Regensburg Baskets center Johannes Wießnet goes up for a shot - Photo by Ed Cornejo

The Regensburg Baskets nearly blew a 20-point lead in the second half but held on to beat last-placed BBV Leipzig 89-81 and secure their spot in the 2. Regionalliga SouthEast for a second straight season.

A season-best crowd of 300 fans saw Regensburg captain Johannes Wießnet and Malte Binting both score 15 points while Daniel Waldhauser scored 14 points and Mike Urban added 13 points in the important victory.

By improving their record to 8-13 for eighth place with one game left, Regensburg staved off relegation back to the Bayernliga.

“It’s incredible. I need a little bit of time to calm down. I think next week it will sink in,” said a relieved Regensburg coach Markus Höß.

Baskets manager Alexander Ziegler admitted he was “simply overjoyed”.

“It really means a lot that we are staying in the league. It means that we can continue our work next season in the same league and in essence work on taking the next step forward, especially organizationally,” said Ziegler.

“This is really optimistic for the future of basketball in Regensburg.”

Cheerleaders from TSV Abensberg perform at Regensburg Baskets home game vs BBV Leipzig - Photo by Ed Cornejo

Baskets management – predominantly Ziegler – had been working for some three months on turning the final home game of the season into a real event. The game was presented by local radio station Gong FM, while Ka5per was serving cocktails to the crowd and an extra bit of support and entertainment came from the cheerleaders from nearby TSV Abensberg.

Urban thought the crowd was “awesome”.

“They really made some good noise. It’s a lot of fun to play in front of so many people. They really helped us and we have to thank the fans,” said Urban.

This is what will take Regensburg Baskets to the next level - the fans. Photo by Ed Cornejo

“The scene was amazing. I wish that we always had this many people at the games. It would be a dream,” added Höß.

The Baskets could have secured their spot in Germany’s fifth division last weekend but lost by 22 points at then last placed DJK Eggolsheim. But Regensburg wanted to change that against currently last placed Leipzig.

Wießnet and Binting combined for 10 points in the first quarter and Regensburg nailed three triples in opening a 14-point lead 27-13. The gap was 29-19 after 10 minutes.

“It was a totally different showing that last week, especially in the first quarter. We scored 29 points and really played good defense,” said Höß.

MIke Urban gets ready to lead the fast break for Regensburg - Photo by Ed Cornejo

Regensburg kept up their strong play and increased the cushion to 16 points in the second quarter, which ended with the hosts ahead 48-34.

The Baskets did not let up and built a 20-point lead midway through the third quarter – 60-40. But then Höß’s team let up a bit and allowed Leipzig back into the game.

The guests scored nine straight points but Urban nailed a big three-pointer to stop the Leipzig run. And the Regensburg lead was still 66-52 after three quarters.

The advantage grew to 69-52 early in the fourth when Regensburg turned the ball over time and again. Leipzig – knowing they desperately needed the victory to stay in the league – fought back all the way to within 82-79.

Regensburg Baskets guard Jonas Schneider has helped the team whereever he can all season - Photo by Ed Cornejo

But Wießnet came up with a huge block on defense and then Waldhauser grabbed an offensive rebound on a missed Wießnet free throw which resulted in two foul shots by Urban to push the gap back to 86-79 with just 24 seconds left.

“In the first half we were excellent. Then we were a bit too relaxed and didn’t move any more. At the end it got relatively close but I never had the feeling that we would not win,” said Höß afterwards.

Regensburg have a three-week break before the final game of the season on April 21 at BBC Bayreuth II.



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