Elias Harris is back / Ulm finally beat Bamberg / Lischka reflective after comeback
In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the German Beko 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:
Monkey spotted in Ulm after win over Bamberg
There were unconfirmed reports out of Germany this week of a monkey wearing a Brose Baskets jersey being spotted in Ulm. Okay, that may be a bit far-fetched, but ratiopharm ulm definitely got a huge monkey off their backs by finally beating Bamberg for the first time after 12 straight losses dating back to November 2009. The 72-59 victory at home snapped a streak which included an overtime loss in the semi-finals of the 2012 Beko BBL Top Four Cup, a sweep in the 2012 Beko BBL finals and an overtime loss in the 2012 Champions Cup. Here the highlights of Ulm’s win.
After comeback, Lischka wonders if he can really make it back
Most German basketball fans this weekend were anxiously looking to Hagen to see how Johannes Lischka would do in his first action for WALTER Tigers Tübingen just 34 days after surgery to remove a tumor from his head. Lischka played just 2:43 minutes, missing all three of his shots while grabbing three rebounds and committing one turnover in Tübingen’s win over Phoenix Hagen. Afterwards, Lischka admitted he is really struggling with his weight as he weighs between 10-12kg more than before the surgery due to the hormones he must take. The 26-year-old was disappointed he couldn’t help the team more. In addition to admitting he may need a few more weeks to get back to game fitness, Lischka also talked about possibly stepping away from the game. “I am in the weight room a lot and trying everything I can to get my weight down. With 120kg, my versatility and quickness are suffering. If it stays like this, I don’t know if I will keep playing basketball,” Lischka told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Until now, quitting was not an option. But I don’t know if I will ever get back to where I was.”
Week of Euroleague truth for Bamberg, Bayern
It’s the week of truth in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague for Beko BBL teams Bayern Munich and Brose Baskets Bamberg. Bayern are in the better situation in Group C as they will move into the Top 16 with a home victory over Galatasaray. They could also move into the second group stage if Unicaja Malaga knock off Montepaschi Siena. Things are a bit more complicated for Bamberg. Bamberg definitely must beat Zalgiris Kaunas in Group B. But a victory alone would not be enough if Anadolu Efes Istanbul were to shock Real Madrid. Then Bamberg would have to win by at least 11 points to advance. Let’s say that doesn’t happen – I know, I know … flying pigs were reportedly spotted next to the Ulm monkey – then Bamberg would just need a win.
Kendall gets married, leads Berlin to win
Levon Kendall continues to be an intriguing addition for ALBA BERLIN. Not only has he helped Berlin to a 7-4 record, including an outstanding 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in an 87-72 win over TBB Trier, but the Canadian international also has given German fans a bit of culture. A singer-songwriter-poet, Kendall has released his first single called “Destined” and has promised a full EP – “Touch Down, Take Off” – to come out soon. Kendall also got married to his girlfriend Alexandra over the weekend in Berlin. Check out the video to “Destined” below and him talking about the single.
ALLSTAR Game set, Bonn voters come out in droves
You have to tip your hat to the fans of Telekom Baskets Bonn. They definitely went out to vote as the starting line-ups of the 2014 Beko BBL ALLSTAR Game are set. The starting five for Team International at the January 18 spectacle at Bonn’s Telekom Dome features three local Bonn favorites Tony Gaffney, Benas Veikalas and Jared Jordan (check out the highlights of the leading assistman of the league) as well as two-time reigning MVP John Bryant of Bayern Munich and EWE Baskets Oldenburg’s sixth man star Julius Jenkins. Team International will be coached by Tyron McCoy of Artland Dragons. Team National includes to ALLSTAR debutants in Maximilian Kleber from s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg and ratiopharm ulm’s Daniel Theis as well as Per Günther from Ulm, and Maik Zirbes and Anton Gavel from Brose Baskets Bamberg. The average age of Team National, which will be coached by Ulm’s Thorsten Leibenath, is just 23.8 years … but they will have a great leader:
Bamberg add Elias Harris, Bremerhaven keep Schneiders
Last week, Weekly News said Bamberg would likely not add a special last-minute Christmas gift, especially because they already had seven foreigners on their roster. We have to admit … we forgot about German international Elias Harris (highlights below). That’s why Brose Baskets Bamberg are four-time reigning Beko BBL champs. Wolfgang Heyder and company snatched up the free agent after Harris was released by the Los Angeles Lakers and signed the 24-year-old to a two-year contract. The deal includes an NBA opt-out for the 2014-15 season should Harris get a spot with an NBA team. Welcome back to Germany Elias! While Bamberg brought in a new player, Eisbären Bremerhaven decided to keep a player as they extended their contract with center Nick Schneiders until the end of the season. The 2.21m big man’s deal was due to expire on December 31.
Maxi Kleber once again struggled with his shot, scoring three points as he hit just one of nine shots, including 1-of-5 on threes. Kleber has gone 2-14 from the field in his last two games. But just like last week, he is finding other ways to help his team with 11 rebounds – four of them offensive – to go with two assists and one block.
Player of the Week
Angelo Caloiaro played a huge role in Mitteldeutscher BC’s big 88-82 overtime win over Oldenburg by collecting 20 points on 5-of-12 shooting as well as 9-of-11 free throws to go along with 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals, zero turnovers for an efficiency rating of 28. It was MBC’s first road win of the season.
Johannes Voigtmann, 21, C, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
JoVo had a really solid game for Frankfurt against Braunschweig with 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting – including a nice array of jumpers. He also grabbed three rebounds and dished out two assists in 19:37 minutes.
Bogdan Radosavljevic, 20, C WALTER Tigers Tübingen
Radosavljevic continues to produce for Tübingen as he collected seven points on 3-of-7 shooting as well as four rebounds in just 8:27 minutes against Hagen. He has scored at least seven points in four of the last five games and came down with four rebounds or more in three of those five games.
Paul Zipser, 19, SG, Bayern Munich
Zipser played just 1:51 minutes against RASTA Vechta but was quite a part of the action, missing his one shot, collecting three rebounds to go with two turnovers.
Basketball Insiders by SportEagle.tv
Meat and Potatoes
Bayern Munich were definitely the biggest beneficiaries of the weekend of action as they increased their lead atop the Beko BBL to two games with their fifth straight win to move to 12-1. Bamberg dropped two games behind after losing to Ulm to fall to 10-3. Telekom Baskets Bonn, Ulm and Artland Dragons are all knotted at 9-4. Last place is still occupied by s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg despite a win over former coach John Patrick and MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg to improve to 2-10. Tübingen, medi bayreuth and Vechta are all just ahead at 3-10. Darius Adams of Bremerhaven continues to lead the Beko BBL in scoring with 18.62 ppg, ahead of Andy Rautins of FRAPORT SKYLINERS (17.69 ppg). Hagen’s Larry Gordon went back atop the rebounding standings with 8.2 rpg, ahead of Player of the Week Angelo Caloiaro (7.3 rpg) and John Bryant from Munich (7.3 rpg). The assist race still is topped by Bonn’s Jared Jordan at 7.3 apg with Tübingen’s Branislav Ratkovica second with 6.3 apg. The efficiency rating leader is Gordon at 18.42 while Caloiaro is second (17.54) and Richard Williams of Vechta third (17.31). Last, but not least: This week’s Top Ten: