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.