Sometimes the basketball world can be so small as the NBA meets each other in less than a month twice in the small cities of Wurzburg and Giessen. The last time that ex NBA players Diante Garrett and Perry Jones played against each other in the NBA was almost seven years ago. But now they faced each other twice in the easyCredit BBL in less than a month. Both guys equal 233 NBA games combined as their paths first crossed in the NCAA as they both garnered All-Big 12 Second Team status. They then met again in the NBA as Diante Garrett was with the Utah Jazz and Perry Jones was balling with the Oklahoma Thunder. Jones had the 3-1 game advantage and also won their first meeting in February with s.Oliver Wurzburg winning 101-82 as he netted 4 points, got 6 rebounds and dished out 3 dimes while Garrett had 12 points, 3 rebounds and 7 assists. In their fifth professional career meeting Garrett and the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers were trying to survive and somehow creep out of the cellar while Wurzburg was trying to keep winning games and stay on playoff course. S.Oliver Wurzburg played a poor first half playing catch up basketball, but turned their game around in the third quarter and fought back and simply made the big defensive plays in crunch-time and executed on offense getting the massive 74-73 win. After the big win ex NBA player Perry Jones looked back on his meeting with Diante Garrett and the win. “It´s always good to play against a guy you played against before. Diante tried to hit the game winning shot, but I was able to stop him. It was a lot of fun. Our defense in the second half was key for us coming back and winning. I picked up my game and everyone fed off my energy. We definitely won the game on the defensive end”, stressed s.Oliver Wurzburg forward Perry Jones. The easyCredit BBL air for the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers is getting thinner and thinner as once again they had the opportunity to win the game, but again couldn´t strap down in crunch-time and just execute at both ends of the floor. After the bitter loss, Diante Garrett was disappointed that the club once again couldn´t put it all together for 40 minutes. “It´s always good to see a familiar face with Perry Jones. We played in college and NBA and are friends. He is a good guy. He had a tough start, but never gave up and stayed with his game. He played more aggressive in the second half, hit a big three pointer and played good defense to help his team get the win. We played well for 30 minutes. We weren´t aggressive enough in the third quarter. They had more energy than we did”, stressed Jobstairs Giessen 46er Diante Garrett.
s.Oliver Wurzburg ruled the first two minutes, but after that the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers dominated the last 8 minutes pouring on a lethal 18-0 run to lead 25-16 after one quarter. The guests from Bavaria took the rapid 4-0 lead getting a lay in from American Murphy Holloway who began the season with Al-Muharraq (Bahrain-Premier League) and free throws from American Tyson Ward who played at North Dakota State University (NCAA). But basketball is a game of runs and Giessen just pulled out an offensive arsenal that one seldom sees as they hit Wurzburg for 18 straight points to take the commanding 18-4 lead. In the run, Giessen got incredible production from American veteran Brandon Thomas who scored three three´s. Thomas may be 36 years old and even if he scored only 9 points in 112 minutes in the last four games, the sniper was simply due to get out of his funk and did. Giessen also got baskets from ex Bradley(NCAA) forward Scottie James Jr, Diante Garrett and a three from ex Bayreuth forward Brandon Bowman. Giessen stepped up their defense anticipating very well, getting in passing lanes and playing superb 1-1 defense to force Wurzburg to turnover after turnover which was 8 after 10 minutes. Wurzburg finally began to execute better and get back into the game closing out the quarter with a 12-7 run. Giessen shot an incredible 63% from outside while Wurzburg upped their field goal percentage and shot 45% from outside In the Wurzburg run, they got 7 clutch points from German veteran Florian Koch who displayed his versatile play, a trey by ex NAIA standout Cameron Hunt who had been slowed down well by Wurzburg and a basket from young German Joshua Obiesie. “Giessen capitalized on us not having energy. Thomas hit big shots which got them going”, stated Perry Jones.
The Jobstairs Giessen 46ers continued to control the game in the second quarter and kept their lead in double figures. Usually when Giessen is on, you can expect ex easyCredit BBL rebounding king John Bryant to be very involved in the offense, but he didn´t score a single basket in the first quarter. It was only a matter of time before he would as he dropped a trey leading Giessen on a 8-2 run for the 33-18 advantage. Bowman hit a three pointer and ex Alba Berlin guard Ferdinand Zylka gave valuable energy from the bench with a lay in. Wurzburg executed better picking their spots and being more calm as Obiesie scored on a lay in and Ward hit a pretty turn around shot to cut the Giessen lead to 36-26. But Giessen didn´t let up continuing to execute on offense and quickly leading 45-30 as the Brandon Thomas three point party continued with two more trey´s and Garrett scored in the paint as he was held quiet on the night with only 6 points. Wurzburg got a vital push in the last minute from Ward as he hit a trey and Koch once again used his quickness driving home with a lay in. Giessen got the last basket from ex Murray State(NCAA) American Jonathan Stark as Wurzburg trailed 47-35. Giessen continued to shoot over 50% from the field and outside and did a good job taking care of the ball with only 6 turnovers while s.Oliver Wurzburg shot 52% from the field and 33% from outside, but couldn´t get closer because of their 12 turnovers. “We remained aggressive, but we missed shots that we usually make which kept us behind stressed Perry Jones.
s.Oliver Wurzburg played an incredible third quarter as they almost kept Wurzburg without a field goal for 8 minutes and made 13 consecutive stops to not only get back into the game, but to take the lead. In the last few minutes there were five lead changes as Giessen was on top after 30 minutes 55-54.s.Oliver Wurzburg cruised out on a big 15-1 run to take the 50-48 lead while getting stop after stop and forcing 7 turnovers. Cameron Hunt who had been held to only 4 points in the first half was instrumental at both ends of the court getting 7 points and on defense made a huge block and steal to lead the charge. Wurzburg did a solid job attacking and staying in attack mode getting buckets inside as Koch scored as did Holloway. Jones who had been 0/3 shooting in the first half, let his defense spark his offense as he nailed a key three to give Wurzburg the 49-48 advantage. In the last minutes both teams would exchange leads 5 times as Zylka, Jones, Alex King and Garrett scored. ”We got more aggressive on defense, got in passing lanes and pushed the ball on transition getting easy baskets”, stated Perry Jones. “Wurzburg increased their intensity on defense and we didn´t have that smooth offense anymore”, added Diante Garrett.
The fourth quarter was a giant dog fight as s.Oliver Wurzburg kept the lead and led by six points, but then Giessen rallied and gained the lead back and it seemed like they would get that much needed home win, but once again they failed to close out the game with solid execution. Hunt and Bowman exchanged baskets as the game was tied 57-57. Wurzburg attacked the paint getting vital baskets from Hunt and Holloway for the 65-61 lead. Giessen didn´t let down as they got valuable production from Jonathan Stark who took responsibility for Garrett who had an off day. Stark hit three free throws to cut the Wurzburg lead to 66-64. Wurzburg kept the pressure on with a bucket from Holloway inside and then Hunt made another key block which led to an easy transition basket by Alex King for the 70-64 lead. Wurzburg made the big hustle plays and Giessen just couldn´t match their intensity. How often have Brandon Thomas and Brandon Bowman been criticized for their play and being over the hill, but on this night, both guys were worth every penny as they combined for 33 points. Bowman saved his best for last making 5 unanswered points to cut Wurzburg´s lead to 70-69. In the last few minutes, the game became a game of runs. Giessen found some daylight retaking the lead with a Stark fade away jumper and Bryant free throws for the 73-70 lead with 2,05 to play. But Giessen couldn´t get defensive stops as Wurzburg again attacked the paint as Holloway´s physicality once again won in 1-1 play to cut Giessen´s lead to 73-72. Then came the Jones-Ward connection as Jones made a big steal and fed Ward for the easy transition basket and 74-73 lead with 24 seconds to play. “I can´t control if my shot goes in or not, but I can always control my energy level. I was able to push the ball in transition and find my teammates when I needed to”, stressed Perry Jones. “We need to know how to execute in these situations, but we weren’t able to”, stressed Diante Garrett. Giessen had the last play to win the game, but their offensive possession looked so confusing and lacked focus and that killer drive. Mediocre ball movement led to a tough contested attempt by Garrett that failed. “I´m happy I got the steal and happy that Ward was running”, smiled Perry Jones. “I thought I had a good look. Jones has really long arms. When I spun and wanted to shoot, I saw his arms which made it difficult. He made a good defensive play and I just missed”, commented Diante Garrett. S.Oliver Wurzburg were led by Cameron Hunt with 18 points while Florian Koch and Tyson ward added 13 points a piece. Murphy Holloway added 12 points while the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers were led by Brandon Thomas with 18 points while Brandon Bowman had 15 points. S.Oliver Wurzburg shot 51% from the field and 33% from outside and had 29 rebounds and 17 turnovers while the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers shot 39% from the field and 36% from outside and had 34 rebounds and 17 turnovers.