Weekly News: Do-or-die twice for the finals; former MVP Wood leaves Germany; record TV audience...
Jacobsens long-range shooting answered by wild Rice showing
Three-time reigning champions Brose Baskets Bamberg and Bayern Munich will face off on Thursday in Freak City for a spot in the Beko BBL finals. Bamberg sharp-shooter Casey Jacobsen nailed six three-pointers in scoring 24 points and received plenty of offensive help by Anton Gavel (21 points), Sharrod Ford (19) and Bostjan Nachbar (18) in a 98-79 win in Game Three. The game went back and forth throughout the first three quarters before Bayern ran out of steam in the fourth with just six points. Facing elimination in Game Four at home, Bayern playmaker Tyrese Rice heated up just in time with 12 of his 17 points in the final 2:50 as Munich knocked off Bamberg 80-71. Yotam Halperin was great all game with 16 points for Munich, who built a 15-point lead in the first half but trailed by eight points in the fourth quarter before Rice finished the comeback.
Ulm force Game Five after heart-breaking loss
The 2012 runners-up ratiopharm ulm and the regular seasons second-best team EWE Baskets Oldenburg will duke it out on Thursday in northern Germany for the other spot in the Beko BBL finals, which tip off on Sunday, June 9. Ulm appeared ready to snatch Game Three at EWE Baskets Oldenburg with a 16-0 run to open the second half before being out-scored 26-7 the rest of the way in a 65-59 Oldenburg win. Julius Jenkins tallied 17 points off the bench for Oldenburg, who also got 14 points from Chris Kramer and Rickey Paulding. The two-time Beko BBL MVP John Bryant collected 18 points and 11 rebounds but it was not enough. Ulm answered the bell in Game Four with Keaton Nankivils 15 points pacing six players in double figures in Ulms thrilling 81-79 home win. Bryant added 14 points and 10 rebounds while Lance Jeter filled in for the injured Per Günther with 10 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Julius Jenkins was unstoppable for Oldenburg in the second quarter, scoring 20 of his 29 points. Adam Chubb added 14 points but missed a potential game-tying shot in the final second to set up Game Five.
Germany watching playoffs in record numbers
Dont believe the games are exciting? Well, just check the German television audience numbers. SPORT1 registered an average of 370,000 viewers for Game Four between Bayern and Bamberg, topping the record of 340,000 from a week earlier for Game One of the series. Viewership peaked at 500,000 viewers. The 370,000 spectatorship meant a 3.2 percent market share of 14-49 year old men also a new Beko BBL basketball record, topping the 2.4 percent from Game One.
Auf Wiedersehen Steffen: Hamann retires from German national team
After 131 games internationally, Steffen Hamann has retired from the German national team. The 31-year-old played at the 2008 Olympics, the 2006 and 2010 World Championship and four EuroBaskets unfortunately never winning a medal, though he did collect two Beko BBL titles with Bamberg in 2005 and 2007. Hamann says he wants to pave the way for the young Germans to take over the national team.
Former MVP Wood leaves Beko BBL, Ludwigsburg lose trio, top scorer Parker joins MBC
A number of other teams have been busy as well this week. Former Beko BBL MVP DaShaun Wood left ALBA BERLIN but will not be reuniting with former coach Gordon Herbert in Frankfurt but signed a one-year contract with French club Le Mans. Neckar RIESEN Ludwigsburg will definitely have a different look next season whether thats in the Beko BBL or the ProA as Lucca Staiger exercised his option to leave the club, which in turn chose not to keep Ivan Elliott and Max Weber. Mitteldeutscher BC made a first addition for next season in signing 23-year-old Josh Parker, who was the ProBs leading scorer and Player of the Year last season with the third division league champions Bayer Giants Leverkusen. In other moves, Andreas Seiferth signed on for two more years with TBB Trier; FRAPORT SKYLINERS kept Danilo Barthel for two seasons and an option for a third; and Guido Grünheid will return to Artland Dragons for another year and an option for a second season.
Flevarakis out, Braunschweig look for new coach
New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig avoided relegation this season but will go into the 2013-14 with a new coach as they parted ways with Greek coach Kostas Flevarakis after just one season at the helm. Braunschweig management have not named a successor, saying they will take their time in finding their new man.
Bayreuth re-sign Bryan Bailey, get name sponsor
Combo guard Bryan Bailey, who played for four different clubs in Germany (Wuerzburg, Artland, Oldenburg and Bayreuth) will be returning to Bayreuth next season, signing on for two more seasons until 2015. But the 33 year old veteran guard will be wearing a different jersey as the club signed a name sponsor for the first time in 18 years, going into 2013-14 as medi bayreuth.
Smartphone ringtones from basketball commentators
Looking for a new ringtone for your smartphone? Try basketball commentator Ademola Okulaja talking about some fire on the court ():
Statline(s) of the week: Jacobsen on fire for Bamberg; Jenkins not enough
Bamberg captain Casey Jacobsen took Game Three honors with an impressive shooting display, hitting 6 of 8 three-pointers for 24 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and one steal for a 31 efficiency rating in Bambergs 98-79 win over Bayern. Julius Jenkins amazing performance in Game Four was not enough for Oldenburg despite 29 points, five rebounds, four steals and one assist for a 34 rating in the 80-71 loss.
Top 10 from Games Three and Four
Want to see Jenkins and Rice get white hot oh and a monster slam to top it off? Here are the Top 10 plays from Games Three and Four.
Young Guns: Ilzhöfer joins Skyliners, Joos stays with Ludwigsburg
A pair of German U18 national team nominees signed new deals both originating in Neckar RIESEN Ludwigsburgs youth ranks. Small forward Stefan Ilzhöfer, who played in the 2013 NBBL All-Star Game, moved from BBA Ludwigsburg to FRAPORT SKYLINERS for two years with an option for two more seasons. Ludwigsburg were able to keep another talent in signing forward Johannes Joos inked a deal until 2015 with an option for two more years