Premier League vibe drives the Giants into the semifinals

Basketball, 2nd division
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Fans whip the Giants into the semifinals

With 80:75, Leverkusen’s ProA basketball team won the quarterfinals against Trier 3: 1. Tübingen is now waiting for coach Hansi Gnad’s team.

You can no longer understand his own words in the Ostermann Arena when Spencer Reaves equalizes the duel against Gladiators Trier to 75:75. The American has already forced this basket, but it becomes even clearer with 77:75 28 seconds before the end. Because his teammates did not have a loose hand at this stage, the 26-year-old pulls himself to the board and puts the thing in – somehow. The 2278 spectators at the place can not keep their seats for a long time. The Giants win Game 4 of the ProA quarterfinals 80-75 and win the series 3-1. As with the other successes over Trier, it was again a drama.

The atmosphere in the arena was so great that the action already in the first quarter felt as if the game was in shambles. This is how both teams played. Neither the giants nor the gladiators gave up an inch. And in the fourth game of the series, both teams started aggressively for the first time. The highest lead in the first half was 27:22 to Trier. Other than that, the two never parted with more than three points.

The Leverkusen successfully started on the board before opening the pitch and finding their first long distance through Quentin Goodin. As coach Hansi Gnad also sent on the field: his team convinced almost across the board. Although they once again had to fight defensively with the visitors’ offensive rebounds, they repeatedly scored uplifting curves in the attack. When Robert Merz hit two threes in a row for 30:30, the spectators rose again from their seats. Combined with at least 200 frantic fans from Trier, the result was a backdrop that probably only exists in this form in the playoffs.

Lennard Winter was also strong. The 21-year-old not only used his penalty throws safely, he also increased Leverkusen’s three-point quota to 50 percent at the break. It was 45:44 at the break. The home team was better on all throw statistics but could not take advantage of it due to the rebound disadvantage. With the restart, Melvin Jostmann made it 48:44 and thus the home team’s highest lead in the entire match. Luis Figge even made it 51:44 with a spectacular move to the goal including a foul.

Would the Giants break away now? no duel remained intense. And if there was too little movement offensively, the defense usually won. In any case, unmotivated, unprepared shots were not fired. After a rare foul by Spencer Reaves, the visitors equalized to 55:55 and went ahead a little later. The Leverkusen team seemed to be in poor condition, no longer struck open throws and lost the ball a few times.

But they also survived this weak phase. With an energetic performance, the team recovered from the renewed deficit in the last quarter. Suddenly, the Giants also secured important rebounds – especially through Dennis Heinzmann. But the triangle would not fall any more, Goodin, Figge, Marko Bacak and Reaves forgave. So the success should lead across the board. Nice baskets were now non-existent, the Giants almost suffocated the ball in. Through Bacak, whose unintentional thump fell – and eventually through the excellent Reaves. Figge’s free throw decided the match and the series.

Coach Hansi Gnad was thrilled: “An incredible atmosphere, an incredible team.” Above all, he praised how his basketball players handled the fact that the throws were suddenly no longer possible. “Many would have collapsed, but we still found a way to make the baskets and got eleven more rebounds in the last quarter than our opponent.” The Giants continue in the semifinals against the Tigers Tübingen.

Fighting Reaves (18), Goodin (12), Bacak (12), Heinzmann (9), Figge (9), Winter (8), Merz (6), Jostmann (5), Kahl (1), Gille.

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