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Weekly News: Home teams open playoffs with win; Herbert returns to Frankfurt; Stefan Koch to say...

Weekly News: Home teams open playoffs with win; Herbert returns to Frankfurt; Stefan Koch to say...

In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the German Beko Basketball Bundesliga. This week: Four home teams open playoffs with win; Herbert returns to Skyliners again; ProA and ProB year-end awards.
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 Tuesday David Hein (www.heinnews.com) brings you up-to-date in German basketball – the Beko BBL short and sweet (for feedback and suggestions please email to Simon@Beko-BBL.de).

Finally: playoffs, baby! Time for some emotions:

Home court pays off early: All four hosts win Game One

There’s no place like home in the Beko BBL playoffs where all four home teams won Game One of their quarter-final series. Three-time reigning champions Brose Baskets Bamberg started and ended well in beating Phoenix Hagen 99-74 with Sharrod Ford pacing six Bamberg players in double figures with 18 points. Bamberg pick-and-rolled Hagen to death with a 52-22 advantage on points in the paint. Hagen did not have Davin White score until 2.7 seconds left in the first half with the Beko BBL leading scorer hitting for 11 points while Adam Hess went scoreless. Hagen trailed by 18 points in the second quarter but just five points at the break and the underdogs led 64-62 after three quarters before Bamberg won the fourth quarter 37-10.

EWE Baskets Oldenburg jumped ahead 1-0 in their series against Telekom Baskets Bonn with a 78-66 win, leading from start to finish and getting 21 points from Rickey Paulding. ratiopharm ulm went on a 14-2 fourth quarter run to pick up a comfortable 83-68 victory over Artland Dragons with John Bryant and Allan Ray leading the way with 24 points each. Bayern Munich meanwhile beat ALBA BERLIN 88-67 with Tyrese Rice scoring all 15 of his points in a 34-15 third quarter for Bayern. Robin Benzing scored 16 points to lead Munich.

Stefan Koch to say adieu to Dragons after season’s end

Artland Dragons head coach Stefan Koch announced this week that he will not extend his contract with the playoff team, saying he wants to concentrate on his family as his son will be entering school. The 49-year-old coach has been with Quackenbrück since 2010.

Herbert returns to Frankfurt

FRAPORT SKYLINERS did not wait long to fill their coaching vacancy in bringing back for a third time Gordon Herbert on a two-year contract. The 54-year-old Canadian guided Frankfurt to the 2004 Beko BBL title during his first run as coach from 2001-04. Herbert, who replaced Muli Katzurin, returned a second time in April 2010 and led Skyliners to Game Five of the 2010 Beko BBL finals before losing in the final seconds to Brose Baskets Bamberg. Herbert, who was an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors in 2008-09 after coaching Euroleague teams Pau Orthez (2006-07) and Aris (2007-08), remained another season in Frankfurt before coaching last season at ALBA BERLIN. Welcome back to the Beko BBL, Coach Herbert!

Oldenburg lock up Chubb, Smeulders for two years, Gordon stays in Hagen for two seasons

The playoffs may have just started but Oldenburg are already thinking about the future and have locked up Adam Chubb and Robin Smeulders for the next two seasons. Chubb was named to the Beko BBL All-Second Team this season after averaging 10.6 points and 7.0 rebounds. The Dutchman Smeulders is also an important part to Oldenburg because he holds a German passport. Phoenix Hagen also secured a crucial part of their success this season for the long term, extending their deal with Larry Gordon for the next two seasons. Gordon has been a great addition this season, coming to Germany after two seasons in Austria.

Vechta takes two ProA awards, Vargas and Jönke top Youth players

The ProA and ProB second and third divisions released their season awards and the promoted Beko BBL side and ProA champions SC Rasta Vechta were the big winners (see the city celebrating the championship). Vechta’s point guard Richard Williams was named the ProA Player of the Year with Vechta coach Pat Elzie taking ProA Coach of the Year honors. The ProA Youngster of the Year was Akeem Vargas from BG Göttingen. Josh Parker of Bayer Giants Leverkusen picked up Player of the Year honors for the ProB while Mladen Drijencic of Baskets Akademie Weser-Ems/Oldenburger TB was named ProB Coach of the Year. And the ProB Youngster of the Year was Till-Joscha Jönke from Weißenhorn Youngsters who also played at times this season for Beko BBL club ratiopharm ulm.

Statline of the week: Bryant way too much for Hagen

John Bryant’s huge night against Artland was the best performance of Game Ones as the two-time MVP collected 24 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocks for an efficiency rating of 32:

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