Meet Anne Panther / Ulm survive poor showing / Würzburg finally win for Bauermann
— 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 survive poor showing in win over Vechta
ratiopharm ulm played one of their worst games of the season but survived a fight at home against RASTA Vechta 75-70 to get closer to an easyCredit BBL record. Chris Babb nailed 5 three-pointers in scoring 21 points as Ulm gave up a 15-point lead and watched Vechta tie the game at 65-65. But Ulm pulled out the win to improve to 23-0 atop the league. It was their 24th straight win to start the season (including their victory over Phoenix Hagen) to pull within just one win of Bayer Leverkusen’s record 25-game in-season winning streak of 1969-70. The all-time winning streak spanning two seasons is ALBA BERLIN’s 32 wins from 1999-2000 and 2000-01. Vechta have now lost 17 games in a row and are 1-22 - five games from a non-relegation spot.
Bamberg win without Trinchieri coaching team
Brose Bamberg had little trouble with GIESSEN 46ers with an 82-68 win to improve to 22-1 with their ninth straight win. Maodo Lo scored 16 points while Patrick Heckmann had 11 points for Bamberg, who were coached by assistant coach Ilias Kantzouris as head coach Andrea Trinchieri wanted to give his team “a different impulse” while he watched on the sidelines. Bamberg have now won 37 easyCredit BBL games in a row at home. Giessen dropped to 10-13 - a half-game behind MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg for the last playoff spot.
Big crowd in Bremen no problem for Bayern
Bayern Munich kept pace with the top two teams with a convincing 108-73 win over Eisbären Bremerhaven. Maxi Kleber scored 21 points as one of five players in double figures for Bayern, who picked up their seventh straight win to move to 19-3. Bayern scored 35 points in the first quarter in opening a 20-point lead in the opening frame in front of 9,520 fans at Bremen’s ÖVB-Arena. Bremerhaven dropped to 6-16 with their fifth loss in a row.
Würzburg finally win under Bauermann
Dirk Bauermann had to wait longer than expected but finally grabbed his first win as s.Oliver Würzburg head coach after a 98-73 victory at home over EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Würzburg nailed 13-of-27 three-pointers (48 percent) for their first win in 2017 and first since beating BG Göttingen 87-86 on Boxing Day. Würzburg snapped their seven-game losing streak and are now 6-17 - five games from the relegation zone and five games from the playoffs. Oldenburg’s second straight defeat drops them to 13-10 - two games ahead of eighth place MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg.
Bayreuth yo-yo run continues with win over Jena
medi bayreuth are currently the yo-yo team of the easyCredit BBL with an eight-game stretch of alternate wins and losses. Trey Lewis poured in 31 points as Bayreuth beat Science City Jena 92-84 to improve to 16-6 - two games ahead of Telekom Baskets Bonn and three games behind Bayern Munich in the standings. Jena saw their three-game winning streak ended in falling to 10-13 - and 1.5 games from a playoffs spot.
Bayreuth keep Seiferth for next season
medi bayreuth have waived their option and will keep German big man Andreas Seiferth for next season. Bayreuth, who are fighting to keep home court advantage for the first round of the playoffs, have locked up yet another piece of their team for next season. Already back for the 2017-18 season is the German core of Seiferth, Steve Wachalski, Bastian Doreth, Robin Amaize, and Moritz Trieb. Nate Linhart also extended his deal with Bayreuth for next season in late January.
Ludwigsburg hold on for big win over Frankfurt
MHP Ludwigsburg came up with a big win at home over FRAPORT SKYLINERS, winning 70-68 thanks to 15 points from Cliff Hammonds. Ludwigsburg gave up a 14-point lead in the second half but held on to move to 11-11 with their second win in a row and third in four games. Just as importantly for Ludwigsburg, the win dropped SKYLINERS to 9-14 - 2.5 games behind in the race for the playoffs. Had Frankfurt won, the battle would have been much tighter.
Bonn win again, cool Tübingen
Telekom Baskets Bonn remained hot in the league with a 79-67 victory over WALTER Tigers Tübingen. Bonn have now put together a five-game winning streak for a 14-8 record to keep up the pressure on medi bayreuth for home court advantage in the playoffs. Bonn, who have now beaten Tübingen in seven straight games, were paced by 20 points from Josh Mayo. Tübingen had won three games in a row but falling to 6-17 still leaves them five games from the drop zone.
Berlin suffer blow at Göttingen
ALBA BERLIN are in a mini free fall with four straight losses after losing 81-76 at BG Göttingen in suffering a major blow in their chances for home court advantage in the playoffs. Alex Ruoff collected 23 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals and 1 block for Göttingen, whose second win in a row leaves them at 9-15. Berlin lost a game that went back and forth throughout - with the biggest lead for either team being six points - and dropped to 14-9, a half-game behind Telekom Baskets Bonn and 2.5 games adrift of medi bayreuth.
Player of the Week
Trey Lewis takes home the honors this week for medi bayreuth in a victory over Science City Jena in which he collected 31 points on 7-of-12 shots and 13-of-13 free throws to go with 1 rebound and 2 assists for an efficiency of 29.
German Top Five of the Week
G: Maodo Lo, Brose Bamberg
Lo was strong for Bamberg against GIESSEN 46ers with 16 points including 3 three-pointers as well as 4 rebounds and 3 steals in 22:33 minutes.
G: Niklas Geske, RASTA Vechta
Geske got to face off against fellow Hagen native Per Günther and played well against ratiopharm ulm with 5 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and just 2 turnovers in the loss.
G: Maurice Stuckey, s.Oliver Würzburg
Stuckey drained 6 three-pointers in scoring a career high 22 points in a victory over EWE Baskets Oldenburg. He also had 2 rebounds and 2 assists.
F: Fabian Bleck, Eisbären Bremerhaven
Bleck makes this team again with a strong showing against Bayern Munich with 8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in 32:45 minutes.
F: Maxi Kleber, Bayern Munich
This is a small team this week. Kleber being on board was a must with 4-of-4 from three-point range in scoring 21 points to go with 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block in 17:10 minutes against Eisbären Bremerhaven.
Max Ugrai, 21, PF, s.Oliver Würzburg
Ugrai has kind of lost his playing time since the arrival of Dirk Bauermann as coach but the 21-year-old played 16:53 minutes in the blowout win over EWE Baskets Oldenburg and picked up 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block.
Lukas Wank, 20, SG/Marvin Heckel, 19, PG, s.Oliver Würzburg
Wank was very productive in the easyCredit BBL debut with 2 points on 1-of-2 shots, 1 rebound and 1 steal in 1:43 minutes against EWE Baskets Oldenburg. The 19-year-old Heckel also made his league debut in the blowout win with 1:36 minutes against Oldenburg though he did not manage any stats.
Andreas Obst, 20, PG, GIESSEN 46ers
Obst was playing against his former team in Brose Bamberg in scoring 10 points including 2 three-pointers while also picking up 1 rebound and 1 assist.
Niklas Kiel got some more playing time since Mike Morrison got into foul trouble for FRAPORT SKYLINERS against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg. The 19-year-old Frankfurt power forward scored 8 points on 3-of-6 shots - missing all three of his three-pointers - and 2-of-4 free throws to go with 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 turnovers in 24:32 minutes in the loss.
easyCredit BBL fans have seen Anne Panther for years refereeing games in Germany’s top league. The 33-year-old Panther is also the only female referee in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, who did a video profile of her this week.