In this basketball season, the Upper Austria derby between the OCS Swans Gmunden and the Raiffeisen Flyers Wels also deserves the “top game” award. The second in the standings meets fourth in the 103rd duel between local rivals on Sunday (5:30 p.m.). This is not the only reason why they should be favored again this time.
The Gmundners, who are worried about the use of top scorer Urald King (flu infection), have had a run and have won no fewer than 19 of their 20 competitive games since November 26th. Only against BC Vienna was there a 82:95 defeat – against the leader who also taught the Welsers a lesson last Sunday. The sting of the 72:104 bankruptcy was deep, but the focus has long been on the derby. “Top game follows top game. If we want to think about success, our performance has to be significantly better. We will do everything we can to not make it easy for Gmunden,” assured Flyers coach Sebastian Waser, who is in the top with his team 4 want to claim. Should that happen, home advantage in the play-off quarter-finals would be guaranteed.
“I’m expecting an energetic derby with a great atmosphere,” said Wels captain Christian von Fintel. As Gmunden’s CFO Harald Stelzer confirmed, ticket sales are going well. An almost full Raiffeisen sports park is to be expected. Of course, Swans trainer Anton Mirolybov also likes it: “The matches against Wels are special – and usually very intense,” explained the Finn, who still has a spotless record at local level with his team this season – 87:67 in Gmunden, 98:87 in Wels, where Waser disliked the petty interpretation of the rules by the referees. Let’s see where the ball rolls tomorrow.