Cyprus for Apoel Nicosia, and had a very successful season there. Played against some very good players and learned that I can play anywhere if given the opportunity. So in saying that, I always want to play at the highest level I can. I love the fans and people of Targu Jiu, but new challenges are always enticing

Trabzonspor face off against Nanterre in the final. What kind of game can we expect and who do you think will win?

Finals are always very physical with high intensity. I think Tranzonspor have a lot of quality, and size. Nanterre play a high paced game, and are great offensively. I think in the end the team that controls the pace of the game, and the boards will win. Should be an interesting game

You and Louis Darby have played four seasons together with CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu. You must know each other inside out. Who wins a one on one in practice?

Haha, Louis is a great 1 on 1 player. Honestly we have never just rolled the ball out and played 1 on 1. I would never pick someone to beat me in a 1 on 1 game, but beating Louis would be a great challenge. It would definitely be fun!

Steph Curry recently nailed 77 three pointers in a practice in a row. What was the most you ever made in a row?

Steph Curry is an amazing shooter, probably the best in the world. Honestly last year in practice I made 34 in a row during a shooting game with teammates. I have made over 40 in a row during a workout with my trainer in Portland. But an exact number escapes me.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

DVD hmm…. I recently watched the Judge with Robert Downey Jr.   Good movie, I also saw Fast 7 in theaters. Thanks Miles, for the opportunity.

Thanks for the chat Porter.

The Fraport Skyliners Come Back Comes Up Short 84-79 As Kyle Weems Powers Nanterre To Eurochallenge Final

April 24, 2015

Sometimes everything can look so bleak for a basketball team as the Fraport Skyliners witnessed almost six months ago as they came into the Eurochallenge season sporting a miserable 1-6 record in the Beko BBL and it didn´t get any better as they started off the international club tournament with a lack luster 94-59 loss in Belgium against Aalstar, then beat a weak Danish team Bakken Bears and then had some real misfortune losing against Boras as Adama Darboe nailed a buzzer beater in the second home in Russelheim as their real living room Fraport arena was booked for another event. However then Justin Cobbs arrived and the rest is history. Frankfurt then reeled off five straight wins and reached the quarterfinals with a double overtime win against Russian team Avtodor. In the quarterfinals, Frankfurt survived getting by Russian team Enisey in a do or die game as the club made one of their greatest comebacks in history coming down 19 points and winning 85-80. There were many highlights besides that amazing victory like the break out game of German Johannes Richter who led Frankfurt past Bakken as he allowed no honey for the Bears or the exciting 94-92 win in Den Bosch as Justin Cobbs and Brandyn Curry had a point guard battle of the finest. All in all Frankfurt had a superb 11-4 record in the Eurochallenge and were rewarded with a ticket to the final 4 in Turkey. With all the great memories of the past six months put into an extra memory bank in their heads, the Fraport Skyliners now had 80 minutes to play their best basketball ever starting with the first 40 minutes against 2013 French champion Nanterre and tried to make another comeback translate into a win like the way they did against Enisey and FC Bayern Munich this season, but came up a bit short at the end losing 83-79 as they had little resistance for the French team sharp shooters and ex Beko BBL American players Kyle Weems and Jamal Shuler who combined for a masterful 43 points. The Fraport Skyliners went into the game with a massive height advantage, but knew that they had to contend with the dangerous three point shooting of Nanterre and quickly were put into a hole as Arkansas native Mykal Riley and ex teammate of ex Fraport Skyliner Jermario Davidson at Alabama(NCAA) nailed two three pointers for the quick 6-0 lead. Nanterre kept nailing three pointers as rapidly as Quantez Robertson can get down the floor on the fast break as the ex Beko BBL players Weems and Jamal Shuler hit two three pointers for the 14-4 lead. Frankfurt had massive problems getting into a rhythm on offense as it seemed like the bad weather there left a bad side effect on their game plan or simply they got off the wrong side of the bed. Nanterre was halting the Frankfurt pick and roll and Justin Cobbs got off to a slow start shooting. Even when Frankfurt got some needed production from Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi in the form of a trey or Johannes Voigtmann two handed dunk fed from Cobbs, Nanterre kept firing away and connecting from all angles as Weems hit a catch and pop and ex TBB Trier forward Shuler another three pointer for the 19-9 advantage that he just threw in at a speed where FC Bayern Munich guard Anton Gavel would have chuckle at. Frankfurt got some needed production down the stretch from Brooklyn native Sean Armand with a jumper to cut the Nanterre lead to 23-13. After a Jaiteh tip in, Frankfurt closed out the first quarter strong as ex Iona guard Sean Armand hit a three and Florida native Mike Morrison made a tip in as Nanterre led 27-18 after one quarter. After one quarter Nanterre was shooting a crazy 69% from the field and 66% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 46% from the field and 40% from outside. Both teams had six rebounds a piece and Frankfurt five turnovers and Nanterre three turnovers. In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners continued to pick and claw at the Nanterre lead and tie the game at 34-34 only to allow a 11-0 Nanterre run to go into halftime with the comfortable 45-37 lead. The Fraport Skyliners started off the second quarter with a bang going on a 5-0 run to cut the Nanterre lead to 27-23 as Morrison scored inside and Armand dropped a three pointer. However whenever Frankfurt threatened to get closer, Nanterre had a response as Phoenix native point guard TJ Campbell who played at Portland(NCAA) made a tip in and three pointer to extend the Nanterre lead to 32-23. This didn´t faze Frankfurt at all as there was more flow and confidence in their offense as they went on a lightening 11-2 run to even the game at 34-34. Frankfurt was making better use of the obvious height advantage and banging the ball inside as Morrison got two easy buckets and also improved their three point accuracy with Armand and Burtschi three pointers. However Nanterre had this incredible way of stepping up then when it seemed like they may be wilting throwing a nasty 11-2 run into the face of Frankfurt and taking the 45-36 lead at halftime. In the run they were supported by another clutch three pointer from Campbell as well as a jumper from 36 year old French veteran Joseph Gomis who played at the 2006 World championships in Japan and 2007 European championships in Spain getting a jumper. They also got timely free throws from Laurence Ekperigin and Shuler as well as a runner rom the ex TBB Trier player. Voigtmann closed out the second quarter canning free throws. After 20 minutes Nanterre was shooting 58% from the field and 60% form the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 44% from the field and 30% from the three point line. Nanterre had the 17-14 rebound edge and both teams had eight turnovers a piece. In the third quarter the fight within the Fraport Skyliners remained fierce, but Nanterre continued to execute well, but lost a little focus at the end letting the German 2004 league champion go out on a 11-3 run to cut the Nanterre lead to 64-61. Ex Phoenix Hagen forward Jacob Burtschi started off the third quarter with a big three pointer, but Kansas native and ex Missouri State(NCAA) star Kyle Weems returned the answer with a brutal runner and three pointer extending the Nanterre lead to 50-40 as he still dreams of the NBA after having played NBA Summer League in 2012 and 2013. Frankfurt got some production from Voigtmann with a lay in and Armand tap in sneaking to get his own rebound, but Nanterre still had that controlled offense where hitting shots on a consistent rate was on the menu as Shuler and Campbell dropped three pointers and Weems made a hard dunk with authority coming in from the wing and taking the feed from Campbell as Nanterre led 58-48. Nanterre continued to be the more clever team on offense, but Frankfurt the better oiled come back team as they never gave up and closed out the third quarter strong going on a 13-6 run to cut the Nanterre lead to 64-61 after 30 minutes. In the run, Nanterre kept some distance with huge three pointers from Campbell and Judith, but Frankfurt capitalized on their chances on offense getting two big trey´s from Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp and from Quantez Robertson. Nanterre was shooting 55% from the field and 61% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 44% from the field and 41% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 24-20 rebound edge, but 11 turnovers while Nanterre had only nine turnovers. The fourth quarter was an intense battle as Frankfurt got it´s first lead of the contest and in all there were six lead changes, but at the end Nanterre showed that they were the better team keeping the nerves and hitting big shots. Cobbs started the fourth quarter with a big three pointer over 208cm big man Jaiteh to tie the score at 64-64. Frankfurt was defending a lot better being aggressive and giving Nanterre less easy looks, but couldn´t capitalize on offense with scoring as they also had a lull. Weems then hit an open three pointer as he waited until Danilo Barthel flew by him to give Nanterre the 67-64 lead. Frankfurt then went on a 5-0 run to earn themselves their first lead as Cobbs made a jumper and Burtschi connected on a three pointer as Frankfurt led 69-67. It then went back and forth for a while as both teams swapped lead changes as Weems nailed another three pointer for the Nanterre 70-69 lead. Voigtmann responded with a tip in as Frankfurt led 71-70. Jaiteh then made a lay in and free throw for the 73-71 Nanterre advantage. A Voigtmann free throw and Cobbs free throw gave Frankfurt the lead back at 74-73. Frankfurt had no resistance or answer how to slow down Weems as he continued hitting shots at an incredible rate as if he had been watching that Steph Curry 77 three pointers in a row video or his shot from last night that brought Golden State into OT with New Orleans to give the French side the 76-74 lead. Morrison hit clutch three pointers to even the score at 76-76. Then came the turning point of the game as Weems nailed his sixth and last crushing three of the night over Burtschi for the 79-76 lead. Cobbs then coughed up the ball which led to a Jaiteh dunk giving Nanterre the 81-76 lead and sealing the win. Judith and Armand closed out the game with a dunk and three pointer. Nanterre was led by Kyle Weems with 25 points. Jamal Shuler chipped in with 18 points and TJ Campbell contributed 15 points. The FRaport Skyliners were led by Sean Armand with 17 points. Johannes Voigtmann added 16 points, Mike Morrison 14 points and eight rebounds and Jacob Burtschi 12 points. Nanterre finished the game shooting 54% from the field and 63% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners shot 42% from the field and 40% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound battle 36-27, but had 14 turnovers while Nanterre had 12 turnovers. Nanterre awaits the winner between Energia of Romania and TS Medical Park of Turkey.

Giordan Watson(CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu ) Unselfishness And Having Something To Prove Has Been Our Thing All Season

April 24, 2015

Giordan Watson is a 29 year old 178cm guard from Southfield Michigan. He is playing hiss econd season for  CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu (Romania-Liga Nationala). He is an unselfish player who gets others involved but also has the ability to score if needed. He sparks the team with passing and ball movement and is a great defender. He played at Central Michigan from 2004-2008 and in his senior season he played 31 games averaging 16.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.5apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 41.7%, 3Pts: 38.6%, FT: 75.0%. As a rookie he played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven playing 33 games averaging 10.1ppg, 2.7rpg, Assists-5(3.8apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 73.4%. In 2009-2010, he played for the Giants Noerdlingen (Germany-ProA) playing 17 games: 15.2ppg, 3.3rpg, Assists-4(5.2apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 72.7. In 2010-2011 he played for  UMFN Njardvik (Iceland-Express League) playing 6 games: 22.7ppg, 3.7rpg, 7.5apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 68.4%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 75.8%. In 2011-2012, he played for U.M.F. Grindavik (Iceland-Express League) playing 31 games: 16.3ppg, 4.4rpg, Assists-1(7.2apg), 1.8spg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT-2(43.4%), FT: 78.3%. In 2012-2013 he played for Karhu Kauhajoki (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 53 games: 16.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 4.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 83.3%. Last season for CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu, he played 29 games: 11.7ppg, 3.1rpg, Assists-3(5.5apg), 1.8spg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 72.0%. He spoke to German Hoops before the 2015 Eurochallenge Final 4 in Turkey.

Giordan thanks for talking to German Hoops. After playing in Germany, Iceland and Finland you have found a home in Romania. Is this a place where you could imagine finishing your career?

Thanks for having me. We have good chemistry here with the guys on the team, coaching staff and the club, but each year you have to decide what’s best for you. Playing well and being comfortable is something important to every player, but new challenges are always what I am looking for as well.

You play for team CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu and are in the playoffs. How good are the chances for your team that finished in fourth place to make a real run or even win the championship?

I think we have a really good chance to make a push. We are matched up with the defending champions, so it’s a big challenge ahead, but we are ready.

Last season you won the cup in Romania. Winning a cup is different than winning a league title. How special was this win and how did it compare to your cup win in Iceland in 2012?

Winning the cup is much different from winning a league title because it’s not a series. You win, and advance, or you lose and it’s over. You don’t have time to break down film after a game, you have to make in game adjustments, and anyone can win on any given day. When I won in 2012, our team was the favorite, but last season we shocked a lot of people, so last season was more special.

You are playing your second season with veterans Americans Porter Troupe and Louis Darby. How important have they been for the success of the team?

Darby and Troupe are great players, and better people. Porter Troupe is a really, REALLY smart player. He is our glue guy. His team first, selfless attitude has held us together and his knowledge of the game has helped me so much, and makes my job as a point guard much easier. Not to mention he is one of the best shooters I think i’ve ever played with. Darby has been great this year as well. He has had some injuries this season, and played through them without complaining. He has played out of position many times this season, and has done a great job. He is by far the best athlete I’ve played with and his determination to win this season has been inspiring. Hopefully, everyone can see what I know about them the rest of this season.

Congrats on the huge Eurochallenge season. I believe no one would have thought at the start that you could come so far. If someone would have told you at the start that you would come so far what would you have said to that person?

If someone told me that we would make it to the Final 4 in Eurochallenge, I honestly wouldn’t know what to say. I think a lot of credit goes to our group of guys as a whole. We have a new coach, Antonis Constantinides, and you can not believe how much of an impact he has had on our team, and our club in general. I always believed in my teammates, and with the addition of coach, it has been the difference.

One could say that CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu is a crunch time team. Without big wins at the end against Lukoil, Kormend, Enei Brindisi, Aalstar or Astana the team would not be in the Final four. How do you explain the secret of this success achieved so often at the end?

I think the thing with winning close games, home or away, is just to stay calm. You have to know going into the game that the other team will go on scoring runs, and you might get down big, but remain calm and keep playing. Same thing for the end of games, just stay calm and trust your coach and teammates.

Does the success of CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu show that even teams with perhaps a little less talent than other teams can be just as successful?

Well again, maybe I am strange, but I believe in my teammates and coaches. Our problem may be we are not the deepest team, but when I look at the roster of our team and then compare them to other guys we are playing, I don’t see the problem.

Is the degree of talent that one sees across teams in Europe in some cases not really as much when you compare a team like CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu or Le Mans?

Well, we have seen some unbelievably talented players this season. I could list names all day. Le Mans had very talented players, but I think it goes to show our strength as well.

It seemed like team play was key in the do or die game against Le Mans where you had six guys in double figures. Could unselfishness get you into the final in Turkey?

Unselfishness and having something to prove has been our thing all season. Of course nothing is perfect on the court, but when we play, we have a good feel for each other and just want to win games, more than individually do well. When we win, and play together, we all look great.

How important has the late addition of American Lamont Mack been? Does he give that needed extra offensive presence from the bench?

Adding Lamont Mack has been great. He gives us a toughness at the 4 spot, can play some 3 position, and reads the game well. He plays unselfish as well, so he fits in perfect. Mixed with him and Nemanja Milosevic, the 4 position is well covered.

You are the leading scorer on the team and average five assists per game. How have you developed your game in Romania in the last two years?

I feel good on the court. I have good chemistry with my teammates and coach has put the ball in my hands as a point guard and really trusted me. Prime is an interesting word, but I think things are going good. As a player, you really try not to think about that, you just go out and do your best.

CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu square off against Turkish team Trabzonspor Basketbol. What kind of game can we await?

The game with Trabzonspor will be a high intensity game. Both teams are very active on defense, and have different threats on offense. We are going into their home court so we have to play smart. I know their home court advantage will be strong, but its something we have to deal with.

How excited are you to playing against Americans Dee Bost and Dwight Hardy? Another chance for you to show what you can do against two guys that were close to the NBA.

Playing against great guards is always a challenge and that’s what makes the game fun. Opportunities to play in Final 4’s like this don’t come around often, so you have to take advantage while you can.

What will be key for CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu reaching the final?

I think controlling the tempo and playing defense will be the key for us. On the road, you can’t rely on made jump shots or scoring the ball, so we have to play good defense and not let them get easy baskets on us.

The other semi final pits Frankfurt against Nanterre. What do you expect from that series and who will win?

Frankfurt and Nanterre should be a really good game. Both teams seem to be rolling in their domestic leagues, so a good game should be awaiting.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

The last movie I saw was Fast 7 and before that, Focus with Will Smith. Both were cool movies.

Thanks Giordan for the chat.

Will Reinke(Gotha) We Want A Defensive Battle Because That Is Our Style And Gives Us The Best Chance Of Winning Against Wurzburg

April 24, 2015

Will Reinke is a 24 year old 208cm center from Lawton, Oklahoma that signed with German Pro A team  BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (Germany-ProA) for the 2014-2015 season. Last season he played for  CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu (Romania-Liga Nationala): 6 games: 6.7ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.5spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 48.4%, FT: 83.3%. He started his basketball career in 2009 for  Stephen F. Austin (NCAA): 29 games: 4.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 1.0bpg. He then transferred to Oklah.Christian (NCAA2) playing his last three years there and as a senior played 26 games: 19.0ppg, 9.6rpg, 2.5bpg, FGP: 57.3%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT: 74.3%. He spoke to German Hoops before game three against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg.

Will congrats on the 66-61 win against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg evening the semi-finals series at 1-1. How happy and proud are you of being the first team to get a win off Wurzburg in the playoffs?

We are happy to get a win, but still hungry for 2 more. We know that Wurzburg is a very good team and we will have to continue improving each game to win the series.

Gotha had the comfortable lead going into the fourth and didn´t let Wurzburg make a run. In the Giessen series, Nurnberg made a run in the fourth, but Giessen held it off. TJ DiLeo stated that the club doesn´t panic anymore and has developed this trait well throughout the season. Was not panicking and playing the Gotha style a reason you held out to win?

We didn’t panic because we knew they were going to be aggressive and make a run. So we tried to continue to attack on offense and not relax at all.

Both teams shot extremely bad from the free throw line. Is this something the team will practice more going into the Friday game were critical free throws could decide the game?

We will absolutely continue to work on free throws. If we would have shot better from the line in game 1, then we might be up 2-0. So I personally will be shooting some extra free throws and I know we will as a team before the next game.

Gotha has held Wurzburg to an average 60,5 ppg in the first two playoff games while in the regular season games gave up an average 82 points. What adjustments or defensive schemes has the team practiced better in this series?

We have prided ourselves on defense all year. We have just stuck to our rules this series and the low scoring reflects that.

Gotha goes into game three going back to Wurzburg. Does Gotha have the momentum now and what will be key in getting the win?

We have momentum that we needed and put some pressure on them, we will have to continue to attack the basket offensively and hit more of our free throws if we want to win.

Do feel that the series will end with defensive battles taking over?

We want a defensive battle, that is our style and gives us the best chance of winning against Wurzburg, so I hope the defensive battles keep going.

The rebounding duel was pretty tight and surely without your 13 and 13 effort Gotha would have had problems winning this game. Is the fact that you know the opponent better with experience help you in game two to a very solid performance?

Yeah, I wasn’t as aggressive as I should have been game 1. But that game helped me see opportunities where I could look to be a little more aggressive scoring and rebounding in game 2.

Giessen leads the other semi final series 2-0 against Nurnberg. Do you see Giessen sweeping this series?

It will be tough to sweep Nurnberg, they have a lot of talent and fight. But Giessen is tough so I will be interested to see what happens.

Do you see any NBA upsets happening in the first round?

I don’t see any upsets, but since the Thunder are out of the picture I haven’t really been watching haha!

Thanks Will for the chat.

The Fraport Skyliners Looking For Title Number 3 At 2015 Eurochallenge Final 4 in Turkey

April 23, 2015

For a majority of the history of the Frankfurt Skyliners, they have been used to having success winning the 2000 cup and 2004 league titles as well as two final appearances and many playoff visits since 1999. Except for a short drought from 2006-2008 where the club missed the playoffs and didn´t get back until the return of the babba king Murat Didin where the club reached the next three. However the club has been in a bit of a rut the last three years not reaching the promised land in May playing playoff basketball, but instead being home and testing the old playground rims like a Quantez Robertson did in Cincinnati the last years. There wasn´t really much to cheer about the last three seasons for the Frankfurt Skyliners except for some big wins at home against teams like FC Bayern Munich, Brose Baskets Bamberg or Alba Berlin as consistency was as distant for the club as it is for a Jacob Burtschi not clawing around on the floor for a loose ball or a Justin Cobbs not calmly leading comebacks successfully as he did against teams like Enisey or FC Bayern Munich this season. Of course in the last years there were also many great single game performances from the likes of ex NBA players Andrew Rautins or Jermario Davidson or a Zach Peacock, but all in all nothing that translated into hardware. This season however has been a different story as the Fraport Skyliners have been Germany´s little darling having a season of two tales as they started off slow had to battle injuries and found themselves near the bottom only to benefit off a Richard Williams injury getting rookie Justin Cobbs in November and since his arrival he has led the club when he played to a 28-6 record reaching the playoffs including a perfect 10-0 record in the Eurochallenge as in many moments he was like an offensive magical wizard keeping calm and playing as if has been a seasoned veteran instead of a rookie leading the comeback charge. Other big highlights this season have been the massive come back wins against Enisey where they were down 19 points 44-25 at halftime and pulled out possibly one of their biggest wins in history 85-80 as well as the youngest win the unbelievable fourth quarter comeback against FC Bayern Munich where a Svetislav Pesic looked as pale after the loss like a home grown Siberian citizen does in the dead of winter. Another giant highlight was the breathtaking 36 point 10 three pointer effort from Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi who literally was in the zone as the hole wasn´t as big as the ocean, but as vast as outer space. Another highlight is during Fraport Skyliner home games to witness a cute little girl not more than five years old doing little cheers with her pom poms behind the Frankfurt bench and dreaming of one day being a member of the Fraport Skyliners dance team. The big season goal of the playoffs has been reached while the next big highlight the Eurochallenge Final 4 in Turkey is happening this weekend.

The Fraport Skyliners go into the Eurochallenge Final 4 coming off a huge 76-73 win against FC Bayern Munich which will increase their self confidence and have won three of their last four games in the BBL. Johannes Voigtmann warned after the victory, that the club can´t get too tangled up in their amazing feat against Munich as head coach Gordon Herbert calls it “winning hangover” and that the team will be mentally ready to compete. Frankfurt who currently is in sixth place in the Beko BBL will face off against Nanterre of France that have had a strong season in the France Pro A and currently are in second place behind Strassburg. Nanterre is an interesting club, because they have slowly moved up the league ladder and were in the fourth division in 2001, moved to the third division in 2002 and to the France Pro B in 2004. They played seven years in the Pro B before moving up to the first division in 2011. In only their second season in the France Pro A and just squeaking into the playoffs at position 8 surprisingly won the league title. Winning didn´t stop there as they won the France cup last season. It was just one of those fairy tale seasons where everything came together as ex BBL players Chris Oliver and Trenton Meacham basked in the limelight and added hardware to their professional collection. The success continues to stay consistent with the French team as the team is a favorite to win another league title and need two wins in the Eurochallenge to win that title. Much of the credit has to be given to 50 year old head coach Pascal Donadieu who has been with Nanterre since the start in 2000 and grown with the club in its rise. Nanterre had a superb Eurochallenge campaign record of 11-3 and swept their quarterfinal opponent from Italy Enel Brindisi 80-68 and 77-72. The club is led by two ex BBL players with ex Bonn forward Kyle Weems who is averaging 12,5ppg, 4,6rpg and 2,3apg while shooting 43,3% from downtown in the France Pro A and in the Eurochallenge is averaging 14,8ppg, 5,2rpg and 1,9apg while shooting 48,1% from downtown and ex TBB Trier forward Jamal Shuler who played two seasons with TBB Trier with current NBA player Chris Copeland, was a BBL slam dunk contestant in Bonn in 2010 competing against Quantez Robertson and is known for the “shot” a breathtaking buzzer beater against Limoges with then team Vicey which had the TV broadcasters in a vocal frenzy after that unbelievable and unexpected finish. Shuler is averaging 13,6ppg, 4,0rpg and 2,8apg in the France Pro A while in the Eurochallenge he is averaging 14,1ppg, 4,0rpg and 2,4apg. The club also boasts solid point guard Phoenix native TJ Campbell who can score and dish depending what the team needs of him on any given night and currently is averaging 11,2ppg and 5,5apg in the France league and 8,8ppg and 5,5apg in the Eurochallenge. Especially in the quarterfinals against Enel Brindisi he stepped up with 13 points twice and six and seven assists. The club also has experienced small forward Mykal Riley who could trade Jermario Davidson stories with Quantez Robertson as he played with him at Alabama(NCAA) as well as ex Fraport Skyliner Junior Demetrius Jemison. The American is averaging 12,1ppg, 4,4rpg and 3,2apg while in the Eurochallenge he is averaging 11,1ppg, 5,1rpg and 3,0apg. The club has only one true tall big man with 20 year old 208cm Mouhammadou Jaiteh who is averaging 11,3ppg and 6,3rpg in the France Pro A and 8,8ppg and 5,5rpg in the Eurochallenge. The x factor could very well be 27 year old 201cm power forward Laurence Ekperigin who had junior and senior stats of 18 and 11 and 21 and 12 at Le Moyne (NCAA2). He averaged nine rebounds in the last two years in the second divisions in Italy and France. He will have to step it up under the basket against the taller Frankfurt inside rotation.

The Fraport Skyliners are looking to bring Germany its fourth international basketball title after Alba Berlin´s Korac cup win in 1995, Mitteldeutscher Bc´s Fiba cup in 2004 and BG Goettingen´s Eurochallenge win in 2010 and are led by Los Angeles native Justin Cobbs who played the last three seasons at California(NCAA). His record of 28-6 speaks for him with Frankfurt and currently in the Beko BBL he is averaging 14,6ppg, 2,5rpg and 4,6apg and even more dominant in the Eurochallenge averaging 17,1ppg, 3,2rpg and 6,4apg while shooting 46% from outside and just owns the competition. He has scored in double figures in 25 of 29 games in both competitions combined. Even though he has struggled a bit in the last seven games with taking the care of the ball as he has had four games where he had five turnovers in each game, he knows what is on the line in the Eurochallenge. Johannes Voigtmann goes into the weekend having won two BBL awards with the most improved the second year in a row that a Skyliner has done it with Danilo Barthel last season. The German big man is averaging 12,4ppg, 5,7rpg and 2,2apg in the BBL. He has scored in double figures 19 times and had a career high 27 points against MBC and had 26 points against Phoenix Hagen. He became a European name as he has dominated the Eurochallenge and has played 15 games averaging 15,7ppg, 7,1rpg and 1,8apg. In Eurochallenge play he has scored in double figures 13 times including three double doubles and had masterful 26 points against Tartu Rock and in the do or die win at home against Enisey. Another key performer for Frankfurt is another rookie with Sean Armand from Brooklyn New York who is currently averaging 12,6ppg, 2,9rpg and 2,6apg and in the Eurochallenge 13,9ppg, 3,6rpg and 1,9apg.He has scored in double figures in 20 BBL games and was a big reason for the team winning against FC Bayern Munich and had big games with 31 against Avtodor and 23 points against Enisey. 6 year man Quantez Robertson who is the minister of defense is averaging 11,3ppg, 4,3rpg and 3,2apg in the BBL and in the Eurochallenge 11,7ppg, 4,5rpg and 2,5apg. He is motor that gets the team going and has become a dependable offensive player in the last years. Other important roles players for Frankfurt are veterans Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp(BBL 6,0ppg3,8rpg, 1,4apg/EC 6,3ppg, 4,1rpg 1,7apg) and ex Airforce player Jacob Burtschi(99,8ppg, 4,1rpg 1,5apg/EC 9,5ppg, 4,0rpg 2,0apg) as kind of the combo glue players. Both do a little of all and can score if needed as Burtschi showed against Bremerhaven with 36 points and Doornekamp with 22 against Oldenburg and 21 against Den Bosch. Further key players are front court players American205cm forward Mike Morrison(7,3ppg, 3,4rpg/EC 5,3ppg 3,2rpg who played at George Mason(NCAA) and Danilo Barthel(10,2ppg, 5,2rpg, 1,5apg/EC 11,4ppg, 5,1rpg, 1.0apg). Barthel has been struggling a bit since returning from injury where he missed two months as he has been lost a bit in the shuffle on offense, but that is only normal as the roles have developed over time on the team. Morrison is the pivotal man off the bench that will spark the team with a monster block or big dunk to get the team going. When looking at the team stats, Nanterre averages 83 points in the competition and Frankfurt 80 points. On the defensive side, both teams belong to the top defensive teams as they are three and four in the Eurochallenge with Frankfurt giving up 74 per game and the French side 75 points. On the boards, despite having the height advantage Frankfurt is seventh in rebounding at 35 while Nanterre is fourth with 36 per contest. Both teams are shooting 48% from the field and Nanterre is seventh in three point shooting percentage at 37% while Frankfurt is tenth at 35%. Both teams know how to score, but also know how to defend. Offense wins games and defense wins titles and that will be the difference. Frankfurt head coach Gordon Herbert is known for having potent defensive teams and he will have his team ready for Nanterre. Despite both teams having athleticism and Frankfurt having the size and height advantage down low, they will have to be wide awake and ready to match the athleticism of Nanterre all over the court. Slowing down Weems and Shuler will be a tad more than half the rent to victory. Frankfurt has the deeper and more talented roster, but key figures with Cobbs and Armand lacking in international experience in big games. This will be an intense battle with two very hungry teams with the winner most likely winning the Eurochallenge title. The winner will face the winner of Trabzonspor vs Rovinari.

Cameron Wells Brings A Trace Of Curry Powering The Giessen 46ers to 78-65 Win Over Rent4Office And 2-0 Playoff Lead

April 22, 2015

If one is in Giessen and has the chance to choose between watching exciting basketball seeing a TJ Di Leo no look pass, Yorman Polas explosive dunk, big three from Eric Palm or a spectacular Cameron Wells penetration to the hoop where his quickness and agility is unmatched or rather sitting on the couch at home after an exhausting day at the office with a beer and chips and watching a crucial Champions League game of FC Bayern Munich where a news side note of which new shoes a Bastian Schweinsteiger might wear would be more newsworthy in Germany than a Giessen player scoring 50 points in a game. A real Giessen basketball fan would have a laugh attack with having to make a decision between his 46ers or FC Bayern Munich. FC Bayern Munich may be Germany´s team, but in Giessen the 46ers always come first. The Giessen 46ers have been perfect so far in the 2015 Pro A playoffs having swept the MLP Academics Heidelberg and displaying marvelous consistent defense in the three games averaging giving up only 62 points per game. They face Rent4Office Nurnberg who had to come back from being down 2-1 in games against the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen and won the last two games to advance. Giessen has had the number of Nurnberg this season sweeping the season series winning the two games by six and three points and also winning game one in Nurnberg 85-80. All games were tight as Giessen had the better nerves. Ex Giessen 46ers German Robert Ohle who has played 115 BBL games with Paderborn, Giessen and Tuebingen returned to an old stomping ground and despite FC Bayern Munich playing at home against Porto, the Osthalle was full as no one in this arena cared if Germany´s team was on the brink of elimination or advancing to the next round as for two hours Giessen 46er basketball was first on the menu. The only thing Giessen fans missed at home on the couch was goals as FC Bayern Munich creamed Porto 6-1 to advance to the semi-finals while the Giessen 46ers did what they do best playing strong hard team basketball at home outlasting Rent4Office Nurnberg 78-65 and taking a 2-0 game lead in the best of seven. “Nurnberg is a good team and number one offensive team while we are the number one defensive team. We played good defense and played together as a team. When we do that we are hard to beat”, stressed Giessen point guard Cameron Wells. For Rent4Office Nurnberg, it was their fourth straight loss to Giessen this season as they continue to struggle against the ex BBL team. Nurnberg came back at the end, but like in the previous games wilted in crunch time. “We came out lacking on defense and when they get out on transition, it is hard to stop them. They took us out of our sets and when they are hitting shots, it is hard to win. They also did a good job on Josh Young and me and didn´t let us find a rhythm. Their defense has been great all year long, but we have to execute and get better shots”, stressed Rent4Office guard Braydon Hobbs. After the game there was enough time to get perfect analytical points from team captain TJ DiLeo. “This was the ideal win for us. On defense we were physical and took them out of their comfort zone and got running as much as possible. On offense we ran our sets and shared the ball and had many assists. When we do these three things of playing tough defense, transition and executing on offense then it is the type of win where you feel very good”,added ex Temple guard TJ DiLeo.

The Giessen 46ers got the first bucket of the game from big man Bjorn Schoo and ex Paderborn center Robert Ohle hit a jumper as both teams were getting their big men involved early. Even if both teams were still feeling each other out, Giessen found their offensive rhythm first going on a 8-2 run to take the 10-4 lead. In the run, Giessen got a big three pointer from DiLeo as Wells offered the American the ball on a platter via the kick out, Benjamin Lischka was his old aggressive self getting a tip in and Schoo made a lay in off the pick and roll with Wells. Ex Bayreuth forward Dan Oppland then made a heads up play catching a Sebastian Schroeder air ball and making a lay in while sharpshooter Eric Palm made a catch and pop as Giessen led 12-6. Giessen had more intensity than Nurnberg and were hitting shots on a consistent rate. Giessen got added production from a Achmadschah Zazai pull up jumper and Palm three pointer to lead 17-8. Giessen lost a little intensity in the last two minutes as Nurnberg closed out the first quarter with a 9-4 run to trail 21-17 after ten minutes. Nurnberg got four buckets inside as Stephan Haukohl scored twice as did ex Bamberg center Erik Land. ”Nurnberg changed their defensive scheme at the end pressing Giessen more which led to their 7-0 run. Giessen also did a good job getting Josh Young two early fouls and keeping Braydon Hobbs out of his comfort zone”,stressed Lich guard Jermale Jones. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 50% from the field and 67% from outside while Rent4Office Nurnberg was shooting 50% from the field and 100% from outside. Giessen had the 8-7 rebound edge and both teams had five turnovers a piece.

Rent4Office Nurnberg came back twice in the second quarter, but after 20 minutes were down by 11 points as each time Nurnberg was back in it, Giessen was able to pull away again. Nurnberg kept that 7-0 run from the end of the first quarter going in the second extending it to a 12-0 run and getting their first lead of the game 22-21 as Erik Land made a beautiful lay in dropping it off high off the glass and 29 year old journey man Michael Fleissman dropping a trey. However when ever the game gets threatening Giessen is able to buckle down and get on a run as they did with a 7-0 jaunt taking the 28-22 lead. Arkansas native Aaron Hawley scored from the GIessen train station, Wells used his aggressive defense making a steal and going coast to coast for the two hand slam dunk and Schoo nailed a mid distance jumper. Nurnberg then went on a run tying the game at 30-30 as Young finally got going on offense connecting on a three and making a forceful lay in and Oehle made a put back. The second quarter continued to have runs on the menu as Giessen closed out the second quarter regaining the momentum and going on a brutal 15-4 run to lead 45-34 at the break. All teams in the Pro A have witnessed it this season when Giessen gets on an offensive flow then it is very difficult to slow it down. Giessen went on a 9-0 run as Giessen perfected their inside out game as Schoo made a put back, Cuban Yorman Polas a floater, Palm a three pointer and Zazai a pull up jumper. Oehle stopped the run with a runner, but then it was Giessen again scoring at ease as Lischka closed out a perfect fast break play and hit a three pointer at the buzzer. “Giessen increased their intensity at 30-30. Nurnberg was going inside a lot against Lischka and Schoo and having success. Nurnberg was using more energy with all these come back attempts. DiLeo showed his team play as his extra pass was all over the place”, added Alabama native Jermale Jones. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 58% from the field and 63% from the three point line while Rent4Office Nurnberg was shooting 45% from the field and 43% from the three point line. Both teams had 16 rebounds a piece, but Nurnberg had nine turnovers and Giessen seven turnovers.

In the third quarter the Giessen 46ers continued to control the game, but Rent4Office Nurnberg continued to be feisty gnawing at the Giessen lead and cutting it to seven points after 30 minutes. Nurnberg got on the board first with an offensive rebound and put back from Oppland. Houston native Wells was all over the court, but at the start of the third quarter, the ex Citadel(NCAA) alltime scorer of 2,049 made two big shots in a row where he displayed a shade of Steph Curry. Wells hit a beautiful fade away jumper where it seemed like he was walking on air an d then a huge three pointer over the outstretched hand of Oehle. Curry dominated the All Southern conference at Davidson(NCAA), but Wells also belonged to the top players in that conference, but is in the German Pro A while Curry has become an NBA superstar. It isn´t really fair to compare these two players, but often Curry is the best player on the floor in the NBA as is Wells in Germany in the Pro A. Wells has that good ball handling and slick moves where one could imagine a trace of Curry. “I always watch his highlights on film. We went two different paths in life. He deserves everything that he has accomplished. I just try to improve each day”, stressed Cameron Wells. Giesen captain TJ DiLeo didn´t elaborate about the comparison of Wells and Curry, but knows the worth of the American to the team. “Wells is our best playmaker. He doesn´t have to get all our points early. He knows that he will have the ball at the end. I have seen every guard in the league and play against him in practice each day. He is by far the hardest to defend”, warned TJ DiLeo. The two Well´s buckets extended the Giessen lead to 50-36. Hobbs then stopped this Wells run with a three pointer to cut the Giessen lead to 50-39. After a Schoo lay in, Giessen then got a transition bucket as Wells made a long touch- down pass that Polas saved and found the trailer North Carolina native Andre Marhold for the lay in and 54-41 Giessen lead. Schroeder and Palm then traded three pointers, but Giessen still led comfortably 57-44. However Rent4Office Nurnberg then closed out the third quarter with a timely 8-2 run to cut the Giessen lead to 59-52. In the run, Nurnberg got a huge play from Oppland making like a guard and stepping up in the passing lane and making a steal and going coast to coast for the easy bucket. Nurnberg also got free throws from Haukohl and Fleisschman and Young ended the third quarter with a buzzer beater fade away. “Coach told us at halftime to keep plugging away, play our style, defend well and good things will happen and did as we kept the lead”, commented ex Tuebingen guard Cameron Wells. “Coach told us that we had to do a better job getting back on transition and cut down on wide open three´s and we did that”, added Nurnberg guard Braydon Hobbs. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 57% from the field and 50% from the parking lot while Rent4Office Nurnberg was shooting 42% from the field and 45% from the parking lot. Nurnberg had the 25-21 rebound edge and had 12 turnovers while Giessen had 13 turnovers.

In the fourth quarter Rent4Office Nurnberg were able to cut the Giessen lead down to five points, but never get closer as the Giessen 46ers closed out the game with their aggressive play on both ends of the court as Nurnberg couldn´t match their intensity. DiLeo got the first Giessen points of the fourth quarter with free throws. Fleischmann then hit a three cutting the Giessen lead to 60-55. Wells then made a quick dash to the hole scoring with ease and Oppland returned with a lay in off a quick feed from Georgia native Judd Dillard as Giessen still led 62-57. However Giessen then went on a 9-3 run to extend the Giessen lead to 71-60 and seal the win. Wells took over as he has done so many times this season making a catch and pop shot and another quick dash to the cup lay in as nobody could stop him. Giessen also got production from Schoo and Polas. Nurnberg got to the line, but had difficulty having accuracy as Oppland and Haukohl made one of two. In the last few minutes, Wells continued to do damage as he hit another three pointer and step back jumper. Dillard closed out the game with a runner, but Giessen had won again. “We executed at the end and didn´t panic. We kept running, doing our plays and playing as a team. Our defense was consistent. We let up too much in game one. Today we kept them to 65 points and that is our style”, stressed Cameron Wells. “After we cut it down to four, we missed easy free throws and gave up some more transition baskets. We were just unable to stop them getting easy baskets and just ran out of gas”, said Braydon Hobbs. The Giessen 46ers were led by Cameron Wells with 19 points. Bjoern Schoo and Eric Palm chipped in with 13 points a piece. Rent4Office Nurnberg were led by Dan Oppland and Stephan Haukohl with 13 points a piece. The Giessen 46ers shot 57% from the field and 50% from outside while Rent4Office shot 37% from the field and 29% from outside. Nurnberg won the rebound duel 37-29, but had 14 turnovers while Giessen had 13 turnovers. Giessen can wrap the semi-final series on Friday in Nurnberg with a win and move on to the final. “We have to play our style, run, defend and keep them under 80 points”, warned Cameron Wells. “We don´t want to be swept. We have to get back on transition defense and execute better and move the ball better”, added Braydon Hobbs.

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