Ulm finally beats Bamberg / Berlin celebrate 1000th victory / Per Günther extend deal to 2019
— David Hein
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:
Ulm take down champs, first win over Bamberg since December 2013
And down go the champs: ratiopharm ulm handed reigning easyCredit BBL champions Brose Bamberg their first loss of the season with an impressive showing at home, winning 78-63 and making Ulm the last undefeated team in the league at 12-0. Ulm never trailed and led by double digits for most of the second half, spurred on by a great performance from Tim Ohlbrecht off the bench with 19 points. Raymar Morgan added 12 points and 10 rebounds despite a slight injury as Ulm beat Bamberg for the first time since December 2013. Bamberg, for their part, never found their rhythm offensively in shooting just 20 percent from long range and turning the ball over 16 times as their 26-game winning streak in the league was snapped and they dropped to 13-1. Sure, it’s just one game, but Ulm showed everyone - especially themselves - that on a good day, they can knock off the champs. Mark down March 26 in your calendar - that’s Bamberg’s chance at BBL revenge when Ulm come to town.
Leibenath, Günther show commitment to Ulm, extend deals to 2019
The big showdown between ratiopharm ulm and Brose Bamberg had a big highlight beforehand as Per Günther announced to the ratiopharm arena crowd that he had extended his deal and would remain with the club until 2019. That comes on the heels of head coach Thorsten Leibenath and the club agreeing to an extension until 2019 late last week.
Bayreuth return to winning ways, book spot in TOP FOUR qualifiers
medi bayreuth bounced back from their loss at Bayern Munich with a hard-fought 84-76 victory at home over BG Göttingen to return to their winning ways and lock up a spot in the qualification for the TOP FOUR. Bayreuth had their 10-game winning streak snapped against Bayern but Raoul Korner’s men have now won six straight games at home with Trey Lewis pouring in 22 points and Assem Marei picking up 20 points and seven rebounds. Bayreuth improved to 11-2 for third place while Göttingen are 5-7 still in the hunt for the playoffs.
Bayern lose at Bonn, roll past Frankfurt
Bayern Munich jumped ahead of the schedule with a Round 15 date at Telekom Baskets Bonn and Sasa Djordjevic’s team came back with their tails between their legs with a 95-83 defeat. It was their second loss of the season as they could not stop Bonn’s Ryan Thompson, who poured in 32 points. Bayern came back a few days later and knocked off FRAPORT SKYLINERS on the road 77-57 to improve to 10-2. Bayern actually gave up a 16-point second quarter lead as Frankfurt led for a time in the third quarter. But Munich rolled the rest of the way thanks to 22 points from Bryce Taylor. Frankfurt dropped to 4-10 after having snapped a 7-game losing streak the week before.
Bonn need overtime to take down Vechta
Telekom Baskets Bonn meanwhile have picked up four wins in five games and are fifth in the standings at 8-5 after needing overtime to hold off 17th-placed RASTA Vechta 88-83 at home. Julian Gamble was the man for Bonn with 21 points, six rebounds and three blocks, but the dunk of the day belonged to Ryan Thompson:
Jena grab another big win in fight against relegation
Talking about overtime, Science City Jena went to OT and grabbed another big win in their fight against relegation by knocking off WALTER Tigers Tübingen at home 82-79. Marcos Knight came off the bench for 21 points while four of the five starters scored in double digits as Jena improved to 4-8 while Tübingen are 3-9 after five losses in last six games. Over the last five games, Jena have beaten Basketball Löwen Braunschweig, s.Oliver Würzburg and Tübingen. Würzburg also are 3-9 while Braunschweig are 2-10. So Jena are coming up with big wins over the teams they need to beat - thanks also to veterans like Immanuel McElroy.
Ludwigsburg get big win in playoff battle
MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg did not need overtime but they definitely needed to survive a tough battle in an important game in the hunt for the playoffs. In a game that was tight throughout, Ludwigsburg picked up a 68-62 win at GIESSEN 46ers with new acquisition Drew Crawford coming off the bench for 14 points and seven rebounds. Going into the game with the same record, Ludwigsburg are now 7-6 in eighth place with the final playoff spot if the regular season ended today and Giessen are 6-7.
Berlin celebrate 1000th victory in club history
One more game to look at this week is ALBA BERLIN’s 97-71 win over Eisbären Bremerhaven. Malcolm Miller scored a team-high 15 points off the bench, but more importantly it was Berlin’s 1000th victory in club history. Congrats to ALBA BERLIN!
Player of the Week
Since Ryan Thompson’s performance came in a Round 15 game for Bonn, this week’s Player of the Week goes to medi bayreuth’s Assem Marei, who had an efficiency of 26 in the team’s tough win over BG Göttingen. The Egyptian big man picked up 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting and 4-of-4 free throws to go with seven rebounds, one assist, four steals and two blocks.
Berlin add English, Freese back home to Oldenburg, Machado out at Vechta
There were a couple of moves in the easyCredit BBL. The biggest addition was ALBA BERLIN signing Carl English until the end of the season. The 35-year-old veteran Canadian arrives in Berlin after leaving Spanish club Iberostar Teneriffa. The shooting guard has played most of career in Spain. Berlin needed to make room for English and parted ways with Dominique Johnson. EWE Baskets Oldenburg meanwhile picked up a back-up to center Brian Qvale in bringing in German big man Jannik Freese until the end of the season. The 30-year-old Freese is returning home to his native Oldenburg from Basketball Löwen Braunschweig. The other move made this week was RASTA Vechta cutting ties with point guard Scott Machado and looking for a new playmaker. Here is a chance to meet the latest addition to ALBA BERLIN.
Debutants galore as ALLSTAR team rosters filled
The ALLSTAR Game 2017 will be new territory for many of the players in the game as the coaches of the National and International teams filled their rosters. National team coach Thorsten Leibenath of ratiopharm ulm and International team boss Raoul Korner both nominated the seven remaining players for their teams. Three of Leibenath’s reserve players will be making their ALLSTAR debuts in Steve Wachalski of medi bayreuth, WALTER Tigers Tübingen’s Isaiah Philmore and Johannes Thiemann of MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg - just like Brose Bamberg’s Maodo Lo, who was voted into the National starting five by the fans. The other Nationals brought into the team by Leibenath are Niels Giffey of ALBA BERLIN, s.Oliver Würzburg’s Maurice Stuckey, Danilo Barthel of Bayern Munich and Brose Bamberg’s Patrick Heckmann. The Internationals will have eight first time ALLSTARS including starters Nicolo Melli of Brose Bamberg and ratiopharm ulm’s Chris Babb. The other debutants are Ryan Thompson of Telekom Baskets Bonn, ALBA BERLIN’s Elmedin Kikanovic, Marcos Knight of Science City Jena, Trey Lewis of medi bayreuth, Cameron Wells of GIESSEN 46ers and MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg’s Jack Cooley. The other International reserve is six-time veteran Julius Jenkins of Science City Jena.
German Top Five of the Week
G: Bastian Doreth, medi bayreuth
Doreth played a strong game for Bayreuth in getting the team back in the winning column with 7 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists without a turnover against BG Göttingen.
F: Adam Waleskowski, BG Göttingen
Waleskowski did a good job keeping the ball moving for Göttingen against medi bayreuth with 7 assists to go with 8 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block.
F: Christian Standhardinger, RASTA Vechta
This week’s big lineup continues with Standhardinger, who picked up 12 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block for Vechta in an overtime loss to Telekom Baskets Bonn
F: Daniel Theis, Brose Bamberg
Theis also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to go with 1 block in Bamberg’s loss at ratiopharm ulm.
C: Tim Ohlbrecht, ratiopharm ulm
Ohlbrecht had a great game in Ulm’s big victory over Brose Bamberg with 19 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal.
Max Ugrai, 21, PF, s.Oliver Würzburg
Ugrai continues to start for Würzburg and even though he did’t score in missing his two shots, the power forward did other things including getting 6 rebounds and 1 assist in 19:45 minutes.
Ismet Akpinar, 21, PG, ALBA BERLIN
Akpinar came off the bench and scored 11 points in 15:50 minutes against Eisbären Bremerhaven to go with 2 rebounds.
Andreas Obst, 20, PG, GIESSEN 46ers
Obst picked up 5 points on 2-of-4 shooting and 1 rebound in 12:14 minutes for Giessen against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg.
Niklas Kiel started again for FRAPORT SKYLINERS against Bayern Munich and scored 2 points on 1-of-2 shots with 1 assist, 3 turnovers and 3 fouls in 12:04 minutes.
Richard Freudenberg has made it to ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 with a big block for St. John’s against Fordham. Freudenberg hasn’t really been producing a lot of offense just yet but he is playing double digit minutes in the last four games.