Ludwigsburg beat Ulm / Tony Gaffney leads Berlin / Würzburg add Shakur and Cobbins
In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the German easyCredit 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:
Ludwigsburg forget league problems, down Ulm to reach easyCredit TOP FOUR
MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg came into their TOP FOUR qualifier against undefeated easyCredit BBL leaders ratiopharm ulm having lost five of their last seven league games and were without their sick head coach John Patrick. No problem for assistant coach Martin Schiller as the Ludwigsburg defense held Ulm to just 33 percent shooting in grabbing a 72-67 win at home to reach the TOP FOUR in Berlin. It was a balanced Ludwigsburg effort with seven players scoring at least seven points - topped by 12 points from Clifford Hammonds.
Bamberg run away from Bayreuth early
Brose Bamberg eased into the easyCredit TOP FOUR in Berlin with a dominant 75-52 victory at medi bayreuth in the qualification. Ten of the 11 Bamberg players scored at least 4 points as Bamberg jumped ahead by 17 points in the first quarter and led by 24 at the break. Bamberg played great perimeter defense, holding Bayreuth to just 1-of-18 three-pointers (5 percent).
Big third quarter carries Bayern to easyCredit TOP FOUR
Bayern Munich booked their ticket to the easyCredit TOP FOUR by using a big third quarter in an 87-72 win at home over Telekom Baskets Bonn in the qualifiers. Anton Gavel and Devin Booker combined for 32 points, 9 rebounds and 10 assists for Bayern, who out-scored Bonn 27-14 in the third quarter to grab the win
easyCredit TOP FOUR set in Berlin
The 2017 easyCredit TOP FOUR is now set as defending champions and hosts ALBA BERLIN will face off against Bayern Munich and MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg will square off against league champs Brose Bamberg on February 18-19 in Berlin. The Bayern vs Berlin semi-final will start at 5pm at the Mercedes-Benz Arena while Ludwigsburg vs Bamberg will follow at 8pm. The final will be played at 3pm on February 19. ProSieben MAXX is broadcasting the two semis and the final live while Telekom Basketball will also be showing the third place game - scheduled for February 19 at 12pm.
Gaffney leads Berlin to ninth straight win
ALBA BERLIN continued their hot play in the easyCredit BBL with an 84-76 victory at home over Basketball Löwen Braunschweig for their ninth straight victory. Tony Gaffney collected 12 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block as Berlin improved to 13-5 and pulled even on wins with medi bayreuth, who are fourth in the league at 13-4. Berlin pulled away in the second half thanks to shooting 45 percent from long range.
Oldenburg hold on to beat Frankfurt
EWE Baskets Oldenburg nearly wasted a 21-point lead but held off FRAPORT SKYLINERS 71-64 to pick up their second straight win and improve to 10-8. Frankfurt saw their three-game winning streak snapped to fall to 7-11 despite cutting the gap to four points late in the game.
Jena win another big game against a relegation contender
Science City Jena collected yet another important win in their fight against relegation by winning at WALTER Tigers Tübingen 76-68. Shaq Goodwin and Marcos Knight both had double-doubles, combining for 38 points, 20 rebounds and 6 assists, as Jena won their second game over Tübingen this season to move to 7-11. Tübingen have lost eight in a row and are 16th in the league at 3-15 - two games ahead of RASTA Vechta.
Rest of Round 19 scheduled for mid-February
The other four games in Round 19 are scheduled for mid-February as Eisbären Bremerhaven host ratiopharm ulm and Bayern Munich welcome BG Göttingen on February 14; Brose Bamberg face MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg on February 15; and s.Oliver Würzburg play at Telekom Baskets Bonn on February 19.
Player of the Week
Basketball Löwen Braunschweig may have lost to ALBA BERLIN but that is not because of a top showing from Jamal Boykin, who collected 25 points on 11-of-15 shots and 2-of-3 free throws to go with 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block for an efficiency of 26. By the way, Jamal can do more than just play basketball.
Ludwigsburg bring Rocky Trice back to Germany
MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg continue to tinker with their roster as they brought playmaker Rocky Trice back to the easyCredit BBL on a deal until the end of the season. The 32-year-old Trice played last season with Ludwigsburg but was playing this season with Polish side MKS Dabrowa Gornicza.
Würzburg add Shakur and Cobbins
New head coach Dirk Bauermann is still figuring out his roster with s.Oliver Würzburg as he brought veteran playmaker Mustafa Shakur back to the easyCredit BBL and also added power forward Michael Cobbins. The 32-year-old Shakur played last season with MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg and will make up a good point guard trio with Jake Odum and Maurice Stuckey. Shakur had played this season with Turkish second division side Afyonkarahisar Belediye. The 24-year-old Cobbins comes from Greek side Apollon Patras on a deal until the end of the season.
Ulm add JoWoBo - still can’t fit his name on the jersey
ratiopharm ulm also reacted to an injury as they hope to have solidified their center position with the addition of Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann. The 26-year-old big man had not played since March 19, 2016 due to knee injury, but Ulm hope he can help replace the injured Tim Ohlbrecht. JoWoBo got into Ulm’s TOP FOUR qualifier against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg, playing 3:20 minutes and grabbing one rebound. One thing remains an issue for JoWoBo - fitting his name on the back of a jersey. After his name read Wohlfarth-B. during his time with ALBA BERLIN, the big man has W.-Bottermann on his Ulm jersey.
Giessen extend with Lischka, Völler; bring in Kone from Ludwigsburg
GIESSEN 46ers looked to the future and the present in extending their deals with two veteran Germans while adding an exciting young German with some high upside. The club signed a two-year extension with Giessen native Benjamin Lischka while Marco Völler agreed to a deal until the end of next season. Giessen also reacted to the season-ending foot injury to Thomas Scrubb by added Bazoumana Kone. The 1.90m guard, who turned 23 in December, comes from MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg on a deal until the end of the season after showing he could produce when given playing time. Kone averaged 3.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 12 minutes per game this season at Ludwigsburg.
German Top Five of the Week
G: Anton Gavel, Bayern Munich
Gavel played a major role in getting Bayern to the easyCredit TOP FOUR as he collected 17 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal against Telekom Baskets Bonn.
G: Joshiko Saibou, GIESSEN 46ers
Saibou took advantage of the injuries in the team and played an excellent game against RASTA Vechta, picking up 18 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal for an efficiency of 23.
G: Maodo Lo, Brose Bamberg
Lo continues to show he can produce when given playing time as the rookie had 6 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists in the easyCredit TOP FOUR qualifier win over medi bayreuth.
F: Philipp Schwethelm, EWE Baskets Oldenburg
Schwethelm continues the small line-up this week as he remained hot after his MVP showing in the All-Star Game by scoring 11 points and grabbing 5 rebounds with 2 assists against FRAPORT SKYLINERS.
F: Christian Standhardinger, RASTA Vechta
Vechta may keep losing but Standhardinger keeps coming up with good performances as he collected 14 points, 11 rebounds, 2 rebounds and 2 assists against GIESSEN 46ers.
Ismet Akpinar, 21, PG, ALBA BERLIN
Akpinar made all three of his shots against Basketball Löwen Braunschweig including two three-pointers as he scored 8 points while also picking up 1 rebound and 3 assists for an efficiency of 12 in 19:24 minutes off the bench.
Leon Kratzer, 19, C, Brose Bamberg
Bamberg’s blowout win over medi bayreuth gave the champs a chance to play their young center and Kratzer responded with 4 points on 1-of-3 shots and 2-of-2 free throws, 3 rebounds and 1 assist in 10:03 minutes.
Marius Adler, 19, SG, medi bayreuth
medi bayreuth also used the big loss as a chance to get one of their young talents in the game as Adler played 1:28 minutes and missed a three-pointer. He has played in two games this season after making his easyCredit BBL debut last season.
Niklas Kiel returned to the starting line-up for FRAPORT SKYLINERS against EWE Baskets Oldenburg and the 19-year-old collected 4 points on 2-of-4 shooting to go with 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block for an efficiency of 8 in 10:34 minutes.
Maik Zirbes may actually not be overseas much longer as he is being rumored to be heading to Bayern Munich. The 26-year-old big man has not been as successful with Maccabi Tel Aviv as he was with Crvena Zvezda Belgrade. Zirbes has played just 18 minutes in Maccabi’s last two games, scoring just 4 points on three shots with 5 rebounds.