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Bonga second youngest scorer / Vechta relegated / Ludwigsburg lock up home court in playoffs Hansjürgen Britsch

Bonga second youngest scorer / Vechta relegated / Ludwigsburg lock up home court in playoffs

— David Hein

This week was full of major news as RASTA Vechta was the first team that will be relegated to the ProA after the season and MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg locked up home court advantage throughout the playoffs. There was also Joshua Bonga becoming the second youngest scorer in the easyCredit BBL since the start of data collection in 1998 for FRAPORT SKYLINERS. Elsewhere, JobStairs GIESSEN 46ers won twice to keep the pressure on SYNTAINICS MBC to see which team will join Vechta in relegation. Also, the fight for fifth place in the standings looks like it will go down a tiebreaker.

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:

Vechta lose at home to Berlin in Round 31 - will be relegated to ProA

The first relegated team is set as RASTA Vechta will head to the ProA for next season after losing 82-81 at home against ALBA BERLIN in Round 31. The game was tight throughout and Jayson Granger hit a big three-pointer late and made a free throw with 11 seconds left for an 80-76 lead. Berlin jumped to 25-6 and Vechta lost their third straight for a 5-26 record - meaning they will return to the ProA after three seasons in the Bundesliga. Berlin committed only 7 turnovers while Vechta lost the ball 12 times. Tim Schneider was Belrin’s leading scorer with 18 points, Niels Giffey had 14 points and Granger pitched in 10 points and 7 assists. Robin Christen notched career highs with 23 points and 9 rebounds while Edgar Sosa added 19 points and 6 assists in the loss.

Ludwigsburg lock up home court advantage throughout playoffs

MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg locked up home court advantage throughout the playoffs as they defeated Telekom Baskets Bonn 89-73 for a 16-0 record at home this season. Ludwigsburg took over with a 24-14 second quarter and it was never close as Ludwigsburg moved to 29-3 and Bonn fell to 12-20. Bonn could not handle the Ludwigsburg defense with 23 turnovers and just 27.3 percent from long range. Andrew Warren came off the Ludwigsburg bench for 22 points, Jamel McLean had 14 points and 6 rebounds and Jaleen Smith returned from his absence with 7 points and 7 assists. Strahinja Micovic paced Bonn with 14 points.

Bamberg out-last Ludwigsburg at home in Round 31 possible playoff preview

Brose Bamberg ended MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg’s eight-game winning streak by grabbing a 94-93 victory at home in a Round 31 game - and a possible first round playoffs match-up. Bamberg wasted a 16-point lead and trailed in the closing minutes as Lukas Herzog hit a layup with 34 seconds left. Kenneth Ogbe scored at the other end with 26 seconds left and Yorman Polas Bartolo committed a traveling turnover with 8 seconds remaining as Bamberg moved to 16-14 and Ludwigsburg fell to 28-3. Ludwigsburg, who were without leader Jaleen Smith, committed only 4 turnovers but lost the rebound battle 42-33 and could only hit 42.0 percent from the field. Michele Vitali tallied 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the win with Chase Fieler scoring 14 points and Tyler Larson picking up 11 points and 5 assists. Barry Brown was Ludwigsburg’s leading scorer with 23 points, Johannes Patrick had a career-high 17 points and Jordan Hulls chipped in 14 points and 9 assists.

Ludwigsburg roll on - ease past Frankfurt in Round 27 make-up

MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg didn’t need their MVP candidate Jaleen Smith as they cruised past FRAPORT SKYLINERS at home 106-69 in a Round 27 make-up game. The league leaders led 35-13 after 10 minutes and never looked back for an eighth straight win and a 28-2 record while Frankfurt dropped to 11-18. Ludwigsburg committed only 9 turnovers and drained 18 three-pointers while forcing 18 Frankfurt turnovers and holding the guests to just 40.0 percent from the field. Desi Rodriguez paced the winners with 19 points, Andrew Warren had 15 points and Johannes Patrick scored a career-high 12 points. Quantez Robertson led Frankfurt with 21 points and Rasheed Moore added 16 points and 9 rebounds. There was a significant debut as Joshua Bonga became the fifth-youngest player in the history of the league since the start of data collection in 1998.

Historic Bonga part of more youth for Frankfurt

FRAPORT SKYLINERS have developed a reputation for years of giving youngsters a chance to play and history was made for the club this week. Joshua Bonga, the younger brother of NBA talent Isaac Bonga, appeared in all three games for Frankfurt this week. By playing against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in Round 27, Bonga became the fifth-youngest player in league history since the start of data collection in 1998 at 16 years, 3 months and 14 days. Bonga then picked up 7 points and 3 rebounds against Telekom Baskets Bonn in Round 31 to become the second-youngest scorer in easyCredit BBL history at 16 years, 3 months and 17 days. But Bonga wasn’t alone in getting an opportunity. The 20-year-old Leon Püllen made his Bundesliga debut against Ludwigsburg while 20-year-old point guard Alvin Onyia scored the first points of his career in his fifth game with 7 points and 1 rebounds against Ludwigsburg.

Geissen not dead yet after home win over Vechta

JobStairs GIESSEN 46ers can still dream of staying in the easyCredit BBL next season after they picked up a 100-82 home win over already-relegated RASTA Vechta. Giessen ran away with the game in the fourth quarter for a second straight win and a 8-24 record with Vechta dropping their fourth in a row for a 5-27 mark. Giessen held Vechta to just 44.3 percent shooting while making 26-of-29 free throws compared to just 2-of-5 for the guests. John Bryant paced Giessen with 23 points and 12 rebounds and Scottie James scored 17 points in the win. Edgar Sosa was Vechta’s leading scorer with 18 points.

Giessen beat Chemnitz in Round 31, stay alive in fight against relegation

JobStairs GIESSEN 46ers remained alive in the fight to avoid relegation as they knocked off NINERS Chemnitz 95-71 on the round in Round 31. Giessen took control of the game with a 39-22 second quarter in moving to 7-24 with Chemnitz falling to 11-20. Giessen controlled the boards with 44 rebounds to 34 for Chemnitz, who also only hit 39.4 percent from the field. Isaac Hamilton led Giessen with 26 points, Diante Garrett had 20 points, Alen Pjanic collected 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal and Scottie James chipped in 15 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Dominique Johnson tallied 20 points and 6 rebounds for Chemnitz.

Bell-Haynes with triple-double as Crailsheim beat Hamburg in fight for fifth place

HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim claimed a big victory in the battle for fifth place as they knocked off Hamburg Towers 85-79 at home. Hamburg led briefly in the beginning of the fourth quarter but Crailsheim went on a 6-0 run and gained control for a 22-10 record with Hamburg falling to 20-12 after two straight losses. Crailsheim shot 55.8 percent from the field to make up for 21 turnovers and it helped that Hamburg hit just 15.4 percent from long range. Trae Bell-Haynes collected 20 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for the 14th triple-double in the league since the start of data collection in 1998, Elias Lasisi picked up 16 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists and Bogdan Radosavljevic added 16 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists. Maik Kotsar was outstanding for Hamburg with 26 points and 8 rebounds and TJ Shorts added 16 points.

Ulm run away from Crailsheim in big Round 31 win in battle for 5th place

ratiopharm ulm picked up a big victory in the fight for fifth place as they beat HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim 93-78 at home in Round 31. Crailsheim erased a double-digit third quarter deficit and led in the fourth quarter but watched as Ulm drained 3 three-pointers in an 18-2 run over the final 6 minutes for their sixth straight win and a 20-11 record and Crailsheim moving to 21-10. Ulm connected on 57.9 percent of their shots including 52.0 percent from long range. Troy Caupain led the winners with 25 points, Dylan Osetkowski collected 13 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists and John Petrucelli and Thomas Klepeisz both scored 12 points. Trae Bell-Haynes’ 15 points and 7 assists were not enough for Crailsheim.

Ulm stay in race for fifth place with road win over Chemnitz

ratiopharm ulm extended their winning streak to seven games in beating NINERS Chemnitz 85-70 on the road to stay alive in the battle for fifth place. Chemnitz led by 12 points early in the second quarter but scored only five points in the fourth in falling to 11-21 while Ulm moved to 21-11. Ulm shot the lights out at 56.4 percent and forced 23 Chemnitz turnovers. Troy Cauptain led the way with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists, Cameron Clark had 14 points and Thomas Klepeisz contributed 13 points and 6 assists. Malte Ziegenhagen had a career high 20 points for Chemnitz and Marcus Thornton added 17 points and 4 assists.

Bayreuth snap losing streak with home win over Hamburg in Round 31

medi bayreuth snapped a four-game losing skid as they knocked off Hamburg Towers 90-83 at home in Round 31. Bayreuth wasted a 17-point third quarter lead and it was tied in the fourth until Bastian Doreth scored five points and dished out an assist in a 10-2 run to move Bayreuth to 12-19 and Hamburg to 20-11. Bayreuth held Hamburg to just 28.6 percent on three-pointers and were led by Frank Bartley’s 14 points with Kay Bruhnke picking up 13 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists, Matthew Tiby scoring 13 points and Derek Pardon chipping in 11 points and 13 rebounds. Hamburg’s leading scorer was Maik Kotsar with 23 points and TJ Shorts had 14 points and 6 assists.

MBC still not through with home loss to Bayreuth

SYNTAINICS MBC are still in danger of being relegated as they lost 99-70 at home to medi bayreuth. The guests wrestled away control with a 27-13 third quarter for a 13-19 record and MBC fell to 9-23. Bayreuth forced MBC into 20 turnovers and allowed the hosts to hit just 3-of-25 three-pointers for 12.0 percent. David Walker’s 22 points led six Bayreuth players in double figures and  Osvaldas Olisevicius had 19 points. Quinton Hooker was MBC’s main weapon with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists and Sergio Kerusch chipped in 11 points and 9 rebounds.

Oldenburg with no problem over Frankfurt in milestone games for Tadda and Robertson

EWE Baskets Oldenburg had little problem in rolling to an 82-59 road victory over FRAPORT SKYLINERS as Karsten Tadda played his 500th game and Quantez Robertson grabbed his 2,000th rebound. The score was 19-9 for Oldenburg after 10 minutes and 45-26 at halftime as Oldenburg’s record moved to 23-8 - and keeping the fight for fifth place at a distance - and Frankfurt’s to 11-20. Oldenburg held Frankfurt to just 36.5 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle 43-32. Sebastian Herrera and Rickey Paulding both scored 14 points, Keith Hornsby and Phil Pressey both had 12 points and Rasid Mahalbasic picked up 7 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists. Rasheed Moore was Frankfurt’s leading scorer with 13 points and Jon Axel Gudmundsson added 10 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.

Braunschweig stay alive in playoffs hunt with Round 31 win over Würzburg

Basketball Löwen Braunschweig remained alive in the hunt for the playoffs as they beat s.Oliver Würzburg 90-80 at home in Round 31. Braunschweig gradually built a 27-point lead early in the fourth quarter for a third straight win and a 13-18 record with Würzburg dropping to 9-21. Braunschweig forced 22 Würzburg turnovers while Karim Jallow, Martin Peterka and Arnas Velicka all scored 16 points. Perry Jones paced Würzburg with 16 points.

Braunschweig beat Bamberg at home, but eliminated from playoffs

Basketball Löwen Braunschweig picked up a big 85-78 home victory over Brose Bamberg but were eliminated in the race for the playoffs. Braunschweig wasted a 16-point third quarter lead but after Bamberg had evened the game responded with 10-0 run for their fourth straight win. Braunschweig moved to 14-18 and Bamberg fell to 16-15 but Bamberg still holds the tiebreaker for the final playoffs spot as Braunschweig needed a 15-point win. BG Göttingen is the only team that can keep Bamberg from the playoffs. Braunschweig used their rebounding advantage of 41-31 including 15 offensive rebounds while also holding Bamberg to just 31.4 percent from the field. Martin Peterka led Braunschweig with 21 points, Gavin Schilling collected 15 points, a league season high 19 rebounds and 3 assists and Arnas Velicka tallied 13 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals. Bamberg’s Devon Hall and Tyler Larson both scored 10 points.

Göttingen lose to Bayern’s youngsters, still alive for playoffs

BG Göttingen’s chances for the playoffs took a hit as they lost at home 102-90 to an FC Bayern Munich team which got a major boost from their youngsters. Bayern, who rested many of their main leaders for the big EuroLeague showdown with AX Armani Exchange Milan, took over in the middle two quarters in moving to 24-8 and Göttingen dropped to 12-18 as they can still dream of the post-season. Bayern forced only 6 Göttingen turnovers but held the hosts to just 40.9 percent from the field. The 19-year-old Sasha Grant scored a career high 21 points while 22-year-old Erol Ersek had 17 points in just his third game of his Bundesliga career, with Diego Flaccadori chipping in 10 points and 11 assists. Rihards Lomazs was Göttingen’s leading scorer with 20 points and Deishaun Booker had 19 points and 5 assists.

Bonn too much for Frankfurt in Round 31 home win

Telekom Baskets Bonn were too much at home for FRAPORT SKYLINERS as they won 85-73 in a historic Round 31 game. Bonn took over in the third quarter in moving to 12-19 and Frankfurt dropped their third straight for an 11-19 mark. Bonn won the battle of the glass 40-30 and kept Frankfurt to just 42.2 percent shooting. Strahinja Micovic led Bonn with 22 points, Chris Babb had 15 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists and Leon Kratzer picked up 9 points and 10 rebounds. Quantez Robertson was Frankfurt’s main man with 19 points and 7 rebounds and Joe Rahon added 11 points and 8 assists. Joshua Bonga was close to making history for Frankfurt with seven points - becoming the second- youngest scorer in league history since the start of data collection in 1998 at 16 years, 3 months and 17 days. Bastian Kordyaka of Brandt Hagen holds the record with 16 years, 3 months and 11 days in 1998.

Berlin have little trouble with road win over Würzburg

ALBA BERLIN had no problems as they remained in second place in the league with a 99-79 road victory over s.Oliver Würzburg. Berlin used a 33-19 second quarter for their third straight win and a 26-6 record with Würzburg falling to 9-22. Alba committed only 8 turnovers and forced Würzburg into 20 miscues. Marcus Eriksson drained 7 three-pointers for 21 points while Peyton Siva added 11 points and 11 assists. Tyson Ward was Würzburg’s only player in double figures with 11 points.

Player(s) of the Week(s)

This week had two rounds of games which meant two winners. The top man for Round 31 was RASTA Vechta’s Robin Christen with a 32 efficiency against ALBA BERLIN as he had 23 points on 6-of-8 shots (5-7 threes) and 6-of-7 free throws, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. John Bryant took top honors for Round 32 for JobStairs GIESSEN 46ers as the former two-time MVP collected 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting (1-of-5 threes) and 6-of-7 free throws, 12 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block for an efficiency of 31 against RASTA Vechta.


German Top Five of the Week

G: Malte Ziegenhagen, NINERS Chemnitz

The 30-year-old Ziegenhagen grabs a spot on the team this week as he scored a career-high 20 points with 4 three-pointers, 1 rebound and 3 assists against ratiopharm ulm in Round 32. He had 8 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists against JobStairs GIESSEN 46ers in Round 31.

F: Robin Christen, RASTA Vechta

Another 30 year old set personal bests as Christen had a career high 30 points and 9 rebounds to go with 3 assists against ALBA BERLIN. He followed that with a solid 7 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal against JobStairs GIESSEN 46ers.

F: Tim Schneider, ALBA BERLIN

Schneider played a big role in Berlin holding off RASTA Vechta with 18 points and 3 rebounds. In Round 32 against s.Oliver Würzburg, Schneider played just 7:11 minutes but scored 11 points in an 11-0 run and had 2 rebounds.

Young Guns

Johannes Patrick, 19, PG, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg

Patrick had watched his younger brother Jacob make headlines often this season, but the elder brother made a legitimate argument for the German Top Five of the Week. The 19-year-old set a career high of 12 points in Round 27 against FRAPORT SKYLINERS on 4-of-4 three-pointers to go with 1 rebound, 3 assists and 2 turnovers in 17:17 minutes. Patrick broke his personal record the following game in Round 31 against Brose Bamberg with 17 points on 5-of-5 shots and 4-of-4 three-pointers in 16:38 minutes. He finished the week with 0 points on 0-of-4 shots (0-2 threes) and 1 rebound in 12:15 minutes against Telekom Baskets Bonn.

Kay Bruhnke, 19, SG, medi bayreuth

Bruhnke makes the list again as he tallied a career high 13 points on 3-of-4 three-pointers and 4-of-4 free throws alongside 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 20:55 minutes against Hamburg Towers. Bruhnke went scoreless in 10:36 minutes against SYNTAINICS MBC on 0-of-1 three-pointers but did have 1 assist.

Sasha Grant, 19, SF, FC Bayern Munich

Grant played a major role in Bayern defeating BG Göttingen as the 19-year-old scored a career-high 21 points on 7-of-9 shots (4-6 threes) to go with 3 rebounds in 27:54 minutes.

Hollatz Check

Justus Hollatz could not keep Hamburg Towers from suffering two losses this week. The 20-year-old had 4 points on 2-of-7 shooting (0-3 threes) and 0-of-2 free throws, 2 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 turnover in 28:43 minutes against medi bayreuth. He followed that with 2 points on 1-of-6 shots (0-1 threes), 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 26:41 minutes versus HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim. But he did have this massive dunk.

There are moves … and then there are these

You think you can dance … check out what the easyCredit BBL players have for the dancefloors of Germany - when they open back up.

Bayern win twice at home, force Game 5 for spot at EuroLeague Final Four

FC Bayern Munich continued their magical season in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague as they won two home games to force a decisive Game 5 in their playoffs series with AX Armani Exchange Milan with the winner reaching the Final Four in Cologne next month. After dropping the first two games in Italy, Bayern won Game 3 85-79 for the first victory by a German team in the EuroLeague playoffs. Bayern evened the series 2-2 with an 85-82 win in Game 4. Game 5 will be played Tuesday in Milan.

Germans Abroad

While FC Bayern Munich are still fighting for a spot in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four, Johannes Voigtmann will definitely be playing in Cologne next month as CSKA Moscow advanced to the Final Four for a record-breaker ninth straight time. The German big man averaged 8.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in CSKA’s three-game sweep of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul in the playoffs.

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