MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg showed why they are considered a serious title contender at the easyCredit BBL Final Tournament 2020 with a hard-fought 81-76 victory over RASTA Vechta.

Thomas Wimbush paced Ludwigsburg with 26 points and 6 rebounds while Marcos Knight added 13 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists and Cameron Jackson added 11 points and 7 rebounds. Vechta were paced by Trevis Simpson and Jaroslaw Zyskowski with 18 points each.

Ludwigsburg were second in the league before the Covid-19 suspension and head coach John Patrick had his team ready – getting good contributions from new additions Teyvon Myers and Jamal Nixon while Jaleen Smith and his 10.2 points per game is not due to arrive in Munich until Monday. Vechta were missing many of their top players and only brought 10 players to Munich.

Knight buried a three-pointer to start the game and Ludwigsburg went up 8-2. Ish Wainright and Max DiLeo both also hit from long range at the other end and the game was even 8-8. Two Vechta players picked up their second fouls and Ludwigsburg hit six free throws to surge ahead 17-8. Nixon added a three-ball for Ludwigsburg and the lead was 24-20 after 10 minutes after Matic Rebec nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer for Vechta. Five Vechta players (Michael Kessens, Simpson, Wainright, Jarelle Reischel and Zyskowski) had two fouls after 10 minutes.

Luc van Slooten’s free throw opened the scoring in the second quarter but Vechta went nearly six minutes scoreless and Myers picked up two baskets in a 10-0 run to surge ahead 34-23. Simpson did knock down three three-balls to cut the gap to 39-32 but Ludwigsburg went into the locker room up 46-32.

Jackson increased the advantage to 49-32 before Vechta were able to start coming up with scores – Zyskowski hitting 7 points – but Ludwigsburg still led 56-42. And Patrick’s men did not let up with Wimbush’s alley-oop making it 62-44. And the lead was 62-49 after 30 minutes.

Wimbush had a three-point play and three-pointer and Nixon also hit from long range as Ludwigsburg were up 71-55. Vechta’s 2002-born talent van Slooten nailed two three-pointers and threw down a dunk to get Vechta within 75-70. But Jackson and Wimbush answered to make it 79-70 and that was enough for the win.

Quotes: Ludwigsburg’s Thomas Wimbush: “I figured we had to get stops. In any game like that you have to be tough and resilient during the end of the game and come up with stops. We did that and it worked out for us. We can do something special. We’re a special team. If we play together, if we play the right way we can do anything.”

Vechta’s Luc van Slooten: “We didn’t play hard enough in the first half with not enough energy. Ludwigsburg were able to pull away. We didn’t play well in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter we did all we could and ended up losing by five points. I think we can be proud of our comeback but we have work looking ahead to the next games. It’s nice to have an influence on the game even though it wasn’t enough in the end. It was good for me to get some confidence.”

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