– David Hein
FC Bayern Munich hoisted the trophy at the MagentaSport BBL German Cup after coming back to defeat reigning champions ALBA BERLIN in the final. Bayern claimed the German Cup for the third time in club history and now head into the playoffs looking to match Berlin’s double from last season. With the playoffs set to tip off on May 19, two teams not in the post-season made major announcements this week. League legend Quantez Robertson will be staying with FRAPORT SKYLINERS for two more seasons while medi bayreuth agreed to keep head coach Raoul Korner for next year.
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 come back to down Berlin, capture third German Cup title
FC Bayern Munich are the champions of the 2020-21 MagentaSport BBL German Cup after coming back from a 15-point deficit to defeat holders ALBA BERLIN 85-79 and claim their third title in club history. Berlin came out strong in the first quarter and built a 29-14 lead only to see Bayern put together a 13-2 run and eventually go into the break ahead. Most of the third quarter went back-and-forth until Bayern were up 65-58 after 30 minutes. Bayern came up with big shots to stem any Berlin comeback attempt in the final quarter before Jayson Granger hit a big three-pointer to close within 82-78 with 68 seconds left. After Marcus Eriksson only split two free throws, Zan Sisko hit two foul shots with 25 seconds remaining for a 84-79 score. Vladimir Lucic came up with a monster block of Simone Fontecchio with 14 seconds to play to secure the win. Bayern ended up shooting 50.0 percent from the field while holding Berlin to just 40.3 percent for the game. With Bayern struggling to score points over long stretches, Paul Zipser stepped up with 18 points including 4 three-pointers. Wade Baldwin collected 13 points, DJ Seeley picked up 11 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists and Sisko finished with 7 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Lucic ended up taking the MVP trophy as he stood out even despite scoring just 9 points as he chipped in 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Granger led Berlin with 17 points while Eriksson had 12 points as the only other player in double figures. Luke Sikma contributed 6 points - on just 2 field attempts and 2 free throws, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
Bayern waste lead, outlast Ulm in double-overtime to reach cup final
FC Bayern Munich wasted a 16-point lead but fought back to outlast ratiopharm ulm 104-102 in double-overtime to reach the final of the MagentaSport BBL German Cup Top Four. Bayern had a strong first half and led mid-way through the second quarter 49-33. Ulm found their way back into the game and took the third quarter 32-20 and regained the lead 71-69 early in the fourth. Vladimir Lucic evened the game 84-84 from the foul line with 32 seconds and then blocked Troy Caupain’s shot and the game went to overtime. Caupain fouled out in the first extra session before Lucic hit three free throws with 35 seconds left to even the game again. In the second OT, DJ Seeley hit a three-pointer to start a 7-0 spurt to lead 104-96 with 26 seconds left. With Bayern up two points with 6 seconds to play, Leon Radosevic missed two free throws but Ulm’s John Petrucelli’s three-pointer was off target at the buzzer to send Bayern to the final. Lucic led the way with 24 points and 7 rebounds while Wade Baldwin had 20 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists and Jalen Reynolds scored 15 points in just 11 minutes. Caupain finished with 24 points to go with 11 rebounds and 5 assists while Andi Obst drained 6 three-pointers in scoring 23 points and Cameron Clark had 10 points for Ulm, who were missing point guards Per Günther and Thomas Klepeisz.
Berlin run away from Göttingen to reach cup final vs Bayern
The second semi-final had much less drama as reigning champion ALBA BERLIN ran away from BG Göttingen 112-96 to remain alive for their record 11th German Cup crown. After a tight first half in which Göttingen connected on 17-of-19 two-pointers (89 percent), Berlin took control of the game with a 28-19 third quarter and Göttingen never challenged the rest of the way. In addition to Göttingen cooling down in the second half, Berlin dominated the glass 37-22 including 14 offensive rebounds while also hitting 50.0 percent from long range. Johannes Thiemann hit 3 three-pointers in scoring a team-high 24 points for Berlin to go with 6 rebounds while Peyton Siva had 18 points and 6 assists and Luke Sikma collected 16 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Rihards Lomazs paced Göttingen with 23 points while Tai Odiase scored 18 points and Deishaun Booker and Luke Nelson both tallied 17 points and combined for 5 rebounds, 12 assists and 3 steals.
Oldenburg lock up third place with Round 31 win over Göttingen
EWE Baskets Oldenburg locked up third place in the final standings and home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 98-77 home victory over BG Göttingen in the season-ending Round 31 make-up game. Oldenburg just gradually pulled away from Göttingen all game to finish with a 25-9 record for third place and a first-round playoffs date with ratiopharm ulm. If Oldenburg had lost, they would have fallen to fifth place and faced FC Bayern Munich with the southern Germans holding home court advantage. Göttingen ended the regular season in 12th place with a 13-21 mark. The club did not finish their season though as they were still to play ALBA BERLIN later in the week in the MagentaSport BBL German Cup Top Four. In addition to winning the rebound battle 38-24, Oldenburg drained 16-of-35 from long range while Göttingen were held to just 30.8 percent on three-pointers. Keith Hornsby came off the bench to score 25 points while Rickey Paulding tallied 20 points and Braydon Hobbs and Rasid Mahalbasic combined for 20 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. Rihards Lomazs paced Göttingen with 16 points and 5 assists with Tai Odiase picking up 15 points and Dennis Kramer added 12 points.
#Playoffsbaby tip off on Wednesday May 19 with Ludwigsburg vs Bamberg
Now that the MagentaSport BBL German Cup is over, all of the attention turns to the easyCredit BBL #Playoffsbaby. The post-season tips off on Wednesday May 19 with MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg hosting Brose Bamberg and FC Bayern Munich welcoming HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim. ALBA BERLIN host Hamburg in Game 1 on May 20, the same date as EWE Baskets Oldenburg taking on ratiopharm ulm.
German Top Five of the Week
G: Nelson Weidemann, BG Göttingen
Looking at the MagentaSport BBL German Cup Top Four this week, Weidemann had a strong game for Göttingen against ALBA BERLIN as he picked up 5 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists and just 1 turnover in 18 minutes.
G: Maodo Lo, ALBA BERLIN
Lo did not get a lot of playing time for Berlin in either German Cup game but he produced in those minutes. He collected 8 points, 1 rebound and 3 assists in 12 minutes against BG Göttingen. In the final against FC Bayern Munich, Lo picked up 2 points, 1 rebound and 3 assists in 8 minutes.
G: Andi Obst, ratiopharm ulm
Obst played a major role in Ulm giving FC Bayern Munich a huge fight in the semi-finals as he drained 6 three-pointers in scoring 23 points to go with 2 rebounds and 2 assists.
F: Paul Zipser, FC Bayern Munich
Zipser had an argument for MVP of the German Cup for his two-game showing over the weekend. Against ratiopharm ulm, Zipser scored 11 points and had 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block. He stepped up big time in the final with 18 points on 4 three-pointers alongside 1 rebound, 1 assist and 2 steals.
C: Johannes Thiemann, ALBA BERLIN
Thiemann earned his spot on this team with his outstanding performance in the semi-finals against BG Göttingen with 24 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist. In the final against FC Bayern Munich, Thiemann contributed 9 points and 6 rebounds.
Tez re-signs for two more seasons with Skyliners
One of the legends of the easyCredit BBL will remain in the league for two more seasons as Quantez Robertson and FRAPORT SKYLINERS agreed on a contract extension until 2023. The 36-year-old American has been with Frankfurt since 2009 and has now signed on for his 13th and 14th seasons. Robertson’s 12th season saw him reach some major milestones in the Bundesliga, playing his 400th game, hitting his 500th three-pointer and grabbing his 2,000th rebound. “Tez” needs just 40 points to join the 4,000-point club in the league.
Korner, Bayreuth agree for another season together
medi bayreuth and head coach Raoul Korner agreed to a one-year contract extension to keep the Austrian playcaller with the team for a sixth season until 2022. Bayreuth failed to reach the playoffs this season with a 15-19 record. German leaders Bastian Doreth and Andreas Seiferth both are locked up for Bayreuth’s team for next season.
Bayern keep sports director Baiesi until 2023
FC Bayern Munich have locked up the architect of the team as they extended with sports director Daniele Baiesi until 2023. The Italian manager joined Bayern in 2017 after coming from Brose Bamberg. Since coming to Munich, Baiesi put together teams that have won two German league titles and reached the EuroLeague playoffs for the first time in history for a German club.
Crailsheim keep Stuckey for two more seasons
HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim secured another major personnel question for next season before the playoffs as they signed a two-year extension with guard Maurice Stuckey. The 30-year-old sharpshooter joined Crailsheim during the 2019-20 season and has turned into one of the team’s leaders. Stuckey is the second German player to pen an extension with Crailsheim after Bogdan Radosavljevic decided to stay with the team for three more seasons.
Heidelberg win ProA title over Leverkusen, earn spot in easyCredit BBL
MLP Academics Heidelberg have earned promotion to the easyCredit BBL after winning the second division ProA title by knocking off Bayer Giants Leverkusen over a two-game aggregate score finals. Heidelberg laid the foundation for the crown by taking Game 1 by the score of 96-66. Heidelberg and Leverkusen played to a 93-93 tie in Game 2 and Heidelberg were able to celebrate. Heidelberg have earned the sporting right for the Bundesliga but still must be awarded a license by the league.
Giessen, Vechta apply for Bundesliga wild card
JobStairs GIESSEN 46ers and RASTA Vechta both still have hopes to play next season in the easyCredit BBL as both relegated teams have applied for a wild card in the Bundesliga for 2021-22. A wild card will cost 700,000 euros to be paid out in two payments of 350,000 euros. If the team that receives the wild card is relegated after the 2021-22 season, the second instalment must not be paid. A wild card has been made available after Bayer Giants Leverkusen did not apply for a first division license and they lost to MLP Academics Heidelberg in the ProA finals. Rostock Seawolves and Science City Jena have both announced they will not bid for a wild card. Teams have until May 20 to apply for a wild card.
Bochum, Itzehoe earn promotion from ProB to ProA
VfL SparkassenStars Bochum and Itzehoe Eagles are the two teams that have earned promotion from the third division ProB to the second flight ProA. Neither team was crowned ProB champion as the finals were cancelled to avoid extending the season any longer due to Covid-19 constraints, meaning the two semi-finals winners would claim the spots for the ProA. Bochum knocked off WWU Baskets Münster in their two-leg aggregate score semi-finals. Münster won the first game 89-84 but Bochum captured the final game 97-86. Itzehoe meanwhile won both of their semi-finals games against EN BASKETS Schwelm, taking the first contest 74-71 on the road and then winning at home 97-84.
Justus Hollatz has excelled this season for Hamburg Towers and now with the playoffs about to tip off, the 20-year-old announced he will enter the 2021 NBA Draft. Hollatz, who averaged 5.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 21 minutes, has until July 19 to withdraw his name from the draft.
Daniel Theis will not be playing in the NBA playoffs this season as he finished the 2020-21 campaign with the Chicago Bulls, who did not qualify for the post-season. After competing in the playoffs the previous two seasons, Theis was traded from the Boston Celtics to Chicago in late March. He showed over the final two weeks of the regular season what he can do, scoring in double figures in five of the last eight games in averaging 11.8 points and 7.8 rebounds. For the season, Theis collected 9.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 blocks in 42 games for Boston and 9.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 22 games for Chicago.