Jordan the new assist king / Ulm and Bamberg lock up playoff spot / Frankfurt extend with Herbert
— David Hein
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 easyCredit BBL short and sweet:
Ulm need overtime to win in Oldenburg
ratiopharm ulm went to overtime for just the second time this season in the easyCredit BBL to knock off EWE Basket Oldenburg 96-88 on the road to remain undefeated at 22-0. Ulm wasted a 12-point third quarter lead and Chris Kramer evened the game with free throws with 6.5 seconds left for Oldenburg. But Raymar Morgan won the game for Ulm with seven of his game-high 29 points in overtime. The victory locked up a spot in the playoffs for Ulm.
Bamberg breeze by Braunschweig, lock up playoff spot
Brose Bamberg also secured a spot in the post-season as well by easing past Basketball Löwen Braunschweig 95-75 to move to 21-1 - one game behind Ulm. Jerel McNeal paced Bamberg with 19 points while 22-year-old Slovenian guard Aleksej Nikolic collected 15 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in Bamberg’s eighth straight win in the league.
Bamberg decide to keep McNeal until end of season
Brose Bamberg this week also decided to exercise their option and keep in-season acquisition Jerel McNeal until the end of the season. The 29-year-old McNeal is averaging 10.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 steals in six games in the easyCredit BBL for Bamberg.
Göttingen snap six-game losing streak
BG Götttingen meanwhile kept their playoff hopes alive with a 77-68 win over Eisbären Bremerhaven with Alex Ruoff picking up 19 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Göttingen snapped a six-game losing streak to move to 8-15 - three games behind MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in the last playoff spot at 10-11. Bremerhaven dropped their fourth straight game to fall to 6-15.
Bonn grab fourth straight win, Bayreuth up and down
Don’t look now but Telekom Baskets Bonn have won four games in a row after knocking off medi bayreuth 101-94. Only seven Bonn players played more than 6 minutes with Julian Gamble, Josh Mayo and Ryan Thompson all scoring at least 22 points. Bonn improved to 13-8 - just half a game behind ALBA BERLIN (14-8). Bayreuth lost for the fourth time in the last seven games but are still 1.5 games ahead of Berlin at 15-6.
Frankfurt keep Würzburg reeling
FRAPORT SKYLINERS ended a two-game losing streak by beating s.Oliver Würzburg 79-76 to stay in the playoffs hunt. Shavon Shields had 24 points as Frankfurt moved to 9-13 - 1.5 games behind MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in the final playoff spot. Jake Odum collected 27 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals but they were not enough for Würzburg, whose losing streak extended to seven straight games and their 5-17 record is 15th in the league - four games up on 17th place RASTA Vechta.
Frankfurt extend with coach Herbert until 2019
FRAPORT SKYLINERS also made headlines during the week as they extended their contract with head coach Gordon Herbert for two years until the end of the 2018-19 season. The 58-year-old Canadian has been with Frankfurt since 2013 in his third stint with the club. The first stop along the Main River ran from 2001-2004 and included one German championship. He returned in 2010 for one season and then came back again in 2013.
Tübingen collect third win in a row, Giessen with tough home loss
WALTER Tigers Tübingen can slowly but surely forget about fears of relegation after extending their winning streak to three games with an 83-76 win at GIESSEN 46ers. Tübingen, who got 17 points from Stanton Kidd, improved to 6-16 which is five games ahead of 17th placed RASTA Vechta with 12 games to go. Giessen lost their second game in a row to fall to 10-12 - a half-game behind MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg for the final playoff spot.
Jared Jordan becomes easyCredit BBL assist king
The WALTER Tigers Tübingen win over GIESSEN 46ers also saw history as Tübingen playmaker Jared Jordan became the easyCredit BBL all-time assist king. His seven assists against Giessen gave him 1,463 for his career in Germany, moving past 1,457 from Dru Joyce for first place. The rest of the top five in easyCredit BBL history since recording stats in 1998 are Immanuel McElroy (1,388), Steffen Hamann (1,240) and Anton Gavel (1,200). Here are two videos with congratulations from around the league und his home country:
Player of the Week
Chris Kramer’s big game for EWE Baskets Oldenburg was not enough against league leaders ratiopharm ulm. Kramer collected 28 points on 12-of-16 shots and 3-of-4 free throws to go with 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 block for an efficiency of 33.
German Top Five of the Week
G: Niklas Geske, RASTA Vechta
Geske came off the bench in the loss to MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg to collect 6 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
G: Maurice Stuckey, s.Oliver Würzburg
Stuckey nailed 4 three-pointers against FRAPORT SKYLINERS in scoring 15 points to go with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. But Würzburg lost the game.
F: Fabian Bleck, Eisbären Bremerhaven
Geske’s former teammate at Phoenix Hagen, Bleck set career highs in points and rebounds as he had 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block for Bremerhaven vs BG Göttingen.
F: Chad Toppert, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg
Toppert led Ludwigsburg in scoring against RASTA Vechta with 17 points on 5 three-pointers as well as 5 rebounds.
F: Johannes Thiemann, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg
Thiemann scored in double digits for the first time in four games with 11 points and 6 rebounds against RASTA Vechta.
Leon Kratzer, 19, C, Brose Bamberg
Bamberg’s rout of Basketball Löwen Braunschweig meant time for the youngsters and Kratzer set a career high in points with 6 points while also grabbing 4 rebounds and 1 assist in 15:16 minutes.
Louis Olinde, 18, SF, Brose Bamberg
Olinde also got to play against Basketball Löwen Braunschweig with a career high three points on his first three-pointer. He also grabbed 2 rebounds and dished out the first assist of his career in 14:20 minutes.
Niklas Kiel started for FRAPORT SKYLINERS against s.Oliver Würzburg and collected 6 points on 2-of-5 shots and 2-of-2 free throws, 3 rebounds and 1 block for an efficiency of 7 in 17:06 minutes.
Former NBBL champion Kalidou Diouf is putting up some big numbers for California Baptist, a Division II school in the United States. The 1994-born Diouf, who won the NBBL crown with Team Cybex Urspring in 2013, collected 19 points and 13 rebounds in Cal Baptist’s 77-71 loss to Point Loma. The 2.06m big man is averaging 15.5 points on 65 percent field goal percentage and 78 percent free throw percentage as well as 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks. Diouf has had games of 32 and 7; 26 and 11; and 27 and 11 among his seven double-doubles.