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Zipser bound for NBA Draft / Berlin reclaim first place, McLean wins MVP award / Video portrait: Bamberg coach Trinchieri up close © Rauchensteiner

Zipser bound for NBA Draft / Berlin reclaim first place, McLean wins MVP award / Video portrait: Bamberg coach Trinchieri up close

ALBA BERLIN reclaimed first place in the Beko BBL thanks in part to Bayern Munich beating Brose Baskets. The season awards were announced with Jamal McLean winning the MVP and Johannes Voigtmann winning two of trophies. Another talented youngster, Bayern’s Paul Zipser, will be entering the 2015 NBA Draft.

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:

Berlin take first place with seventh straight win

ALBA BERLIN continue to roll in the Beko BBL as they won at home over Phoenix Hagen 78-74 and at ratiopharm ulm 80-66 to run their winning streak to seven games. Those wins combined with a loss by Brose Baskets allowed Berlin to snatch first place with a 26-4 record.

Bayern beat Bamberg …

Reigning champions Bayern Munich did their part to help Berlin take over the lead as they beat Brose Baskets Bamberg 96-90, thanks to a 35-15 run from midway through the third quarter to midway through the fourth. Two big blocks by Trevor Mbakwe were not enough for Bamberg.

… but lose to Frankfurt, who book playoff spot

Bayern themselves were victim of a big second half run at FRAPORT SKYLINERS as Munich led 63-44 with 2:38 minutes left in the game. But Frankfurt answered with a 32-10 run to close the game with a 76-73 victory. The win - the team’s fifth in the last six games - secured SKYLINERS a spot in the Beko BBL playoffs. A huge reason for the win was Quantez Robert-son, who came up with two monster dunks:

Bamberg bounce back - send Crailsheim back to ProA

Brose Baskets bounced back with an emphatic 103-83 victory at Crailsheim Merlins - a loss which meant that Crailsheim would be relegated back down to the ProA. Bamberg remained second in the standings with a 25-5 record - one game behind ALBA BERLIN and one game ahead of Bayern Munich. Bamberg showed their style with points 99 and 100.

Trier beat Hagen to stay alive

With Crailsheim already going down, the question is if TBB Trier (7-21 - 14-42 points) can avoid the drop and send WALTER Tigers Tübingen (9-22 - 18-44 points) down. Trier stayed alive by beating Phoenix Hagen 77-70, coming back from 12 points down in the third quar-ter. Hagen dropped to 2-14 at home this season despite this block by Larry Gordon:

Playoff spots still up in air

While the relegation battle is between Trier and Tübingen, there are still four - possibly five - teams fighting for the remaining two playoff spots. SKYLINERS locked up a spot at 19-14 while EWE Oldenburg dropped their fourth game in the last six to fall to 17-14. MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg jumped to 16-16 while BG Göttingen and Basketball Löwen Braunschweig are both 15-16. Artland Dragons still have slim hopes at 14-17.

Berlin clean up top awards as McLean wins MVP title, Obradovic top coach

With the Beko BBL season winding down, it’s awards time and Beko BBL league leaders ALBA BERLIN took the biggest two awards. Power forward Jamal McLean was named the league Most Valuable Player and Sasa Obradovic was crowned as Coach of the Year. In a tight race, McLean won the MVP trophy with 109 votes from experts, coaches, team captains and selected media - three more than Bamberg’s Brad Wanamaker. BG Göttingen playmaker Khalid El-Amin was a distant third with 29 votes. McLean and Wanamaker top the Beko BBL All-First Team along with ALBA BERLIN’s Alex Renfroe, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg’s DJ Kennedy and Bayern’s John Bryant. The All-Second Team was El-Amin, Nihad Djedovic from Bayern, Bamberg’s Ryan Thompson, Göttingen’s Raymar Morgan and ratiopharm ulm center Tim Ohlbrecht. The Coach of the Year race was also a close one with Obradovic getting 88 votes while Göttingen’s John Roijakkers got 83 votes. FRAPORT SKYLINERS’ Gordon Herbert received 61 votes.

Kennedy named top offensive player, Hammonds top defender

Moving on with more awards, Ludwigsburg small forward DJ Kennedy was named as the Best Offensive Player and Clifford Hammonds of ALBA BERLIN won the Best Defensive Player award. Kennedy picked up 109 votes while Bamberg’s Brad Wanamaker was second with 32 points and Jamal McLean from Berlin was third with 29 points. Hammonds topped the defensive voting with 84 points to repeat his title from last season. Trevor Mbakwe from Bamberg was second with 70 points and Frankfurt’s Quantez Robertson was third with 36 points.

Voigtmann wins German Youth and Most Improved awards

Weekly News has been highlighting the efforts of SKYLINERS’ Johannes Voigtmann all season so it’s no surprise the 22-year-old cleaned up at the season-ending awards. JoVo won the Best German Youth Player honor as well as the Most Improved Player award. In the Youth German voting, Voigtmann picked up 53 points, finishing ahead of last season’s winner Daniel Theis with 38 points while medi bayreuth’s David Brembley had 20 points. Voigtmann grabbed the Most Improved title by holding off Akeem Vargas and Jamal McLean, both of ALBA BERLIN.

Look back at TOP FOUR in Oldenburg

How quick we move on. Here is a nice video review of the Beko BBL TOP FOUR in Oldenburg.

Bamberg coach Trinchieri up close

Speaking of nice videos, telekombasketball.de did a very good job in presenting Bamberg coach Andrea Trinchieri and what it’s like being a coach:

Life in Quakenbrück - brought to you by David Holston

Ever wonder what it’s like to live in Quakenbrück? Well, you're in luck because Vice Sports talked to Artland Dragons star David Holston.

Caloiaro and El-Amin show how to light it up

If you thought Khalid El-Amin scoring 17 points in a quarter was impressive for Göttingen, Telekom Baskets Bonn’s Angelo Caloiaro does him two better with 19 points in a quarter. Watch the highlights of both great performances.

Zipser enters draft - according to report

This week also saw the big news from Draft Express that Bayern’s talented 21-year-old shooting guard Paul Zipser would be entering the 2015 NBA Draft. Zipser seems like a per-fect second round pick for an NBA team to draft and stash and let him develop. He definitely needs to work on some of his skills - like this one.

Player(s) of the Week(s)

With the double round of games, there are two Players of the Week. Jon Brockman had a great game for Ludwigsburg against Braunschweig with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 5-of-7 free throws to go with 14 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one turnover for an efficiency of 30. Here also had this sort of alley oop from Michael Stockton.

The top performer from Round 31 was Augustine Rubit from Tübingen with 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 7-of-7 free throws as well as nine rebounds, one assist, one steal, one turnover and one block for an efficiency against Bonn. Included in his performance was this baseline dunk:


JoVo Watch

Once again two games for SKYLINERS and the two-time award winner Johannes Voigtmann again played well. Against Trier, the big man scored 23 points on 10-of-13 shots and 2-of-3 free throws while collecting nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and two turnovers for an efficiency of 28 in 28:28 minutes. JoVo played a big role in Frankfurt beating Bayern with eight points on 3-of-6 shots and 1-of-2 free throws, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and four turnovers in 31:31 minutes.

German Top Five of the (Double) Week

Here are the top five German players of the past two rounds of games, featuring a very small lineup (it’s my column!) and including two great showings off the bench by Nicolai Simon

G: Per Günther, ratiopharm ulm

Günther struggled shooting against Oldenburg with 4-of-10 shots as he collected 13 points, three rebounds, four assists, one steal and three turnovers. Against Berlin, he had seven points, seven assists, one steal and one turnover.

G: Nicolai Simon, Basketball Löwen Braunschweig

Simon shined off the Braunschweig bench with 16 points, three rebounds, two assists against Ludwigsburg. In the game against Bayreuth, Simon had 10 points and one rebound.

G: Anton Gavel, Bayern Munich

Gavel takes a third guard spot and he played well against his former team Bamberg with nine points, one rebound, five assists and five steals. He was solid against Frankfurt as well with 11 points, one rebound, three assists and one steal.

F: Niels Giffey, ALBA BERLIN

The small lineup continues with Giffey, who makes the team because of his good game against Hagen with 14 points on four three-pointers as well as seven rebounds and two as-sists. Against Ulm, he had three points, one assist and one steal.

F: Elias Harris, Brose Baskets

Harris continues to have a very efficient season as he collected 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting, 3-of-4 free throws to go with six rebounds, two assists, zero turnovers and two blocks against Bayern. Against Crailsheim, he had two points on 1-of-2 shooting with eight rebounds, one assist, one steal, two turnovers and one block.

Young Guns

Jonas Grof, 18, PG, and Niklas Geske, 21, PG, Phoenix Hagen

Hagen add another youngster who impresses while an “old hat” does it again. Coming into the game against Berlin with two previous games under his belt, the 18-year-old Grof col-lected eight points on 4-of-5 shooting with three rebounds, one assist and one turnover in 12:06 minutes. Against Trier, he went scoreless with two missed shots to go with two assists and one turnover in 12:42 minutes. Geske meanwhile picked up five points, two rebounds, three assists, one steal and three turnovers in 24:20 minutes against Berlin and five points, three rebounds, four assists and three turnovers in 20:48 minutes versus Trier.

Paul Zipser, 21, SG, Bayern Munich

Not only was he connected to the NBA Draft, Zipser also had two decent games for Munich. Against Bamberg, he had six points on 1-of-2 shooting and 4-of-4 free throws as well as three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one turnover in 13:23 minutes. In Frankfurt, Zipser had two points, one rebound, one steal and two turnovers in 14:17 minutes.

Mahir Agva, 18, C, WALTER Tigers Tübingen

In his third game of his Beko BBL career, the 18-year-old Agva started and scored three points on 0-of-1 shooting and 3-of-4 free throws to go with four rebounds and one steal in 10:24 minutes.

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