Germany

HBL Roundup: Week 11

HBL Roundup: Week 11

The Rhein-Neckar Löwen remain unbeaten and still own a perfect record after winning their eleventh game of the season, coming back from a 10:11-halftime deficit at home to defeat HSG Wetzlar by a final score of 26:18. A strong second half made sure they wouldn’t suffer their first loss of the season. Uwe Gensheimer (10/6) and Harald Reinkind (5) were the leading scorers for the hosts, while Max Holst (6/4) lead Wetzlar. But especially after a great showing in the first 30 minutes you could have expected a better outcome for the HSG, as Andreas Wolff said afterwards: “I didn’t come here thinking we’d win anyway, but I’m quite disappointed with our second half. You cannot lose that way.”

In the other top game of the weekend MT Melsungen led most of the game at Magdeburg, but an offensive foul by Nenad Vuckovic and a goal by Robert Weber on a penalty shot as time had already expired, fueled a comeback but the SCM. Melsungen, coming of two consecutive wins by at least eleven goals, looked like the winner with less than a minute to go and a two-goal lead, but couldn’t hang on as Vuckovic turned out to be the tragic figure, also causing the penalty converted by Weber as the game ended in a 28:28 (14:15) draw.

Meanwhile the TSV Hannover-Burgdorf won an important game and should get a confidence boost after beating VfL Gummersbach 29:24 (14:8) at home. Especially in the first half the Recken really dominated the guests, especially after finding the right solutions against a very offensive 3-2-1 defense of Gummersbach. Hannover doesn’t seem to be a good matchup for them anyway. The VfL, except for a cup game last year, hasn’t beaten the Lower Saxony side since May 2012. Kai Häfner had a strong outing once more and after scoring six times now leads the league in field goals (59).

In Wuppertal the Bergischer HC tried to stop a three-game losing streak, but failed to do so in a 27:29 (12:16) loss against Hamburg. The guests started to dominate the game midway through the first half, although they lost former German national keeper Johannes Bitter with a red card after a few minutes. But Jens Vortmann did a decent enough job in net, Hans Lindberg (10/6) shined once again and Allan Damgaard made good decisions for most of the game. The host almost came back when Viktor Szilagyi cut the deficit to one goal (25:26, 58.), but he was ejected after pushing away Matthias Flohr while getting up after celebrating the goal. The HSV then used the man-advantage to finally make sure of the victory.

In Eisenach two of the three newly-promoted sides, hosts ThSV and visiting TVB 1898 Stuttgart, faced each other in a crucial game regarding the fight against relegation. It was a battle right from the start. Eisenach led most of the game, but Stuttgart made sure they wouldn’t run away. At halftime the Thuringians were up by one (15:14) and the crazy home crowd was confident they could celebrate the win after 60 minutes. When Olafur Ragnarsson made it 28:26, they were almost sure of it. But Stuttgart, in the first league for the first time in club history, was able to steal a point thanks to Sajad Esteki, who scored twice in the last minutes.

Finally, in the eleventh game of the season, the players of TuS N-Lübbecke were able to leave the court undefeated, however they were able to gain only one point, their first, against newly promoted SC DHfK Leipzig in a 24:24 (11:8) draw. That might not be enough for new coach Goran Suton, who took over this summer, to keep his position. His job is in limbo after losing the first ten games and now drawing in a must-win situation, especially after his side lost a a two-goal lead with two minutes to go. But Leipzig never gave up and Marvin Sommer tied the match in the last minute. It was a rough encounter, where Lübbecke had three players sent off (Tim Remer, Vuk Lazovic and Vuko Borozan).

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