Berlin win with new coach / Oldenburg snatch fifth place from Bonn / Bayreuth lose Andreas Seiferth
— 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 fall to playoff opponent Ludwigsburg, finish strong vs Tübingen
ratiopharm ulm had all but locked up home court throughout the playoffs before dropping their second game of the season to MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg but then eased past WALTER Tigers Tübingen in the final game of the regular reason. Ulm shot just 35 percent in a 79-61 loss in Ludwigsburg while also giving five players 21 years old or younger a total of 46 minutes of playing time. The regular season champions bounced back and hit 50 percent of their shots and dished out 22 assists in an 87-72 home victory over Tübingen to finish the season with a 30-2 record. Ulm and Ludwigsburg will face off in the playoffs as Ludwigsburg finished eighth in the standings after an 86-76 loss at ALBA BERLIN to close the season.
Bamberg come back to beat Bremerhaven, knock off Jena
Reigning champions Brose Bamberg held on to second place and home court through the first two rounds of the playoffs by securing a tough win at home over Eisbären Bremerhaven and a strong road victory at Science City Jena. Bamberg needed to come back from a 12-point third quarter deficit to beat Bremerhaven 85-84 on Leon Radosevic’s free throws with 16 seconds left. Aleksej Nikolic and Darius Miller both had 16 points in the victory. Bamberg had a much easier time at Jena with a 74-61 win with 19-year-old rookie Arnoldas Kulboka coming off the bench in his easyCredit BBL debut for a team-high 13 points with five rebounds. Bamberg go into the playoffs with the longest current winning streak at six games for a 29-3 record. Bamberg will open the playoffs against Telekom Baskets Bonn while both Bremerhaven and Jena will enter the off-season.
Bayern lose 17-point lead to Bayreuth, rout Giessen in playoff warmup
FC Bayern Munich saw their 15-game winning streak snapped in a poor finish to a fellow playoff team, wasting a 17-point third quarter lead in losing 74-72 at medi bayreuth. Assem Marei had 18 points and 8 rebounds for Bayreuth while Bayern had just one starter - Devin Booker - in double digits (10 points). Bayern responded with a 110-60 blowout of GIESSEN 46ers as Nick Johnson’s 16 points paced five Bayern players in double figures and he had six of Munich’s 30 assists. Bayern go into the playoffs as the third seed and will face ALBA BERLIN. Bayreuth meanwhile dropped their final game of the regular season, an 82-73 loss at s.Oliver Würzburg. Still, Bayreuth have the fourth seed and will square off against EWE Baskets Oldenburg in the first round of the playoffs
Bayreuth lose Seiferth for rest of season
medi bayreuth saw their playoffs chances take a hit at the end of the regular season as German center Andreas Seiferth suffered an elbow injury which will keep him out the rest of the season. Seiferth injured his elbow late in the first half of the game against GIESSEN 46ers after hooking arms with Giessen’s Justin Sears. Seifereth’s exit leaves Bayreuth with Assem Marei as the team’s only nominal center.
Oldenburg snatch fifth seed with two final wins
EWE Baskets Oldenburg nearly fell out of the playoff ranks late in the season but finished the campaign with two straight wins and three out of four to actually grab the fifth spot in the standings. Oldenburg beat Science City Jena 92-51 on the road in a make-up game from Round 27 with 17 points and 8 assists from Chris Kramer. Frantz Massenat then had a double-double of 13 points and 10 assists and Rickey Paulding scored 22 points as Oldenburg beat Telekom Baskets Bonn 86-72 on the road for an 18-14 record. Bonn and ALBA BERLIN also had 18-14 records but the tiebreaker order saw Oldenburg take fifth place, Berlin sixth and Bonn seventh.
Kramer finishes with first 10-5-5 season since Wucherer
Chris Kramer collected 6 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists for EWE Baskets Oldenburg in their final regular season win over Telekom Baskets Bonn. The 29-year-old American finished the regular season averaging 10.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists, making him the first player in easyCredit BBL history to achieve the 10-5-5 feat since Denis Wucherer in 2002-03.
Berlin fire coach, finish sixth
ALBA BERLIN failed to go the whole season with their first-year head coach Ahmet Caki as the Turkish coach was fired with two games remaining in the regular season. Assistant coach Thomas Päch was promoted to head coach. Päch’s opening game resulted in an 83-71 loss at FRAPORT SKYLINERS as the team shot just 41 percent from the field and turned the ball over 20 times. Berlin rebounded and snapped a three-game losing streak by beating MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg 86-76 thanks to 48 percent shooting and just 10 turnovers. Carl English came off the bench and nailed 6 three-pointers in scoring 24 points for Berlin.
With four-game losing streak Giessen just miss playoffs again
GIESSEN 46ers went into the final game of the season already having been eliminated from the easyCredit BBL playoffs. Giessen lost their final four games of the season to finish at 15-17 - two games behind MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in ninth place. It was the second straight season Giessen were just barely on the outside of the playoffs looking in. Last year they were tied at 17-17 with s.Oliver Wurzburg and Würzburg qualified for the playoffs in eighth place thanks to a one-point better difference in the tiebreaker.
Göttingen win two thrillers, end season with 4-game winning streak
Tied for the second-longest winning streak to close the season (along with s.Oliver Würzburg) was BG Göttingen, who grabbed two thrilling victories to close the season with four straight wins and a 14-18 record. Göttingen came back from a 17-point deficit to beat RASTA Vechta 78-77 on Mathis Mönninghoff’s three-pointer with 14.4 seconds left. Darius Carter had 19 points and 9 rebounds off the bench. Göttingen then went to double overtime before beating Basketball Löwen Braunschweig 114-107 at home thanks to 28 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists from Alex Ruoff while Jesse Sanders had 18 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists for Göttingen. Geoffrey Groselle scored 33 points with 10 rebounds for Braunschweig and Dyshawn had 31 points and 10 rebounds in the loss, which dropped Braunschweig to 6-26 for the season.
Göttingen keep Carter for another season.
BG Göttingen fans had more good news as the club announced that they had agreed with Darius Carter that the American would stay in Göttingen for another season.
Stewart extends deal with Tübingen, Bernard leaves Jena
WALTER Tigers Tübingen lost nine of their last 10 games in the regular season for a 7-25 record but they finished the season with the announcement that Barry Stewart will stay on for another season. The move means Tübingen keep their top scorer from the season. Science City Jena meanwhile will watch a leading player leave the team as captain Wayne Bernard said he will not return. Jena could not keep the 35-year-old Bernard after they had re-upped with Immanuel McElroy and Julius Jenkins.
MBC returning to easyCredit BBL; Chemnitz, Oettinger go to Game 5
Mitteldeutscher BC’s absence from the easyCredit BBL lasted just one year as MBC swept VfL Kirchheim Knights to reach the ProA finals - and secure promotion back to Germany’s top flight. The other promoted team will be decided on May 3 as NINERS Chemnitz take on Oettinger Rockets in the decisive Game 5 of the ProA semi-finals.
Players of the Week
The final week of the regular season saw two rounds of games - and two Players of the Week. Shaquille Goodwin collected 22 points, 14 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 blocks for an efficiency of 31 for Science City Jena in a loss at s.Oliver Würzburg in Round 33. The final round saw Basketball Löwen Braunschweig’s Geoffrey Groselle pick up 33 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks for an efficiency of 36 in a double-overtime loss against BG Göttingen.
German Top Five of the Week
G: Niklas Geske, RASTA Vechta
Geske finished his first season with Vechta in fine fashion with 12 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists against Eisbären Bremerhaven. He had 2 points, 3 assists and 1 steal against BG Göttingen.
G: Maurice Stuckey, s.Oliver Würzburg
Stuckey helped Würzburg to two victories as he had 11 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal against Science City Jena and then picked up 14 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block versus medi bayreuth.
F: Mathis Mönninghoff, BG Göttingen
The sharpshooter played a major role in Göttingen picking up two wins to close the season. He knocked down three three-pointers - including the winner with 14 seconds left - in scoring 14 points to go with 4 rebounds and 1 assist against RASTA Vechta. Against Basketball Löwen Braunschweig, Mönninghoff nailed four three-pointers for 12 points and 1 rebound.
C: Isaiah Philmore, WALTER Tigers Tübingen
Philmore finished his season strong as well with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist against Basketball Löwen Braunschweig and then 14 points 3 rebounds and 1 steal against ratiopharm ulm.
G: Max Merz, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
Merz finished his professional career with likely his best game ever as the 23-year-old - who is retiring to become a management consultant - collected 10 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and a career-high 4 steals against ALBA BERLIN.
Max Merz will es in seinem Abschiedsspiel direkt wissen! pic.twitter.com/W80N5uMN0r— FRAPORT SKYLINERS (@skyliners1999) April 29, 2017
David Krämer, 20, SG, ratiopharm ulm
Krämer took advantage of Ulm locking up home court advantage in the playoffs and having the chance to give their youngsters playing time. The 20-year-old had 8 points and 3 rebounds in 14:32 minutes against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg and finished up with 5 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in 15:23 minutes against WALTER Tigers Tübingen.
Andreas Obst, 20, PG, GIESSEN 46ers
Obst finished his first professional season in strong fashion. The 20-year-old had 12 points, 1 rebound and 1 assists against Telekom Baskets Bonn. In his final game he picked up 5 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist against FC Bayern Munich.
Philpp Herkenhoff, 17, SG, RASTA Vechta
Herkenhoff picked up more valuable playing time to close the season. Against BG Göttingen, he missed his two three-pointers in going scoreless but he had 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks in 16:05 minutes against BG Göttingen. Against Eisbären Bremerhaven, Herkenhoff played 20:52 minutes and picked up 7 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist.
Niklas Kiel finished off his age 19 season in strong fashion as well as the FRAPORT SKYLINERS power forward had 16 points on 5-of-6 shots and 5-of-7 free throws to go with 6 rebounds and 3 steals in 26:13 minutes against ALBA BERLIN. Kiel started 14 of his 27 games this season and averaged 6.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 14:55 minutes while shooting 48 percent from the field and 32 percent from three-point range and 79 percent from the free throw line.
Voigtmann misses EuroLeague Final Four
Joe Voigtmann and Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz missed a chance to play at the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four as the Spanish team was swept by reigning champions CSKA Moscow in the quarterfinals.