In New York winning any game seems like a miracle for the New York Knicks, in Los Angeles winning a title this season with Lebron James seems like a miracle while in Germany, some weeks ago it seemed like a miracle would be needed for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven to stay in the easyCredit BBL, but after a new coach and a win again after months of not winning, there is hope again in the German northern city. In the cosy beautiful small town of Bad Honnef on the Rhine and only 15 minutes from the ex German capital Bonn, there is basketball hope again on the horizon even if the chances and future of the Dragons Rhondorf of remaining in the Pro B still have that miracle feeling as their road to staying in the Pro B still seems very very far away and as seemingly difficult as it still is for German national player Thomas Mueller to accept his booting from the team as head coach Joachim Low is never shy of making radical changes and making new face lifts on a regular basis. In Bad Honnef the Dragons Rhondorf are alive and kicking and want to keep the Pro B dream alive. Ok so the classic 80´s pop song Alive and Kicking from the Scottish band Simple Minds is a love song, but after more careful inspection of the lyrics, one could carefully compare them to the current Dragons situation.
The Alive and Kicking lyrics are as follows What you gonna do when things go wrong?
What you gonna do when it all cracks up? What you gonna do when the love burns down?. What you gonna do when the flames go up? Who is gonna come and turn the tide? What’s it gonna take to make a dream survive? Who’s got the touch to calm the storm inside?
Who’s gonna save you? Alive and kicking”. In this song it´s the love that will save you and for the Dragons Rhondorf it will be the fight, effort, passion, German role players and love in order to stay in the German Pro B. Obviously getting continued support from it´s two best players Zgyimantas Riauka and Kwan Waller will also help. Last weekend, the club showed heart and immense fighting qualities in their do or die game against tg s.Oliver Wurzburg and finally a German role player didn´t just produce, but produced like a maniac as if it was his last game. Ex Bremerhaven forward Bo Meister left his jersey on the floor and was a vital spark with his trey dropping 21 points and five trey´s. Without his production, the season and Pro B dream of the Dragons Rhondorf most likely would have been history. One could say for Bo Meister his masterful game was better late than never.
After the big 98-90 win, I had the hero Bo Meister and Kwan Waller side by side for post game interviews and one could see that they were as relived as a small boy is when he finds out that Christmas presents will always be there despite learning that Santa Claus is a myth more than a reality. Meister was all smiles after his shooting masterpiece and revealed too me that his rebirth and heightened play was a family thing. “My sister was here watching from Bremerhaven. I was playing for my family. My grandfather was in the hospital and I dedicated this win to him. I played for him”, stressed Bo Meister. There was a playful atmosphere between Waller and Meister and just such extreme happiness between the two players that one simply had to enjoy this big moment even if question marks of the season past and future were still cloudy. One just had to savor the moment, but at the same time continue to believe and stay confident for the next tasks at hand. Waller was selective with not overdoing his smiling as the veteran learned first hand last season what losing is all about in Georgia where he won only one game, but he was extremely proud of how the team played and how his teammate Bo Meister and co stepped up crawling out of his shell. ““This was our biggest win of the season where we had double pressure. I live for these type of games. I am proud of the team that despite the pressure, the team stayed focused and locked in. We made a new step tonight. We showed who we are today and played well under pressure. We came together and didn´t want to end the season. Our backs were to the wall, but we had nothing to lose. “I am so happy and proud of Bo. He fought through adversary and shot his way through his slump. It has been great seeing him blossom as we know that he can bring so much on the court. He was our X-factor tonight. But we got energy from so many other Germans like Koscahde, Kneesch and Dia. I think that Bo´s game will give confidence to the other guys”,warned Kwan Waller.
The 98-90 victory over the Dragons Rhondorf was without a doubt the biggest of the season for the Dragons Rhondorf especially with so much riding on the season. Even if the Dragons Rhondorf had many many ups and downs against Wurzburg being able to win the way they did had to have given them an added push and self confidence. They had very good phases of playing defense where the zone stifled tg s. Oliver Wurzburg, but then again phases where their one on one defense in the paint against Justin Smith and Jonas Weitzel who combined for 50 points looked about as awful as Bremerhaven have looked this season on the defensive end. The offense was clicking for the Dragons Rhondorf as they finally shot the ball with authority and consistency something which has plagued them time in and time out this season where their bricks and bad shot selection led too many loses. But not on this day. It was the second win a row for the Dragons Rhondorf over tg s.Oliver Wurzburg in a matter of weeks as one could carefully say that they have their number now. but they will battle one more time in Wurzburg and will need that win. With two wins in a row against Wurzburg, the Dragons Rhondorf will surely drive to Bavaria with added self confidence and take to heart whatever their double double beast Zygimantas Riauka has to say. One saw again last weekend in the Dragon Dome just how much he loves the game and wants to help and lead his team to victory. He didn´t always look good against Justin Smith on the defensive end, but his relentless effort and heart that he showed on every possession is one that must of sparked his teammates. Also his constant bringing guys into huddles has been his trademark this season as much as his monster double double games. Even if it has been a poor season for the Dragons Rhondorf, the play and passion of Zygimantas Riauka has been a delight to watch. Now all that has to happen is that the Dragons Rhondorf season will be saved. The dream of the Dragons Rhondorf continues to be alive as they continue to kick.
Even if Riauka and Waller combined for over 50 points for the second weekend in a row, there was a difference. They were huge in Cologne with 59 points and did their magic again in the spectacular win over tg s.Oliver Wurzburg with 51 points, but there was one huge difference that was vital for the team winning at home in the playdowns and being alive and hopefully still kicking in the next games. In Cologne the Dragons Rhondorf received a pathetic 9 points from the rest, but against Wurzburg a huge 47 points from the rest which was most significant for the victory. Meister started off well hitting a 15 footer which got him in the right shooting mode early and from then on, his teammates found him more and got him into good positions to score. Then his three fell which added another spark and self-confidence in his game which would carry over to the end. His rebirth was so important considering his poor second half in Cologne. One can only hope that he will be able to continue his healthy shooting the rest of the way. Meister also made some big plays on defense, so in no way was he one dimensional. Also big in his scoring support was the timing. On several occasions when Wurzburg was crawling back and making big shots, the German would silence them with big three´s. It wasn´t only Meister who was an important factor in the win, but also his teammates came up big. Take way Meister´s 21 points and the Dragons Rhondorf still got vital 26 points which was also crucial in managing the win. Granted no other German role player scored in double figures, but they got big time support in crucial moments. 34 year Lotola Otshumbe has made big plays the last weeks and found an aggressiveness not often seen for a guy who played mostly in the regionalliga in his career. His effort has been outstanding and exemplary. Yannick Kneesch hit a big three early and was a help on the boards in his limited play while David Falkenstein saved his best for last making some huge buckets down the stretch. Captain Joe Koschade was also crucial in the success being efficient in his minutes getting six points and three assists and making a big bucket in the last minute and a half putting the exclamation mark on the win. He also made a huge steal diving for a loose ball. That was the typical effort from the captain this season and something that not only he will have to continue in the next weeks, but also his teammates.
There are four games left in the season and the best scenario now would be to have that big winning streak to end the season. But most important for the Dragons Rhondorf is not to look ahead, but take it one game at a time. They now face BBC Coburg who they split with this season. They were beaten badly in Coburg 88-68, but won 86-78 at home. In that game the Dragons Rhondorf played against a very slim Coburg rotation who had eight players, but six guys got the majority of the minutes. As usual Rhondorf got good support from Riauka and Waller who combined for 42 points, but also got ample support from one other German role player Yannick Kneesch who produced 16 points. While other Germans Alex Moeller, Joe Koschade and David Falkenstein combined for 22 points. They also did a super job controlling the boards 32-23. A big help in this game will be keeping an eye and slowing down BBC Coburg´s two best players Chase Adams and Kevin Franceschi which they did well in that game holding them to 20 points. This will be another do or die game in the Dragons Rhondorf quest to live another week and stay in the Pro B. It also wouldn´t hurt if the club got a serious break out game from the fountain of youth Anish Sharda. He hasn´t averaged under 18,9ppg in the last four years in the Regionalliga and has proved on several occasions in the Pro B in Mainz, Langen and Hanau that he can be that reliable scorer. At the moment the Dragons are alive and kicking and not only have to let their good play from the Wurzburg game carry over to the Coburg game, but have to continue to show that passion, effort, and fighting qualities. Not to forget to show that love to want to win and keep their Pro B dream alive. The Simple Minds wouldn´t want to have it any other way either.