Oldenburg’s “Qvality” too much for Bamberg / Würzburg’s playoff chances increase
— 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:
Oldenburg show their “Qvality” in snapping Bamberg streak, extending own record
EWE Baskets Oldenburg showed they are well in playoffs mode as they broke the century mark in grabbing an impressive 102-97 victory over first place Brose Baskets Bamberg and snapping Bamberg’s 20-game winning streak. Bamberg could not slow down Oldenburg’s Brian Qvale as the big man made 12-of-15 shots in scoring 31 points while Vaughn Duggins, Chris Kramer and Rickey Paulding combined for 56 more points. While Bamberg will look to start another winning streak, Oldenburg extended their club record mark to 12 wins in a row.
Oldenburg’s offense shot 59.3 percent against the vaunted number one defense of Bamberg with 18 assists and just nine turnovers. Oldenburg also out-rebounded Bamberg 31-24 while winning the free throw battle 24-of-32 (75 percent) to 16-of-19 (84 percent).
Bayern keep on winning, beat Ludwigsburg again
Oldenburg just cannot get over the hump that is Bayern Munich as they remain in third place in the Beko BBL standings at 24-6 as Bayern beat MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg 100-71 for their sixth straight win and a 24-6 mark. Bayern, who got 23 points from captain Bryce Taylor, hold the tiebreaker over Oldenburg. Munich have been a nightmare for Ludwigsburg, who are 1-13 all-time against Bayern and moved to 21-9 and now must be careful of getting passed by ALBA BERLIN for fifth place. Check out some of Bryce Taylor’s big plays.
Berlin cruise past Crailsheim without Loncar, Cherry
ALBA BERLIN picked up their second straight win to jump to 20-10 with a 90-68 home victory over last-placed Crailsheim Merlins. Berlin were without the suspended Kresimir Loncar and Will Cherry but it was no problem as Elmedin Kikanovic, Jordan Taylor and Brandon Ashley combined for 58 points in the win.
Würzburg playoff chances get boost with win, Giessen defeat
The eighth spot in the Beko BBL is not decided just yet but s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg took a big step towards reaching the post-season by beating Eisbären Bremerhaven 76-69 and watching as GIESSEN 46ers lost at ratiopharm ulm 87-71. Würzburg improved to 16-14 while Giessen are 15-15 after their second loss in three games. Since Würzburg own the tiebreaker, Giessen must finish a game ahead of Würzburg - meaning they must make up two wins with four games left. Würzburg’s final four games are against Telekom Baskets Bonn, at medi bayreuth, versus Bayern Munich and at BG Göttingen. Giessen will host WALTER Tigers Tübingen, go to MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg, welcome Göttingen and finish at Berlin.
Per scores 3,000th point, Ulm lose Brembly for rest of season
Ulm meanwhile are seventh with a 19-11 mark - one game behind ALBA BERLIN, who hold the tiebreaker - after the victory, in which Per Günther scored the 3,000th point of his Beko BBL career. Günther ranks 21st in league history, 10 points behind Bernd Kruel. Ulm however got some bad news as David Brembly broke his foot and will the remainder of the season.
Lawrence dishes assist No. 500 in Bonn win
Telekom Baskets Bonn will be happy when this season is over as they never found their rhythm after their long losing streak. Bonn did snap a four-game losing streak by beating medi bayreuth 85-69 at home. The highlight was Bonn playmaker Eugene Lawrence picking up 13 assists - including the 500th of his Beko BBL career.
Relegation battle unchanged again
The bottom five teams in the Beko BBL all lost, meaning nothing has changed in the relegation battle - other than things are getting pretty tight now for Crailsheim to save themselves from the drop. WALTER Tigers Tübingen dropped to 8-23 while Mitteldeutscher BC, BG Göttingen and Eisbären Bremerhaven all lost their games to fall to 7-23.
Player of the Week
Brandon Jefferson was on fire from long range for Phoenix Hagen as the guard drained 9-of-14 three-pointers in scoring 34 points against Tübingen to win Player of the Week honors. Jefferson added 8-of-10 free throws, five rebounds, three assists, one steal and zero turnovers for an efficiency of 36 as Hagen erased a 16-point second quarter deficit and got the win. Jefferson ended up hitting the winner as he nailed three-ball number nine with 13 seconds left.
German Top Five of the Week
G: Per Günther, ratiopharm ulm
Günther scored 14 points - including his 3,000th point in the league - in a win over Giessen while also picking up two rebounds and one assist.
G: Nihad Djedovic, Bayern Munich
Djedovic had a strong game for Bayern against Ludwigsburg with 14 points, seven rebounds and one assist.
F: Konrad Wysocki, Crailsheim Merlins
Wysocki is playing his way onto a good roster for next season if Crailsheim don’t stay in the Beko BBL as the veteran went for 11 points, six rebounds and two assists against Berlin.
F: Maxi Kleber, Bayern Munich
It’s been great seeing Kleber stay healthy and he had another good outing against Ludwigsburg with 12 points, six rebounds and one assist.
F: Danilo Barthel, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
Barthel’s stock continues to rise as he guided Frankfurt to another win with 21 points, nine rebounds, two assists and one steal against MBC. Check out his Alley Oop Battle with Morrison!
Niklas Geske, 21, PG, Phoenix Hagen
Geske picked up eight points on 3-of-5 shots and 2-of-2 free throws to go with three rebounds and three assists in 14:47 minutes off the bench against Tübingen.
Max Ugrai, 20, PF, s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg
Ugrai started for the third straight game and scored eight points without a missed shot with 3-of-3 field goals and 2-of-2 free throws against Bremerhaven while also collecting two rebounds and one assist in 15:37 minutes. In his last five games, the 20-year-old has averaged 16 minutes, 5.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.8 turnovers.
Tomas Dimsa, 22, SG, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
Dimsa equalled a career high with 16 points off the bench for Frankfurt against MBC on 6-of-7 shots and 2-of-2 free throws with three rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in 24:00 minutes.
WALTER Tigers Tübingen big man Mahir Agva collected six points on 2-of-4 shots and 2-of-3 free throws to go with two rebounds, two assists, one steal and one turnover against Phoenix Hagen for an efficiency of 7 in 14:27 minutes off the bench.
Thompson talks Tar Heels, Bamberg showdown
Bayern Munich power forward Deon Thompson talked to Sports Insiders about his time with the North Carolina Tar Heels and the up-coming match-up against Brose Baskets Bamberg.
Former BBL guard Atkinson named as new Brooklyn Nets head coach
The Brooklyn Nets have found their new head coach in Kenny Atkinson, who Beko BBL fans might remember. The former point guard played with Braunschweig in 1998 and then laced them up for Würzburg in 2002.
Rödl names A2 national team
Designated German national team head coach Henrik Rödl has nominated his 17-man preliminary roster for the A2 national team, featuring a number of players who have gotten solid playing time in the Beko BBL.
Here is the list of players: Ismet Akpinar (ALBA Berlin), Besnik Bekteshi (Kirchheim Knights), Hans Brase (Princeton University), David Brembly (ratiopharm ulm), Dino Dizdarevic (Baunach Young Pikes/Brose Baskets), Niklas Geske (Phoenix Hagen), Stephan Haukohl (Mitteldeutscher BC), Bazoumana Kone (Hamburg Towers), Dominic Lockhart (EWE Baskets Oldenburg), Mauricio Marin (rent4office Nürnberg), Daniel Mayr (Bayern Munich), Malik Müller (Brose Baskets), Bogdan Radosavljevic (WALTER Tigers Tübingen), Johannes Richter (FRAPORT SKYLINERS), Johannes Thiemann (Brose Baskets Bamberg), Maximilian Ugrai (s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg), Stefan Wess (Baskets Akademie Weser-Ems/OTB).
The team will meet June 26-July 1 in Nanterre for games on June 29 and June 30; from July 3-8 in Heidelberg for a camp; and theh from July 10-18 for an international tournament in Kunshan, China.
Robin Benzing’s Spanish club CAI Zaragoza will not make the Liga Endesa playoffs but they also most likely will not be relegated - thanks in large part to the German forward. Benzing is finishing his first season abroad in fine fashion as he scored 20 points against Gran Canaria last weekend. It was the fourth straight good game for Benzing as he gets more playing time and shots. He has averaged 18.5 points in his last four games.