Weekly news: Three new power forwards / Berlins wins first title
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:
Berlin beat Bamberg for Champions Cup title
David Logan scored the game-winning layup with five seconds left as ALBA BERLIN collected the first trophy of the 2013-14 season in knocking off Brose Baskets Bamberg 79-78 at Berlin’s o2 World for the Beko BBL Champions Cup. Sharrod Ford’s three-pointer just before the buzzer went off the rim for Bamberg, who lost the Champions Cup for the first time after three straight wins. Logan collected 16 points as did Leon Radosevic while Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann and Vojdan Stojanovski both scored 11 points for the 2013 TOP FOUR winners Berlin, who won the Champions Cup for the second time after 2008. Rakim Sanders poured in 19 points for the four-time reigning league champions Bamberg while Ford had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Bayern snatch PF Savovic from Bamberg
Bamberg’s Champions Cup loss came just days after they lost out on adding power forward Boris Savovic as Bayern Munich snatched up the 26-year-old Serbian and signed him until the end of the season. Savovic comes to Munich from Red Star Belgrade in a time when Bayern can certainly use a power forward/center as Deon Thompson will miss between four and six weeks with a broken hand. Munich general manager Marko Pesic insists that Savovic, who averaged 12.2 points and 8.2 rebounds last season in the Adriatic League, should not be considered a replacement for Thompson. “We thought long before the injury to Deon Thompson that we wanted to add another player for the low post positions in light of the new Euroleague challenges for our team,” said Pesic. Savovic did not play for Bayern in their loss to Barcelona but did collect 11 points and six rebounds in Munich’s defeat at ratiopharm ulm.
Bamberg add Damir Markota for three months
After losing out on Savovic, Bamberg turned to Plan B and signed Croatian international Damir Markota on a three-month deal to help fill in for Novica Velickovic. There is an option to extend the deal until the end of the season as well. The signing of the 27-year-old Markota was necessary after Bamberg decided to pull Velickovic out of practice and have him work out individually – up to two months – to get his fitness to the necessary level. Markota, who used to play for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA, averaged 8.7 points and 5.1 rebounds for Besiktas last season in the Euroleague. Markota also helped Croatia to the semi-finals of EuroBasket 2013 with 5.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists.
Oldenburg bring in Crosariol for at least one month
EWE Baskets Oldenburg also brought in a short-term replacement for a low post player unable to play as the 2013 finalists added Andrea Crosariol on a one-month contract to fill in for Adam Chubb. The center is out at least four weeks with a ligament injury. The 29-year-old Italian, who is eligible to play in the Euroleague qualification tournament starting on October 1, had spent the pre-season with Spanish Euroleague side Laboral Kutxa filling in for German international Tibor Pleiß while he was at EuroBasket 2013. Crosariol played last season with Italian top flight side Victoria Pesaro and averaged 9.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.
Bonn sign Zavackas as Gaffney replacement
Telekom Baskets Bonn have found a replacement for Tony Gaffney as they added former Beko BBL player Donatas Zavackas. The Lithuanian forward’s contract, however, is linked to Gaffney’s success or failure in training camp with the Memphis Grizzlies. Zavackas will leave the club whenever Gaffney is cut by Memphis and returns to Bonn. Should Gaffney make the Grizzlies team, Zavackas’s contract will run until the end of the 2013-14 season.
Zavackas, who spent this pre-season with CSKA Moscow, played for Ludwigsburg in 2011-12 and averaged 11.6 points and 5.4 rebounds while hitting nearly 46 percent of his three-pointers. That outside shooting prowess helped the 33-year-old win the Three-Point Shooting Contest at the 2012 Beko BBL ALLSTAR Day.
Vechta release Aden, sign Neal
Just days before the start of the season, promoted side RASTA Vechta released guard Faisal Aden and then filled the empty spot with combo guard Marcus Neal, who can also play the small forward position. The 27-year-old Neal had most recently been with Greek top flight club Ilysiakos Athens. His first game with the team will also be Vechta’s debut in the Beko BBL on Thursday, October 3 at TBB Trier.
ALBA Group extend deal three years with Berlin
ALBA BERLIN go into the 2013-14 season with an added bit of comfort as the club’s main sponsor and name giver ALBA Group extended their sponsoring deal for an additional three seasons. The eight-time Beko BBL champions and the recycling specialists have been basketball partners since 1991.
Weekly News’ Beko BBL Manager team
With the season tipping off on Wednesday October 2 with four-time reigning champions Brose Baskets Bamberg hosting Mitteldeutscher BC and the other eight games to be played on Thursday October 3, here is Weekly News’ team in the Beko BBL Manager game – Click here to register and play, for free!:
Akeem Vargas (G), Berlin, 0.20; Cameron Long, Ulm, 0.65; Mark Dorris, Hagen, 0.60, Heiko Schaffartzik (G), Munich, 0.65
Nikita Khartchenkov (G), Hagen, 0.35; Kay Gausa (G), Ulm, 0.12; Jacob Doerksen, Vechta, 0.45; Sharrod Ford, Bamberg, 0.86, Rakim Sanders, Bamberg, 0.70
Johannes Voigtmann (G), Frankfurt, 0.25; Leon Radosevic, Berlin, 0.75; Dirk Mädrich (G), Vechta, 0.40