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Berlin vs Bayern right around the corner / Little and Newson are back / TV commentators get ready with Lego basketball © Camera 4

Berlin vs Bayern right around the corner / Little and Newson are back / TV commentators get ready with Lego basketball

— Weekly news, David Hein

It’s the calm before the storm! Real basketball starts on Saturday with Champions Cup as Alba Berlin take on Bayern Munich. Berlin also become the first professional basketball club in Germany to get a Chinese main sponsor while John Little rejoins coach John Patrick – this time in Ludwigsburg.

In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the German Beko Basketball Bundesliga. If you’re short on time but still want your fill of Germany’s top basketball league then you are in the right place. Every week David Hein (www.heinnews.com) brings you up-to-date in German basketball – the Beko BBL short and sweet:

Countdown to Champions Cup

The wait is almost over! The Beko BBL regular season tips off on October 2, and before that cup winners ALBA BERLIN and league winners Bayern Munich will battle in the Beko BBL Champions Cup for the first title of the 2014-15 season in Berlin on September 27. Hosts Berlin have the better chances to repeat their Champions Cup crown. Not only will the contest be at their home o2 World arena but the host team has won the Champions Cup the past five seasons and six of the eight editions since it started in 2006. Berlin have won the title twice – also in 2008 - while RheinEnergie Cologne won in 2006 and the other five crowns went to Brose Baskets Bamberg. The game will be streamed live and for free on telekombasketball.de and here is the trailer looking ahead to the re-match of the 2014 Beko BBL finals.

ALBA BERLIN get Chinese jersey sponsor with Zhong De Metal Group

ALBA BERLIN have become the first professional basketball club in Germany to acquire a Chinese jersey sponsor by agreeing to a three-year deal with the Zhong De Metal Group. “Sino German Metal Eco City” will adorn the Berlin jerseys, a planned residential and commercial region for 150,000 people in Jieyang in the province of Kanton. While this deal took years to bring about, it’s unclear if and when Berlin want to bring any Chinese players to the Beko BBL.

Berlin lose Tabu for at least three months

Alba Berlin didn’t have good news on the court as they lost Belgium national team guard Jonathan Tabu for at least three months with a pectoral muscle tendon injury. The 28-year-old underwent surgery and could miss up to four months, meaning he will miss the entire regular season of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague for Berlin. The club reacted quickly and signed Croatian international big man Marko Banic for the whole season while also adding American shooting guard Alex Renfroe for three months. You may remember Renfroe from his time in Bamberg where he blocked a guy who went on to become a Euroleague Final Four MVP:

John Little hooks back up with Patrick, joins Ludwigsburg

MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg coach John Patrick has brought back a player he knows very well as John Little signed on a contract until the end of the season. Little played for Patrick on the 2010 EuroChallenge title winning BG Göttingen team and helped s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg to the Beko BBL semi-finals in 2012. Another player from both teams on Ludwigsburg’s roster is center Chris McNaughton while Adam Waleskowski played with Little in Göttingen.

Crailsheim add Jared Newson

Promoted team Crailsheim Merlins made their final acquisition of the pre-season as they signed swingman Jared Newson. The American has played for Leverkusen and Bamberg in Germany and returns to Germany after playing last season with Finnish team Joensun Kataja. In his time for Leverkusen the Beko BBL Slam Dunk champ from 2007 had one dunk described on YouTube as the “Greatest International Dunk Ever” – your opinion?:

Skyliners Finnish guard Koivisto talks about FIBA World Cup experience

FRAPORT SKYLINERS shooting guard Mikko Koivisto talks about playing for Finland at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and his goals and expectations for Frankfurt this season.

Register and get ready!

Part of the fun of the Beko BBL season is also the Manager game. Sign up and register and look for those great deals and compete with other fans.

SPORT1 gets free TV rights for Beko BBL games for two seasons

The German Deutsche Telekom group awarded previous broadcaster SPORT1 the free TV rights to show Beko BBL games for the next two seasons. SPORT1 will broadcast 48 games per season live and in HD. The agreement has SPORT1, which showed the FIBA World Cup and will broadcast the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and the NBA, broadcasting 34 regular season games and 14 playoff games. The games will be shown Sunday – either 3 p.m., 5 p.m. or 8:15 p.m. – with the first game being Bayern Munich against Mitteldeutscher BC on October 2 at 8:15 p.m. The next group of games to be shown: October 5 - Braunschweig vs Bamberg; October 8 – Munich vs Frankfurt; October 12 – Berlin vs Ulm; October 19 – Bonn vs Artland; November 2 – Trier vs Berlin; November 9 – Bonn vs Bamberg; November 16 – Munich vs Oldenburg.

ProA get livestream platform

Fans looking for more basketball online this season will get ProA games as well as the league hooked up with the DOSB (German Olympic Sports Association) to broadcast games via livestream.

Europe-high 50 NCAA rookies in German hoops

According to basketball worm blog, there are 50 rookies from colleges in the United States playing in Germany this season – Beko BBL (14), ProA (10), ProB (19) 1st Regionalliga (6) or 2nd Regionalliga (1). Germany is the biggest market in Europe, followed by Spain and Italy – easily seen by this chart

Tip off on October 2 - are you ready?

The Beko BBL tips off on October 2. Every game is available live, on demand and in HD online at telekombasketball.de. Are you ready for great games!?! Well, former two-time Beko BBL Coach of the Year Stefan Koch and famous German basketball TV commentator Frank Buschmann are definitely ready – as you can tell in these videos:

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