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Home/Newscenter/Ulm snatch two games in Munich / Bonn up 2-0 over Ludwigsburg / Bamberg, Crailsheim keep coaches

Weekly NewsUlm snatch two games in Munich / Bonn up 2-0 over Ludwigsburg / Bamberg, Crailsheim keep coaches

01. Juni 2023
ratiopharm ulm just keep producing upsets as they surprised FC Bayern Munich with two road wins to start their Semi-Finals series and just need one more victory to return to the Finals. It looks like they would meet Telekom Baskets there as the regular season champs rolled to a 2-0 lead over MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg with two home wins. Off the court, Brose Bamberg and HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim both decided to keep their head coaches. And RASTA Vechta will be promoted to the easyCredit BBL after reaching the ProA Finals.

ratiopharm ulm just keep producing upsets as they surprised FC Bayern Munich with two road wins to start their Semi-Finals series and just need one more victory to return to the Finals. It looks like they would meet Telekom Baskets there as the regular season champs rolled to a 2-0 lead over MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg with two home wins. Off the court, Brose Bamberg and HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim both decided to keep their head coaches. And RASTA Vechta will be promoted to the easyCredit BBL after reaching the ProA Finals.

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:

Obst 34 points not enough, Ulm take second game at Bayern as well

ratiopharm ulm remained the story of the playoffs as they surprised FC Bayern Munich once again with a 93-88 road victory to move just one victory from ousting their second straight German EuroLeague team. Looking to avoid the same fate as ALBA BERLIN, Bayern watched as Ulm raced away to an 11-point lead in the first quarter but came back to lead midway through the second quarter. Ulm took over again with a 27-17 third quarter and led by as many as 18 points. Obst would not let Bayern go down without a fight and the hosts got within 3 points with 7 seconds left. But they could finish the deal and Ulm head home looking for just one win to reach the Finals for the first time since 2016. Ulm forced 21 Bayern turnovers, shot 66.7 percent on two-pointers and picked up 18 second chance points to 8 for Bayern. Yago dos Santos tallied 21 points and 5 assists to lead Ulm with Bruno Caboclo chipping in 17 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks, and Brandon Paul scoring 14 points. Andi Obst drained 8-of-14 three-pointers in setting his new career high with 34 points while Isaac Bonga had 12 points. But the other three Bayern starters combined for just 10 points. 

Nunez-dos Santos combo too much, Ulm steal first game in Munich

ratiopharm ulm ripped away home court advantage of their Semi-Finals series with FC Bayern Munich as the guard duo of Juan Nunez and Yago dos Santos shined in an 87-69 road victory in the first game. After surprising three-time reigning champions ALBA BERLIN in the first round of the playoffs, Ulm delivered the next eye-opener in Munich. The game was close in the first three quarters but Ulm pulled away with a 16-2 fourth quarter run. Ulm committed only 9 turnovers and held Bayern to just 40.7 percent shooting for the game. Nunez finished with 19 points and 4 assists and dos Santos had 18 points and 5 assists while Bruno Caboclo tallied 17 points and 12 rebounds. Cassius Winston collected 13 points and 7 rebounds and fellow reserve Freddie Gillespie added 10 points as the Bayern starters combined for just 27 points. 

Morgan scores 23 points in return, Bonn just one win from Finals

Telekom Baskets Bonn are just one victory from reaching the easyCredit BBL Finals as they rolled past MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg 94-65 at home for a 2-0 series lead. Bonn never trailed and led by eight points at halftime before taking the second half 50-29 for their 24th straight win - evening ALBA BERLIN for third place for the longest winning streak behind ratiopharm ulm’s 27-game winning streak in 2016-17. Bonn shot 50.8 percent for the game and held Ludwigsburg to just 33.3 percent from the field. Jeremy Morgan poured in 23 points with 5 three-pointers in just his second game since going down injured on December 26, 2022. Javontae Hawkins had 15 points and TJ Shorts chipped in 9 points and 6 assists. Shonn Miller scored 11 points in the loss. 

Shorts, offensive rebounds carry Bonn past Ludwigsburg for 1-0 lead

Regular season champions Telekom Baskets Bonn remained a dominant force at home as they defeated MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg 80-71 to take a 1-0 lead in their Semi-Finals series. It was the 23rd straight win for Bonn, who have not lost domestically at the Telekom Dome since June 8, 2022. Ludwigsburg built a nine-point lead early in the second quarter but lost control of the game with a 26-8 second frame and Bonn never trailed the rest of the game. Bonn committed only 8 turnovers and dominated the glass 55-42 including 27 offensive rebounds, which resulted in 14 more field goal attempts. TJ Shorts paced Bonn with 22 points and 7 assists while Collin Malcolm collected a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double and Javontae Hawkins added 13 points. Yorman Polas Bartolo was Ludwigsburg’s leading scorer with 12 points and Shonn Miller picked up 10 points and 8 rebounds in the loss. 

Bamberg extend deal with head coach Amiel 

Brose Bamberg have decided to retain the services of head coach Oren Amiel and gave the playcaller a two-year deal. The Israeli coach failed to lead  the team to the playoffs this season - missing out on the post-season for the first time in 22 years. Bamberg also decided to keep assistant coach Arne Woltmann, athletic trainer Roberto Molina Romero and individual trainer Stefan Weissenböck. 

Crailsheim keep head coach Markovic 

HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim and head coach Nikola Markovic agreed to stay together for another season on a one-year deal. The 41-year-old Serbian joined the club last off-season as assistant coach and then took over as head coach when Sebastian Gleim was fired in December. Markovic’s assistant coach Daniel Herbert will also stay with the club. 

Göttingen lose head coach Moors, big man Pape 

BG Göttingen will have a very different look next season as they will lose their head coach Roel Moors and German big man Till Pape. Moors leaves after three years with the team, looking to join a financially stronger club. He helped the club reach the playoffs this season, losing in three games to FC Bayern Munich. Pape departs after an excellent season with the club as the 25-year-old averaged 11.6 points on 46 percent three-pointers and 3.8 rebounds. Pape, who joined the club from the second division ProA in 2022, used the player option in his two-year deal. 

Ugrai returns to Würzburg on two-year deal

Max Ugrai will be returning home as be signed a two-year deal with hometown club Würzburg Baskets. The 27-year-old has spent the last six seasons playing elsewhere in Germany - in Jena, Ulm, Bremerhaven and most recently for MLP Academics Heidelberg. Ugrai last season scored 11.7 points per game, making him the fourth-best German scorer in the league. Ugrai joined the club originally and played in Würzburg’s U14 ranks and made his first division debut in 2013. 

Assistant coach Matthews leaves Chemnitz after eight years 

NINERS Chemnitz will be looking for a new assistant coach as Virgil Matthews has left the club. The 39-year-old Matthews played with the club and then served as an assistant coach for the last eight seasons. It’s unclear who will replace Matthews as assistant to head coach Rodrigo Pastore.

German center Keßen joins Heidelberg from second division 

MLP Academics Heidelberg added a big man to their rotation as they signed Marcel Keßen for two years until 2025. The 26-year-old center, who played in Germany’s youth national team ranks, excelled last season with Phoenix Hagen in the BARMER ProA with 14.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. 

RASTA Vechta return to easyCredit BBL 

RASTA Vechta will be back in the easyCredit BBL as the club reached the Finals of the BARMER ProA. Vechta will be facing Tigers Tübingen for the second division title. Vechta earned their fourth promotion to Germany’s first division following 2013, 2016 and 2018. The club spent the last two seasons in the ProA. 

Drijencic will stick with Bayreuth in second division 

medi bayreuth made sure they have a top level head coach as they are relegated to the ProA as Mladen Drijencic agreed to stay with the team in the second division. Drijencic, who joined Bayreuth in February but could not keep the team from dropping out of the easyCredit BBL, signed a contract for two seasons. 

Player(s) of the Week(s) 

With two rounds of games, there are two Player of the Week honors to hand out and both MVP TJ Shorts of Telekom Baskets Bonn and ratiopharm ulm’s Juan Nunez were top guns in the first games while Andi Obst of FC Bayern Munich was the best performer in the second games. Shorts scored 22 points on 9-of-18 shots and 3-of-4 free throws to go with 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals for an efficiency of 24 against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg. That was the same number that Nunez produced against Munich as he had 19 points on 6-of-6 shooting and 5-of-8 free throws, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. In Bayern’s second loss to Ulm, Obst came up with a career high 34 points on 9-of-16 shooting - including 8-of-14 threes - and 8-of-8 free throws, 1 rebound and 1 steal for an efficiency of 27.  

German Top Five of the Week

G: Andi Obst, FC Bayern Munich

Obst had a solid performance in Bayern’s first game loss to ratiopharm ulm with 8 points, 1 rebound and 2 assists. But he was unstoppable in the second game with a career-high 34 points on 8-of-14 three-pointers to go with 1 rebound and 1 steal.

G: Isaac Bonga, FC Bayern Munich

Bonga had 8 points, 3 rebounds and 1 steal in the first game loss to ratiopharm ulm and then collected 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in the second game. 

F: Karim Jallow, ratiopharm ulm

Jallow helped Ulm take a 2-0 lead over FC Bayern Munich with two road wins. In the opener, he had 5 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal and followed that with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.

C: Jonathan Bähre, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg

Bähre contributed 3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal and 3 blocks in Ludwigsburg’s opening game loss to Telekom Baskets Bonn. The big man collected 10 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in the second game. 

C: Leon Kratzer, Telekom Baskets Bonn 

Kratzer helped Bonn to two home wins over MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg as he chipped in 4 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal in the first game and then had 9 points and 9 rebounds in the second game.

ALBA win U16 JBBL/U19 NBBL German double 

ALBA BERLIN may have been missed out on defending their easyCredit BBL title but the club won the youth double as they claimed the titles at the U16 JBBL and U19 NBBL leagues. Mathieu Grujicic set a new JBBL final record with 52 points as Berlin defeated Eintracht Frankfurt/FRAPORT SKYLINERS 93-85 in double-overtime to win their third U16 title in the last five editions. Berlin finished off the perfect weekend in Frankfurt by taking the U19 title as well thanks to a 78-75 win over YOUNG RASTA DRAGONS. Nils Machowski hit the championship winner at the buzzer, and NBBL season MVP Rikas Schulte scored 20 points. 

Germans Abroad 

Johannes Voigtmann is shining in the Italian playoffs as the big man poured in a season-high 22 points including a season-best 5 three-pointers to go with 7 rebounds in EA7 Emporia Armani Milan’s 95-72 opening win over Sassari in the Semi-Finals. Voigtmann chipped in 4 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists as Milan beat Sassari 80-75 to take a 2-0 series lead.