Sixth months away from basketball in Limburg can be a very long time in the small, but pretty 33,000 populated town when all you really have to do is visit the cineplex movie theater, go paddling on the Lahn river in the dog days of summer, viist the cathedral for a 50th time or escape on the A-3 highway as you will be in big cities like Frankfurt in 35 minutes or in Cologne in one hour. So for basketball fans In Limburg it was a welcome sight again to see the Limburg basketball family at work again with papa Danny barking calls on the sidelines, son Justin giving his famous smirk after almost every play as one can see he just loves playing the game, Mama Heidrun running the door and daughter Cora doing the scouting even for some reason she missed opening night. EVL Limburg didn´t disappoint any fans either as they got going from the start leading big and never looked back as they easily beat the TBB Trier second team 92-72. American BJ Miller was also back after he came aboard late last season playing only two games, but averaging 20,5ppg. He had a very strong game scoring 12 points. The American from Tennessee that played his college ball at Jacksonville St. (NCAA) was happy to be back and how the team played despite really only having a week to practice together as guys came back from injury and two new players were signed a few days ago. „We played team basketbal land we had crazy energy from the start. Our defense got us going and it dictated our offense. We had many guys that stepped up. I am the leader on the team, but we have many leaders so that makes my job easier as well. Paul Dick was a real leader. I know that when I slack, that he will lead and did. We understand our roles very well“, stressed BJ Miller.
EVL Limburg wasted really no time getting off to a 10-0 lead as the club quickly got help from many big and smaller bodies. Irish wunderkind Paul Dick got the scoring started with a left handed lay in, 114 kilo 197cm power forward Kwame Duku that looks like a mix of Kendal Chones and Baby Shaq and played last season at Uni-Riesen Leipzig made a nice turn around shot, 28 year old 205cm Lithuanian Mantas Bernatavicius made a sweet reverse lay up and BJ Miller then hit a step back jumper and scored on the lay in. Duku then would score inside two more times as TBB Trier had no remedy how to stop this wide body that seemed about three times as wide than some of the youthful bodies of the opponent. Limburg was forcing TBB Trier to very difficult shots and their ball movement on offense was excellent as TBB Trier were often a step to late. After a TBB Trier timeout, they decided to get the ball inside more and got to the free throw line, but EVL Limburg continued to be very consistent hitting shots. Irish 193cm guard Paul Dick that had to be a scorer more last season in Ireland got his teammates more involved in the first quarter and didn´t score his first professional points in Germany until the end scoring on a nifty penetration from the left wing. EVL Limburg led 27-13 after one quarter.
Despite a mini comeback by TBB Trier in the second half oft he second quarter, EVL Limburg knock down shooter Justin Stallbohm got his team going right off the bat nailing two consecutive three pointers as EVL Limburg held the 33-18 lead. TBB Trier would have been back way more had it not been for 22 year old 201cm work horse Benedikt Beiling who scored 8 unanswered points in the first few minutes to keep his team at bay. However EVL Limburg just understood how to share the ball as they had more weapons and got additional buckets from Bernatavicius and Mickael Johannes giving EVL Limburg the 49-31 comfortable lead. Down the stretch EVL Limburg got further help from the bench from Rokas Grinius and at the end got a fantastic steal from Stallbohm on an inbounds play as EVL Limburg led 56-37 at halftime.
Both teams came back from the locker room a bit unorganized as both teams had problems finding a rhythm. For TBB Trier it was Benedikt Beiling again who got quick and needed buckets in the paint after grabbing an offensive rebound and then displaying his pretty touch from the parking lot. TBB Trier got back to 60-48, but whenever they got near single digits, it was EVL Limburg that had an answer to keep TBB Trier not from getting closer and knocking at the door. Stallbohm hit another three pointer and Paul Dick hit free throws and made a steal and went coast to coast as all of a sudden EVL Limburg led comfortably again 68-51. After a rest, Duku came back in the game and barreled his way to the bucket twice scoring hard while probably scaring the TBB Trier kids that were on the court more with his physicality than with his moves. In the last minute, Stallbohm nailed another three pointer and Johannes score das EVL Limburg cruised into the third quarter with a 79-55 advantage.
In the fourth quarter, TBB Trier won the quarter 17-13, but it didn´t matter as EVL Limburg had done enough damage in the first 30 minutes. TBB Trier went on a quick 6-0 run to cut the EVL Limburg lead to 81-61. However Grinius scored a few buckets and Paul Dick scored another bucket this time going reverse and hit free throws. Paul Dick led EVL Limburg in scoring with 20 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out seven assists. BJ Miller had a solid game scoring 12 points and getting seven steals. Miller is really excited about the season and sees a big diference to last season´s team. „We have more of a team this year. Last season it was give the ball to Kris Douse and let him go. Now we have multiple weapons. We can spread the floor better now and it just makes it a lot easier to play. This will be afun season. This team has a good attitude“, warned BJ Miller.