Berlin win six in a row / Frankfurt back on track? / Participants for Dunking Contest are set
— 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 remain unbeaten after win in Munich - without Günther
ratiopharm ulm’s impressive start to the season continued with a strong 87-79 victory at Bayern Munich to move to 15-0 atop the easyCredit BBL. The victory comes just two weeks after beating Brose Bamberg at home. Ulm also beat medi bayreuth in the opening game of the season. Not only did Ulm face Bayern without Per Günther, who sat out with a back problem, they also lost center Tim Ohlbrecht to likely a serious knee injury in the second quarter. Ohlbrecht banged knees with Bayern Nihad Djedovic and had to be helped off the court by his teammates and it’s unclear how long he will be out. Ulm were led by Raymar Morgan’s 21 points and four other Ulm players scored in double figures. Bayern dropped to 12-3 for third place despite 18 points from Vladimir Lucic.
Bamberg take down Bayreuth - in OT after wild ending
Brose Bamberg remained right behind Ulm with a 92-88 win in overtime with a wild end to regulation. Bamberg came back from a 12-point Bayreuth lead in the first quarter and led for most of the fourth quarter. But Bamberg needed a three-pointer from Janis Strelnieks with 0.7 seconds left for an 83-82 lead. On the ensuing in-bounds pass, referees ruled after reviewing the replay that Bamberg’s Nikos Zisis committed an unsportsmanlike foul on De’Mon Brooks. Bastian Doreth made just one of two free throws and Bayreuth failed to score on the possession, sending the game to overtime, where the champs showed their class. Nicolo Melli led the way with 21 points and Fabien Causeur added 16 points in the win for 15-1 Bamberg while Bayreuth dropped to 12-3 despite 23 points from Trey Lewis.
Berlin winning streak extends to six games
ALBA BERLIN have sole possession of fifth place at 10-5 after their sixth straight victory as they came back from a 17-point deficit to beat RASTA Vechta 83-74. While Berlin will play in the TOP FOUR qualification, Vechta dropped their ninth straight game for a 1-14 record - two victories from a non-relegation spot.
Bonn join TOP FOUR qualification
Telekom Baskets Bonn are a game back at 9-6 with an impressive 6-1 record at home after easing past GIESSEN 46ers 90-68. The victory secured Bonn’s spot in the TOP FOUR qualification as well. The field for the TOP FOUR qualification is complete with ratiopharm ulm, Brose Bamberg, Bayern Munich, medi bayreuth, Bonn and MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg.
Are Frankfurt back on track?
FRAPORT SKYLINERS knocked off Science City Jena 78-71 to improve to 5-10 as six players scored in double figures. Frankfurt have now won two of their last three games and are four games from the relegation zone and three games from a playoffs spot. Are the SKYLINERS finally back on track? Jena have now lost two in a row after three wins in their previous four games to drop to 5-10.
Braunschweig pick up big win in relegation battle
Basketball Löwen Braunschweig picked up an important victory in their fight against relegation by knocking off Eisbären Bremerhaven 77-61 thanks to 16 points in Jamal Boykin’s debut and a big 15-point, 14-rebound double-double from Dyshawn Pierre. Braunschweig, who snapped a five-game losing streak, are now two wins clear of RASTA Vechta in 16th place at 3-12 while Bremerhaven have lost five straight and are 4-11 in 14th place.
Odum, Würzburg prevail in battle with Ruoff, Göttingen
In a battle of teams fighting to remain on the edge of the playoffs, s.Oliver Würzburg prevailed over BG Göttingen 87-86 at home thanks to a Brandon Lane jumper with 20 seconds left and a Max Ugrai block at the buzzer. The game featured a great showdown between Würzburg’s Jake Odum, who had 25 points and Göttingen’s Alex Ruoff, who poured in 24 points in the loss. Würzburg improved to 5-10 while Göttingen dropped to 6-9.
Göttingen, Roijakkers extend deal to 2021
BG Göttingen locked up their head coaching spot for the long term as they agreed to a three-year extension with sports director and head coach Johan Roijakkers until 2021. The 36-year-old Dutch coach, who has been with the team since 2012, was excited about the advances in the club, including a basketball center in the works, and committed long term to Göttingen. The contract is valid for the easyCredit BBL and the ProA.
Bamberg reinforce guard position with experienced McNeal
Brose Bamberg gave themselves some reinforcements at the guard position by signing 29-year-old veteran guard Jerel McNeal on a two-month contract with an option until the end of the season. McNeal has played 6 games in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns but has played throughout Europe, including most recently with Aris Thessaloniki. He also played in Belgium, Italy and Spain as well as China.
Boykin returns to Germany with Braunschweig
Basketball Löwen Braunschweig have added a low post presence as they signed power forward Jamal Boykin until the end of the season. The 29-year-old Boykin, who played most recently with Shinshu Brave Warriors Nagano in Japan, returns to Germany as he played for BG Göttingen during the 2014-15 season as well as three games for s.Oliver Würzburg last season.
A.J. English arrives in Frankfurt as Scrubb replacement
FRAPORT SKYLINERS reacted to the news that Philip Scrubb would miss six to nine months with knee surgery and signed A.J. English until the end of the season. English is a rookie combo guard who played last season at Iona University before debuting with Italian top flight side Enel Brindisi. English’s arrival meant the departure of Ekene Ibekwe, whose tryout contract ran out at Christmas. Antonio Graves also has a contract only until the middle of January.
Bremerhaven sign Aleksandrov for relegation fight
Eisbären Bremerhaven have added some veteran leadership for the fight against relegation as they signed Nemanja Aleksandrov until the end of the season. The 29-year-old Aleksandrov, who played from 2013 to 2016 with EWE Baskets Oldenburg, was brought in to fill in for the injured Evan Smotrycz. Aleksandrov played most recently with Gaziantep in the Turkish top flight.
Tübingen bring on McClellan for two-month deal as Stewart fill-in
WALTER Tigers Tübingen found a temporary replacement for the injured Barry Stewart as they brought in rookie guard Eric McClellan. The 23-year-old was playing earlier this season with Belgian club Hubo Limburg United after having played for Gonzaga University last season.
Youngster Keßen moves to Oldenburg, Duggins has surgery
EWE Baskets Oldenburg have added a youngster into their system as 19-year-old center Marcel Keßen moved from bankrupt and relegated club Phoenix Hagen to Oldenburg. Keßen, who played in 10 BBL games this season for Hagen, will be assigned to Oldenburg’s youth team in the ProB. Oldenburg also got bad news regarding shooting guard Vaugh Duggins, who must undergo surgery on his ankle and could miss up to 12 weeks. The 29-year-old was hoping to avoid surgery with just treatment but now must go under the knife.
Horton vs Martin; Ulmer vs Amaize in Telekom Basketball Dunking-Contest
The Telekom Basketball Dunking-Contest line-up at the ALLSTAR Day is set as Kenneth Horton from Telekom Baskets Bonn will face off against Kelvin Martin of MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (video) while Lamonte Ulmer of s.Oliver Würzburg will dunk off against Robin Amaize of medi bayreuth (video) on January 14 in Bonn.
Player of the Week
Alex Ruoff did all he could for BG Göttingen but his 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting and 3-of-3 from the free throw line to go with 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 1 block for an efficiency of 31 was not enough against s.Oliver Würzburg.
German Top Five of the Week
G: Mauricio Marin, WALTER Tigers Tübingen
The 22-year-old Marin started for the first time in his career and scored a team-high - and career high - 17 points against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg with three three-pointers. The former Berlin and Bayern talent added 1 rebound and 2 assists in 32 minutes of action.
F: Max Ugrai, s.Oliver Würzburg
The youngster put up a great game against BG Göttingen with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocks - the latter being a career-high.
F: Christian Standhardinger, RASTA Vechta
Standhardinger is back on this team as he collected 14 points, 11 rebounds and 1 assist in Vechta’s loss against ALBA BERLIN.
C: Andreas Seiferth, medi bayreuth
Seiferth grabs the big man spot this time with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 1 block against Brose Bamberg.
F: Daniel Theis, Brose Bamberg
Theis also makes his way back onto this list with an outstanding showing against medi bayreuth as he picked up 11 points, 9 rebounds and a career-high 6 blocks in the overtime win.
The NBBL ALLSTAR Game rosters have been set and included are five players who played for Germany at the FIBA U18 European Championship - Oscar da Silva and Moritz Sanders from the South stars and Lars Lagerpusch, Marten Linßen and Philipp Herkenhoff for the North stars. Also at the U18 Euros tournament was Arnoldas Kulboka of Lithuania, who beat the Germans in the Semi-Finals and claimed the silver medal. Lagerpusch joins Niklas Bilski and Samuel Mpacko from Junior Löwen Braunschweig - the largest contingent from any one team. Herkenhoff and Nils Haßfurther are the only two non-1998-born players as both are from the 1999 generation.
Niklas Kiel finally broke through with another strong game for FRAPORT SKYLINERS as the 19-year-old power forward scored 12 points in the team’s win over Science City Jena. Kiel, who played 14:34 minutes, hit all three of his shots from the field - including both of of his three-pointers - and made all four of his free throws for the 12 points, which evened his career high. He also had 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block in the game.
Germany returned home from the FIBA U18 European Championship 2016 in Samsun mildly disappointed after finishing only fourth in Turkey. Isaiah Hartenstein was named to the All-Star Five but it wasn’t enough as Germany lost in the Semi-Finals to Lithuania and then fell to Spain in the third place game and return empty handed. The Germans, who also got a strong performance from Kostja Mushidi, reached the Semi-Finals for the first time since 1986.