Frankfurt beat Bayern / Cup preview: Berlin best Bamberg / Ulm continue to roll / Chikoko secures...
In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the German Beko 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 Beko BBL short and sweet:
Two steps forward, five back for Bayern after roller-coaster week
Love them or hate them, Bayern Munich seem to have a flair for the dramatic. First they shock Euroleague powerhouse Real Madrid 85-83 in the Euroleague, handing the Spanish giants just their second loss total this season. Then just three days later, Munich fall to a struggling FRAPORT SKYLINERS team who won 67-62 for their first victory of 2014 and snapped a seven-game losing streak. “2 steps forward, 5 back. Have nothing to say about this bs” was the Twitter response from Bayern playmaker Malcolm Delaney, who was named the Euroleague MVP of the round for his masterful performance against Madrid. But it was a great showing by Frankfurt as well, as the SKYLINERS welcomed back two important players. Jacob Burtschi returned after missing eight games with back surgery while Jarred DuBois came back after missing three contests. Here the highlights of a game with plenty of intrigue:
Berlin continue home dominance of Bamberg
Don’t be surprised if Brose Baskets Bamberg fans start considering staying home for road games at ALBA BERLIN. Besides it being a long trip from Upper Franconia to the German capital, Bamberg have struggled for years at Berlin. And those struggles continued this weekend with ALBA easing past the four-time reigning Beko BBL champs 70-58 for their seventh straight win over Bamberg. Berlin snapped Bamberg’s 10-game winning streak and added a bit of suspense ahead of the teams’ match-up in the semi-finals of the TOP FOUR in Ulm on March 29. With Bayern also losing, Bamberg stayed even in the loss column with Munich in second place.
Chikoko secures Trier victory, MBC wins third straight; Bayreuth triumphant on road
We didn’t want to leave three more games unmentioned. Vitalis Chikoko made the game-winning free throw with 4.7 seconds left as Trier knocked off MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg. MBC collected their third straight win by beating EWE Baskets Oldenburg to move into the running for the playoffs. And medi bayreuth held off WALTER Tigers Tübingen for their first road victory of the season.
Ulm continue to roll
In honor of the longest winning streak in the Beko BBL, ratiopharm ulm have found a fine form as they won their fifth straight game – 86-67 over RASTA Vechta – to get closer to fourth place and home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
NCAA March Madness – with German flair in the East
With the NCAA Tournament tipping off this week, here is a glimpse of the German connection to March Madness in the U.S. In the East Regional, Niels Giffey, Leon Tolksdorf and seventh-seeded University of Connecticut will take on 10 seed St. Joseph’s with Javon Baumann. While Giffey has already won the NCAA title with UConn in 2011, the German in the tournament with the best chances is likely Gavin Schilling who will be taking on No. 13 Delaware with No. 4 Michigan State. The fifth German is Luka Kamber with Western Regional No. 14 seed Louisiana Lafayette, who take on third-seeded Creighton.
Germany v Luxembourg in Trier – with Seiferth, Schröder?
The fans of TBB Trier will get to see the German national team this summer as Germany will take on Luxembourg at the Arena Trier on August 17 as part of the EuroBasket 2015 qualifiers. Andreas Seiferth appears to have good chances of being there since the Trier center appeared at the press conference to announce the game with German national team coach Frank Menz. Another possible player for Germany at the game is Dennis Schröder. The Atlanta Hawks guard talked to Sport1 about his plans for this summer: “It is definitely very good for me to play there. I would like to show the team and Germany that I can help reach the (2016) Olympics in Rio. But first we have to qualify for EuroBasket 2015 this summer. Many people want to see me fight for this goal. I will definitely do that if I have time. We will plan directly after the season what we will do.”
Player of the Week
Tony Gaffney did all he could but his 32 efficiency rating performance was not enough to keep Telekom Baskets Bonn from losing at Phoenix Hagen. Gaffney made 9-of-16 shots for 24 points to go with 11 rebounds – six of them offensive, two assists and three blocks.
Maxi Kleber was perfect from the field in s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg’s comfortable win over New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig, hitting all four of his shots, including both of his three-balls and 2-of-3 from the free throw line for 12 points. He also had six rebounds, two steals, one block, one turnover and four fouls in 24:31 minutes.
Bogdan Radosavljevic, 20, C, WALTER Tigers Tübingen
Looks who is back again! Borad struggled a bit from the field in Tübingen’s loss against Bayreuth with nine points on 3-of-11 shooting with 3-of-4 free throws. He did collect six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and just one turnover and three fouls in 25:36 minutes.
Johannes Voigtmann, 21, C, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
JoVo returns to Young Guns after playing a big role in Skyliners’ huge win over Bayern Munich. In 18:28 minutes, he scored six points on 2-of-4 shooting with four rebounds, three assists and one block while committing three turnovers and two fouls.
Daniel Theis, 21, PF, ratiopharm ulm
While Maximilian Ugrai’s career-high three points for Würzburg was an option, it seemed fairer to bring Theis back to Young Guns. In the win over Vechta, Theis had 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting while collecting 10 rebounds and three blocks. It was his first double-digit scoring performance in five games though he has averaged 10 rebounds in his last four games. Theis also ranks 10th in efficiency rating per 40 minutes at 22.75.
Basketball Insiders: Andreas Seiferth
Trier got a big win over Ludwigsburg and the guys at SportEagle.tv came up with an interview with Trier center Andreas Seiferth. Good stuff again.
Music for the masses – Levon Kendall style
Coming back to ALBA BERLIN for one more moment … We’ve talked before in this column about the artistic excellence of Levon Kendall. Well, the Berlin power forward has announced a release date for his new EP. “Touch Down, Take Off” is available starting on March 23. Here is the video for the first single off the album, “Destined”.
Meat and Potatoes
The winner of the game day was Alba Berlin (18-7) who picked up ground on both first placed Bayern (22-4) and second-placed Bamberg (20-4) and jumped into third place after Oldenburg lost as well to fall to 18-8. Things are starting to look a bit bleaker in the relegation fight for last placed Tübingen (4-21 after five straight losses) and 17th-placed Vechta (5-21 with a nine-game losing streak) after Würzburg won to jump to 8-18 and medi bayreuth collected their third straight win to move to 7-19. The leading scorer in the Beko BBL still is Eisbären Bremerhaven’s Darius Adams at 18.31 ppg ahead of New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig’s Isaiah Swann (18.12 ppg) and Ludwigsburg’s Keaton Grant (16.52 ppg). Phoenix Hagen’s Larry Gordon still tops the rebounding charts at 7.4 rpg ahead of Jamel McLean from Telekom Baskets Bonn (7.3 rpg) and Bremerhaven’s Devin Searcy (7.1 rpg). Bamberg’s Jared Jordan is the leading assist man at 7.8 apg ahead of Kevin Hamilton from Bayreuth (5.8 apg) and Bayern’s Malcolm Delaney (5.2 apg). Angelo Caloiaro of MBC tops the efficiency rating leaderboard at 18.65 while Adams is second at 16.46 and Jordan at 16.43. Last, but not least this week’s Top 10: