In the last weeks the Bona Baskets Limburg have been playing spirited basketball having beaten Reutlingen and Bensheim. The club continues to have problems allowing points and having a very slim bench, but the club continues to find ways to win games and stay a float in the Regio South West standings. But their next match up with TV Langen wasn’t an easy one. They arrived in Limburg with a potent 10-3 record and were riding a fantastic 8 game winning streak. The club belongs to the best defensive teams in the league allowing 67 points per game and had very much experience. The club has 8 ex Pro B guys on the roster and 4 ex Fraport Skyliners Juniors. On a very cold December evening TV Langen came to Limburg on a mission and after a solid first quarter, stepped up their game in the second quarter and played consistent defense never allowing Limburg to score more than 14 points in a quarter cruising to a blow out 80-49 victory. After the big win, American import Philip Jenkins (188-G-1990, college: Life) who once averaged 31,0ppg in a season in the German second Regionalliga with Griesheim had a content look on his face, but wasn’t overly surprised by the easy win. ‘We have blown out quite some teams recently. We have the best defense in the league and have the least turnovers in the league. We practice harder in practice than how we play in our games. We have more intensity in our practices then in our games. That is what separates us from the rest’, warned ex Bensheim guard Philip Jenkins. This was easily one if not the worst loss of the season for the Bona Baskets as nothing came together at either end of the court. ‘TV Langen was easily better than us. We didn’t play so well together tonight. I take a lot of blame. I haven’t been in form to help my team the way I should I have to score a lot more. Their guards pressured us well and we had way too many turnovers’, stressed Justin Stallbohm.
Valetin Rappold at the FT line
TV Langen began very well in the first quarter with a 6-0 run and would never look back. TV Langen began with team play and were able to show it for 40 minutes. They began with a Valentin Rappold lay in and ex Rhondorf big Bastian Winterhalter hit a trey for the rapid 6-0 lead. Limburg got on the board with a Matej Kljaic lay in, but TV Langen kept executing getting 5 points from three and D player Risto Vasiljevic for the 11-5 TV Langen advantage. The great team basketball of TV Langen stood out as did their rebounding. Limburg was smart to get very wide 213cm big man Brandon Cataldo involved, but he couldn’t hit shots which really hampered Limburg’s offense. ‘Brandon usually makes shots close to the hoop, but he was a bit unlucky. If you can’t make those kind of shots against a top team then you get killed’, stated Justin Stallbohm. Then came a good brief stretch by Limburg as they went on a 6-2 run to trail only 13-11. Cataldo got some good position inside and scored twice while TV Langen had 2 easy misses by Michaeel Fuss. But TV Langen retaliated and closed out the first quarter well getting a Vasiljevic three pointer, Fuss free throws and a 10 footer by legend Sebastian Barth who is playing his 13th season for TV Langen. TV Langen led 20-14. Both teams were shooting poorly 3/15 from outside and TV Langen had the brief rebound edge.
Matej Kljaic at the FT line
TV Langen took total control in the second quarter as they showed their incredible depth on the team having many guys take over in certain phases of the game and led by 18 points at half-time. Both teams traded baskets in the first few minutes as Kljaic and Berkant Campinar scored for the Bona Baskets Limburg while Winterhalter and Niklas Pons who played with Isaac Bonga in Frankfurt on the U-19 youth team scored as Limburg trailed 24-18. Then came the massive run by TV Langen of 18-6 that would decide the game as the guests led 42-24 at the break. TV Langen got huge plays by ex Leverksuen forward Henk Droste who had a block and then made an offensive rebound and put back and lay in for the 28-21 lead. He finished with 8 points 7 rebounds and 2 blocks in 22 minutes. ‘He is a huge mismatch at the 4/5 position. He is quick, smart and has a great IQ. He lived in the states and played high school basketball. He is very familiar with the game’, warned Philip Jenkins. TV Langen upped their defensive intensity that produced Limburg turnover after turnover. Limburg had 10 in the second quarter. After a Florestedt trey, came the big moment of Jenkins who produced 4 of the next 5 TV Langen buckets. He is in a position this season that he doesn’t need to score as much as in other seasons. Things change when you play for a winning team. ‘My role with TV Langen is the complete opposite to my other teams. We are so deep that they don’t need me to score as much. I’m only playing 22 minutes, but we still blow out teams by 30 points. We are so deep that we lose no step when guys come off the bench. I know when to pick and chose between playmaking and scoring’, stated Philip Jenkins. TV Langen continued to play great team basketball as every player did their role. Pons made a floater and Vasiljevic closed out the quarter with an old school hook shot. TV Langen upped their shooting at the field at 41% while Limburg was shooting 31%. Both teams continued to shoot poorly form outside at 5/24 while TV Langen had the slim 22-21 rebound edge, but only 5 turnovers while Limburg had 11 turnovers. ‘We went downhill. They pressured us more. We produced dumb turnovers and couldn’t execute’, said Justin Stallbohm.
Sebastian Barth from outside
TV Langen didn’t lose any step, but continued to play their great team basketball and continued to defend with intensity and led by 23 points after 30 minutes. TV Langen began with a 6-0 run as Pons scored twice and Rappold made a reverse lay up as Limburg’s 1-1 defense was nonexistent as TV Langen extended their lead to 48-24. Kljaic finally got the Bona Baskets Limburg on the board at the 6,33 minute mark after not executing on their first 5 possessions. Limburg then had a good spurt going on a 7-0 run to cut the TV Langen lead down to 49-33. In the run ex Bochum guard Jari Beckmann contributed 5 points and Kljaic made a runner. But that didn’t rattle TV Langen as they continued to use their talented deep roster and got 2 buckets inside from Winterhalter and baskets from Sebastian Barth and Droste as TV Langen led 57-35. After a lay in by Florestedt, Sebastian Barth saved the best for last draining a trey at the buzzer for the overwhelming 60-37 lead for TV Langen. ‘Sebastian Barth is our vet vet. He has the highest IQ on the team. He is one of the most unselfish players’, expressed Philip Jenkins. TV Langen continued to heighten their shooting from the field at 44% while the Bona Baskets Limburg were still shooting poorly at 32%. Both teams continued not to hit well from outside being at 7/35 while Limburg had the 32-31 rebound edge, but had 15 turnovers to 9 turnovers for TV Langen. ‘We had too much 1-1 play and not good spacing. We didn’t move well without the ball and Matek Kljaic had to do to much’, stated Justin Stallbohm.
Hugo Florestedt with the jumper
TV Langen had no let downs in the fourth quarter continuing to execute well on offense and had no downgrade on defense allowing only 13 points. The Bona Baskets Limburg started well with a 4-0 run as Kjlaic and Florestedt scored to cut TV Langen’s lead down to 60-41. But TV Langen retaliated well going on a furious 9-1 run to lead 69-42 and put the lid on the bucket. In the run, TV Langen got continued support from other guys from the bench as Devon Jacob scored 3 buckets and Jenkins made free throws. ‘We are a relentless team that likes to win a lot. We like to get every guy as much playing time as possible’, stressed Philip Jenkins. Down the stretch, two youth players got extended minutes as Lucas Janott scored 7 points for TV Langen and Noah Ludwig made a pretty off balance step back bank shot from the parking lot. ‘Noah is talented. If he keeps practicing with us he will get better. You can see that he is aggressive and can score. If he keeps developing, then I’m sure we will see more of him in the next years’, warned Justin Stallbohm. Campinar and Pons traded baskets in the last minute to close out the game. TV Langen were led by 4 players with 10 points apiece with Philip Jenkins, Sebastian Barth, Niklas Pons and Risto Vasiljevic while the Bona Baskets Limburg were led by Hugo Florestedt with 14 points while Jari Beckmann had 11 points. TV Langen shot 43% from the field and 16% form outside and had 44 rebounds and 12 turnovers while the Bona Baskets Limburg shot 30% from the field and 12% form outside and had 42 rebounds and 18 turnovers.