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Würzburg among undefeated sextet / Ulm stuttering out of gates / Erfurt get first win Viktor Meshko

Würzburg among undefeated sextet / Ulm stuttering out of gates / Erfurt get first win

s.Oliver Würzburg were the story of the first round of games in the easyCredit BBL by upsetting Brose Bamberg. Well, Dirk Bauermann’s Würzburg team have added two more wins and are one of six teams still undefeated. ratiopharm ulm meanwhile have stumbled out of the gates with three straight losses and are even behind undermanned OeTTINGER Rockets, who picked up their first ever victory in Germany’s top flight.

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.

Würzburg follow upset of Bamberg with two more wins

Don’t look now but s.Oliver Würzburg are undefeated after two weeks of games and one of four teams at 3-0 - with two others at 2-0. Robin Benzing has been great to start the season as the German national team captain led Würzburg in scoring in the opening win last week over Brose Bamberg. Benzing then this week sent the game against Science City Jena to overtime and also won it in OT. Benzing picked up 21 points in an 81-79 victory over Jena as Würzburg made 14 of 14 free throws. Impressive is that Würzburg did not cave in after wasting a 16-point third quarter lead. Würzburg’s third victory was over Eisbären Bremerhaven 74-64 thanks to a big 28-16 fourth quarter. Kresimir Loncar recovered from his first half ankle injury and scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. Benzing struggled from the field, hitting just 2-of-11 shots in scoring six points but he added four rebounds, three assists and one block.

Oettinger grab first-ever easyCredit BBL win

OeTTINGER Rockets have been rocked by injuries at the start of their first-ever easyCredit BBL season but the promoted team picked up their first victory in league history, knocking off GIESSEN 46ers 96-71. Ekene Ibekwe and Retin Obasohan combined for 38 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, four steals and five blocks.

Bayern express rolls past Braunschweig, gets Göttingen scare

Another of the 3-0 teams is FC Bayern Munich, who showed just how powerful they can be. Bayern led 34-14 after 10 minutes in blasting Basketball Löwen Braunschweig 111-53 with Devin Booker pacing five players in double figures. The 58-point winning margin was the third-largest since the easyCredit BBL started digitally recording results - bested only twice by ALBA BERLIN, who beat Bayreuth and Ulm by 63 points each in 1999. Bayern were rolling against BG Göttingen as well, leading 20-4 in the first quarter. But Brion Rush gave Munich a real scare in hitting seven three-pointers for 35 points. Still Jared Cunningham hit eight of his 10 points in the final 1:43 minutes in a 78-72 win for Bayern. Vladimir Lucic led Munich with 18 points.

Oldenburg celebrate 10 years of Paulding, move to 3-0

EWE Baskets Oldenburg’s week saw them celebrate beloved veteran Rickey Paulding and pick up two more victories to jump to 3-0. Paulding received his Pascal Roller award for the league’s Most Likeable Player before the game against Science City Jena which Oldenburg ended up winning 79-69 - on the 10th anniversary of his debut with the club. The game also saw two of the true legends of easyCredit BBL basketball facing off with Paulding and Derrick Allen both scoring 13 points, leaving Allen just ahead of Paulding on the league’s all-time scoring list 5,495 points to 5,492. The win over Jena came after Oldenburg picked up their second victory of the year - a 94-74 triumph at OeTTINGER Rockets with Paulding scoring 23 points.

Bayreuth get by MBC, keep Ulm reeling

medi bayreuth are also at 3-0 in the league with two more victories - thanks in large part to their Egyptian national team center Assem Marei. Robin Amaize poured in 20 points and Marei had 18 points and 12 rebounds as Bayreuth beat Mitteldeutscher BC at home 82-78. Marei collected 14 points and 16 rebounds while Gabe York scored 24 points as Bayreuth picked up their third win, 84-74 at ratiopharm ulm, who dropped to 0-3.

Ulm pass 2016-17 regular season loss total with 0-3 start

ratiopharm ulm lost two regular season games all season in 2016-17. They have already eclipsed that mark after just three games as Ulm are one of five teams at 0-3. Ulm gave up 21 points to Josh Mayo in losing 86-74 at Telekom Baskets Bonn. Isaac Fotu picked up 23 points in the loss. Ulm were 15-1 at home last season, but that loss total has been exceeded as well with the 84-74 home defeat against medi bayreuth. Luke Harangody’s 20 points and 15 rebounds were not enough for Ulm, who have lost twice already at the ratiopharm arena. The other four teams stuck at 0-3 are BG Göttingen, Science City Jena, WALTER TIgers Tübingen and GIESSEN 46ers.

Bonn, Ludwigsburg 2-0 after delayed season start

While FC Bayern Munich, EWE Baskets Oldenburg, medi bayreuth and s.Oliver Würzburg are all at 3-0 in the league, Telekom Baskets Bonn and MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg are both a game back at 2-0 after they had a delayed start to their easyCredit BBL season due to their qualification round action in the Basketball Champions League. Bonn opened their season in fine fashion with an 86-74 win at home over ratiopharm ulm - thanks to Josh Mayo pacing four players in double figures with 21 points. Bonn then survived a battle with Basketball Löwen Braunschweig, winning 76-73 with Mayo again leading the way with 18 points. Six points was the biggest lead for either team and Yorman Polas Bartolo won the game for Bonn scoring the final four points for 13 points and six rebounds. Ludwigsburg opened their season with a 98-77 win at Eisbären Bremerhaven with Adika Peter-McNeilley picking up 21 points. Bremerhaven shot 53 percent for the game but committed 22 turnovers. Ludwigsburg had another comfortable win at home, beating FRAPORT SKYLINERS 79-62 with Thomas Walkup collecting 19 points, six rebounds and five assists. Frankfurt hit just 36 percent of their shots.

Bamberg grab three wins, but still not shining

Reigning champions Brose Bamberg looked past their season-opening loss at Würzburg and grabbed three wins to move to 3-1. But the champs have yet to really shine. Bamberg wasted a 14-point third quarter lead and actually trailed by one point in the fourth quarter at GIESSEN 46ers before catching themselves for an 87-84 victory. Maodo Lo led the way with 14 points. Bamberg put together an impressive 92-64 win at OeTTINGER Rockets in a Round 5 game that was moved up in the schedule. But the hosts only had seven players including two teenagers. Leon Radosevic had 19 points for Bamberg, who were coached by assistant Ilias Kantzouris as head coach Andrea Trinchieri returned home to Milan for a family matter. Bamberg nearly blew another big cushion against WALTER Tigers Tübingen but held on for an 81-73 win. Bamberg got 16 points from Luka Mitrovic but Tübingen cut a 21-point lead to three with less than three minutes left in the game.

Berlin 3-1 after losing thriller to Bremerhaven, winning in OT at MBC

Ahead of Telekom Baskets Bonn and MHP RIESEN Ludwigburg in the standings are Brose Bamberg and ALBA BERLIN - both at 3-1. Berlin lost to Eisbären Bremerhaven 66-64 in a thriller at home in the Round 10 game that was moved up in the schedule. Geoffrey Groselle was the hero for Bremerhaven in their first victory of the season, hitting the game winner in the final second. Dennis Clifford scored 18 points in the loss for Berlin. Clifford was the leading scorer again in Berlin’s comfortable 99-63 victory against WALTER Tigers Tübingen. And Berlin’s third game this week saw the second overtime game of the season - following s.Oliver Würzburg’s win over Science City Jena in Round 2. Peyton Siva picked up 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in Berlin’s 89-80 overtime win at Mitteldeutscher BC.

Players of the Week(s)

With two rounds of games this week there are two Players of the Week. For Round 2, the honor goes to Philip Scrubb as the Canadian international came off the FRAPORT SKYLINERS bench against BG Göttingen to pick up a team-high 25 points on 7-of-13 shots and 5-of-6 free throws, to go with two rebounds, five assists and three steals and just one turnover in 33 minutes for an efficiency of 27.

Round 3’s top man was Brion Rush of Göttingen as he went 12-of-19 from the field, including 7-of-10 on three-pointers (video), and 4-of-4 from the line for 35 points as well as three rebounds and two assists for an efficiency of 32 in the loss to FC Bayern Munich.

German Top Five of the Week

G: Maodo Lo, Brose Bamberg

Lo once again was one of the leaders for Bamberg in three victories this week. Against GIESSEN 46ers he collected 14 points, three rebounds, one assist, three steals and one block. In a win over WALTER Tigers Tubingen, Lo had 12 points, one rebound, four assists, two steals and one block. And while being held to three points against OeTTINGER Rockets, Lo picked up five rebounds, six assists and two steals with zero turnovers.

F: Robin Benzing, s.Oliver Würzburg

Benzing makes this list again as he saved the day against Science City Jena with 21 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block. The German national team captain had six points on just 2-of-11 shooting vs Eisbären Bremerhaven but also added four rebounds, three assists and one block.

F: David Brembly, Eisbären Bremerhaven

We’re going to go with a little bigger line-up this week with Brembly as the second guard. He had 13 points, four rebounds and one assist in the win over ALBA BERLIN and then had six points, three rebounds and one steal vs MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg. Brembly followed that up with a team-high 15 points including 3-of-3 on three-pointers to go with nine rebounds, one assist and one steal against s.Oliver Würzburg.

F: Michael Kessens, Eisbären Bremerhaven

This is a new name for most people probably as Kessens is a 26-year-old rookie who is actually Swiss-German - with a German mother and Somalian father and born and raised in Geneva before playing in France from 2009 to 2012 and then heading to the United States for five years in college in the United States. The power forward had 12 points and one rebound against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg and then picked up eight points, six rebounds, one assist and one block versus ALBA BERLIN and then added four points and six rebounds against s.Oliver Würzburg.

C: Johannes Thiemann, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg

Thiemann started the season in fine fashion with nine points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal against Eisbären Bremerhaven and then picked up 13 points, five rebounds and two assists against FRAPORT SKYLINERS.

Young Guns

Andreas Obst, 21, SG, OeTTINGER Rockets

Obst is getting plenty of playing time as the Rockets go through some serious injury issues. Obst came through with 15 points on 4-of-8 three-pointers, three rebounds, two assists and one steal against EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Facing his former club GIESSEN 46ers, Obst nailed 3-of-7 three-pointers for 13 points with one assist and one steal.

Tim Schneider, 20, PF, ALBA BERLIN

Schneider has already worked his way into the Berlin rotation as the 20-year-old had four points, four rebounds, one assist and one block against WALTER Tigers Tübingen. He picked up seven points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals vs Eisbären Bremerhaven and added seven points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal against Mitteldeutscher BC.

Kristian Kullamäe, 18, PG, OeTTINGER Rockets

Kullamäe is another beneficiary of the Rockets’ injuries. The 18-year-old made his debut against EWE Baskets Oldenburg with 27 seconds and no stats. But the Estonian talent had two points and two rebounds in 6:36 minutes against GIESSEN 46ers and then came off the bench for 25:55 minutes against Brose Bamberg and had 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting and 2-of-3 three-pointers as well as four rebounds, three assists, one steal and just one turnover for an efficiency of 14.

Bonga Watch

FRAPORT SKYLINERS star talent Isaac Bonga continues to get plenty of playing time to show what he can do and the 17-year-old has not disappointed. Against BG Göttingen the 2.03m point guard had 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting including 2-of-2 three-pointers and 2-of-2 free throws to go with four rebounds, three assists, one block and just two turnovers in 21:49 minutes. Bonga then faced a tough MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg defense and had six points on 2-of-6 shots, missing both of his three-point attempts but hitting 2-of-2 free throws. He also picked up five rebounds, five assists and two steals though he committed four turnovers in 27:04 minutes.

Four German teams again in ANGT - in Munich to host qualifying tournament

Four clubs from the easyCredit BBL will be represented in the Adidas Next Generation Tournament - the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague’s U18 club competition. ratiopharm ulm will be making their debut in the event while FC Bayern Munich will be hosting one of the four qualifying tournaments for the first time. Bayern and Ulm will be joined by Brose Bamberg and ALBA BERLIN in the ANGT qualifier from February 9-11 in Munich at the Audi Dome. This is the third straight year there will be four German clubs in the competition.

Germans Abroad

Daniel Theis has already started winning over the hearts of Boston Celtics fans in the pre-season of the 2017-18 NBA season. In the first pre-season game, Theis collected team highs of 14 points and seven rebounds to go with three assists, one block and one steal - all that in just 14:43 minutes. His performance led Evan Valenti (@EvanValenti) to list the following as possible nicknames for Theis: Cold as Theis, The Theis is Right, No More Mister Theis Guy, Vanilla Theis, Of Theis and Men, Miami Theis and Kimbo Theis. And Boston Celtics fan Ty went a step further.

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