Eight points before the final whistle – that was the bottom line for the Tübingen Tigers on Saturday. He should have been at least eight points ahead to prevent a play-off defeat in normal time due to the first leg result.
They also managed to call up playmaker Ato Kivimaki, who returned to the team after sustaining a foot injury but did not start. Before the match, Erol Ersek and Till Jönke announced their contract extension to loud applause from 2,600 spectators (the season’s record). Ersek will stay with the Tigers for at least another year, and Jönke’s new contract will run for two years.
Ryan Michael gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead, and both teams defended aggressively, so those were the only two points from the first three minutes of the game. Free throw by Daniel Kepler and three pointers by Timo Lanmüller made it 6-0 from Tübingen’s point of view. Top scorers from Rostock, Nigel Pearson and Tyler Nelson slowly recovered, each contributing seven points to the Seawolves’ 22:16 score after the first quarter. 14 points need to catch up with Tübingen.
The second quarter started with some errors on both sides, with the guests from Rostock having a fifth foul before they got their first point. Five free throws and two points from Serik put the Tigers back in the lead (23:22). The Rosstockers needed nearly five minutes to make their first point at 28:23 – on a free throw. But Tübingen kept pressing, and Isaiah Crowley’s 37:29 layup was the first time Tübingen equaled his eight-point lead from the first leg. A few moments later, Ryan Michaels sank three minutes to 40:31. A result in which the Tigers can celebrate the championship after the final whistle. A resonant hit by Gianni Otto from behind midfield had the Tigers cheering in the halftime break: 47:38.
However, Rostock came out of the locker room more accurately, with Sea Wolves leading 52:50 after several three-pointers. What followed was an intense match phase in which both teams played at eye level. Tübingen managed to lead by a point in the quarter break, 59:58 after the third round.
The picture was the same after the break, and Tübingen could not pull off any further. Five and a half minutes from the end, Rostock was in the lead with a ratio of 69:66. And the fans lashed the tigers again
Korb, Daniel Keibler made a three-point shot by Timo Lanmüller to make it 72:70, there is still one minute to play. However, a draw to 72:72 sealed the fate of the Tübingen team and Rostock was already starting to celebrate. The final score was 78:77 for Rostock, and the Tigers were unable to reward themselves with a championship title despite a solid season going to the rookie team in Rostock.
Ryan Michaels was the top scorer of the match, scoring 24 goals, and in Rostock Tyler Nelson was the top scorer with 19 points.
Here’s how the Tigers playoff date went: