With just a few games left in Austria’s championship series, the ever reliable and enthusiastic David Hein contributes another report on progress in the Österreich finals. The focus: (Literally) red-hot Dan Oppland, who notched his second straight game of 22/20 for Allianz Swans Gmunden – and added a crazy 10 steals.
Dan Oppland registered a triple-double to lead Allianz Swans to a 77-68 victory at home over Xion Dukes Klosterneuburg and even their Admiral Austrian Bundesliga Finals series at 1-1.
Just four days after collecting 22 points and 20 rebounds in Swans’ Game One loss, Oppland somehow topped his performance with 22 points, 20 rebounds, 10 steals and five assists for a 48 efficiency ranking – all this despite missing practice due to a high fever.
“I don’t know. [I j]ust tried to bring a lot of energy and have a good game,” said Oppland. “The team was unbelievable tonight. Really played some good defense.”
“I really have to give a huge compliment to Dan Oppland, who could not practice because he had a fever and then he comes out and gives us a triple-double,” said Gmunden coach Mathias Fischer.
Morris Curry, who celebrated his 25th birthday, actually led the top-seeded Swans with 26 points, including hitting hit 12-of-14 on free throws – six of those makes in the final 38 seconds to keep the Dukes from coming back.
“I am very relieved because this game was very difficult,” said Fischer. “A lot of fouls and very intense. It was a very emotional game,” said Fischer. Keeping the Dukes under 70 points is the key to our team’s game. We have to defend, we have to be emotional and have to push one another.”
Klosterneuburg were led by Christoph Nagler with 17 points and eight rebounds, while both Damir Zeleznik and Jason Chappell scored 10 points.
“If we’re kept under 70, then it’s tough for us to win. But we kept ourselves under 70 points,” said Dukes coach Werner Sallomon. “I think we were a little over-motivated. We never found a rhythm. It wasn’t very nice to watch.”
Klosterneuburg veteran Curtis Bobb slumped to a mere four points in shooting just 1-of-13 overall – including 0-8 from three-point range.
“We didn’t execute down the stretch,” said Bobb. “We had too many turnovers . We lost focus in the second half.”
“I got myself a little out of the game personally. A few things were said on the bench and I got my head out of it. I put a lot of blame on myself. I lost focus. Me being a veteran, I’ll be ready for Sunday.”
Game Three is Sunday at Happyland in Klosterneuburg.
“We’ll win on Sunday and finish it out on Thursday,” said Bobb confidently. “It’s going to be a very hostile environment. They have great fans. So we have to be patient, confident and [have] the right mindset,” Curry commented.
Germany-based David Hein is often (justifiably, we think) dubbed by BiE as “the hardest-working man in European sportswriting.” Aside from contributing to BallinEurope, FIBA’s official website and the Bundesliga Basketball League official website, he also writes for numerous German- and English-language outlets on sports from soccer and basketball on down. Check out far-ranging samples of his work at heinnews.com.