It isn´t the dog days of summer yet where the humid air can cause sudden thunderstorms along the Rhein river, but in the last weeks, there has been massive turbulence in the Dragons Rhondorf basketball family as the only thing missing were dark ominous clouds hovering over the Dragon Dome. First star player and top team scorer and rebounderCurtis Hollis returned back home to Texas sighting personal family reasons and soon after club CEO Alexander Dohms also left leaving the organization and leaving many unanswered questions brewing in the minds of many fans. Despite all the drama, the Dragons Rhondorf didn´t let any of that effect their play as they continued winning games over Hagen Haspe and Herten. It seems like the departure of Hollis hasn´t effected their game in any way as they continue to play as a team and it seems like the whole dismissal of the young American has been like a rebirth. The club showed against Hagen Haspe that they can play defense with passion allowing only 72 points while continuing to score out the lights on offense. They wanted to continue their smooth winning streak against Recklinghausen and sweep the season series after winning the first game on the road 104-80 and won again displaying explosive offensive firepower winning 112-93. The team was able to score consistently over 40 minutes and racked up 29 assists and 15 three pointers. The new American Diijon Allen-Jordan followed up his 19 point debut with 22 points in his home debut and has filled the vacancy of Curtis Hollis nicely as the team has a 3 game winning streak without Hollis. “We came into the game empathizing defense and rebounding. We did a good job with that tonight. We also didn´t let Myers get going. We want to win a title so we have to focus on decreasing the opponents offensive rebounds and getting stops”, stated new Dragons Rhondorf forward Diijon Allen-Jordan. Maryland native Antoine Myers was still shaking his head after the loss in having to accept how deep the Dragons Rhondorf were. “They hit shots well, but really picked it up in the second half. They did a pretty good job taking me out of the game. Our rotations were to slow and we couldn´t get the loose balls and offensive rebounds. They were simply the better team”, stated Citybasket Recklinghausen guard Antoine Myers.
The Dragons Rhondorf got the offensive spectacle going as fans would see 205 total points scored getting a one handed dunk form ex Iserlohn Center Gabriel De Olveira. But Citybasket Recklinghausen didn´t waste any time getting on the score board as they dashed out on a 5-0 run as Dutch forward Frederik Adriaans made a jumper and veteran Christoph Bruns who has 123 Pro B games on his resume nailed a trey for the 5-2 advantage. Both teams would trade the lead a few times, but then came the turning point of the game as the Dragons Rhondorf would supply some instant offense going on a 15-4 run to extend their lead to 22-12 and from that point would never trail again. In the run the Dragons Rhondorf let it rain three´s as new player Diijon Allen-Jordan hit two trey´s, ex FC Bayern Munich forward Killian Binapfl hit a three and scored back door while Slovenian forward Jure Besedic also dropped a trey. Allen-Jordan and BInapfl carried the team while the team displayed smooth ball movement. The good start by Allen-Jordan would carry throughout the game. “I try to bring defensive energy. My teamamtes did a good job finding me. I took the open shots and´made them”, explained Diijon Allen-Jordan. Citybasket Recklinghuasen were unable to execute consistently on offense and weren´t hitting free throws. The Dragons Rhondorf continued to execute well on offense getting buckets from De Olveira and Allen-Jordan to keep the 27-20 lead after one quarter. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 56% from the field and 50% from outside and had 12 rebounds and 7 turnovers while Citybasket Recklinghausen shot 52% form the field and 33% form outside and had 5 rebounds and 2 turnovers.
The Dragons Rhondorf did a good job holding the lead and led by as much as 17 points, but allowed a disappointing 11-2 run in the last minutes to lead only 50-42 at the break. Even if it had rained three´s in the first quarter, the Dragons Rhondorf attempted to play inside out basketball and got some good work from Allen-Jordan who made an offensive rebound and put back and De Olveira continued to take advantage of the guests having no real big man by scoring over the mismatches. Twice. The guests got a trey from Dutch man Adriaans to cut the Rhondorf lead to 36-27. The Dragons Rhondorf were moving the ball well, but here and there suffered small stupid mistakes which cost them not having a more comfortable lead. Allen-Jordan continued to be aggressive on the offensive end attacking the rim and scored 4 points. Ex Bochum guard Niklas Meesmannn dropped a trey cutting the Dragons lead to 41-30. It was the second possession in the second quarter where the Dragons Rhondorf had failed to secure a loose ball which led to two three´s from the guests. The Dragons Rhondorf had so many weapons on this night and everyone produced. Now it was Besedic scoring 5 points for the 48-31 lead. It looked like the Dragons Rhondorf would cruise into the break with a huge double digit lead, but Citybasket Recklinghausen had other ideas. The guests closed out the second with a 11-2 run to trail only 50-42. In the run the guests got a trey from Meesmann and lay in by Myers and got two baskets from 33 year old veteran Jan Letaileur who had done a great job crashing the boards and getting baskets. This was the game´s worst phase for the Dragons Rhondorf as they couldn´t execute the way they wanted to on both ends of the court. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 56% from the field and 50% from the three point line and had 23 rebounds and 11 turnovers while Citybasket Recklinghausen shot 43% form the field and 31% from the three point line and had 15 rebounds and 4 turnovers.
In the third quarter the Dragons Rhondorf continued to have the lead and tame Citybasket Recklinghuasen. Citybasket Recklinghausen did a good job matching the intensity of the Dragons Rhondorf and didn´t allow them to run away with the game as they were always in striking distance. The problem for the guests was just the Dragons Rhondorf had no breakdowns on offense being consistent. The Draagons Rhondorf would close out the third quarter strong and the quarter belonged to Gabriel De Olveia. One player that was a real pest for Rhondorf was Jan Letailleur who scored at ease and in moments where the Dragons Rhondorf wanted to break away. The German veteran did with this three and aggressive work on the glass. Letailleur cut the Dragons Rhondorf lead to 56-51. Binapfl then had two great plays in a span of a few minutes. First he made an alley-oop tap in off a perfect pass from Allen-Jordan and then made a massive one handed dunk in the zone for the 62-54 advantage. “We didn´t practice the alley-oop. We both have high IQ´s and we just know what the other will do. I saw where he was and just threw up the ball and he finished”, stressed Diijon Allen-Jordan. Bruns then nailed a clutch three pointer to cut the Dragons Rhondorf lead to 62-57. But the third quarter belonged to De Olveira who would finish with 15 points in the quarter. He would score the next 5 points and four more a bit later. Rhondorf also inserted Pal Ghotra who has had injury woes all season long, but he looked very fit, anxious and focused as he nailed a trey . He saved his best for last dropping a buzzer beater trey. You knew right away that the basketball God was on Rhondorf´s side on this day as his trey was off the mark, but got a lucky bounce to fall in. The Dragons Rhondorf led comfortably 81-64 after 30 minutes. “We stuck to what was working and kept going inside. When a guy like Gabriel is dominating, then you want to continue to go inside”, stressed Diijon Allen-Jordan. “We prepared all week in trying to stop a 10-12 man roster, but it was tough. Usually you focus on trying to stop 4-5 players, but everyone was hitting three´s tonight. We tried to change the pick and roll, but they kept hitting three´s”, added Antoine Myers. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 63% form the field and 47% from the parking lot and had 30 rebounds and 15 turnovers while Citybasket Recklinghausen shot 43% from the field and 35% from the parking lot and had 23 rebounds and 8 turnovers.
The third quarter belonged to Gabriel de Olveira while the fourth quarter belonged to Simonas Lukosius who dropped 14 points including the 100 point mark which left him with the traditional duty of having to buy drinks for every player. The Dragons Rhondorf continued to score consistently, but also allowed the guests to score regularly. The Dragons Rhondorf began with a 11-5 run where Lukosius scored 8 points including two three´s while Anish Sharda also hit a trey. Sharda would hit another three pointer as did ex Giessen 46er Jeffrey Martin as the Dragons Rhondorf led 98-76. The Dragons Rhondorf continued to have good team play and show that unselfishness while the guests were playing too much 1-1, but surprisingly outscored Rhondorf 16-14 down the stretch. Lukosius´s third trey of the fourth quarter gave the Dragons 101 points. Myers continued to be aggressive and visit the free throw line a lot as he finished shooting 13/17 from the free throw line. Marek Kotineo came in and scored two buckets while the heart and soul of the team Lotola Otshumbe also scored for the 112-93 final score. The Dragons Rhondorf had 10 guys that were able to score. “I have been part of teams where there were short rotations. It is tough having so many guys play 35-40 minutes as it tears at your body. But here we have a 10-12 man rotation where each guy can play 4-5 minutes of good basketball. De Olveira´s strong third quarter gave us confidence as we did rapid fire in the fourth quarter hitting shots”, stated Diijon Allen-Jordan. “We had injured players playing today. We got a little tired at the end. I took matters into my own hands. I had to do a bit of everything. I was tired, but then again not tired”, stressed Antoine Myers. The Dragons Rhondorf were led by Gabriel De Olveira with 24 points. Diijon Allen-Jordan produced 22 points while Killian Binapfl added 15 points and Simonas Lukosius had 14 points. Citybasket Recklinghuasen was led by Antoine Myers with 29 points. Jan Letailleur added 19 points while Niklas Meesmann had 13 points and Fredrik Adriaans had 10 points. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 66% from the field and 53% from outside and had 35 rebounds and 19 turnovers while Citybasket Recklinghausen shot 49% form the field and 46% from outside and had 27 rebounds and 10 turnovers.