LEVERKUSEN. The BAYER GIANTS Leverkusen offered a surprise to the ProA during the 4th day of the 2019/20 season. Coach Hansi Gnad's team defeated the ROSTOCK SEAWOLVES in the local Ostermann Arena with a time of 89:85.
Satisfied faces wherever you look, good mood in every corner of the Rundsporthalle – GIANTS had a lot to celebrate on Wednesday night. For the Leverkusen, it was the deserved reward after 40 minutes of intense play.
Without the missing Tim Schönborn (professional reasons), Luca Kahl and Marian Schick (missing due to an injury), the "giants" quickly played offensively in a frenzy. The Farbstadt managed, in the person of Nick Hornsby and Nino Celebic, to separate from Rostock (18: 6 – 5th minute). The SEAWOLVES did not rise and tried to counter the infallible Leverkusenern with great effort. However, this only succeeded with moderate success, because BAYER arrived again and again by a good balloon movement to open the litters, which ended up in the guests' basket. After ten minutes of play, the GIANTS scored 28:18.
The 600 or so spectators in the room had a completely different picture in the second round. Rostock now seemed safer and was trying GIANTS with a man-man defense working under pressure. The Hanseatic League also succeeded, as the SEAWOLVES managed to stand out on the "Gnadists" point by point. After a successful trio Grant Sitton (33:34 – 14th minute), the guests took the lead for the first time, what the "Seewölfe" deserved. In the minutes that followed, the Rostock ledge was established between two and five points. The "Giants of the Rhine" did not manage to surrender before the break, but they remained within range of the 43:46 half-time standings.
In the third round, the two teams initially met at eye level. The Rostocker scored, Leverkusen quickly found the right answer in attack. Critically, it was only for the EBC after Colter Lasher for a 6-0 run by a hit "And One" (63:57 – 26 minutes). The accusations of coach Milan Skobalj did not give up and tried to keep the match open. It is especially Tom Alte (16 points) and Malick Pope (14) who have worn their colors in this phase. The advantage of three points from the point of view of the "giants" (68:65) at the end of the quarter was still well deserved. The diligence shown by the Leverkusen during the day was rewarded.
Already be revealed that the Rostock could not go ahead in the last section. GIANTS won with their outstanding basketball team a cushion of points that has grown steadily. Whether Dennis Heinzmann, Nick Hornsby or the impressive Valentin Blass that night: each giant player has managed the offensive game and was able to make his individual contribution. The successful trio of Colter Lasher was the culmination of the Leverkusen attack wave. He foresaw the 80:71 win of the local group three minutes before the end. After the game was finally decided in favor of the record champion, coaches Jacob Engelhardt and Benjamin Nick still have a few seconds of playing time, which hailed the applause of supporters in the stands. In the end, the ProB champion of 2019 celebrated a convincing victory (89-85) over unfortunate Hansen fighters who fought to the end.
The best GIANTS player was Nino Celebic, who had an outstanding performance with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. This is his best performance in ProA so far. Nick Hornsby was also strong, not only 16 scorers but 11 assists. Valentin Blass, Dennis Heinzmann (12 each) and Eric Cooper Jr. (10) also scored in double digits.
Coach Hansi Gnad was delighted with the success of his protégés: "I am very satisfied with my team, and the guys have done a great job of doing what they have done in recent months: they have come together as One unit, despite the many failures, we implemented exactly what we wanted, we showed character and merit to win at the end! "
He continues for Leverkusen on Saturday, October 12 at 19:00. Then the Rhinelands go to the EHINGEN URSPRING team during the 5th day.