The ‘stork’ retires / Ludwigsburg pull off upset, Bayern lose two players / Jagla and Kendall...
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:
Coby Karl game winner secures Ludwigsburg upset over Bayern
Many observers said MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg would likely get swept by top-seeded Bayern Munich. Coby Karl and Co. made sure that wouldn’t happen as Karl reminded many of a star by the name of Kobe with a game-winning jumper with 0.7 seconds left for an 85-83 win over Munich to even the series at 1-1. Bayern blew out Ludwigsburg in Game One with a 101-57 victory in Munich, the second biggest blowout in Beko BBL playoffs history after Bamberg’s 97-52 win over Frankfurt in the 2008-09 post-season.
Check out Karl’s game-winner:
Bayern lose Djedovic, Zipser for rest of season
Bayern are still favored to beat Ludwigsburg in the first round but their chances of taking the title took a crushing blow in Game Two as both Nihad Djedovic and Paul Zipser suffered injuries and will undergo surgery, meaning they will miss the remainder of the season. Djedovic suffered a broken right hand in the final minute of the loss and will have an operation on Thursday in Tübingen. The 20-year-old Zipser, who had worked his way into Bayern’s rotation in the past few weeks, landed nastily going up for a rebound and injured his right knee. Zipser was to undergo surgery in Augsburg on Wednesday. It’s unclear how long either player will be out - though their playoffs run are definitely over.
Thomas, Artland steal home court advantage, but give it back to Bamberg
The four-time reigning champions Brose Baskets Bamberg watched as Artland Dragons stole Game One in Freak City 73-68 but then bounced back and regained home court advantage with an 80-72 win in Game Two in Quakenbrück. Bamberg ran into a white-hot Brandon Thomas in Game One as the Artland wing nailed six-of-seven three-pointers in scoring 24 points. Bamberg’s Anton Gavel stepped up in the second game with 23 points as he would not let the champions lose a second straight game.
Bonn also win at home to even series, Berlin up 2-0
EWE Baskets Oldenburg Telekom Baskets Bonn both won their home games as their series is deadlocked at 1-1 while Berlin got huge games from Jan-Hendrik Jagla (20 points/12 rebounds) and Levon Kendall (23/5) in their respective first two victories in pulling ahead 2-0. Here are the highlights from the second game in Ulm:
Würzburg will play in ProA - without Koch, maybe with Spradley
s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg have decided to accept their relegated fate and will play next season in the ProA. But Würzburg will not be coached by Stefan Koch as the two parted ways. A number of coaches are being connected with the club including former Paderborn and Bremerhaven coach Doug Spradley.
‘Stork’ Kruel gets number retired, plans on getting coaching license
With so much going on at the end of the regular season, we missed a story that we wanted to make sure gets told. Phoenix Hagen failed to reach the playoffs, which meant that Bernd Kruel’s career was over - after 21 years of professional ball, 20 of those in Germany’s top flight. The 37-year-old Kruel, whose nickname was the ‘Storch’ (‘Stork’, because of his skinny legs), won the 2004 German league title with Frankfurt and the 1994 German Cup with Brandt Hagen. Kruel, who also played for Bonn during his career, had his number 15 retired with Hagen and he said he plans on getting a coaching license. Check out the great farewell that the fans in Hagen gave to the Stork.
Kids ready for the spotlight
While the Nike International Junior Tournament may be taking place at the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Milan, the best and brightest in the future of German hoops will be on showcase this weekend in Quakenbrück with the Top Four of the U19 NBBL and U16 JBBL leagues. Click here for the live streams of the competition.
Players of the Week
The magic number of these playoffs thus far seems to be 27. Both Chris Kramer of Oldenburg (18 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks) and Berlin’s Jan-Hendrik Jagla (20 points, 12 rebounds, one steal) came up with efficiency ratings of 27 in their teams’ first game (check out video below). And Ludwigsburg’s Michael Stockton matched that number in Game Two with 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the upset over Bayern.
Basketball Insiders: Anthony King
Once again, the guys at SportEagle.tv were talking to the top players in the Beko BBL. Here is their chat with Artland Dragons big man Anthony King.