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Seven teams into playoffs / Tübingen moves out of drop zone / Awards for Cliff Hammond and Darius...

Seven teams into playoffs / Tübingen moves out of drop zone / Awards for Cliff Hammond and Darius...

Four more teams booked spots in the Beko BBL playoffs this week, leaving one spot still open; Tübingen leaves relegation zone with another victory; Adams and Hammonds win season awards; and could Niels Giffey make the NBA?

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:

Oldenburg, Artland, Bonn and Ulm book playoff spots

Playoffs here we come! Four more teams booked their spots in the Beko BBL post season, leaving just one berth left going into the final two weeks of games. Third placed ALBA BERLIN locked up home court advantage for the first round of the playoffs with their round 30 win over Artland Dragons (check video below) while EWE Baskets Oldenburg - who saw center Adam Chubb finally make his season debut - secured a playoff spot. Artland, Telekom Baskets Bonn and ratiopharm ulm followed suit in round 31. The final order of the teams is still up for grabs and will be decided by May 1.

Three-team race for final post season bid

There’s a three-team race for the eighth spot in the playoffs between MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg, Mitteldeutscher BC and Phoenix Hagen. Here is a breakdown of the remaining games for those three teams:

Ludwigsburg (17-14 - 8th place): @Munich, v Hagen, @Oldenburg

Mitteldeutscher BC (16-16 - 9th place): v Bamberg, @Artland

Phoenix Hagen (14-17 - 10th place):  v Ulm, @Ludwigsburg, @Tübingen

Tübingen jumps past Würzburg out of relegation spots

Don’t look now but WALTER Tigers Tübingen have won four of their last six games and jumped out of the relegation spots up to 16th place, watching s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg move to 17th ahead of RASTA Vechta. The last placed team snapped their 12-game losing streak by beating Tübingen but then lost to Brose Baskets Bamberg. While it looks like two of the trio of Tübingen, Würzburg and Vechta will drop to ProA, there are six teams that still could finish in the bottom two. Here is the remaining schedule for those six clubs.

Bremerhaven (11-20 - 13th place): v Würzburg, @Frankfurt, v Vechta

Braunschweig (11-20 - 14th place): @Tübingen, @Bonn, v Munich

Bayreuth (10-22 - 15th place): v Trier, @Würzburg

Tübingen (8-23 - 16th place): v Braunschweig, @Oldenburg v Hagen

Würzburg (9-22 - 17th place): @Bremerhaven, @Berlin, v Bayreuth

Vechta (6-25 - 18th place): v Frankfurt, v Munich, @Bremerhaven

Adams, Hammonds win first Beko BBL season awards

As the regular season winds down, that means it’s awards time, and the first two season honors were handed out with Eisbären Bremerhaven’s Darius Adams winning the Best Offensive Player award and Berlin’s Clifford Hammonds was crowned the Best Defensive Player. By appearing in the top ten of four different categories - including a neck-and-neck race with Isaiah Swann for the scoring title - Adams was named the top offensive player by a group consisting of the Beko BBL head coaches, teams captains and selected media. Adams garnered 95 survey points, placing ahead Swann (77) and Julius Jenkins (67), succeeding last year’s winner John Bryant, then of Ulm now with Bayern. Here some of Adams’ highlights.

The coaches, captains and media voted Hammonds as top defensive player, giving him 82 voting points (video below). Second place went to Bamberg’s D’Or Fischer with 70 points while Bamberg’s Anton Gavel, last season’s winner, was third with 52 points. The Beko BBL’s Best German Youth Player (U23) and Most Improved Player will be announced on Wednesday, April 23.

Player(s) of the Week(s)

Both the 30th and 31st round of Beko BBL saw two players take top honors for the week. Tübingen’s Jonathan Wallace scored a Beko BBL season high 37 points with six three-pointers to go with 11-of-11 free throws, three rebounds, one assist and one steal for an efficiency rating of 32 in a loss to Vechta. medi bayreuth’s Kyle Weems matched the 32 rating with 34 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block in a loss to Artland. In round 31, Jamel McLean had a 28 rating in a win over MBC with 20 points, including 14-of-16 free throws, nine rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block. Tübingen’s Branislav Ratkovica also earned a 28 rating with 23 points on 8-of-12 shots, six rebounds, five assists and two steals against Bremerhaven.

Where is Giffey going?

While the Beko BBL is abuzz about where two-time NCAA champion Niels Giffey will play next season, the sharpshooter might just wait awhile to make a decision. The Berlin native might just make it to the NBA. Giffey helped UConn to the 2014 NCAA crown with some great three-point shooting. But he is much more than that and he apparently really impressed NBA scouts at the NBA pre-draft Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Some believe Giffey could find a spot in the NBA. One thing is certain, there will be plenty of Beko BBL teams waiting for him if he does finally come back to Germany.

Young Guns

With two rounds of action this week, the Young Guns section will feature four players this week

Bogdan Radosavljevic, 20, C, WALTER Tigers Tübingen 

Radosavljevic wasn’t quite as strong as he has been recently but he collected five points - on 2-of-10 shooting - with six rebounds, zero turnovers and four fouls in 21:51 minutes against Vechta. Against Bremerhaven, the 20-year-old had six points - on 3-of-8 shooting - to go with three rebounds, one steal, three turnovers and one foul in 18:40 minutes.

Fabian Bleck, 21, SF, Phoenix Hagen

In a game full of youngsters, Bleck went 1-of-1 from the field for two points and one rebound in 8:49 minutes against FRAPORT SKYLINERS. Bleck then started against Oldenburg and collected 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting with three rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and one turnovers in 23:44 minutes.

Bazoumana Kone, 20, SG, Eisbären Bremerhaven

Kone missed his only shot in a loss to Bayern Munich for zero points but he collected six assists while committing three fouls in 14:16 minutes.

Jonathan Maier, 21, PF, ratiopharm ulm

Maier made his only shot for two points as well as one rebound, one assist, one steal and one turnover in 4:28 minutes against Bayreuth. It was Maier’s first points since the end of his strong four-game stretch in November when he averaged 3.75 points and 2.75 rebounds

Meat and Potatoes

There was no change in the top of the Beko BBL standings as the top four teams - Bayern, Bamberg, Berlin and Oldenburg - all won. Artland lost but remained fifth ahead of Bonn. The big change at the bottom of the standings saw Tübingen move out of the relegation ranks, leaving Würzburg and Vechta in the last two spots. The last three games will decide the scoring title as Braunschweig’s Isaiah Swann leads after 31 games with 17.94 ppg, ahead of Bremerhaven’s Darius Adams at 17.87 ppg. Ludwigsburg’s Keaton Grant (16.37 ppg) and Hagen’s David Bell (16.37 ppg) still have outside chances. The race for the rebounding crown is just as tight as Hagen’s Larry Gordon (7.5 rpg) is just ahead of Jamel McLean of Bonn (7.3 rpg) and MBC’s Angelo Caloiaro (7.0 rpg). Who will finish second in assist behind Bamberg’s Jared Jordan (7.8 apg)? Well, Bayreuth’s Kevin Hamilton has 5.7 apg and Tübingen’s Branislav Ratkovica averages 5.5 apg.

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