After the huge 105-63 destruction that the Telekom Baskets Bonn performed over their Pro B farm team Dragons Rhondorf, the always boisterous Dragon Dome emptied rather quickly with the possibly of some wanting to reach that café on the Rhein and enjoy one of the last real nice comfortable summer nights of the year. In the quiet gym, a trio of Bonn Americans of James Webb, Charles Jackson and Rashad James came slowly slithering towards the VIP room as they almost combined for half of the clubs points and surely for them it was another normal day at the office, but if they truly knew that their new team was in the final again and would be looking for revenge the next day in the final against Wurzburg is more than unlikely, but as the final fast approached on Sunday, these guys were now aware of the revenge factor and had their game faces on. For s.Oliver Wurzburg they had had a tougher time reaching the final clawing out a difficult crunch-time affair against the Fraport Skyliners, but when it counted most they did the little things better especially in executing on one on one situations and being more aggressive on the boards and getting consistent offensive power from their ex Kansas(NCAA) ace Perry Ellis and getting timely baskets throughout the game from their guard power trio of Cameron Wells, Skyler Bowlin and Jordan Hulls as well as perfect role player Brad Loesing who Frankfurt could never really control over long phases of the game. Both teams were seeking that first title of the season and the Telekom Baskets Bonn would put a big dent into the Wurzburg ambitions of bringing home a second consecutive title as they controlled their destiny in crunch-time and were powered to the title by Mr clutch Rashad James who hit big shots in crunch-time and showed his scoring dominance leading all scorers with 28 points. Despite having just won a title even if it didn´t count, James didn´t bask in the glory of the win or his stellar play, but was already looking forward to the season and how good this team can still get. “We played very well and were strong as a team, but it is still early in pre season, but this win will continue to help us build. Our chemistry continues to be built and once we really start to click as a team, then we will be very scary”, warned ex Siena(NCAA) guard Rashad James. After the loss one could see it on all the faces of the Wurzburg players that they had expected so much more, but at the end of the day they couldn´t execute when they needed to. “We fought hard, but we missed too many open shots. It was just one of those days where they didn´t fall. When shots aren´t falling, then you have to do more at the other end, but we didn´t do that”, expressed 2013 NCAA finalist with Kansas Perry Ellis.
The first quarter showed a strong Bonn side in the first five minutes while the Bavarian squad of head coach Denis Wucherer fought back hard in the last five minutes to shave a seven point deficit down to only two points. The Telekom Baskets Bonn got the quick lead 9-4 as James showed his presence early and just got aggressive and never let up for 40 minutes getting to the free throw line and finishing strong with a lay in. s.Oliver Wurzburg´s offense was stagnant in the first minutes so Cameron Wells had to create for himself and his quickness allowed him to score easily inside as he cut down the Bonn lead to 11-8. But the little Wells one man show didn´t faze Bonn as they upped their lead again to 18-10 as they got hot shooting from Montenegran Bojan Subotic and Charles Jackson and James getting to the free throw line. S.Oliver Wurzburg did close out the first quarter in fine fashion going on a 8-2 run as they got full German support as ex Bonn forward Florian Koch nailed a trey and ex Gotha forward Felix Hoffman also dropped a trey and made a tap in. The Telekom Baskets Bonn did keep the lead as New Jersey native TJ DiLeo scored giving Bonn the 20-18 advantage.
“Bonn did a good job getting used to playing a BBL team after having played Rhondorf the night before”, stressed Telekom Baskets Bonn press secretary Joerg Baehren. Both teams weren´t shooting out the lights, but two key stats were the Bonn rebound dominance of 13-6 and their six turnovers which would plague them the whole game, but something Wurzburg could never take advantage of.
In the second quarter there was a phase of about four minutes where neither team could buy a bucket which kept the score low. The Telekom Baskets Bonn went on a quick 5-0 run to lead 25-18 as DiLeo hit a trey and James Webb made a thunderous dunk. However how quick things change in the game of basketball where just one play can spark a team. Koch drilled home a three sparking Wurzburg on a 10-0 run to take their first lead of the game 28-26. It was the Germans who propelled Wurzburg to new heights as ex Skyliner Johannes Richter let his game take control scoring seven unanswered points. His versatility was key as he hit a trey, made free throws and scored inside. German Martin Breunig had to work extra overtime as he really got no gifts as he barreled around Olaseni and then scored over Richter deadlocking the game at 28-28. After a severe scoring drought for both teams, Wurzburg got a tap in from Hoffman, but it was the Telekom Baskets Bonn that went into the break with the slight 33-32 lead. Thanks to Rashad James who scored in the paint and then shot a trey with Cameron Wells in his face. “Wurzburg did a good job moving the ball and getting good looks to come back. Bonn defended a lot better in this quarter”, stated Joerg Baehren. Both teams continued to shoot at a bad clip while Bonn continued to control the boards 24-16, but their 13-5 turnover rate didn´t sit well with head coach Predrag Krunic.
The third quarter in a way mirrored the second quarter as the Telekom Baskets Bonn broke away again only to see s.Oliver Wurzburg claw their way back into the game. Bonn broke away on a rapid 8-0 run as Webb showed how explosive he can be hitting two three´s and big man Charles Jackson made a massive two handed dunk as Wurzburg trailed 41-32. S.Oliver Wurzburg never gave up and fought back getting key buckets fromWwells and Koch, but whenever they started to threaten, Bonn received huge trey´s from James and top BBL point guard Josh Mayo to keep their lead at 49-40. But it wasn´t always the Telekom Baskets Bonn that let lethal bombs fly, but s.Oliver Wurzburg has that guard terror and very dangerous shooters erupted on a back breaking 9-0 run to dead lock the contest at 49-49. Wells, Ellis and ex Bremerhaven guard Jordan Hulls who led the league last season at 97% from the free throw line connected from the parking lot. The Telekom Baskets Bonn grabbed the lead back 52-51 after three quarters. “We have very versatile guards which is a huge luxury to have. When we swing the ball to them good things happen”, stressed ex Iowa(NCAA) center Gabriel Olaseni. Both teams improved their shooting a bit eclipsing the 40% from the field, but it was the same old story on the boards with Bonn having their nose ahead and having 17 turnovers while Wurzburg had only eight coughed up balls.
In the fourth quarter the Telekom Baskets Bonn would jump out on a nice lead again and it seemed like they had closed the door on s.Oliver Wurzburg, but they managed to preserve some last energy and come back to make it a one possession game with less than a minute to go. The Telekom Baskets Bonn went on a huge 9-0 run to lead 65-54 as they got vital three´s from Mayo and Subotic and five points from James as he hit three free throws. S.Oliver Wurzburg continued to rally, but it was Rashad James who three times had answers ready that allowed Bonn to keep the lead and seal the win. After Hulls drained a trey to cut the Bonn lead to 68-63, James took matters into his own hands nailing a step back three. When Skyler Bowlin cut the Bonn lead to 71-68, it was James again who got aggressive and drew a foul and hit free throws. With the clock winding down, it was Olaseni who made a clutch lay in after getting served up the perfect lob from Bowlin as Bonn only had the 73-71 lead. But it was Mr clutch Rashad James again who hit a trey with 40 seconds remaining sealing the 2018 Gezeiten Cup for the Telekom Baskets Bonn. “We got some stops and executed on offense. We stayed poised and were lucky to come out with a win. Any guy can go off on any given night. Tonight it was my turn. My teammates found me. No one guy can win a game. We won this together. I feel very comfortable playing in the BBL this season. I love having challenges at both ends of the floor”, added Rashad James. “They hit tough three´s late in the game. There isn´t too much you can do when they are contested. I give a lot of credit to Bonn. James was the difference maker. He hit big three´s. He is an athletic player. I like his game”, stressed Perry Ellis. The Telekom Baskets Bonn were led by Rashad James with 28 points while Josh Mayo chipped in with 11 points and five assists. S.Oliver Wurzburg were led by Cameron Wells with 16 points. Perry Ellis added 12 points and Florian Koch had 10 points. At the end of 40 minutes both teams shot 40% or better from the field and downtown. The Telekom Baskets Bonn won the rebound duel 31-23 and somehow the title with 21 turnovers while Wurzburg coughed up the ball only 10 times. “I feel we moved the ball well and we have good chemistry. Everybody tries to help each other and make each other. There are no selfish thoughts on our team”, warned Perry Ellis.