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Berlin reach finals / Oldenburg force Game Five / Bamberg fire Fleming / Ludwigsburg keep Patrick...

Berlin reach finals / Oldenburg force Game Five / Bamberg fire Fleming / Ludwigsburg keep Patrick...

ALBA BERLIN held off Artland Dragons to reach the Beko BBL finals while EWE Baskets Oldenburg forced Game Five at Bayern Munich by winning games three and four. Brose Baskets Bamberg dropped a bomb in firing head coach Chris Fleming while Ludwigsburg and Frankfurt both extended their contracts with their coaches.

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 return to finals for first time since 2011

ALBA BERLIN took another step to their first Beko BBL title since 2008 as they knocked off Artland Dragons 69-61 in Game Four to win their best-of-five semi-finals series 3-1. Berlin return to the finals for the first time since 2011 after winning the last two games of the series. Reggie Redding was huge in Berlin’s 74-68 Game Three home win and then nailed a huge three-pointer late in Berlin’s 69-61 dog-fight win in Game Four.

Bayern waste two close-out games, Oldenburg force Game Five

Bayern Munich appeared destined to breeze to the finals after taking a 2-0 lead in their series against Oldenburg. But the 2013 finalists refused to go down without a fight in taking the next two games to even the series at 2-2, setting up the do-or-die Game Five in Munich on Thursday June 4.

Rickey Paulding was fantastic in Game Three with 25 points while Nemanja Aleksandrov nailed a huge three-pointer as Oldenburg won 105-103 in double overtime (video). In Game Four, Oldenburg used a 21-0 run to start the second half in winning 70-60, thanks to Julius Jenkins pouring in 20 points. After scoring just seven points in the third quarter, Bayern trailed by 16 points going into the fourth but stormed back into the game and cut the margin to five points. But Aleksandrov nailed another huge three-pointer to deadlock the series and set up a thrilling Game Five:

Bamberg fire Fleming, Heyder steps down but will help find replacements

Brose Baskets Bamberg went through with what everyone had expected – and many had feared – as they fired head coach Chris Fleming, who had led the team to four straight Beko BBL titles and three consecutive Top Four Cup titles. Bamberg general manager Wolfgang Heyder stepped down but will remain in that function until he helps the club find replacements for Fleming and himself. Heyder will stay with the club but only work with Bamberg’s youth department. Brose supervisory board chairman Michael Stoschek went into detail about his reasons for firing Fleming. We would like to wish Chris Fleming all the luck in the future and thank him for putting together some great teams over the years.

Ludwigsburg keep Patrick until 2017; re-sign Huff; is McNaughton on the way?

MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg have laid the foundation for continued success in the future by locking up head coach John Patrick until 2017, adding two years to the deal that was due to end next season. Ludwigsburg were bounced in the first round of the playoffs by Bayern after being relegated last season but getting a wild card for the 2013-14 campaign. While it’s unclear if Ludwigsburg will be able to keep leaders Coby Karl and Michael Stockton, the club was able to re-sign Shawn Huff for two years until 2016 after the Finnish international averaged 10.3 points and 4.3 rebounds this past season. Apparently German center Chris McNaughton has been spotted at MHP offices, though it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Würzburg big man joins Ludwigsburg since he played for Patrick with BG Göttingen and Patrick was the coach who signed him with Würzburg before being fired.

Skyliners extend with Herbert, JoVo, add Williams from Vechta

FRAPORT SKYLINERS is another team who made moves to secure their positive step forward. Frankfurt added an additional year to their contract with head coach Gordon Herbert until the summer of 2016. The Canadian coach told a Frankfurt daily that he only needed to think 20 seconds before saying yes to the contract extension. The Skyliners remained committed to their movement with young German players as they extended their deal with 21-year-old center Johannes Voigtmann on a contract for two years plus an option for a third season.

Frankfurt also showed they intend on challenging for the playoffs in 2014-15 in adding point guard Richard Williams on a one-plus-one deal (video below). Williams, who was second in the Beko BBL in steals, sixth in points and assists, played last season with RASTA Vechta, who dropped to the ProA after relegation. Herbert also said the club would like to bring Andy Rautins back for next season, adding: “Of course we want him. He told me that he likes it here. It depends if we have the money to satisfy his contract wishes and if we are playing in the Eurocup.”

MBC lose captain Leutloff, bring back Viljalmsson; Braunschweig add Adler, re-up with Bogdanov

Mitteldeutscher BC lost a leader of their team but brought back a former player while New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig have two more players lined up for next season. MBC captain Sascha Leutloff is leaving the team after seven years with the club, moving to ProA team Science City Jena. MBC did make an addition to the team, bringing back Hördur Vilhjalmsson on a one year deal after the Iceland international played with the team from 2011 to 2013.

Braunschweig meanwhile signed a two-year contract with 21-year-old German point guard Martin Bogdanov. The club also announced the addition of Braunschweig native Cornelius Adler, bringing in the 25-year-old shooting guard for two years from rent4office Nürnberg. In other moves, promoted team Crailsheim Merlins brought back both co-captains Jonathan Moore and Stevie Johnson while relegated s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg were able to keep 25-year-old German power forward Ruben Spoden until 2015.

Video of the week - Last, but not least this week’s Top Ten:

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