Bayern just one win from title / Würzburg add top duo / MBC lose young coach
— 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:
Bayern just one victory from title after holding on in Game 3
FC Bayern Munich moved to within one victory of the 2017-18 easyCredit BBL title by winning Game 3 of the Finals 72-66 at home over ALBA BERLIN to take a 2-1 series lead. Bayern put together an 11-0 run at the end of the first half and then pushed the lead out to 21 points early in the third quarter. The advantage was still 14 points with six minutes to play before Berlin made one final push, with Spencer Butterfield’s three-pointer cutting the gap to 70-66 with 40 seconds left. But Berlin’s season MVP Luke Sikma was called for unsportsmanlike foul with 39 seconds remaining to decide the game for good. Reggie Redding led the way for Bayern with 18 points, six rebounds and three assists off the bench while fellow reserve Nihad Djedovic added 11 points. Bayern’s five starters were held to just 35 points and the team survived 27 turnovers as they held Berlin to 40 percent shooting. Butterfield paced Berlin with 16 points and Peyton Siva had 15 points while Sikma was held to 1-of-8 shooting for five points, five rebonds and seven assists. Game 4 will be Wednesday June 13 in Berlin.
Bayern win in Berlin, reclaim home court advantage
FC Bayern Munich rolled their way back in charge of the easyCredit BBL Finals by routing ALBA BERLIN 96-69 in Berlin to even the series at 1-1. Bayern held Berlin to just 38 percent shooting for the game and grabbed control in the first quarter by giving up just nine points in opening a 26-9 lead. Bayern hit 58 percent from the field in dishing out 30 assists - a new Finals record since the start of digital collection of stats in 1998-99, topping the mark of 28 assists Bayern had set in Game 1. Jared Cunningham led the way with 17 points while Danilo Barthel picked up 15 points and six rebounds. Stefan Jovic and Anton Gavel combined for just six points but did have 17 assists. Berlin suffered their first home loss since November 5, 2017 - also against Bayern - despite 14 points and five rebounds from Bogdan Radosavljevic off the bench. Luke Sikma had 13 points in the loss.
Bayern playmaker Hobbs undergoes appendix surgery
FC Bayern Munich played Games 2 and 3 without playmaker Braydon Hobbs as the American underwent emergency surgery on his appendix. Bayern dedicated the Game 2 victory to Hobbs.
Australian international Creek, Brad Loesing move to Würzburg
The makeover of s.Oliver Würzburg continued with two strong moves for new head coach Denis Wucherer’s team. Australian international Mitch Creek will remain in the easyCredit BBL and signed a one-year deal with Würzburg, who also added guard Brad Loesing. The 26-year-old small forward Creek arrived in Germany late last season, joining BG Göttingen at the end of March from Australian club Adelaide 36ers. Creek averaged 11.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in seven games for Göttingen. Creek may end up not playing Würzburg as he has an option for the NBA and will participate in the NBA Summer League this summer. Würzburg meanwhile locked up the 28-year-old Loesing on a two-year deal after he came over from EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Loesing is an American but owns a German passport. He averaged 3.6 points and 1.2 assists last season.
MBC lose head coach Jovovic, heads to Polish powerhouse Zielona Gora
Mitteldeutscher BC unexpectedly find themselves now looking for a new head coach after their leader from last season Igor Jovovic signed on a deal with Polish powerhouse Zielona Gora. The 35-year-old Montenegrin guided MBC to promotion from the ProA in 2017 and helped them remain in the league last season. Jovovic’s assistant Aleksandar Scepanovic is one of the candidates as the successor.
MBC sign Viglianisi, watch Schwarz and Gloger depart
Mitteldeutscher BC have made their first addition for next season with the signing of Kenneth Viglianisi. The 26-year-old German-Italian penned a one-year contract after playing last season with Italian second division side Lighthouse Conad Trapani. The 1.93m shooting guard came up in the Reggio Emilia system. MBC in the meantime saw the departure of two German players as Till Gloger moved to second division ProA side RÖMERSTROM Gladiators Trier on a two-year contract and captain Malte Schwarz signed with third division ProB club Iserlohn Kangaroos.
Hatten ends his playing career
Mitteldeutscher BC have lost a major face of their franchise as Marcus Hatten has announced his retirement from the game. The 37-year-old point guard averaged 9.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists last season - his fourth with MBC. Hatten, who played for MBC in 2013-14 and 2015 to 2018, said he wants to watch his 3-year-old son grow up.
Oldenburg add Boothe, extend Hujic, Moore to leave club
EWE Baskets Oldenburg have signed their first new player for next season as they picked up Nathan Boothe. The 24-year-old power forward/center played last season with Turkish playoffs side Sakarya BB and signed on a one year deal with Oldenburg. The club also announced a two-year contract extension with 21-year-old guard Haris Hujic. The German played in 16 games and averaged 1.2 points last season. With the arrival of Boothe, Oldenburg also announced the departure of Armani Moore, who will be heading to Oceania to play for the New Zealand Breakers.
Oldenburg add successful Serbian coach Mijatovic for youth team
EWE Baskets Oldenburg made a major addition to their youth ranks as the club brought in successful Serbian youth coach Dejan Mijatovic. The 49-year-old Mijatovic helped Serbia to silver medals at the 2011 and 2013 FIBA U19 Basketball World Cups, the title at the 2007 FIBA U18 European Championship and bronze medals at the 2012 FIBA U18 European Championship and 2014 FIBA U20 European Championship. Mijatovic will be part of the coaching staff of Oldenburg’s Baskets Akademie.
Braunschweig add German A2 international Sengfelder, duo to leave team
Basketball Löwen Braunschweig have signed a key addition for next season as power forward Christian Sengfelder will join the team for his professional debut. The 23-year-old German played last season at Boise State University and signed on a one-year deal with Braunschweig. The Leverkusen native Sengfelder played for Braunschweig head coach Frank Menz at the 2015 FIBA U20 European Championship. Sengfelder averaged 11.8 points and 6.6 rebounds for Boise State last season after playing at Fordham University from 2014 to 2017. While Sengfelder joins Braunschweig next season, two players will leave the team as Tom Alte and Nemanja Jaramaz will play elsewhere.
Göttingen keep Kramer as well
BG Göttingen continue to work towards stability and continuity and re-signed German big man Dennis Kramer for another season. The 26-year-old, who joined Göttingen before last season from EWE Baskets Oldenburg, struggled to work his way into the rotation but collected 17 points in the penultimate game of the season and averaged 4.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 12 minutes. Also coming back from last season’s team are Stephan Haukohl, Lenny Larysz and Dominic Lockhart.
Ludwigsburg bring in von Fintel from Hanua
MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg have announced their first new signing as they added Christian von Fintel. The 28-year-old German guard arrives in Ludwigsburg from ProA side HEBEISEN White Wings Hanau on a two-year contract after serving last season as team captain and averaging 8.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals.
Vechta keep Hinrichs, Christen from promoted team
RASTA Vechta have retained two key players from the team that earned promotion to the easyCredit BBL in signing Seth Hinrichs and Robin Christen for next season. The 25-year-old Hinrichs averaged 13.8 points and 6.4 rebounds last season while the 27-year-old German Christen picked up 10.5 points and 2.5 rebounds.
Kessens options to leave Bremerhaven
German-Swiss big man Michael Kessens has decided to exercise his option for next season and will leave Eisbären Bremerhaven and play instead for RASTA Vechta. The 27-year-old Kessens, who made his professional debut last season after completing his US collegiate career, originally signed on a two-year deal but had an option in the contract. Kessens averaged 6.6 points and 4.3 rebounds last season for Bremerhaven.
Spain-bound Obst named Best German Youth Player
Andi Obst has been selected as the 2017-18 Best German Youth Player after his superb season with Rockets. The 21-year-old Obst, who played for the German senior national team in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers during the season, averaged 10.9 points on 38 percent three-pointers, 2.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 28 minutes a game for Rockets. Obst, who has since the end of the season signed a three-year deal with Spanish side Obradoiro, won the vote of the 18 easyCredit BBL head coaches, German national team head coach Henrik Rödl and Jens Staudenmayer with 94 points. Tim Schneider of ALBA BERLIN was second with 70 points, followed by Isaac Bonga of FRAPORT SKYLINERS with 64 points, ratiopharm ulm’s David Krämer with 39 and GIESSEN 46ers’ Mahir Agva with 31.
Assistant coach Wagner leaves Ulm
ratiopharm ulm are losing an assistant coach as Andreas Wagner is leaving the club after just one season in Ulm. The 42-year-old Wagner exercised his option to leave the club. In his career, Wagner guided TSV Nördlingen, medi bayreuth and RASTA Vechta from the ProA to the Bundesliga.
New German Raivio tries out with Bayern, media say
Several media have reported that Nikolas Raivio has obtained a German passport and gone through a tryout with FC Bayern Munich. Raivio is the brother of former Cologne and Trier player Derek Raivio and played last season with Legnano Basket Knights in Italy’s second division Serie A2. MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg is reportedly also interested in the 32-year-old Raivio.
Rockets will not play in ProA, Artland take over license
Relegated Bundesliga club Rockets decided to not play next season in the ProA because of financial reasons and are considering to play instead in the ProB. Rockets general manager Wolfgang Heyder, head coach Ivan Pavic among others have already left the club. The German second division has in the meantime announced that the Artland Dragons received the Rockets’ ProA license and will play next season in the second flight if 50 percent of the ProA teams approve the move in a meeting on June 23-24.
Oldenburg found eSports team
EWE Baskets Oldenburg became the third easyCredit BBL club to found an eSports team. A team will be formed and then compete starting in October 2018 in the NBA 2K game - joining FRAPORT SKYLINERS and FC Bayern Munich. Frankfurt definitely showed their pleasure with the move.