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Ludwigsburg has Berlin’s number / ALLSTAR Game: Loesing for Giffey/ Rödl to take over national team © Julia Rahn

Ludwigsburg has Berlin’s number / ALLSTAR Game: Loesing for Giffey/ Rödl to take over national team

— David Hein

MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg beat ALBA BERLIN again while Phoenix Hagen showed how to erase a 20-point deficit and Eisbären Bremerhaven finally won at home. Plus the field is set for the Beko BBL TOP FOUR and big games from some German veterans.

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:

Ludwigsburg has Berlin’s number

ALBA BERLIN have lost nine games total this season - four in the Beko BBL and five in the Eurocup. One-third of those losses have come against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg as John Patrick’s team followed up two Eurocup wins over Berlin with a 90-80 victory in the league. It was actually Berlin’s closest result against Ludwigsburg this season after losses of 19 and 11 points internationally.

20 points down? No problem for Hagen

Phoenix Hagen have been playing well of late and showed why against fellow playoffs contender Basketball Löwen Braunschweig, coming back from a 20-point third quarter deficit to win comfortably 85-72. Hagen trailed 57-37 with seven minutes left in the third quarter but cut it to a one-point game in the period and grabbed the lead 65-64 early in the fourth. It was Hagen’s sixth win in the last eight games and keeps them right on the edge of the playoffs at 9-8 - even with eighth placed ratiopharm ulm and 10th placed Braunschweig.

Finally home sweet home for Bremerhaven

Home is usually where teams play the best but Eisbären Bremerhaven lost their first seven games at the 1. Stadthalle Bremerhaven this season, while winning three of nine games on the road. Bremerhaven finally gave their home fans a reason to celebrate with a 73-71 victory over medi bayreuth for the first home win of the season.

Stats Corner

Three teams broke the 100-point barrier in Round 17 with Bayern Munich beating ratiopharm ulm 101-85, EWE Baskets Oldenburg racing past WALTER Tigers Tübingen 103-72, and Brose Baskets Bamberg bouncing Telekom Baskets Bonn 109-72. It was the second time this season that three teams scored at least 100 points in a week after Giessen, Bayern and Bonn did so in Round 6. All told, the 100-point mark has been eclipsed 19 times this season by 10 different teams. Bayern have done it four times already and Hagen three times.

Stats Corner II

The art of the assist - brought to the Beko BBL by Phoenix Hagen and Telekom Baskets Bonn. The teams combined for 65 baskets in Hagen’s 106-80 victory, and 60 (!) of them came off assists.

Player(s) of the Week(s)

This week saw two rounds of games so there are two honors to pass out. Round 16’s Player of the Week went to Alvaro Munoz of MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg as the Spaniard collected 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting including 5-of-7 threes and 2-of-3 free throws to go with four rebounds, five assists, one steal and one turnover for an efficiency of 31 in the win over Crailsheim Merlins. Round 17 saw three players match the top efficiency of 30. Bayern Munich captain Bryce Taylor collected 22 points on 7-of-11 shots and 5-of-5 free throws along with eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and zero turnovers against Ulm. Daniel Theis picked up 19 points on 5-of-7 shots and 7-of-7 free throws as well as nine rebounds, one assist, three blocks and zero turnovers versus Bonn. And Johannes Voigtmann had a double-double of 19 points (on 8-of-10 shots and 3-of-4 free throws) and 12 rebounds as well as three assists, one block and two turnovers against Crailsheim

Loesing replaces injured Giffey at ALLSTAR Game; Savanovic in Three-Point Shootout

Brad Loesing was rewarded for his break-out season with MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg as he was named to replace the injured Niels Giffey in the Nationals team in the Beko BBL ALLSTAR Game. The ALBA BERLIN German international Giffey will miss the event with a left foot injury. Replacing Giffey in the Three-Point Shootout will be Bayern Munich’s Dusko Savanovic.

Beko BBL TOP FOUR field set - draw at All-Star Day

The six-team field for the Beko BBL TOP FOUR qualification round is set with the draw for the January 23-24 qualification games to be made at the Beko BBL ALLSTAR Day. Brose Baskets Bamberg, EWE Baskets Oldenburg, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg, ALBA BERLIN, s.oliver Baskets Würzburg and FRAPORT SKYLINERS will fight for the three spots at the TOP FOUR on February 20-21 along with hosts Bayern Munich.

Kerron Johnson joins Ludwigsburg, rumors surrounding Shakur

Ludwigsburg welcomed back one of the most exciting players from last season as Kerron Johnson rejoined the team on a two-month contract with an option for the remainder of the season. Johnson didn’t waste any time in playing a major role in Ludwigsburg’s game as the 25-year-old collected 10 points, two rebounds and seven assists against Crailsheim. He had 20 points and three assists versus Berlin. The arrival of Johnson, who averaged 14.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.1 steals last season, created questions about a possible departure of a Ludwigsburg player as the team now has eight foreigners for six spots in the league. Media reports began swirling around playmaker Mustafa Shakur, who has not played since December 27.

Bonn bring in Gates to fill center hole after Klimavicius injury

Telekom Baskets Bonn filled the hole in the middle of their team left by the injury to Tadas Klimavicius by signing center Yancy Gates until the end of the season. The 26-year-old Gates comes to Bonn from Israeli club Hapoel Jerusalem and the big athletic center has also played this season with Chinese side Shanxi Zhongyu.

Three players leave MBC

Changes continued at last placed Mitteldeutscher BC as three players left the team following the departure of Silvano Poropat and arrival of Predrag Krunic as head coach. Nikola Dragovic used a buy-out clause in his contract and signed with Italian club Vanoli Cremona while 21-year-old Sören Fritze moved to ProB side EN Baskets Schelm. Lance Jeter asked to leave MBC to return to the United States to be with his wife.

German Top Five of the Week


Klein struggled a bit with his shot but still had some strong production for Frankfurt. Against MBC, Klein scored 15 points on 2-of-8 shots and 9-of-10 free throws while also picking up five rebounds, eight assists, three steals and three turnovers. Against Crailsheim, he had four points on 2-of-7 shots along with one rebound, five assists and one turnover.

F: Benjamin Lischka, GIESSEN 46ers

This line-up is going to be unconventional but it was outstanding this week. Lischka set career highs with 15 points (on 3-of-5 shots and 7-of-8 free throws) and six rebounds against Oldenburg. Against Göttingen, the 26-year-old had 14 points on 5-of-7 shots and 2-of-2 free throws while also picking up four rebounds, one assist and one steal.

F: Steve Wachalski, medi bayreuth

Wachalski scored nine points against Göttingen on 2-of-6 shots and 5-of-6 free throws to go with seven rebounds and two assists. And he followed that up with a career high 28 points against Bremerhaven on 11-of-16 shots including four three-pointers while also picking up two rebounds and one block.

F: Adam Waleskowski, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg

Waleskowski scored 13 points on 6-of-9 shots against Crailsheim to go with seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks. The veteran poured in 22 points on 8-of-11 shots as well as two rebounds and one steal in the team’s win over Berlin.

C: Johannes Voigtmann, FRAPORT SKYLINERS

JoVo returns with two more excellent performances. Against MBC, he had 15 points on 6-of-10 shots as well as five rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block. He was even better against Crailsheim with a Player of the Week showing of 19 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and this block.

Young Guns

Paul Zipser, 21, SF, Bayern Munich

Zipser had a strong game against Tübingen with 11 points on 3-of-8 shooting and 4-of-4 free throws while also picking up three rebounds, one assist, four steals and two turnovers in 23:48 minutes. Zipser was not as successful against Ulm with two points on 0-of-3 shots and 2-of-2 free throws. He did add four rebounds, one assist and two turnovers in 12:49 minutes.

Niklas Geske, 21, PG, Phoenix Hagen

Geske scored seven points against Bonn on 2-of-3 shots and 2-of-2 free throws while picking up one rebound, five assists and one turnover in 12:45 minutes. Against Braunschweig, he had two points on 1-of-1 shots with one rebound, one assist and three turnovers in 9:44 minutes.

Jonas Grof, 19, PG, Phoenix Hagen

Grof picked up 0 points in missing two shots while grabbing three rebounds, one block and one turnover in 8:17 minutes against Bonn. Grof tallied seven points on 3-of-6 and 1-of-1 three-pointers with four rebounds and two turnovers against Braunschweig. In two career games against Braunschweig, Grof is 2-of-2 from three-point range. He is 0-of-4 from outside for the rest of his career.

Agva Watch

Mahir Agva had one good game and a subpar one this week for Tübingen. The 19-year-old center had 14 points on 6-of-11 shots and 2-of-2 free throws as well as one rebound, two assists and one turnover in 22:59 minutes against Bayern. Against Oldenburg, Agva scored two points on 1-of-4 shots with two rebounds, two assists, one block and two turnovers in 14:14 minutes.

Huff talks about Ludwigsburg's stability 

Shawn Huff of MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg talks to Sport Eagle TV about his road to the Beko BBL and the team's stability over the years.

German Overseas

Heiko Schaffartzik put on a show at the French LNB All-Star Day as he won the Three-Point Shootout with 20 points. But Schaffartzik could not help Team International from losing the All-Star Game to Team France 146-119. Click here to watch his performance!

Rödl to take over German national team in 2017 - report says

The German Basketball Federation (DBB) has apparently agreed to have Henrik Rödl take over as senior national team head coach starting in 2017, according to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The DBB has not confirmed the report. The 46-year-old Rödl, who guided the A2 German team to second place at this summer’s Universiade, will remain Chris Fleming’s assistant until then, according to the FAZ. Rödl received a contract with the DBB on January 1 as a full-time youth coach.

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