Oldenburg beat Munich, finish second / Würzburg in playoffs, MBC relegated / Frankfurt win Europe Cup
— 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:
All decisions delayed until final round of games
The final weekend saw two rounds of games and all of the decisions were left until the final games on May 1 - meaning playoff spots 2-8 as well as the second team to be relegated.
Oldenburg hold off Bayern, grab second place
While Brose Baskets Bamberg finished the season with wins over ALBA BERLIN and Eisbären Bremerhaven, EWE Baskets Oldenburg and Bayern Munich squared off in Round 34 with the winner finishing second and the loser settling for fourth place. Brian Qvale scored 21 points for Oldenburg and Chris Kramer flirted with a triple double with six points, 11 rebounds and eight assists as Oldenburg came back from a 12-point deficit early for an 88-84 victory. Oldenburg will now take on ratiopharm ulm in the first round of the playoffs while Bayern start off against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg. A major reason Oldenburg are playing as well as they are is the veteran Rickey Paulding, who can still get up:
No change in spots 5-7
The last weekend of two rounds of games did not change the order of teams between 5-7 as MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg beat Ulm to hold on to fifth place while Berlin are sixth going into the post-season with a win over GIESSEN 46ers and ratiopharm ulm dropped two of their last three games with the defeat against Ludwigsburg. Berlin’s sixth place finish means they will take on Frankfurt in the playoffs. Ludwigsburg got out and ran against Ulm - as you can see here:
Würzburg limp into playoffs as Giessen lose in OT
The final playoff team was decided on the final day as well between s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg and GIESSEN 46ers. Würzburg had their fate in their own hands, knowing a win over BG Göttingen would secure the post-season but Doug Spradley’s team lost 85-78. That meant Würzburg needed Berlin to beat Giessen. Berlin were up by 15 points and led by 10 in the fourth quarter but Giessen raced back and tied it with 1.2 seconds left on Suleiman Braimoh’s layup. But Giessen were unable to get the job down in OT, losing 91-81 and missing the playoffs while Würzburg limp into a first round match-up with Bamberg having lost their last three games - but still as a Cinderella:
Victory not enough for relegated MBC; Göttingen saved on last day
The other major question to be answered was who would join Crailsheim Merlins in ProA next season as the second relegated team. Eisbären Bremerhaven had been saved in Round 33 as both BG Göttingen and Mitteldeutscher BC lost. That meant MBC needed a win over medi bayreuth and a Göttingen defeat to send Göttingen down. TaShawn Thomas and Marcus Hatten combined for 38 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in an 89-77 win over Bayreuth. But Robert Kulawick drained six three-pointers in scoring 20 points and Harper Kamp picked up 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as Göttingen beat Würzburg 85-78 to remain in the Beko BBL. MBC go back down to the ProA after four seasons in the top flight. Check out Mr. Highlight, TaShawn Thomas:
Korner leaves Braunschweig, Frank Menz takes over as head coach, sports director
Basketball Löwen Braunschweig will have a new head coach next season as former German national team coach Frank Menz is replacing Raoul Korner, who left the club after three seasons. The 52-year-old Menz signed a three-year deal with Braunschweig until the end of the 2018-19 season and will also serve as the club’s sports director. Menz, who will take over his duties in Braunschweig on July 1, has worked with the German Basketball Federation for the last 10 years including coaching the German senior national team in 2013. Menz also coached Weissenfels to the first division in 1999 and was fired in March 2001. Korner meanwhile has been linked to the coaching vacancy with Bayreuth, who declined to extend their deal with Mike Koch.
Tez MVP as SKYLINERS grab inaugural FIBA Europe Cup title
While the Beko BBL was going through their final two rounds of games, FRAPORT SKYLINERS collected their first European trophy as they knocked off Openjobmetis Varese 66-62 to win the FIBA Europe Cup. SKYLINERS went 8-of-15 from three-point range in the second half and Tez Robertson was named MVP as he collected 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Jordan Theodore added 13 points and Johannes Voigtmann chipped in 12 in the final. Voigtmann picked up 16 points and Theodore added 12 points, four rebounds, seven assists and five steals as Frankfurt beat BC Enisey 59-56 in the semi-finals. Here are the highlights of the final:
Players of the Weeks
Another double round of games means two Player of the Week awards to be handed out. Marcus Hatten played all 40 minutes for MBC against Ulm and picked up 27 points on 9-of-14 shots and 6-of-11 threes, six rebounds, eight assists, one steal and one block for an efficiency of 36. It wasn’t enough as at the other end, Ulm’s Raymar Morgan had an efficiency of 35 with 24 points, 17 rebounds, four assists and one steal.
The top player for Round 34 was Bayreuth’s Kenneth Horton, who had 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting, 16 rebounds, two assists and one block for an efficiency of 33 against MBC.
Fogg wins scoring title, Brockman top rebounder again, Jordan assist king once again
The end of the regular season also means the statistical races are over and Kyle Fogg of Bremerhaven claimed the scoring title with 18.2 points, ahead of Oldenburg’s Brian Qvale at 15.5 and Hagen’s David Bell at 15.3. Bell finished second last season in the scoring race to Ludwigsburg’s DJ Kennedy. It was the highest average since DaShaun Wood scored 19.0 points per game for Frankfurt in 2010-11. Jon Brockman from Ludwigsburg took the rebounding title for the second straight season with 9.3 boards per game. And the assist king was Tübingen’s Jared Jordan, who dished 8.5 assists a game. It was the fourth time Jordan led the Beko BBL in assists after 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14.
German Top Five of the Week
G: Robert Kulawick, BG Göttingen
Kulawick garners his spot on the team for his great shooting performance in Göttingen’s critical win over Würzburg to stave off relegation. Kulawick nailed 6-of-9 three-balls in scoring 20 points (career high in the Beko BBL) and also picked up six rebounds and one steal. Against Giessen, Kulawick had six points, two rebounds and three assists.
G: Per Günther, ratiopharm ulm
Günther helped Ulm beat MBC but his performance wasn’t enough as they lost against Ludwigsburg. The point guard had 19 points, three rebounds and eight assists against MBC. Günther did score 17 points with four rebounds, three assists and one steal against Ludwigsburg but he also had three turnovers.
F: Maxi Kleber, Bayern Munich
Kleber had two solid all-around games for Munich. In his home-coming against Würzburg, he collected 14 points, five rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks. Kleber then picked up five points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal, four blocks and zero turnovers against Oldenburg.
C: Bogdan Radosavljevic, WALTER Tigers Tübingen
Radosavljevic finished his season strong with 21 points on 7-of-11 shots and 7-of-7 free throws to go with four rebounds, two assists, one steal, two blocks and just one turnover against Crailsheim.
F: Daniel Theis, Brose Baskets Bamberg
Theis was a major offensive weapon for Bamberg as he scored 13 points to go with seven rebounds and one block against Berlin. He added a team-high 16 points as well as five rebounds, three assists and one block against Bremerhaven.
Max Ugrai, 20, PF, s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg
Ugrai started two more games for Würzburg and he played well in both games. He hit both of his shots and scored four points to go with one rebounds, one assist and three blocks in 19:29 minutes against Munich. In 21:58 minutes against Göttingen, Ugrai had 11 points on 4-of-8 shots and 2-of-2 free throws while grabbing four rebounds and two assists.
Jan Niklas Wimberg, 20, EWE Baskets Oldenburg
Wimberg continues to work himself into more playing time and he’s been effective. Against Bremerhaven, the 20-year-old had five points on 2-of-2 shooting and 1-of-1 three-pointers to go with two rebounds and one steal in 9:41 minutes. He played 13:31 minutes against Munich and nailed both of his three-point attempts for six points and had two rebounds.
Moritz Hübner, 19, SG Eisbären Bremerhaven
I really wanted to put in Niklas Geske from Phoenix Hagen who had 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and one steal against Crailsheim. But I figured Hübner should get some publicity for his career-high six points and one rebound in 10:54 minutes against Oldenburg. He did not play against Bamberg.
Mahir Agva finished his age 19 season with WALTER Tigers Tübingen by going scoreless on four misses with four rebounds in 11:41 minutes against Crailsheim. For the season, the center averaged 6.5 points on 52 percent shooting and 68 percent free throws to go with 3.4 rebounds and 6.9 efficiency in 16:54 minutes per game. Agva played in 31 games, starting six of them and hitting double digits in points seven times including an 11-point, 10 rebound double-double against Göttingen in October.
While Dirk Nowitzki had to head to his summer holidays with Dallas Mavericks, Dennis Schröder is still playing in the NBA playoffs with the Atlanta Hawks. Schröder and the Hawks took down the Boston Celtics 4-2 in the first round and now are facing the Cleveland Cavaliers. Schröder scored a career high 27 points in the first game, but Atlanta lost 93-104 anyway: