RSV Lahn-Dill wins the Champions Cup 2021!

RSV Lahn-Dill wins the Champions Cup 2021!

After 15 months, international wheelchair basketball is slowly coming back in Europe!

Eight teams from Germany, Spain and Italy met at Rittal Arena in Wetzlar, Germany, for the Champions Cup 2021 between 30 April and 2 May. The tournament, based on direct elimination, was shaped by great actions and astonishing games. Overall, players from 16 nations faced each other in the three-day tournament, officiated by 8 referees coming from 7 countries.

“The risk and courage of IWBF Europe with the implementation of the Champions Cup 2021 in Lahn-Dill were rewarded. In a bubble with a strict hygiene concept, a “Corona Free” event was organized by host club RSV Lahn-Dill under the direction of Andreas Joneck and his team with a high degree of professionalism through more than 1200 coronavirus tests.

In the end there were only winners against the invisible opponent off and on court. With more than 48 hours after the tournament we can finally say that IWBF Europe set an example for the whole world, we are back under baskets and one step closer to “normal” sport life”, says Walter Pfaller, IWBF Europe President

“I am grateful to all the clubs who took the opportunity to demonstrate that we can play again safely with well-considered covid protocols. Special thanks to RSV Lahn-Dill for taking the biggest risk of organizing an event in difficult times. We hope to see all of the teams again at the EuroCup 2022”, says David Kingstone, IWBF Europe Chair of Competition Commission.

A special thank goes also to Reinhold Schreiner, IWBF Europe Technical Delegate, for the good example demonstrated and the great job he has done in this difficult and different tournament.


The Champions Cup goes to RSV Lahn-Dill after overcoming RSB Thuringia Bulls 67-72
After competing with seven of the best clubs in Europe at the Champions Cup 2021, the European Champion is RSV Lahn-Dill! In the EuroCup Champions League, RSV Lahn-Dill was able to get the cup 6 times before. The last two years RSB Thuringia Bulls triumphed, before that CD Ilunion won two times. This one was the first German verses German team final in the 46 years history of IWBF Europe club competitions.

The game started with defending champion RSV Thuringia Bulls taking the lead. However, it did not last long, as after a lay up by Brian Bell at 4.19 minutes, RSV Lahn-Dill took the lead closing the first half at 9-19. The 10-points gap was reduced by the end of the first half, which ended at 26-32. With 24 points made in the third period, RSB Thuringia Bull was able to reach a score of 50-49. A final point-to-point quarter made the race to the cup breathtaking. 5 minutes were left to play and after a 2-points shot by Vahid Gholamazad, total rebounds leader – RSB Thuringia Bulls was leading by 4 (61-57). A tie of 63-63 was reached at 2.35 minutes left with a 2-points shot by Michael Auprince. Another tie at 1.48 following 2-points shots by Jens Albrecht, RSV Thuringia Bulls, and Brian Bell, RSV Lahn-Dill. One more 2-points shot by Steven Serio, assists leader, and four points by Michael Auprince lead to RSV Lahn-Dill winning the final game 67-71. With 22 total points scored, Thomas Böhme, RSV Lahn-Dill, closed the game as points leader.

3rd place for CD Ilunion after prevaling over Bidaideak Bilbao BSR 71-95
Bidaideak Bilbao lead the game for the first 3 minutes. Following a lay up by Amadou Diallo Diouf, CD Ilunion took the lead and closed the first period at 16-21. The second period saw CD Ilunion increasing the gap from their opponent with Jacob Williams, points leader; Bill Latham,rebounds leader, and Gregg Warburton, assists leader, scoring a total of 26 points and closing the first half at 34-47. By the end of the third period, CD Ilunion lead the game for 20 points closing at 47-67. In the fourth quarter, a 32 points gap was reached at 1.24 minute from the end of the game, which was ultimately closed at 71-95.

5th place for BSR Amiab Albacete after winning against BSR ACE Gran Canaria 62-54
Exciting game for the 5th place, BSR Amiab Albacete lead the game for most of the first half, creating a gap of 8 points after 3 minutes of playing. In the 7 following minutes, thanks to 6 points made by Jorge Sanchez, assists leader, and a 2-points lay up by Mendel Op Den Orth, BSR ACE Gran Canaria was able to reduce the gap. After closing the first period at 16-14, BSR Amiab Albacete was able to recreate a 5-points gap from the opponent. A first tie was reached at 4 minutes and 22 seconds from the end of the first half (22-22). After two jump shots in the following minute by, another tie was reached. Successively, BSR ACE Gran Canaria took the lead and closed the second period at 25-30 and the third at 38-41. After another tie at 3 minutes from the end of the game, BSR Amiab Albacete took the lead again and closed the game at 71-95. Points and total rebound leaders were Lee Manning and Alejandro Zarzuela from BSR Amiab Albacete.

7th place for Baskets96 Rahden after defeating GSD Porto Torres 78-43
After a close game in the first period (14-15), Baskets96 Rahden took the lead of the match and closed the first half at 37-17. In the second period, GSD Porto Torres was only able to score two free shots by Giovanni Pietro Simula and Soufyane Mehiaoui, total rebounds leader. Baskets96 Rahden closed the third period with a 30 points gap at 57-27. Two 3-points shots were scored by Mustafa Korkmaz, points and assists leader, in the last 22 seconds which secured the final score of 78-43.
This game was also the last one for Tarik Cajo, Baskets96 Rahden. Tarik has played wheelchair basketball since 1995 and at high-level in the last 20 years. We wish him well in his retirement.

Special measures were prepared to ensure the Champions Cup proceeded with safety and the health of everyone participating in mind. Regular testing for coronavirus was mandatory for everyone involved and the participants formed a ‘bubble’ with no contact outside the hotel and arena. In total 1212 negative tests were taken and hand sanitizers were available everywhere. Following strict hygienic concept, the spectators were not allowed, they were able to follow the event thanks to commentators and approximately 200 meters of cable installed for the livestream.

We are happy we were able to organize the Champions Cup 2021 in these difficult times and want to thank all people that made it possible. A big thanks to the participating clubs, volunteers, ITOs and all involved to make the Champions Cup 2021 happen!