After the big Giessen 87-73 do or die victory in the Osthalle over ex Beko BBL club Science City Jena, there was a tall 198cm dark haired German young man walking around and most people didn´t even notice, but he was filling the gym with some family like big game aroma as his dad had won countless important games for Werder Bremern, AS Rom or the German national team like the 1990 World Cup. The soccer player that is a German sports legend is Rudi Voeller and the young man walking around was son Marco Voeller who plays for Hanau and saw a very entertaining game. However the Giessen 46ers didn´t need any extra aid of having family of a famous German sports figure with some of that winning rubbing off, but had everything under control for 40 minutes as Giessen took care of business from the start letting Science City Jena only have one lead of 5-3 in the first two minutes and then retook the lead and never looked back. Despite winning the first two games at home, Giessen learned from those games and didn´t want to make it too exciting at the end again. “Every game in this series was different. It was a challenge to always find new ways to have to beat Jena. After a while we really knew their tendencies, so it was cool to look for new options. The difference in game five was that in the first two wins in Giessen, we had an easy mind set and figured we would beat them easily at the end, but they came back each time. In game five we decided to take it too them right away and not give them that chance to fight back”, warned ex Auburn center Rob Chubb. Science City Jena once again fought very hard in game five like the others, but it seemed like the atmosphere, an upgraded defense and big shots simply was too much for Science City Jena. “This was a tough series, but Giessen played great defense and took us out of things that we like to do. We played with so much heart and especially me as being one of the older guys pushed the team even harder and we had a chance to win, but Giesen played us very tough”, stressed North Carolina native Dorenzo Hudson. “Giessen played very well and Jena was always fighting back. Giessen hit many big shots while Jena was missing that one big shot”, stressed Phoenix Hagen point guard Ole Wendt.
The Giessen 46ers got on the board first as ex Temple guard TJ DiLeo knocked down a three pointer. Science City Jena came storming back as Illinois native Billy Rush hammered home a three pointer and Dennis Tinnon pushed the ball forward scoring on the fast break and Giessen trailed 5-3. However this didn´t hinder Giessen at all as they were on a mission and didn´t want to disappoint their fans as they cruised out on a 13-2 run to lead 16-7. Englishman Myles Hesson got the run going with a one handed dunk, Steven Bennet and Benjamin Lischka connected on consecutive three pointers, Bennett scored inside with his left hand and Hesson also scored inside. Then came the prettiest scene of the game as Lars Wendt under the watchful eye of brother Ole Wendt of Phoenix Hagen lobbed up the perfect ally-op pass that Billy Rush slammed home. Wendt then scored inside as Science City Jena cut the Giessen lead to 18-11. Science City Jena then got some forceful production from Green Bay native Dennis Tinnon who showed his work horse qualities scoring inside twice as Giessen led only 20-16. Ex TBB Trier guard Joshiko Saibu then put a little damper in the comeback leading Giessen on a 5-0 run with a floater and three pointer, while German Julius Wolf closed out the first quarter with a three pointer as Giessen led 25-19. “Jena always had a problem with starting games in this series. Giessen played with high intensity which led to Jena turnovers”, stressed Phoenix Hagen guard Ole Wendt. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 60% from the field and 57% from outside while Science City Jena was shooting 50% from the field and 29% from outside. Science City Jena had the 10-5 rebound edge, but four turnovers while Giessen had only one turnover.
In the second quarter it was business as usual for both teams as the Giessen 46ers were the enforcers and Science City Jena continued to fight back, but couldn´t regain the lead back. Lars Wendt got his second foul and had to depart to the bench, but Ermen Reyes-Naploes who has played in Jena since 2004 proved to be a valuable replacement as he dropped a three pointer and Tinnon scored with his left hand as suddenly Science City Jena was only down by 27-24. However Giessen never really had a dull stretch in the game offensively as they pretty much scored when they had to as Jonathan Malou got a back door feed from team player DiLeo and Bennett snuck inside for a quick two as Giessen led 31-24. It didn´t help Science City Jena either that Billy Rush and Julius Wolf had two airballs in one minute while Daniel Mayr and Saibou traded baskets as Giessen led 33-26. Hudson who was kept quiet by Giessen had a quick spurt of two back to back pull up jumpers over Chubb and Lischka cutting the Giessen lead to 35-30. Both teams finished out the second quarter strong on offense as neither could run away with the lead as Chubb scored inside getting the extra pass from Hesson that he did twice on that day to the American and Hesson then made a fancy spin move around Kristian Kuhn for the 42-32 advantage. Giessen was just unstoppable from downtown closing out the second quarter with a 6-2 run as DiLeo and Bennett nailed consecutive three pointers and Kuhn scored inside as the Giessen 46ers led 48-36 at the break. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 53% from the field and 38% from the three point line while Science City Jena was shooting 50% from the field and 25% from the three point line. Jena had the 18-15 rebound edge, but seven turnovers while Giessen had three turnovers.
The Giessen 46ers did a great job keeping the lead in the third quarter, but it was evident that Science City Jena wouldn´t end the season without a fight in the fourth quarter. Science City Jena actually started out a quarter fast for a change charging out on a 8-2 run to cut the lead to 52-44 as the Jena role players came up big as Kristian Kuhn took a chapter out of the Dennis Tinnon aggressiveness book scoring inside twice catching a Hudson airball and making a put back and getting a tip while Wolf also scored inside. However just when Science City Jena was threatening it was a Giessen big shot that halted that dangerous run as Myles Hesson hit a clutch three pointer to give Giessen the 55-44 advantage. Chubb and Tinnon then traded buckets as Giessen still led 57-48. It seemed like Giessen head coach Denis Wucherer would look at his bench and nod to a player which meant that it was his turn to produce and that is exactly what German Falko Thelig did hitting a big pull up jumper and three pointer from the corner to keep Science city Jena at bay as Giessen led 63-52 after 30 minutes. “We had many guys supplying big shots today like Di Leo or Hesson and even Thelig came up big was asked to play point guard and did a great job”, stressed Rob Chubb. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 51% from the field and 40% from the parking lot while Science City Jena was shooting 45% from the field and 19% from the parking lot. Jena had the 28-21 rebound edge, but 13 turnovers while Giessen had nine turnovers.
In the fourth quarter to no ones surprise, Science City Jena wanted to save their season with one last come back try, but Giessen remained very cool and never let the guests get closer than five points. Science City Jena started off the fourth quarter with a bang with a lightening 5-0 run as Tinnon escaped inside as he always does scoring and getting the free throw and Rush made a steal and scored as Giessen led only63-57. However even if Science City Jena was a thorn in the side of Giessen, Giessen would take that thorn and unleash it back at Jena blocking their run with more big shots as Di Leo nailed a three pointer and jumper as Giessen led 68-59. Science City Jena had their moments on defense as Tinnon made a monster block on Bennett. Reyes-Napoles hit another big shot cutting the Giessen lead to 68-62. Then seemed to come the turning point of the game as Tinnon lost his nerves getting a technical, but DiLeo only made one free throw and Jena then made a stop on Hesseon and Rush came down the floor on the next possession nailing a three pointer as Giessen led only 70-65. Giessen stayed calm and went on a 8-3 run to decide the game and lead 78-68. Giessen was the more aggressive team in this phase as Saibou knocked down two shots and Hesson grabbed an offensive rebound and got the put back. Hudson did get some buckets, but it was too little too late. Giessen then closed out the game at the free throw line as Bennett, DiLeo and Malou nailed shots. “Giessen played great defense. They did a good job taking one of our players out of the game and tonight it was me”, added Dorenzo Hudson. Team basketball was huge tonight as it has been the whole season. Basketball is a team sport. Individual play just harms the team. Rebounding was huge in the fourth quarter. Tinnon had got rebound after rebound in the first three quarters and in the fourth we did a better job due to our mental toughness”, stressed Rob Chubb. “The zone of Giessen was tight as Jena only scored on the three pointer or transition. Jena had no inside game and Giessen rotated very well”, said Ole Wendt.
The Giessen 46ers were led by Myles Hesson with 17 points. Steven Bennett added 16 points. TJ DiLeo netted 15 points, four rebounds and six assists while Joschiko Saibou added 12 points. Science City Jena was led by Dennis Tinnon with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Billy Rush added 14 points and Dorenzo Hudson 11 points and Kristian Kuhn 10 points. Giessen shot 49% from the field and 35% from outside while Science City Jena shot 45% from the field and 26% from outside. Jena did win the rebounding duel 35-33, but ahd 20 turnovers while Giessen had 16 turnovers. Giessen now faces 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen in the semi finals and Rob Chubb knows what got Giessen past Jena and what the club has to do now to reach the final. “WE kept our composure in the Jena series. They trapped us all over the court, but as soon as we got by that we made the right choices with the next pass. We proved the league wrong that we can play together as a team. Goettingen has experience and our smart. For us it will be a test of patience and playing together”, warned Rob Chubb.