Bayern set record / Bayreuth grab home court / Bonga breaking out / Berlin book playoff ticket
— David Hein
In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the German easyCredit 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 easyCredit BBL short and sweet:
Ulm hold on vs Frankfurt, close in on home court advantage
ratiopharm ulm nearly wasted a 22-point lead but held on to beat FRAPORT SKYLINERS 91-84 to move one step closer to locking up home court advantage in the easyCredit BBL. Raymar Morgan had an MVP-like performance with 28 points and 10 rebounds as Ulm won their third straight game since dropping their first game in the league to move to 29-1. Ulm are two games ahead of Brose Bamberg and Bayern Munich with two games left. Ulm were leading by 15 points after 10 minutes and it was a 22-point lead in the second quarter. But A.J. English’s three-pointer made it 73-70 with five minutes left. Frankfurt could not get the win and dropped to 13-18 - 2-4 in the last six games.
Bayern win record 15th straight in Taylor’s 300th game
FC Bayern Munich set a new club record by beating EWE Baskets Oldenburg 90-83 for their 15th straight win in the easyCredit BBL. Bayern captain Bryce Taylor nailed five three-pointers off the bench in scoring a team-high 19 points in his 300th game in the league. Munich’s top three scorers were reserves with Danilo Barthel picking up 16 points and Devin Booker adding 13 points. Bayern improved to 27-3 to pull even with Brose Bamberg with two games left in the regular season. Oldenburg lost their second game in the last three to drop to 16-14 - even with MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in seventh place.
Bayreuth lock up home court advantage in first round
medi bayreuth secured home court advantage in the first round of the easyCredit BBL playoffs with an 89-79 victory over GIESSEN 46ers. Nate Linhart scored 20 points and Assem Marei collected 15 points and 14 rebounds as Bayreuth moved to 21-9, securing a top-four spot in the standings despite a 3-3 record in the last six games. Bayreuth have won their last seven home games. Giessen have lost two in a row after a five-game winning streak to fall to 15-15 - one game behind EWE Oldenburg and MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in the race for the last two playoff spots.
Berlin back into playoffs despite loss
ALBA BERLIN backed their way in the easyCredit BBL despite a 100-92 loss at Eisbären Bremerhaven. Karvel Anderson paced five Bremerhaven in double figures with 17 points and Ivan Elliott had a strong double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds as Bremerhaven won in front of 5,920 spectators at the ÖVB Arena in Bremen to move to 11-19. Berlin have lost four of their last six games for a 17-13 record in sixth place. But Berlin booked their ticket to the playoffs because they hold tiebreaker advantages over Telekom Baskets Bonn, EWE Baskets Oldenburg, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg and GIESSEN 46ers.
Berlin captain Milosavljevic could miss rest of season
ALBA BERLIN’s stuttering finish to the easyCredit BBL season took another hit as captain Dragan Milosavljevic injured his elbow and could miss the rest of the season. Berlin have yet to say how long the Serbian international will sit but general manager Marco Baldi was quoted as saying: “We’re not talking about two or three weeks. It will be longer.” Berlin will desperately need newly-signed Gerald Robinson to step up the rest of the way. He collected 15 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals in the first game without Milosavljevic against Eisbären Bremerhaven.
Bonn miss chance to book ticket to playoffs
Telekom Baskets Bonn missed a chance to secure a spot in the playoffs with a 78-66 loss at home to BG Göttingen. Bonn came back from a 13-point second quarter deficit and were leading in the fourth quarter but Göttingen finished the game on a 15-2 run to hand Bonn their third straight loss and fifth in the last eight games. Bonn are 17-13 in fifth place - ahead of ALBA BERLIN in the standings but still could be overtaken in the standings by ninth placed GIESSEN 46ers. Darius Carter had 16 points off the bench to lead Göttingen, who won their second straight and third in four games to move to 12-18.
Ludwigsburg win local derby with Tübingen, stay ahead of Giessen
MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg remained in the playoff ranks with an 81-65 win over local rivals WALTER Tigers Tübingen. Johannes Thiemann had 16 points and DJ Kennedy added 15 points for their sixth straight win at home to move to 16-14 - despite a 3-3 record in their last six games. Tübingen lost their eighth straight game but have already secured their spot in the easyCredit BBL for next season with a 6-24 record.
Jared Jordan extends deal with Tübingen for two years
WALTER Tigers Tübingen believe Jared Jordan is the key to their success in the future as they locked up their captain on a two year contract extension. The 32-year-old joined Tübingen in November 2015 and became the easyCredit BBL’s all-time assist leader in February after previously playing in the league with Telekom Baskets Bonn and Brose Bamberg.
Jena snap losing streak in beating relegated Vechta
Science City Jena snapped a six-game losing streak by knocking off already-relegated RASTA Vechta 91-90. Julius Jenkins hit five three-pointers in scoring 20 points for Jena, who also got 15 points from Julius Wolf and Wayne Bernard in jumping to 11-18 on the season. Vechta, who already were relegated, had a chance to tie the game with 6.8 seconds left but Frank Gaines made just 2-of-3 free throws as the team fell to 2-28 with their sixth straight loss. One bright spot for RASTA Vechta in the game was Derrick Allen moving into first place on the easyCredit BBL scoring list since the recording of stats in 1998. The 36-year-old Allen passed Chris Ensminger in moving into ninth place all-time.
Knight leaves Jena for Spain
With Science City Jena no longer in danger of relegation, the club allowed Marcos Knight to leave with the team’s leading scorer transferring with immediate effect to Spanish club Tecnyconta Zaragoza. The 27-year-old Knight was the second-best scorer in the league with 18.1 points to go with 6.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists.
Ulmer jumper gives Würzburg first road win under Bauermann
Lamonte Ulmer knocked down a jumper with 2 seconds left to give s.Oliver Würzburg a 67-66 win at Basketball Löwen Braunschweig for their first road victory under head coach Dirk Bauermann. Michael Cobbins came off the bench for a team-high 14 points for Würzburg’s second straight win after a three-game losing streak. Würzburg moved to 9-21 while Braunschweig saw their two-game winning streak end and fell to 6-24.
Frankfurt add another talent, lock up Freudenberg for three years
FRAPORT SKYLINERS added another young top talent to their stocked system in signing Richard Freudenberg to a three-year contract. The 18-year-old will return to Germany after one season in college in the United States. Freudenberg averaged 1.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in 9.3 minutes in playing 26 of 33 games for St. John’s University. Freudenberg, who came up through the Bayern Munich system before heading to the States, had his best game against Syracuse with 9 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in 19 minutes. Freudenberg did not play in seven of the final 20 games for the Red Storm.
Six ProA teams among 23 teams applying for 2017-18 easyCredit BBL license
Six ProA teams - Mitteldeutsche BC, Oettinger Rockets Gotha, Chemnitz 99ers, Crailsheim Merlins, RÖMERSTROM Gladiators Trier and RheinStars Cologne - were among the 23 teams to apply for licenses for the 2017-18 easyCredit BBL season.
Player of the Week
Raymar Morgan had another outstanding performance as ratiopharm ulm all but clinched home court advantage for the playoffs with a win over FRAPORT SKYLINERS. Morgan had 28 points on 6-of-12 shooting and 14-of-14 free throws, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block for an efficiency of 34.
German Top Five of the Week
G: Niklas Geske, RASTA Vechta
Geske, who turned 23 years old on April 13, had one of his best games of the season in a loss against Science City Jena, collecting a season-high 10 points as well as 2 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal.
F: Tim Schwartz, Basketball Löwen Braunschweig
This week’s line-up is a big one and Schwartz has been playing excellently of late. The 29-year-old nailed 4 three-pointers in evening his career high of 14 points against s.Oliver Würzburg to go with 2 rebounds. Schwartz has scored in double figures in his last five games and averaging 12.6 points - hitting at least 3 three-pointers in all five games. He also signed on with Braunschweig for next season.
F: Julius Wolf, Science City Jena
Wolf scored a career high 15 points against RASTA Vechta to go with 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block. The 24-year-old Wolf has averaged 10.3 points in the last three games.
F: Danilo Barthel, FC Bayern Munich
Barthel came off the bench with a strong game of 16 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists in Bayern’s win over EWE Baskets Oldenburg.
F: Johannes Thiemann, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg
Thiemann continues to have a strong first season with Ludwigsburg with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 blocks against WALTER Tigers Tübingen. Thiemann has scored in double digits in seven of his last eight games.
Andreas Obst, 20, PG, GIESSEN 46ers
Obst played a career-high 25:31 minutes in a loss against medi bayreuth but the 20-year-old scored 9 points on 3-of-9 shots.
Philpp Herkenhoff, 17, SG, RASTA Vechta
Herkenhoff played just 5:01 minutes, missing his only shot - a three-pointer - but he did have 1 rebound and 1 assist as he played in his third game in April - and fourth in total.
Isaac Bonga, 17, PG, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
Bonga continues to impress with the time he is given for Frankfurt as the 17-year-old collected 6 points while evening a career high with 4 rebounds and setting a new career best with 3 assists in a career-high 26:12 minutes against ratiopharm ulm. Bonga had 8 points and 4 rebounds in his last game as Frankfurt give the young talent more and more time.
Niklas Kiel had another solid performance for FRAPORT SKYLINERS as the 19-year-old power forward scored 7 points on 2-of-7 shots while chipping in 4 rebounds and 2 blocks in 13:18 minutes against ratiopharm ulm.
Heiko Schaffartzik collected a title this week as he won the French Cup with Nanterre 92, beating Le Mans 96-79. The German playmaker collected 24 points, three rebounds and three assists in the victory. Nanterre and Schaffartzik go for the double this week as they take on Elan Chalon in the second eg of the FIBA Europe Cup on Tuesday. Nanterre and Chalon tied the first leg in Chalon 58-58 as Schaffartzik had 7 points, 1 rebound and 7 assists.