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Home/Newscenter/Berlin finish three-peat / Thiemann Finals MVP / Hammink new Frankfurt coach / Lakovic leaves Ulm

Weekly NewsBerlin finish three-peat / Thiemann Finals MVP / Hammink new Frankfurt coach / Lakovic leaves Ulm

20. Juni 2022
And just like that the 2021-22 season is over as ALBA BERLIN downed FC Bayern Munich 3-1 in the easyCredit BBL Finals to finish a three-peat and claim their 11th league crown. Johannes Thiemann was named Finals MVP and the team celebrated all night. There was plenty of off-court news of late with the the biggest being Geert Hammink getting hired as FRAPORT SKYLINERS new head coach while Jaka Lakovic is leaving ratiopharm ulm to coach in Spain.

And just like that the 2021-22 season is over as ALBA BERLIN downed FC Bayern Munich 3-1 in the easyCredit BBL Finals to finish a three-peat and claim their 11th league crown. Johannes Thiemann was named Finals MVP and the team celebrated all night. There was plenty of off-court news of late with the the biggest being Geert Hammink getting hired as FRAPORT SKYLINERS new head coach while Jaka Lakovic is leaving ratiopharm ulm to coach in Spain.

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:

Berlin celebrate 11th league and third straight

ALBA BERLIN have gotten used to celebrating league championships and they added another chapter to their club’s history with an 11th easyCredit BBL crown. The regular season champions Berlin defeated FC Bayern Munich 3-1 in the Finals for a three-peat, after which the team partied the night away. They eventually headed back home by bus and will continue celebrations with the home fans. Congrats to ALBA BERLIN for an 11th league crown and a great 2021-22 season.  

Early punch KOs Bayern, Berlin celebrate three-peat, 11th title

ALBA BERLIN delivered an early knockout punch and carried that to an easyCredit BBL three-peat, finishing off FC Bayern Munich in Game 4 on the road 96-81 for the club’s 11th league crown. Berlin scored the first 11 points of the game and led the first quarter by eight points. The lead in the second quarter grew to 21 points and Bayern could never find a way back into the game. Berlin forced 17 Bayern turnovers and had a 15-3 advantage on second chance points while shooting 14-of-27 (51.9 percent) from long range. Jaleen Smith drained 6 three-pointers for 23 points while Johannes Thiemann picked up 15 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, Tamir Blatt scored 14 points and Christ Koumadje added 11 points and 6 rebounds. Augustine Rubit paced Bayern with 15 points, Deshaun Thomas had 12 points and Andi Obst and Nihad Djedovic both picked up 11 points. But it was not enough for Bayern as Berlin celebrated the title at the Audi Dome - for the third time in a row. 

Thiemann named Finals MVP, third German to win award

Johannes Thiemann was named Most Valuable Player of the Finals after he gave ALBA BERLIN the perfect start to Game 4. He collected 15 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in the deciding game. In the series, Thiemann averaged 8.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 73.3 percent from the field and 92.3 percent from the free throw line. Thiemann became the third German to win the Finals MVP - handed out since 2005 - following Anton Gavel (2013, Brose Bamberg, naturalized) and Danilo Barthel (2018, FC Bayern Munich).

Bayern deliver Game 3 answer - postpone party with 30-point win in Berlin

FC Bayern Munich postponed ALBA BERLIN’s championship celebrations and kept alive their chances of taking the title as they delivered a strong answer in Game 3 with a 90-60 victory on the road. Bayern took control in the first quarter with an 11-point lead and the guests didn’t stop in the second quarter, pushing the margin to 22 points and never allowing Berlin into the game. Bayern held Berlin to just 35.9 percent shooting include just 2-of-21 (9.5 percent) from long range. Bayern shot 45.7 percent from the field and also dominated the glass 42-27 including 15 offensive rebounds. Nick Weiler-Babb and Deshaun Thomas both scored 19 points while Othello Hunter had 13 points and Nihad Djedovic chipped in 10 points. Oscar da Silva paced Berlin with 15 points and Maodo Lo tallied 10 points in the loss.

Berlin one win from title, take Game 2 in Munich by 13 points

ALBA BERLIN moved within one win of claiming a third straight easyCredit BBL crown as they beat FC Bayern Munich 71-58 on the road in Game 2 of the Finals series. Berlin finished the first half on an 18-8 run to gain control and lead by 12 points at the break. The regular season champs were not challenged the rest of the way. Berlin’s defense held Bayern to just 37.5 percent shooting including 42.9 percent on two-pointers while hitting 59.0 percent from two-point range themselves. Maodo Lo and Jaleen Smith both scored 13 points as joint-leading scorers for Berlin and Luke Sikma picked up 11 points. Deshaun Thomas was the only Bayern player in double figures with 13 points as Andrea Trinchieri’s team was missing leader Vladimir Lucic with an injury. 

Late run gives Berlin Game 1 home win

ALBA BERLIN used an 18-3 fourth quarter run to defend home court in Game 1 of their Finals series with FC Bayern Munich with an 86-73 victory. The game was tight and back and forth for the first 33 minutes until Berlin finished off Bayern with their big surge early in the final frame - grabbing their 18th straight win. Berlin shot 55.9 percent from the field, including 64.3 percent on two-pointers while Bayern made just 40.9 percent on two-pointers. Yovel Zoosman paced Berlin with 14 points while Maodo Lo had 13 points and 4 assists and Tamir Blatt picked up 8 points and 8 assists. Andi Obst drained 4 three-pointers in scoring 17 points to lead Bayern and Nick Weiler-Babb added 10 points and 6 assists in the loss.

Frankfurt hire Hammink as new playcaller 

FRAPORT SKYLINERS’ planning for the 2022-23 season started taking shape as the wild card recipient brought in Geert Hammink as new head coach. Frankfurt and the Netherlands coach agreed on a two-year contract to replace Luca Dalmonte, who was not retained. The 52-year-old Hammink helped ZZ Leiden to the 2021 Netherlands title and the 2022 crown in the Belgian-Netherlands BNXT league. Hammink, whose son plays for the Dutch national team, knows Germany after having played for ALBA BERLIN for from 1997 to 2000, winning three German league crowns and one German Cup, and also played for Cologne from 2002 to 2004 and won the 2004 German Cup.

Freudenberg succumbs to injury, retires at age 23

Richard Freudenberg once was considered one of Germany’s top young hopes for the future. But now the former FRAPORT SKYLINERS wing has retired at age 23 to concentrate on his Business Administration studies. Freudenberg has missed the last two seasons with lingering foot issues and decided against continuing his comeback attempts. The Heidelberg native helped FC Bayern Munich win the 2015 NBBL U19 title and in 2017 left for the United States and St. John’s University, where he stayed one season before returning to Germany and signed with Frankfurt. Freudenberg averaged 7.6 points in his final season in 2019-20. Good luck in your future Richard, it was a fun ride while it lasted. 

Ulm see Lakovic leave for Gran Canaria in Spain 

ratiopharm ulm are looking for a new head coach after Jaka Lakovic decided to leave the club and signed with Spanish side Gran Canaria The Slovenian coach exercised an option in his contract and will return to Spain, where he played for many years and coached and is also his wife’s home country. Lakovic spent three seasons in Ulm, twice reaching the semi-finals of the players and advancing to the 7DAYS EuroCup quarter-finals this season.

Ulm sign Christen for two years, say farewell to Philipps, Stoll, Krimmer

ratiopharm ulm will have a different look next season as they signed veteran Robin Christen and bid farewell to three players who came up through the club’s youth ranks. The 31-year-old Christen joins Ulm on a two-year contract after playing with Hamburg Towers and showing he can consistently hit three-pointers - a weak point from Ulm last season. Ulm fans will be looking for new domestic players to root for after the trio of Christoph Philipps, Marius Stoll and Moritz Krimmer all will be playing elsewhere in 2022-23. The 23-year-old  Philipps leaves Ulm after 16 years with the club, missing most of last season with a shoulder injury. It has not been announced where he will play next season. The 22-year-old Stoll has been with Ulm since 2005 as the son of managing director Thomas Stoll. The point guard will play next season with second division ProA side  BAYER GIANTS Leverkusen. ProA was the destination of another long-time Ulm farmhand as the 21-year-old Krimmer is joining Nürnberg Falcons. 

Amaize, Braunschweig extend for another season 

Basketball Löwen Braunschweig retained their captain for next season as Robin Amaize and the club agreed to extend his expiring contract for the 2022-23 campaign. The 28-year-old Amaize was one of the league’s top German performers before he suffered a serious knee injury in December 2021, which cost him the rest of the season. He averaged 13.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals while on the court.

Lockhart moves from Bamberg to Chemnitz

NINERS Chemnitz added a strong piece to their team as they signed German international wing Dominic Lockhart for two seasons. The 27-year-old German joined Chemnitz after playing two seasons with Brose Bamberg and also making eight appearances for the German national team.

Oldenburg add DiLeo, Russell, Drechsel 

EWE Baskets Oldenburg started overhauling their roster for new head coach Pedro Calles as they added the trio of Max DiLeo, DeWayne Russell and Trey Drechsel. The 29-year-old German DiLeo signed for two years as he comes to Oldenburg from Hamburg Towers where he played for Calles, who was also his coach at RASTA Vechta. The 28-year-old playmaker Russell also penned a two-year deal after playing for Italian side Universo Treviso Basket. Russell played from 2018 to 2020 in the easyCredit BBL for HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim. The 25-year-old American wing Drechsel meanwhile for signed for one season following his 2021-22 campaign with Polish Basketball Champions League side Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski, where he was playing on loan from Partizan Belgrade.

Bonn keep another piece from 2021-22 team, Ward stays for two years

Telekom Baskets Bonn took a step to repeating the strong showing from 2021-22 as they retained an important part of last season’s team, locking up Tyson Ward for two seasons. The 24-year-old Ward signed a deal until 2024 after averaging 7.0 points and 3.7 rebounds. Bonn also re-signed German big man Leon Kratzer for another season, joining Michael Kessens and Karsten Tadda as German players under contract for next season

SYNTAINICS MBC add Ihring, Jelks for next season, Rebic departs

SYNTAINICS MBC made two significant additions for next season as they signed Slovakian international playmaker Mario Ihring and Stephon Jelks for one season. The 24-year-old Ihring joins the club from Hungarian first division side OSE Lions Oroszlany, where he averaged 14.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists. The 25-year-old Jelks played last season with Austrian runners-up Swans Gmunden, where he picked up 9.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. The announcement of Ihring’s signing also included news that Nikola Rebic would be leaving the club after one season.

Crailsheim add Livingstone, part ways with Kovacevics 

HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim made their first addition for 2022-23 as they signed Otis Livingston. The 25-year-old point guard impressed last season with Serbian top flight side Mladost, where he averaged 17.3 points and 6.2 assists. Crailsheim did bid farewell to two long-time team members as Dejan Kovacevic and Aleksa Kovacevic (no relation) will play elsewhere next season. The 26-year-old Dejan Kovacevic had been with Crailsheim since 2019 and joins BAYER GIANTS Leverkusen in the ProA second division. The 20-year-old Aleksa Kovacevic had been with the club since 2017 - though it’s unclear where the Serbian native will land for next season.


Bamberg add Wohlrath, extend with young trio, lose Lockhart

Brose Bamberg made a change in their rotation of German players and extended with a trio of youngsters. The club parted ways with Dominic Lockhart, who left for NINERS Chemnitz, and replaced him with Kevin Wohlrath on a two-year contract. The 27-year-old Wohlrath went through the ALBA BERLIN youth ranks and spent time with EWE Baskets Oldenburg and second division side Kirchheim Knights before playing last season with medi bayreuth. Bamberg also looked ahead to their future as they signed 2002-born duo Jannis Sonnefeld and Tyreese Blunt until 2024 and 2001-born Leon Bulic until 2023.


Göttingen add American marksman Javon Bess

BG Göttingen added some firepower from the outside as they signed Javon Bess for one season. The 26-year-old forward spent last season with Icelandic top flight U.M.F Tindastoll where he averaged 19.7 points on 39 percent three-point shooting to go with 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists. 

Heidelberg sign Swedish power forward Edwardsson for two seasons 

MLP Academic Heidelberg picked up some flexibility in the low post as they signed Felix Edwardsson for two seasons. The 23-year-old Swedish can play both as power forward and center. Edwardsson, who played last season with Swedish side KFUM Jamtland, does not count as a foreigner as he played five years for Brose Bamberg in the youth ranks.