There were many interesting stories in and around the 2017 Gezeiten Cup as the weekend tournament brought together EasyCredit BBL teams Telekom Baskets Bonn and the s.Oliver Wurzburg as well as Pro A team RheinStars Cologne and home team Dragons Rhondorf. Wurzburg head coach Dirk Bauerman finally made it to the Gezeitencup as a year ago, the s.Oliver Baskets weren´t in his plans yet as he was the head coach of the Iranian national team, but shortly before the start of the cup dropped out. Another big story was the DiLeo brothers in the house with Bonn guard TJ and RheinStars Cologne guard Max, but they never found their way to the court for a confrontation as Wurzburg defeated his Cologne team missing the final while TJ reached the final with Bonn ousting the Dragons Rhondorf. The only conversation they might have had was who would visit whom first in their respective cities or where their favorite spots to hang out are along the beautiful Rhein river. However the most endearing story was that of Andrej Mangold who a few months ago wasn´t sure where his basketball future would be heading after sustaining a nasty ACL in his left knee at the start of the 2016-2017 season with BG Goettingen. He needed all last season to rehabilitate it and this past summer was signed by the s.Oliver Wurzburg as Dirk Bauermann took a chance on him. Mangold had to pay his dues as he toiled around in the Regionaliga, Pro B and Pro A with teams like Oldenburg, Munich and Hannover and didn´t reach the BBL until 2010 with the Artland Dragons. However his most prosperous time in the BBL came with the Telekom Baskets Bonn where he played 5 seasons playing 172 BBL games, 20 Eurocup games and 26 Eurochallenge games. His last game in a Bonn uniform came on May 1st in a season ending 95-93 loss against Braunschweig where he steered 4 points. After a little more than 16 months later he met his former team again with no former teammates left on the team and even if he was opponents had a fond memory of his times in Bonn playing with guys then like Jared Jordan and Tony Gaffney and helping serve up those tasty alley-oops to the American Gaffney who had that special distinction of being on the Celtics and Lakers rosters, but never having played an NBA game. In the final of the 2017 Gezeiten Cup the Telekom Baskets Bonn clashed against the s.Oliver Wurzburg and it wasn´t Mangold who was the story who scored two points in 8,28 minutes, but his teammate Abdul Gaddy who took control on two plays using precision and instincts sealing the win for the Bavarian team 71-67. “Coach Bauermann told us before the game that it would be a dog fight. We knew that Bonn would be aggressive and we wanted to be the aggressor. We did a good job staying composed when they turned up the heat. Gaddy kept us ahead in the down stretch with big plays”, stressed ex Illinois(NCAA) player DJ Richardson. After the win a tame TJ DiLeo was doing his post-game stretching and had had a special weekend seeing his brother again even if the basketball god didn´t see fit that both play each other in the final. The ex Temple(NCAA) guard was positive with the result even if his team did suffer the loss. “This was a hard-fought final with two good teams. Both teams scouted each other well and it was a shame it got a bit choppy at the end. I am happy the way we looked despite missing some plyers. We need to be more disciplined rebounding even when we were without Julian Gamble. Every player position 1-5 needs to rebound”, stated TJ DiLeo.
s.Oliver Wurzburg found their rhythm first getting out quickly on a 9-4 lead as they got some timely and hot shooting off the bat from Gaddy and sniper Maurice Stuckey while also getting a lay in from Lithuanian Osvaldas Olisevicius who played with all the Lithuanian national youth teams.