Pesic talks stepping down / ALBA first place in all-time standings / Bamberg lock up playoff spot
— 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:
Bamberg lock up playoff spot with 16th straight win - with Germans shining
Brose Baskets Bamberg became the first team to lock up a spot in the Beko BBL playoffs by racing past GIESSEN 46ers 82-58. Bamberg got strong outings from their German players in picking up their 16th straight win to move to 23-2. Lucca Staiger and Elias Harris led Bamberg in scoring with 15 points each while Patrick Heckmann added 12 points. Gabe Olaseni paced Giessen with 12 points, including this big dunk.
Chikoko saves Bayern in win over SKYLINERS
Bayern Munich remained in second place in the Beko BBL with a big 78-76 home victory over FRAPORT SKYLINERS with new acquisition Vitalis Chikoko playing a crucial role. The Zimbabwean power forward scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and Anton Gavel hit the game deciding free throws with 8 seconds left as Bayern improved to 19-6 in the league - the same record as EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Frankfurt dropped their third game in the last five contests and are sixth at 17-8, though they are just one victory from home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Check out Chikoko coming up big in the fourth quarter.
Pesic talks stepping down at season end as Bayern coach
Bayern Munich coach Svetislav Pesic was disqualified from the game with his second technical foul and the veteran coach told media afterwards that he is seriously considering quitting at the season's end - apparently because he believes German referees have it out for him.
ALBA take over first place in all-time standings
ALBA BERLIN are fifth in the Beko BBL standings but their 80-64 win at WALTER Tigers Tübingen put ALBA in first place in the all-time standings in league history. Alba moved to 1765 points and grabbed sole possession of first place as Bayern Giants Leverksen had collected 1763 points. Congrats to ALBA BERLIN. Here is the top ten.
MBC move closer to safe zone with third straight win
Mitteldeutscher BC were just about given up for dead three weeks ago with a 2-20 record. Fast forward three weeks and MBC have beaten BG Göttingen 83-77 for their third straight victory and have given themselves life in the relegation battle. TaShawn Thomas came up with a monster double-double with 22 points and 16 rebounds as MBC pulled even with 5-19 Crailsheim Merlins with victories at 5-20. A trio of teams - Eisbären Bremerhaven, WALTER Tigers Tübingen and Göttingen - are just one win away at 6-19. Check out MBC’s Dominique Johnson going up to throw it down.
Finn Iisalo called on to save Crailsheim as new head coach
Crailsheim's fate in the Beko BBL is now in the hands of Tuomas Iisalo, who has taken over as new head coach of the struggling club. The 33-year-old Finn moves into the job after his predecessor Ingo Enskat asked club management to bring in someone new to add a new impulse to the team, which has lost nine games in a row. Iisalo, who played 57 games for the Finnish national team, last coached Finnish top flight side Tapiolan Honka.
Player of the Week
TaShawn Thomas had the top game of the week in MBC’s win over Göttingen with 22 points on 8-of-12 shots and 6-of-7 free throws to go with 16 rebounds, one assist, one steal and four blocks and one turnover for an efficiency of 38.
German Top Five of the Week
F: Patrick Heckmann, Brose Baskets Bamberg
This is going to be a very big line-up that would never work but so many German bigs played so well. Let's start the week with Heckmann, who had 12 points on 4-of-9 shots and 3-of-4 free throws to go with six rebounds, two assists and two steals against Giessen.
F: Adam Waleskowski, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg
Waleskowski had a strong all-around game with 16 points on 7-of-11 shots as well as four rebounds, four assists and four steals vs Eisbären Bremerhaven.
C: Johannes Voigtmann, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
JoVo had two games this week as he picked up 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists against Bayern Munich as well as collecting 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and one steal versus Giessen.
C: Andi Seiferth, medi bayreuth
Seiferth continues his excellent run of games with 20 points on 10-of-15 shots while adding four rebounds, two assists and two blocks versus ratiopharm ulm.
C: Bogdan Radosavljevic, WALTER Tigers Tübingen
Radosavljevic finds his way into this list again with 12 points, six rebounds and three blocks against Berlin. He also had this nice highlight
Niklas Geske, 21, PG, Phoenix Hagen
Geske tried his best but could not keep Hagen from losing at Telekom Baskets Bonn as the 21-year-old picked up eight points on 3-of-9 shots and 1-of-3 free throws to go with four rebounds, three assists and one steal in 20:23 minutes.
Jonas Grof, 19, SG, Phoenix Hagen
Grof was solid versus Bonn with four points on 1-of-3 shots and 2-of-2 free throws, four rebounds, one steal, one turnover in 16:49 minutes of action.
Aleksej Nikolic, 21, PG, Brose Baskets Bamberg
The 21-year-old Slovenian got plenty of playing time against Giessen with 25:25 minutes and he was very productive with 10 points, four rebounds and five assists.
Mahir Agva once again was productive in his minutes on the court for WALTER Tigers Tübingen with four points on 2-of-2 shots and two rebounds in 10:56 minutes against Berlin.
The NCAA Tournament is tipping off and there are seven Germans to root for. Moritz Wagner plays for Michigan, Kenneth Ogbe is at Utah, Roland Nyama plays for Stony Brook, Providence includes Tyree Chambers, Gavin Schilling has a chance at the title with Michigan State, Dom Uhl is with Iowa and St. Joseph’s has Javon Baumann.