Weekly News: Berlin wins cup / Krunic signs in Bayreuth / Extension for Pesic / Samhan streaks on tv
Alpha Males: Alba knock off Ulm for TOP FOUR crown
Its been a long time coming, but ALBA BERLIN finally have another title, beating ratiopharm ulm 85-67 to win the Beko BBL TOP FOUR in front of their home fans. Berlin finished the game on a 19-6 run over the final 7:40 minutes to collect their seventh cup title and first since 2009. Zach Morley (24 points) and Deon Thompson (20) were the leaders for Berlin, who are still waiting since 2008 for a league championship. The 1996 cup winners Ulm got a strong showing from reigning MVP John Bryant (21 points, 9 rebounds) but it was not enough. Ulm however did earn the right to host the 2014 TOP FOUR on March 29-30. Mark it down in your calendars! And check out the highlights of the cup finals:
Krunic returns to BBL again as Bayreuth coach
BBC Bayreuth found a new head coach to replace the sacked Marco van den Berg as Predrag Krunic signed on a deal until the end of the 2013-14 season. The coach from Bosnia & Herzegovina knows the Beko BBL well as he served as head coach with Telekom Baskets Bonn from 2001 to 2005 and then guided EWE Baskets Oldenburg from 2007 to 2012, including winning the 2009 Beko BBL league title. The 45-year-old Krunic also coached Oldenburg in the Euroleague during the 2009-10 season. Krunic hopes to keep Bayreuth from being relegated though his deal is valid for ProA as well.
Favorites beware: Hagen strikes again
Before the season, not many experts had Phoenix Hagen reaching the playoffs. Well, they are well on their way to reaching the post-season a season after nearly going down to ProA. And Hagen are chopping down the Beko BBL favorites left and right. In the last six games, Phoenix Hagen have won at home against Ulm, Brose Baskets Bamberg, Berlin and last weekend Oldenburg. Ingo Freyers Hagen team is in eighth place with a 14-13 record after their three-game winning streak. But things will get a lot tougher starting this week as Hagen head on the road for three straight games at New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig, Bonn and TBB Trier. Back in December and January, Hagen put together a four-game road winning streak, beating FRAPORT SKYLINERS, Neckar RIESEN Ludwigsburg, Artland Dragons and LTi GIESSEN 46ers. Hopefully for Hagen fans, Freyer and the coaching staff made mental notes of what worked back then.
Back for good: Pesic Jr. keeps papa Pesic around
What seemed like only a formality came to fruition as Bayern Munich and head coach Svetislav Pesic agreed to a contract extension, keeping the legendary coach on until the end of the 2014-15 season. Pesics deal was to run out at the end of the current campaign. But club president Uli Hoeness and the coachs son Marko Pesic, the teams sports director and general manager, have been happy with how Svetislav has handled the team. And now the future is set in Munich.
Was this really a surprise? Samhan streaks for SPORT1 fans
Well, it wasnt really a surprise. Theres a jokester on every team. All it took was Ulms team clown Omar Samhan to build up enough courage to show his back side to the world. Come on, SPORT1, really a live shot from the locker room? What were you expecting? Samhan and the team definitely had their fun:
Statline of the week: Taylor comeback not enough for third place for Artland
The third place game at the Beko BBL TOP FOUR featured a comeback as Bryce Taylor returned to Artland Dragons, but could not keep Artland from losing 88-76 to Bayern Munich. Taylor, who last played on February 16, collected 28 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block for a week-best efficiency rating of 29:
Young Guns: Schröder gets official invitation to Nike Hoop Summit
The talented Schröder played well against s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg but his 8 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal were not enough in a tight 64-60 loss at home. The week did have good news for Schröder, who was officially invited to play at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit.
Barthel used his 12 minutes of action in Frankfurts 86-73 win over Eisbären Bremerhaven as best he could with 5 points on 2-2 shootings with 2 rebounds and 1 blocked shot.
Wendt is doing a good job at the back-up point guard for Hagen though he struggled a bit against Oldenburg, with 2 points on 1-6 shooting while picking up 2 rebounds in 10 minutes.
Meat and potatoes
Bamberg remain atop the Beko BBL at 21-5 after having the weekend off followed by Bayern at 18-10. Oldenburg (17-8) missed a chance to pull into second with the loss at Hagen while the rest of the fight for second place has Ulm at 17-9 and Berlin at 16-10. The battle against relegation remains as tight as ever with Ludwigsburg (10-18) currently 17th behind Skyliners (11-17), Bayreuth (11-16), Braunschweig (11-16) and Bremerhaven (11-16). Hagens Davin White still leads the scoring race with 16.89 points per game, just 0.12 ppg more than Ulms John Bryant. Last, but not least our mini movie about the cup weekend: