The easyCredit BBL saw Niels Giffey return and the German international shined this week in his league debut with FC Bayern Munich against SYNTAINICS MBC. The Bayern game also saw Munich talent Ivan Kharchenkov make history as the youngest scorer in league history. The league however is still topped by the undefeated duo of Telekom Baskets Bonn, who got a great showing by TJ Shorts; and ALBA BERLIN, who had Luke Sikma pick up a triple-double.
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:
Giffey shines in Bayern league debut, easy win over SYNTAINICS MBC
FC Bayern Munich grabbed their third straight win with a comfortable 82-69 victory at SYNTAINICS MBC in Niels Giffey’s first league game for Bayern. The guests pulled away in the second quarter and were never threatened the rest of the game as they raised their record to 6-1 with SYNTAINICS MBC dropping to 1-5 after their fourth straight loss. Augustine Rubit led the way with 23 points and Giffey finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal. Martin Breunig and Kostja Mushidi both scored 14 points in the loss.
Bayern talent Kharchenkov new youngest scoring in league history
FC Bayern Munich’s win at SYNTAINICS MBC also saw history as Ivan Kharchenkov became the youngest scorer in the league since the start of data collection in 1998. Kharchenkov, who was 16 years 1 month and 30 days old, scored 5 points on 2-of-2 shooting and 1-of-1 from long range in 4:29 minutes. Kharchenkov overtook Bastian Kordyaka, who was 16 years 3 months and 11 days old when he scored for Brandt Hagen on September 13, 1998. Kharchenkov is now the sixth youngest player in league history.
Giffey returns to Germany, signs with Bayern until 2025
Niels Giffey returned to the easyCredit BBL just before the FIBA window as he joined FC Bayern Munich on a contract until 2025. The 31-year-old Berlin native played with ALBA BERLIN for seven years including ending his stint as captain before playing the 2021-22 season with Zalgiris Kaunas. Giffey signed with Spanish club UCAM Murcia for this season but has now made his way back to Germany.
SYNTAINICS MBC remake backcourt with signings of Callison, Ballock
SYNTAINICS MBC remade their backcourt during the national team break with the signing of Americans Charles Callison and Mitchell Ballock. The 27-year-old point guard Callison arrived at Weissenfels after playing with Netherlands side Donar Groningen. He played 15 games for Würzburg Baskets last season. The 24-year-old shooting guard Ballock will be making his European debut.
Sikma triple-double helps Berlin past Ludwigsburg in thriller
ALBA BERLIN remained undefeated in the league as they outlasted MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg 99-91 at home thanks to Luke Sikma collecting the second triple-double of his career. Berlin temporarily blew open a close game with a 13-point third quarter lead, but Ludwigsburg fought back and led in the fourth quarter. In the final 4 minutes Tamir Blatt and Johannes Thiemann both hit three-pointers and Jaleen Smith made two triples to pull away and give Berlin a 6-0 record and Ludwigsburg a 5-2 mark. Berlin controlled the rebounding 46-26 including 17 offensive rebounds which resulted in a 20-6 advantage in second chance points. Besides Sikma’s triple-double of 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists - the final assist coming at the buzzer - Christ Koumadje led Berlin in scoring with 17 points and 6 rebounds while Blatt ended with 15 points and 8 assists and Smith picked up 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Isaiah Whitehead came off the Ludwigsburg bench for 21 points and 7 assists and Prentiss Hubb had 18 points and 6 assists in the loss.
Shorts leads undefeated Bonn to easy win over Hamburg
Telekom Baskets Bonn remained undefeated atop the easyCredit BBL as they eased past Veolia Hamburg Towers 101-72 on the road. Bonn took control of the game in the second quarter and led 53-38 at halftime in moving to 6-0 while Hamburg fell to 4-3. Bonn shot 62.1 percent from the field including a white-hot 71.4 percent on two-pointers while Hamburg struggled from deep hitting with just 27.8 percent on three-pointers and making only 9-of-17 free throws (52.9 percent). TJ Shorts could not be contained with 24 points and 6 assists while Jeremy Morgan had 19 points, Leon Kratzer picked up 18 points and 7 rebounds and Collin Malcolm added 16 points and 9 rebounds. Kendale McCullum collected 16 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals in the loss while Yoeli Childs scored 15 points.
Braunschweig rally from 18 points down, beat Bayreuth on road
Basketball Löwen Braunschweig finally were on the winning side of a great comeback, rallying from 18 points down - and 13 points in the fourth quarter - to beat medi bayreuth 77-76 on the road. Braunschweig, who lost twice this season despite holding double digit leads, fell behind by 18 points early in the second quarter and Bayreuth still led 66-53 with 6 minutes left. Braunschweig raced back into the game with a Robin Amaize four-point play and two three-pointers from David Kramer before Braydon Hobbs’ three-point play with 29 seconds left made it 76-74. Jackson Rowe’s free throws tied it with 23 seconds before Hobbs made a free throw with 3.3 seconds for Braunschweig’s second straight win and 2-4 record with Bayreuth dropping to 2-5. Braunschweig shot 55.3 percent on two-pointers and dominated the rebounds 43-34 including 16 offensive rebounds which gave the guests 11 more shots than Bayreuth. Benedikt Turudic was Braunschweig’s top scorer with 18 points while Hobbs had 13 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists and Krämer, Brandon Tischler and Jilson Bango all added 10 points. Bayreuth wasted 24 points from Ignas Sargiunas.
Ulm prevail in overtime rollercoaster at Heidelberg
ratiopharm ulm grabbed their second win in three games as they survived a real rollercoaster of emotions with a 106-96 overtime victory at MLP Academics Heidelberg. Ulm dominated the middle of the game and led by as many as 16 points early in the third quarter but watched Heidelberg pull ahead by 10 points with less than 5 minutes left in regulation. Karim Jallow sparked a 15-5 run with 6 points including the game-tying layup with 33 seconds left to force overtime. Ulm finished the extra session with a 9-2 run to move got 2-5 and Heidelberg is now 2-4 including a first loss in their third overtime game. Heidelberg lost the game by committing 22 turnovers compared to just 13 for Ulm, who snatched 12 steals. Thomas Klepeisz scored 22 points with 7 assists for Ulm while Yago dos Santos added 21 points and 7 assists and Jallow had 20 points. Eric Washington paced Heidelberg with 25 points and 8 assists, Elias Lasisi added 18 points and Max Ugrai scored 16 points.
Chemnitz win third straight, beat Crailsheim for first win
NINERS Chemnitz captured their third straight victory as they eased past HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim 106-94 for their first win over Crailsheim in seven attempts. Chemnitz raced ahead by 20 points in the first quarter and led by as many as 31 before Crailsheim made the final result a bit more respectable. Chemnitz improved to 3-2 and Crailsheim fell to 2-5. Chemnitz only committed 10 turnovers and shot 54.8 percent from the field including 48.0 percent from long range while Crailsheim made just 10-of-19 free throws compared to Chemnitz’s 26-of-33 foul shots. Mindaugas Suskinsas scored 20 points while Arnas Velicka picked up 19 points and 8 assists and Jonas Richter added 16 points and 4 rebounds. Otis Livingston paced Crailsheim with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals.
Hunt unstoppable as Würzburg beat Rostock for first home win
Cameron Hunt proved to be unstoppable as he scored 31 points in leading Würzburg Baskets to a 97-87 victory over ROSTOCK SEAWOLVES for their first home win of the season. A back and forth game was decided by a 14-2 late run with Hunt collecting 8 points and 2 assists as Würzburg jumped to 3-4 and Rostock fell to 4-3 with their third straight loss after a magical 4-0 start to their debut season. Würzburg shot 60.4 percent from the field and out-scored Rostock 56-36 in the paint. In addition to his 31 points, Hunt also had 5 rebounds and 4 assists while Stanley Whittaker collected 16 points and 8 assists and Xeyrius Williams chipped in 15 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Derrick Alston poured in 23 points in the loss and JeQuan Lewis tallied 17 points and 13 rebounds and Selom Mawugbe had 16 points and 8 rebounds.
Bamberg roll past Frankfurt to finally win at home
Brose Bamberg finally picked up their first home victory of the season as they rolled past FRAPORT SKYLINERS 100-83. After a tight first quarter, the hosts opened a 24-point second quarter lead and never looked back in moving to 2-5 with Frankfurt seeing their record fall to 1-6. Bamberg shot 58.5 percent from the field and controlled the boards 40-23 including 11 offensive rebounds which resulted in a 16-3 advantage in second chance points. Christian Sengfelder paced Bamberg with 21 points including 5 three-pointers while Patrick Miller collected 13 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in his first game with the team and Jaromir Bohacik chipped in 13 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Laurynas Beliauskas and Quantez Robertson led Frankfurt with 18 points each.
Frankfurt add wing Marcus Lewis
FRAPORT SKYLINERS added some veteran leadership on the wing as they signed Marcus Lewis until the end of the season. The 30-year-old Lewis has played in Finland, Greece and Poland including a brief stint in the Basketball Champions League with Greek side Lavrio.
Oldenburg sink Göttingen, keep pace with leaders
EWE Baskets Oldenburg kept pace with the leaders in the standings as they comfortably beat BG Göttingen 93-75 at home.The first half was close throughout before Oldenburg took the third quarter 30-13 en route to a 5-2 mark and Göttingen’s record sunk to 3-3. Oldenburg held Göttingen to just 40.7 percent shooting and forced 16 turnovers while dominating inside with a 44-20 advantage on points in the paint. Tanner Leissner was Oldenburg’s top scorer with 25 points while DeWayne Russell registered a double-double of 15 points and 10 assists and Rihards Lomasz went scoreless but dished out 9 assists. Mark Smith poured in 23 points in a losing effort.
Oldenburg reinforce guard spot with addition of Lomazs
EWE Baskets Oldenburg reinforced their backcourt during the national team window with the signing of Rihards Lomazs until the end of the season. The 26-year-old Latvian international joins Oldenburg after playing this season with Spanish side Casademont Zaragoza. Lomazs played in the easyCredit BBL in 2020-21 with BG Göttingen.
Player of the Week
Player of the Week for Round 7 goes to Cameron Hunt for his fantastic showing for Würzburg Baskets versus ROSTOCK SEAWOLVES. Hunt scored 31 points on 9-of-12 shooting and 13-of-14 free throws while also picking up 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block for an efficiency of 37.
German Top Five of the Week
F: Niels Giffey, FC Bayern Munich
What a Bayern league debut for Giffey, who picked up 15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal vs SYNTAINICS MBC.
F: Karim Jallow, ratiopharm ulm
Jallow was outstanding for Ulm in their thrilling overtime win over MLP Academics Heidelberg with 20 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal.
F: Jonas Richter, NINERS Chemnitz
Richter is in the Top Five again as he played a major role in Chemnitz beating HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal.
F: Christian Sengfelder, Brose Bamberg
Sengfelder had his best game of the season in Bamberg’s first home win against FRAPORT SKYLINERS with 21 points on 5 three-pointers, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
C: Benedikt Turudic, Basketball Löwen Braunschweig
Turudic helped Braunschweig come back to beat medi bayreuth with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block
Jordan Samare, 20, PF; Justin Onyejiaka, 18, SG, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
Let’s put Samare and Onyejiaka on this list together. Samare scored 6 points on 2-of-3 shooting (0/1 threes) and 2-of-2 free throws and grabbed 3 rebounds in 26:13 minutes against Brose Bamberg. And Onyejiaka made his league debut in the same game, picking up 5 points on 2-of-5 shots (0/1 threes) and 1-of-1 free throw to go with 3 rebounds and 1 assist in 10:01 minutes.
Sebastian Hartmann, 18, SG, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg
The next youngster to start making his mark with Ludwigsburg is the 18-year-old Hartmann. In his fourth game of the season, the former FC Bayern Munich talent scored 7 points on 3-of-5 shooting (1/3 threes) in 16:46 minutes against ALBA BERLIN.
Nat Diallo, 22, C, medi bayreuth
Diallo is back on the list as he scored 9 points on 3-of-4 shooting and 3-of-7 free throws to go with 4 rebounds in 10:05 minutes against Basketball Löwen Braunschweig.
Tristan da Silva has had a strong start to his third season at the University of Colorado as the 21-year-old is averaging 11.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals through four games. He collected 17 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block in his most recent game against University of Massachusetts.