Berlin, Bamberg und Bayern keep winning, four clubs extend coaches, Germany mourns death of Welp
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:
Bamberg win 14th in a row, Bayern grab eighth straight victory
The big three Bs continue to dominate the Beko BBL as Brose Baskets won their 14th straight game to lead the league, a half-game ahead of both ALBA BERLIN and Bayern Munich, who are 21-4 to Bamberg’s 21-3. Bamberg out-scored Hagen 23-8 in the fourth quarter to win 70-57. Bayern took their frustration of their Eurocup blowout loss against Valencia out on Mitteldeutscher BC with a 95-59 blowout victory – Munich’s eighth straight win. Berlin rushed back from a seven-point deficit with four minutes left to beat BG Göttingen 86-81. Niels Giffey hit three three-pointers in the final 2:30 minutes to secure the win. See for yourself.
Ludwigsburg on a roll
Things are starting to look up again for MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg as John Patrick’s team are seventh in the playoff standings with a 13-12 record after beating medi bayreuth 93-67. It was Ludwigsburg’s ninth win in the last 11 games. And Jon Brockman is a big part of the club’s success:
Artland drop out of playoff ranks, SKYLINERS still can’t win in Bonn, Stats Corner
Don’t look now but Artland Dragons have dropped out of the playoff spots. They lost at home to Basketball Löwen Braunschweig 78-75 for their third loss in the last four games to fall to 10th place at 12-13. FRAPORT SKYLINERS meanwhile are in eighth place despite losing 76-70 at Telekom Baskets Bonn, who are fourth in the league at 16-8 after five straight wins. Frankfurt have not won in Bonn since January 2005. A big three by Benas Veikalas helped Bonn grab the victory.
Anderson with game winner for Trier over Tübingen
TBB Trier came up with a huge victory in their fight against relegation as Jermaine Anderson nailed a jumper with 7.0 seconds left to give Trier a 79-76 win over WALTER Tigers Tübingen to remain two games ahead of 17th placed Eisbären Bremerhaven. Here the drama at the end of the game.
Trier’s Jermaine duo on Basketball Insiders
The guys at SportEagle TV grabbed the Canadian Jermaine duo from TBB Trier – Jermaine Bucknor and Jermaine Anderson.
Ramsey vs Mbakwe – battle at the rim
Going back to that Hagen-Bamberg game – Bamberg’s Trevor Mbakwe is fifth in the Beko BBL with 1.5 blocks per game. Keith Ramsey of Hagen is one of the most explosive players above the rim in the league. See what happens when the two meet in the air:
Berlin snap streak – thanks to Redding
Before ALBA BERLIN needed Giffey’s heroics to get past Göttingen, the club needed some heroics from Reggie Redding to hold off Basketball Löwen Braunschweig. Redding blocked Derrick Allen’s late layup attempt which led to a breakaway layup by Akeem Vargas to secure the 71-64 victory. Here the decisive scene of the game.
Don’t blame Phoenix Hagen if they complain about home. Ingo Freyer’s team lost to Bamberg to drop to an amazing 2-11 at home this season. Overall, Hagen are 9-16 and closer to the relegation zone than the playoffs. Cellar dwellers Crailsheim Merlins have the second-worst home record at 3-9. Every other club has at least five victories on their home court. Hagen lost their first seven home games until the infamous Crailsheim contest – where the team couldn’t make it to Hagen in time because of snow and traffic. Hagen won their next home game – against Tübingen – but now have lost four straight. The last three home losses have all been by at least 12 points.
Germany, basketball world mourns death of European champ Welp
German basketball fans – and the rest of the basketball world – mourned the loss of one of the country’s biggest heroes as 1993 European champion and former NBA player Christian Welp died of a heart attack at age 51. Welp was the man who dunked and then converted the game-winning free throw in the waning seconds of Germany’s 71-70 win over Soviet Union in the 1993 European Championship final – for Germany’s only European title.
Welp played in 109 games in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors. Welp remains the University of Washington’s all-time leading scorer (2,073 points). As a professional in Europe, he won six German championships with Bayer Leverkusen (1991-96) and ALBA BERLIN (1998), three German Cups (1991, 1993, 1995) as well as the 1997 Euroleague title with Olympiacos Piraeus in 1997. After finishing his playing career, he lived in Seattle with his wife and three children. Here the moment for which most fans will remember him forever:
Berlin vs Bamberg, Bonn vs Oldenburg in Beko BBL TOP FOUR 2015
The Beko BBL TOP FOUR is set as Beko BBL leaders Brose Baskets will take on reigning cup champions ALBA BERLIN at 5 p.m. and hosts EWE Baskets Oldenburg will face Telekom Baskets Bonn at 8 p.m. on April 11. The winners will square off at 2 p.m. on April 12 to decide the 2015 winners. There’s a good bet you see at least one Ryan Brooks dunk there.
Pesic to stay with Bayern until 2017
With the Beko BBL regular season coming into the home stretch, reigning Beko BBL champions Bayern Munich cleared up a major personnel question as they locked up head coach Svetislav Pesic with an extension for two years until 2017. The 65-year-old coach’s contract was to expire at the end of the season. He had been Munich’s coach since November 2012. Here is a video about his thoughts on building a team.
Hagen, Braunschweig, Crailsheim extend with coaches
Bayern Munich was not the only club to extend with their coach. Basketball Löwen Braunschweig, Phoenix Hagen and Crailsheim Merlins all decided to retain their head coaches beyond this season. Braunschweig will keep head coach Raoul Korner for one more season until 2016, with the Austrian’s contract also to keep him as the club’s sports director. Korner has been with Braunschweig since June 2013. Ingo Freyer will stay on as Phoenix Hagen head coach for two more seasons, extending his deal until 2017. The 44-year-old Freyer has coached Hagen since 2007. Despite being in last place in the Beko BBL standings, Crailsheim also locked up their coach. Merlins management extended their deal with Ingo Enskat for two more seasons until 2017 as well.
Bamberg sign Darius Miller, Ulm bring in Vougiokas, Bremerhaven welcome Liggins
The final transfer deadline brought some fireworks as some big clubs brought in some big players. Beko BBL leaders Brose Baskets added 24-year-old American small forward Darius Miller, who most recently played with the New Orleans Pelicans. ratiopharm ulm filled a huge hole in the middle of their team as they signed 29-year-old Greek international center Ian Vougioukas until the end of the season. New Eisbären Bremerhaven coach Muli Katzurin continued to rebuild his team by picking up wing player DeAndre Liggins, who was named the top defensive player in the NBA D-League in 2014. Bremerhaven made another move by releasing wing Tyrus McGee after the 22-year-old had scored about 12 points per game. MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg also made an addition as they agreed to terms with veteran forward Zach Morley, who knows the Beko BBL from his time with ALBA BERLIN. Here are some highlights from Liggins.
Player(s) of the Week(s)
There are two weeks of games to look back on, so there are two Players of the Week. Johannes Voigtmann had a great game against MBC as he scored a career-high 27 points on 10-of-12 shots and 7-of-7 free throws to go with seven rebounds, five assists, one steal, two blocks and three turnovers in 26:23 minutes for an efficiency of 37. Ludwigsburg’s DJ Kennedy picked up the top game in the 25th round with 27 points on 7-of-10 shots, 11-of-12 free throws, seven rebounds, two assists, three steals and one turnover for an efficiency of 30 against medi bayreuth. Here is JoVo on the Gimme Five Players of the Week:
As reported above, Johannes Voigtmann had a great game against MBC with a career-high 27 points on 10-of-12 shots and 7-of-7 free throws to go with seven rebounds, five assists, one steal, two blocks and three turnovers in 26:23 minutes. JoVo came back down to earth a bit in FRAPORT SKYLINERS’ loss to Bonn with two points on 1-of-5 shots, five rebounds, three assists, two turnovers and two fouls in 20:22 minutes. Here is JoVo going to coast to coast:
German Top Five of the Week
Here are the top five German players, featuring a Robin Benzing sighting.
G: Per Günther, ratiopharm ulm
Günther continues to have a strong season and he scored 12 points against both BG Göttingen and Bremerhaven. Against Göttingen, he made 4-of-8 shots and 2-of-2 free throws to go with seven assists and one turnover. Günther hit 3-of-7 from the field and 5-of-6 free throws against Bremerhaven with two rebounds and nine assists to just two turnovers.
G: David Brembly, medi bayreuth
Brembly nailed five three-pointers in scoring 17 points against Crailsheim Merlins as well as three rebounds and two assists. Against Ludwigsburg, he scored 16 points on 5-of-7 from the field and 5-of-7 free throws while also picking up three rebounds.
F: Niels Giffey, ALBA BERLIN
Giffey had a solid game against Braunschweig with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting and 2-of-2 free throws to go with seven rebounds and one assist. But he got his spot on the Top Five with his heroics against Göttingen, hitting all four of his three-pointers – including three in the final 2:30 minutes – for 14 points while also picking up four rebounds and one assist. Go here for a nice look at Giffey by the Euroleague.
F: Robin Benzing, Bayern Munich
Benzing scored 13 points against TBB Trier as he made 2-of-5 shots and 9-of-9 free throws while adding two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Against MBC, he tallied 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting and 2-of-2 free throws while chipping in two rebounds and two assists.
C: Tim Ohlbrecht, ratiopharm ulm
Ohlbrecht continues to be one of the most consistent big men in the country with two more solid games. Against Göttingen, he made 3-of-8 shots and 6-of-6 free throws for 12 points as well as two rebounds, one assist and two blocks. He picked up 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 6-of-6 free throws against Bremerhaven while also picking up five rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks. Here are Per and Tim in action for Ulm:
Niklas Geske/Fabian Bleck, 20/21, PG/SF, Phoenix Hagen
Hagen continue to give Geske and Bleck quality time as both youngsters were in the starting lineup against Ludwigsburg. Geske scored nine points on 3-of-13 shots and 1-2 free throws while also adding one rebound, eight assists, two steals and one turnover in 22:56 minutes. Bleck collected eight points – on 3-of-7 shots and 2-of-4 free throws – two rebounds, six assists and three steals in 23:24 minutes. The duo did not play as much against Bamberg, combining for two points on two Bleck free throws and 0-of-4 from the field, one rebound and four assists in 20:24 combined minutes.
Ismet Akpinar, 19, PG, ALBA BERLIN
With Clifford Hammonds still out injured, Akpinar remains the main back-up point guard and he played two solid games. Against Braunschweig, the 19-year-old had three points on 1-of-5 shots and 1-of-1 free throw to go with two rebounds, three assists, one steal and zero turnovers in 10:59 minutes. Against Göttingen, Akpinar hit two three-pointers for seven points as well as one rebound and one turnover in 10:57 minutes.
Daniel Mayr, 19, C, Bayern Munich
German U20 national team player Mayr made his Beko BBL debut as the big man played 5:59 minutes against TBB Trier, hitting his only field goal attempt and splitting 1-of-2 free throws for three points. The 19-year-old also blocked one shot.
Germans Overseas Watch
It’s been a while since we checked in on Maxi Kleber in Spain. The 23-year-old is still putting together solid games though he hasn’t scored in double digits the last three games – also missing all six of his three-point attempts. Kleber did grab 11 rebounds against Iberostar Tenerife and 12 boards against FIATC Joventut. All told, he is averaging 10.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in 24.4 minutes per game for Rio Natura Monbos Obradoiro.