The winning ways of the highly talented and experienced club EPG Baskets Koblenz continue in 2022 as they continued to have a perfect record of 3-0 and were still unbeaten in their new living room CGM arena. The experience and constant growing team chemistry continues to help the team be successful. Their next task to keep their wining streak alive was against pesky Bavarian team Oberaching who in a span of two months had been playing incredible basketball having won 7 of 8 games, but as of late the 8-6 team had lost that momentum having lost two games. The club led by head coach Mario Matic were still looking for their first victory in 2022 and had to break the unbeaten streak of the EPG Baskets in their own palace and came pretty close down only by 2 points with a few minutes left, but just couldn’t get stops to get the victory. ‘We fought defensively for 40 minutes and I’m proud of my team. We threw a lot of defensive sets against them. They overran us in the third quarter, but we fought back. We weren’t able to get our big men into the game today. They made the big points at the end which decided the game’, stressed TSV Oberaching Tropics head coach Mario Matic. A win is a win and one can always be happy for that, but one can’t be too happy about the way the EPG Baskets Koblenz played. How much a factor it was that head coach Mario Dugandzic and Brian Butler didn’t coach and play isn’t known, but the team had problems all game long finding their offensive rhythm. ‘We had rhythm once in the third quarter for five or six minutes. That was enough to help us get the win. We lost rhythm whenever we made new changes with personal which caused us to lose rhythm. We lost self-confidence at both ends of the court when that occurred. We didn’t attack the rim after the big run and just shot three’s which we didn’t hit effectively. We had more rhythm at the end with our starting five’, stressed EPG Baskets Koblenz manager Thomas Klein.
The first quarter was a real real ugly affair as both teams were still in bed as after 10 minutes the score was 13-13. Both clubs began the contest not executing on their first two possessions. German scorer and Tropics captain Janosch Kogler who has steadily improved his game the last years under Mario Matic scored the game’s first basket showing why he is such a dangerous one on one player. The EPG Baskets Koblenz then found some spark scoring 5 unanswered points ex Giessen energy player Lucas Mayer scored as did rookie Shembari Philipps drilling home a trey for the 5-2 Koblenz lead. Early on one could see that Oberaching wouldn’t have much team offense as Kogler would be a one man wrecking crew. The German proceeded to take his team on a magical 9-0 run keeping everyone in the arena a bit dumbfounded. He dropped two three’s and made a lay in and one for the 11-5 lead. Oberaching had no team play and only Kogler while the EPG Baskets Koblenz had no ball movement and rushed their sets and had no rebounding force. But towards the end of the first quarter, two Germans Moses Poelking and Jacob Mampuya gave the team the extra needed support and energy. Mampuya cam up big on the defensive end with a steal and block while Poelking made a forceful dunk and key offensive rebound which led to Philipps’s three pointer to tie the game at 11-11. Mampuya then connected on a runner while Koegler scored again scoring all 13 points for his team in the quarter as the game was dead locked after 10 minutes. ‘We weren’t concentrated at all at both ends of the court. We didn’t focus on our athleticism with our 1-1 play and we couldn’t get our transition play to work either’, stressed EPG Baskets Koblenz manager Thomas Klein.
In the second quarter the game continued to be a tight duel as no club could get a good offensive rhythm. Mampuya scored the quarter’s first bucket while ex FC Bayern Munich 2 forward Moritz Noeres hit a trey for the Oberaching 16-15 advantage. The EPG Baskets Koblenz then secured the lead back with a Dominique Johnson runner who ran into a wall, but somehow got the shot to fall and a Poelking dunk after getting a sweet shovel pass from Nicolas Sperber for the 21-19 lead. German Thomas Pethran then dead locked the game at 21-21 with a runner. It was surprising how well Oberaching was staying in the game as they got nothing easy while Koblenz had an easier task of getting shots off. German Fynn Fischer gave the guests the 25-22 lead with a jumper, but as usual Koblenz struck back rapidly. Ex BBL point guard Marvin Heckel (190-PG-97) gave his team a spark with a clutch three pointer and a put back after grabbing a noffensive rebound for the 27-25 lead. But as usual Janosch Koegler struck back with an incredible off balance bank shot to tie the game. Mampuya continued to be hot as he gave his team offensive support hitting back to back three’s while Koegler kept pace making a step back jumper and free throws as Oberaching trailed only 33-31. ‘We played better 1-1 attacking the rim, but still not as good as we could. We continued not being able to control Koegler. If we had controlled him better then we would have led by 10-12 points. If we don’t have our rhythm, then they are a very dangerous team’, stressed EPG Baskets Koblenz manager Thomas Klein.
In the third quarter the EPG Baskets Koblenz finally took total control of the game, but couldn’t keep their overwhelming lead allowing the TSV Oberaching Tropics to sneak back into the contest. Poelking began the third quarter with a free throw which was followed with a difficult lay on on transition by Koegler as he threw a line drive shot that somehow went in as Koblenz led 34-33. Then came the turning point of the game as the EPG Baskets Koblenz exploded on a 18-0 run to extend their lead to a seemingly untouchable 52-34 lead. In the run they got massive aid from Mayer and Johnson who drilled home three pointers while Heckel and Philipps scored in the paint. The team also got to the free throw line well. ‘The rhythm was good, but still not good enough. We attacked the rim better and defended more aggressive’, stated Thomas Klein. The balance of inside out basketball was also better. But the EPG Baskets Koblenz were unable to close out the quarter perfectly allowing a 6-0 run by Oberaching as ex BBL player Peter Zeis connected for back to back three’s as Koblenz only led 52-40. ‘I felt that this quarter was just as bad as the first quarter. When we don’t bring the right constellation, then we lose our rhythm. If we could of kept our rhythm up we would of led by 20 points, but instead led only by 12 points’, stressed Thomas Klein. ‘We didn’t come to terms with the Koblenz aggressiveness on defense during their big run. We did a good job changing up our defense at the end and were rewarded with two three pointers.’, added Mario Matic.
In the fourth quarter the EPG Baskets Koblenz continued to be up and down and not know what the word consistency means. They allowed the guests to hang around and almost were scolded in crunch-time for their play. The TSV Oberaching Tropics started off the fourth quarter with a bang going on a timely 7-0 run to cut Koblenz’s lead to 52-47. As usual Janosch Kogler was up to his old tricks scoring twice once with his left hand and on transition showing that he ruled on the court while Noeres made a trey. Koblenz continued not to find a rhythm and just shoot wildly from downtown. The home team then found some daylight getting a spurt of offense as Mayer used his quickness to score on transition and Heckel buried a key three pointer to give Koblenz the 57-47 lead. But Oberaching continued to fight and somehow still conserve energy going on a 10-2 run to cut down the Koblenz lead to only 59-57. In the run, young German Philipp Bode made a lay in traffic as no one could control his quickness, Zeis made an offensive rebound and put back and then hit a three pointer. With only a few minutes to go, the EPG Baskets Koblenz finally put the nail on the coffin going on a 7-0 run getting a basket from Marvin Heckel and a crucial three pointer from Johnson for the 64-57 lead. Mayer added two more free throws for the 66-57 lead. But the game wasn’t over yet as the guests continued to hang around as Koegler and Mateo Jukic hit tough three pointers cutting the Koblenz lead down to 68-63, but there were only 24 seconds remaining. Dominique Johnson sealed the ugly win with free throws. ‘Koblenz hit big shots at the end. We could of held them under 70 points had we not let up the free throws at the end. That isn’t easy to do against a good scoring team like them. We had chances to win the game at the end. The game was even’, warned Mario Matic. The EPG Baskets Koblenz were led by Marvin Heckel with 16 points. Dominique Johnson added 12 points and Lucas Mayer 11 points while the TSV Oberaching Tropics were led by Janosch Koegler with 30 points while Peter Zeis had 11 points. The EPG Baskets Koblenz shot 35% from the field and 38% from outside and had 41 rebounds and 15 turnovers while the TSV Oberaching Tropics shot39% form the field and 38% from outside and had 42 rebounds and 24 turnovers.