Frankfurt on a roll / Bamberg lock up home court advantage /Giessen still alive for playoffs
— David Hein
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:
Bamberg beat Bayern, lock up home court throughout the playoffs
Brose Baskets Bamberg locked up home court advantage throughout the Beko BBL playoffs with a strong 97-90 overtime victory at Bayern Munich. Brad Wanamaker and Patrick Heckmann combined for 49 points - including 24 of 26 free throws - as Bamberg came back from a 17-point deficit near the end of the third quarter. Maxi Kleber’s tip-in with 0.6 seconds left for Bayern sent the game to overtime. The reigning champs picked up a victory in a game that probably meant less to them than to Bayern, knowing Munich are in a dogfight for the second spot in the standings. Munich also saw their 14-game home winning streak snapped. Check out Bamberg’s comeback.
SKYLINERS stop Oldenburg streak, blow out Berlin to finish season
FRAPORT SKYLINERS locked up at least third place with a convincing finish to the season with big victories over EWE Baskets Oldenburg and at ALBA BERLIN. Frankfurt snapped Oldenburg’s 12-game winning streak with a 78-63 win to take the tiebreaker advantage. And then SKYLINERS won their final game of the regular season with an 80-64 victory in Berlin. Frankfurt, who will be playing the FIBA Europe Cup Final Four this weekend, finished with a 26-8 record - and a nine-game winning streak - while Oldenburg and Bayern are even at 25-7. Because SKYLINERS have the tiebreaker over both teams and Bayern play at Oldenburg in the final round, Frankfurt have secured at least third place. Check out Tez Robertson’s nasty block on Robin Smeulders.
Spots 5-7 still open
Spots 5 to 7 in the playoffs are still undecided as well as the final week promises plenty of excitement. All three MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (22-10), ALBA BERLIN (21-11) and ratiopharm ulm (20-12) split their two games last week. All three of the teams have however locked up a spot in the post-season.
Giessen just barely alive for playoffs after Würzburg defeat
The final playoff team will be decided on the final weekend between s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg and GIESSEN 46ers. Würzburg lost at medi bayreuth 81-74 and with it the chance to secure the post-season. Giessen dropped a tough game at home against relegation threatened WALTER Tigers Tübingen 90-86 but then stayed alive for eighth place by knocking off Ludwigsburg 90-81. Giessen’s only chance of reaching the playoffs is if they beat BG Göttingen at home and Berlin on the road while Würzburg must lose at home versus Bayern and at Göttingen. Here is Cameron Long’s big dunk vs. Bonn.
Crailsheim relegated to ProA
The first relegated team from the Beko BBL is set as Crailsheim Merlins will be heading down to ProA next season. Merlins dropped their 17th consecutive game by losing at Eisbären Bremerhaven 72-64 and fell to 5-27 - three games behind Göttingen and Mitteldeutscher BC. This sequence is representative of Crailsheim’s season.
Jena, Vechta reach ProA finals, lock up promotion to Beko BBL
And the two teams who will be promoted to the Beko BBL are set as well with Science City Jena and RASTA Vechta reaching the ProA finals. Vechta, who dropped to ProA after one season in the Beko BBL in 2013-14, swept OeTTINGER Rockets Gotha in the ProA semi-finals while Jena swept Gladiators Trier. The return of Vechta to the Beko BBL is reason enough to bring out this great video about slurry and cold beer!
Bremerhaven’s two wins help, but still among five teams fighting drop
Who will join Crailsheim in ProA will most likely come down to the final round with five teams fighting against relegation - Eisbären Bremerhaven (9-23), Tübingen (9-24), Göttingen (8-24)Mitteldeutscher BC (8-24) and Phoenix Hagen, who are 13-20 but have the equivalent of a 10-20 record after being deducted three wins. Hagen will stay in the league with a win but if Bremerhaven win at least one game, Tübingen win their last game and both Göttingen and MBC win twice, it will be Hagen going down. Bremerhaven picked up two enormous victories last week - beating MBC 90-82 and Crailsheim 72-64 - and will finish the season against Oldenburg and at Bamberg. Tübingen have their final game at Crailsheim. Göttingen will play a role in the playoffs as well as they are at Giessen and host Würzburg. And MBC take on ratiopharm ulm on the road and welcome medi bayreuth. Göttingen and MBC both snapped three-game losing streaks last weekend by beating Phoenix Hagen and Bonn, respectively. The league’s leading scorer Kyle Fogg torched MBC with 32 points.
Bayreuth decline contract extension with Koch
After securing their spot in the Beko BBL for next season, medi bayreuth announced they will not extend their contract with head coach Mike Koch for next season. The club said they will not name a successor to Koch until after the current season. Koch joined Bayreuth on January 1, 2014 and helped the club stay in the league, finishing in 14th place. Last season, Bayreuth staved off relegation in 16th place. Check out Jake Odums 25 points against Berlin.
Players of the Week
The double game day meant two Player of the Week awards to hand out. Brendan Lane was outstanding for Würzburg against Telekom Baskets Bonn in Round 29 with 25 points on 12-of-19 shots and 1-of-1 free throws to go with 15 rebounds, two assists and two blocks for an efficiency of 36. The top performance of Round 30 came from TaShawn Thomas from MBC, who picked up 16 points on 7-of-10 shots and 1-of-2 free throws as well as 15 rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks for an efficiency of 32 against Bonn. Check out Lane dunking on Bonn.
German Top Five of the Week
G: Per Günther, ratiopharm ulm
Günther had a strong game against Göttingen offensively with 22 points to go with two rebounds, three assists and two steals. He was off-target against Oldenburg, missing all 10 of his shots but still hitting 9-of-11 free throws for nine points and contributing five rebounds and seven assists.
G: Bastian Doreth, medi bayreuth
Doreth put together two solid all-around games as he tallied 10 points, three rebounds and six assists against Berlin and followed that up with 13 points - including three three-pointers - three rebounds and eight assists versus Würzburg.
F: Patrick Heckmann, Brose Baskets Bamberg
Heckmann earned his spot as the number two scorer for Bamberg against Bayern, picking up 20 points on 4-of-7 shots and 9-of-10 free throws, six rebounds and one assist. Before that against Braunschweig, the 24-year-old had five points, three rebounds, two assists and one block.
C: Johannes Voigtmann, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
JoVo played a major role in Frankfurt finishing off their Beko BBL season with two more victories as he picked up 20 points including 3-of-3 on three-pointers, six rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks against Oldenburg. Against Berlin, the big man collected 11 points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal.
C: Bogdan Radosavljevic, WALTER Tigers Tübingen
Radosavljevic is really playing excellent for Tübingen as he picked up two more double-digit scoring games. He scored 10 points with four rebounds against Giessen and then had 14 points, five rebounds and one steal against Braunschweig. In his 10 games since the beginning of March, Radosavljevic has averaged 12.4 points on 59 percent shooting (29 percent from three-point range) and 82 percent from the free throw line. He also is picking up 5.7 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.5 blocks while committing 3.2 fouls - fouling out of four games. Here are three dunks he had against Braunschweig.
Max Ugrai, 20, PF, s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg
Ugrai started for the fourth straight game and scored five points against Bonn, hitting 2-of-4 shots and 1-of-2 free throws while picking up one rebound, one assist and one block in 13:00 minutes. Ugrai did not play against Bayreuth.
Jonas Grof, 19, Phoenix Hagen
Grof had two solid games for Hagen as he picked up five points on 1-of-6 shooting and 3-of-4 free throws to go with five rebounds, three assists and four turnovers in 27:31 minutes against Ludwigsburg. In the contest against Göttingen, the 19-year-old collected six points on 2-of-6 shooting and 2-of-3 free throws, six rebounds and three assists in 16:21 minutes.
Joschka Ferner, 20, SF, ratiopharm ulm
Ferner continues to get regular playing time for Ulm as the 20-year-old started both games against Göttingen and Oldenburg. He had five points in 17:53 minutes against Göttingen and picked up four points and two assists before fouling out after 9:57 minutes of action against Oldenburg.
Mahir Agva started against Giessen for Tübingen and the 20-year-old scored six points as he hit both of his field goal attempts and his two free throws. He also had one rebound, one steal and one turnover in 18:30 minutes. Against Braunschweig, he went scoreless, missing his one shot while grabbing two rebounds and turning the ball over twice in 12:47 minutes.
As the Dallas Mavericks bowed out of the NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder, it marks the end of the 18th season in the league for Dirk Nowitzki. The 37-year-old, who averaged a team-high 18.3 points and 6.5 rebounds this season, insists that he’s not retiring. Nowitzki is currently the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history with 29,491 career points.