Ulm beating Bamberg / Freyer named Wucherer successor at Giessen / Paul Zipser playing strong
— 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 take down Bamberg - remain perfect
ratiopharm ulm passed presumably their toughest test of the season in beating Brose Bamberg on the road 84-79 to remain undefeated atop the easyCredit BBL at 26-0. Ulm, who saw their in-season record winning streak increase to 27 games, won a tight battle thanks to Raymar Morgan’s 24 points and 9 rebounds while Chris Babb nailed 5 three-pointers in scoring 19 points. Ulm now have a three-game lead over 23-3 Bamberg, who have lost two straight games but are still second in the league. Ulm seem all but assured the home court advantage throughout the playoffs after they also snapped Bamberg’s 37-game winning streak at home in the league with the final five points of the game and holding Bamberg scoreless for the final 3:49 minutes.
Bayern ready to put pressure on Bamberg
FC Bayern Munich meanwhile just keep on winning and are breathing down Brose Bamberg’s neck. Bayern rolled past Basketball Löwen Braunschweig 80-58 as they allowed just 8 points in the first quarter and never looked back for their 10th straight win. Devin Booker came off the bench for a team-high 14 points while six players had at least 8 points as Munich improved to 22-3 or one-half game behind Bamberg. Braunschweig saw their losing streak increase to eight games and are 4-21 - just two games ahead of RASTA Vechta for the second relegation spot with seven games left.
Bayreuth lose to Berlin but keep tiebreaker at buzzer
ALBA BERLIN came up with a big 77-76 victory over medi bayreuth in a very possible preview of the first round of the easyCredit BBL playoffs. But the Bayreuth players were also celebrating after the game because Kyan Anderson’s buzzer-beating three-pointer meant Bayreuth hold the head-to-head tiebreaker after Bayreuth had won the first game in late October 98-96 at home. Berlin came back from a 12-point deficit to win as Dragan Milosavljevic and Elmedin Kikanovic combined for 36 points. Berlin improved to 16-10 but are 2.5 games behind 18-7 Bayreuth.
Bonn hold off Ludwigsburg in important battle for playoff seeding
Telekom Baskets Bonn picked up an important victory for seeding in the easyCredit BBL playoffs by holding on for a 90-86 home win over MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg. Bonn got 24 points and 10 rebounds from Ken Horten and Justin Gamble had 20 points as Bonn snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 15-10. Bonn, who got a huge three-pointer from Horton with 10 seconds left to decide the game, are just one-half game behind ALBA BERLIN for fifth place. Ludwigsburg meanwhile saw their four-game winning streak snapped and are 13-12.
Göttingen official out of relegation fight
BG Göttingen officially moved out of the relegation fight as they beat WALTER Tigers Tübingen 82-73 to improve to 10-17 and cannot be dropped to the ProA. Former Tübingen player Jesse Sanders collected 15 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals. Tübingen have lost four in a row and moved to 6-20 with a 3.5-game lead over RASTA Vechta.
English’s 35 points not enough as Bremerhaven beat Frankfurt in OT
Eisbären Bremerhaven survived 35 points from FRAPORT SKYLINERS star AJ English in battling to an 86-79 victory at home in overtime. Bremerhaven, who got 25 points from Quincy Diggs, wasted a 16-point third quarter lead but never trailed in overtime. Bremerhaven picked up their second straight win to move to 8-17 with a six-game lead over RASTA Vechta with seven games to go. Frankfurt dropped to 11-15 and are 2.5 games from the playoffs.
LIVE auf TelekomBasketball.de: AJ English aus 8 Metern zum Ausgleich! pic.twitter.com/n3bcH6aylg— FRAPORT SKYLINERS (@skyliners1999) March 24, 2017
Würzburg win second straight at home
s.Oliver Würzburg never trailed in picking up their second straight win at home by beating RASTA Vechta 86-63. Kresimir Loncar nailed five three-pointers in scoring 22 points for Würzburg, who led 29-9 after 10 minutes. Würzburg shot 12-of-27 (44 percent) from three-point range while Vechta made just 4-of-20 (20 percent) in dropping to 2-23.
Schwethelm signs on for two more years in Oldenburg
Former German international Philipp Schwethelm will be staying with EWE Baskets Oldenburg as the two sides agreed on a two-year contract extension. Schwethelm, who was named as the MVP of the easyCredit All-Star Game, has been with Oldenburg since 2015.
Freyer to take over at Giessen next season
GIESSEN 46ers have found their replacement for departing head coach Denis Wucherer as former long-time Phoenix Hagen coach Ingo Freyer will take the reins starting in the summer. Giessen and the 46-year-old Freyer agreed on a two-year deal. Freyer will also bring with him to Giessen his long-time Hagen assistant coach Steven Wriedt. Freyer coached at Hagen from 2007 to this season, which ended prematurely in November with the withdrawal of the club from league operations due to bankruptcy proceedings. Freyer officially left the club in February.
Hollins replaces injured Guyton at Braunschweig
Basketball Löwen Braunschweig brought in a replacement for the injured Carlton Guyton as they signed combo guard Andre Hollins until the end of the season. The 24-year-old Hollins had played this season with French second division side Chorale de Roanne Basket.
Powell leaves Würzburg
s.Oliver Würzburg and power forward Marshawn Powell have agreed to part ways with immediate effect. The 27-year-old Powell had arrived at Würzburg this season from Italian second division club Universo De’Longhi Treviso.
Player of the Week
Telekom Baskets Bonn got a big win over MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg and the leader of that push was Ken Horton, who picked up 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting and 2-of-4 free throws to go with 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 block for an efficiency of 32.
German Top Five of the Week
F: Niels Giffey, ALBA BERLIN
We have a very big Top Five this week as no German guards really stood out. Giffey came off the bench for a big game against medi bayreuth with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 block in the victory.
F: Fabian Bleck, Eisbären Bremerhaven
Bleck appears on this list again with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist against FRAPORT SKYLINERS. It’s the second straight game with 13 points for the 24-year-old and his third with at least 13 points in the last five games.
F: Johannes Thiemann, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg
Thiemann also is in the Top Five again as he collected his second straight double-double with a team-high 20 points and 12 rebounds as well as 2 blocks against Telekom Baskets Bonn.
C: Kresimir Loncar, s.Oliver Würzburg
Loncar grabs a spot here with 22 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in the win over RASTA Vecha.
F: Daniel Theis, Brose Bamberg
Bamberg lost to ratiopharm ulm but Theis had a big game against his former team with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal off the bench.
Niklas Geske, 22, PG, RASTA Vechta
Geske started against s.Oliver Würzburg and picked up 4 points on 2-of-4 shooting and 0-of-2 free throws to go with 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 11:31 minutes.
Stefan Ilzhöfer, 21, SF, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
Ilzhöfer played a season-high 22:19 minutes against Eisbären Bremerhaven and scored 6 points on 2 three-pointers while also turning the ball over one time.
Samuel Mpacko, 19, PG, Basketball Löwen Braunschweig
Mpacko scored his first easyCredit BBL points in his second game, hitting his only three-pointer for 3 points while also grabbing 2 rebounds in 1:52 minutes against FC Bayern Munich.
Niklas Kiel came back to the starting line-up for FRAPORT SKYLINERS against Eisbären Bremerhaven after missing the previous game. The 19-year-old power forward picked up 2 points on 1-of-1 shooting with 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in 18:14 minutes.
Paul Zipser is starting to really contribute for the Chicago Bulls as the 23-year-old has scored at least 10 points in three of his last four games and he collected 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in 41 minutes against Toronto. He also scored a career-high 15 points against Detroit. Watch his highlights rigt here: