The stage is set: Bamberg host Bayern on Sunday / Holston’s game-winner / Giffey wins second NCAA...
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:
Bamberg overtake Bayern before dropping back to second
Four-time reigning champions Brose Baskets from Bamberg were back atop the Beko BBL for one day this weekend as they moved ahead of Bayern Munich before eventually dropping back to second place. Bamberg finally pulled even on games played with Munich mid-week when they knocked off a tough FRAPORT SKYLINERS 64-54 in Frankfurt (where Munich and ratiopharm ulm had lost in the last three weeks). And then Bamberg won 81-72 at Phoenix Hagen to jump to 24-4 on Saturday, one win more than Munich. But Bayern survived a tough road game on Sunday, beating Ulm 70-59 to move back atop the standings at 24-4. Here are the highlights of Bayern’s victory – which was also a bit of revenge for their semi-final loss in the TOP FOUR.
Stage is set: Sunday 5:05 p.m. Bamberg play host to Bayern
Now that both teams finally are deadlocked, let’s get it on! Bamberg host Bayern on Sunday at 5:05 p.m. at the Brose Arena. Without stepping on the toes of the rest of their opponents the rest of the way, this game quite likely could decide which team has home court advantage over the course of the playoffs. Bayern won 84-74 in the first week of the season while Bamberg won two weeks ago 79-73 in Ulm in the Beko BBL TOP FOUR third place game. While Bayern come into the game healthy, Bamberg’s heart and soul Anton Gavel has missed the last two games with a knee issue and playmaker Jared Jordan did not play in Hagen. It’s hard to imagine Gavel will not play while the injury to Jordan is still too recent to know for sure if he can lace them up. One thing is certain, this will be must-see hoops. Here a video recap of the first meeting this season:
The Little Big Man strikes again
David Holston makes up for his lack of size by hitting his fair share of big shots. And Artland Dragons’ Little Big Man was at it again this weekend, hitting a game-winning three at the buzzer against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg. Watch and enjoy
Bayreuth, Würzburg pull further away from relegation zone
medi bayreuth and s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg both took a big step to avoiding relegation as they knocked off New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig 87-82 and SKYLINERS 80-71, respectively, to improve to nine victories on the season. WALTER Tigers Tübingen lost 105-74 to Mitteldeutscher BC and are now three wins behind both teams at 17th place in the fight to stay in the Beko BBL.
UConn complete magical run to NCAA title, Giffey wins record second crown
Niels Giffey already had his place in German basketball history by winning the 2011 NCAA title with the University of Connecticut. But the 22-year-old forward etched his name into history again Monday night by helping the UConn Huskies to a 60-54 victory over Kentucky to win the 2014 NCAA championship with 10 points and five rebounds – completing a magical journey to the title as a No. 7 seed. With the victory, Giffey became the second German to win two NCAA titles. With his collegiate playing career now done, let the fight for his services in the Beko BBL officially begin. Niels talks here about the historical evening.
German NCAA champions:
- Magnus Pelkowski: 1987 with the Indiana University (dnp in the final)
- Christian Ast: 1991 and 1992 with the Duke University (dnp in the final 1991, played 1992 the last 13 seconds)
- Henrik Rödl: 1993 with the University of North Carolina
- Enosch Wolf: 2011 with the University of Connecticut (dnp in the final)
- Leon Tolksdorf: 2014 mit der University of Connecticut (dnp in the final)
- Niels Giffey: 2011 und 2014 with the University of Connecticut
Player of the Week
As previously mentioned, Bayreuth picked up a big victory in the relegation battle and Kyle Weems played a huge role in getting that win. He scored 23 points on 9-of-16 shots and 4-of-5 free throws while also collecting nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block for an efficiency rating of 28.
Maxi Kleber meanwhile played a big part in Würzburg getting their big win over SKYLINERS with nine points on 3-of-8 shooting – 1-of-2 from three-point range. He also had seven rebounds – three of them offensive – two assists, one block as well as three turnovers and three fouls in 23:34 minutes.
Stats Corner: Long and Günther come up short
It’s hard to beat Bayern Munich anyhow but it’s even tougher when two of your top scorers struggle shooting-wise. Ulm saw Cameron Long and Per Günther make just 2-of-18 shots including 1-of-8 from three point range in combining for 10 points. The duo did combine for 13 assists but had four turnovers and zero steals while committing just one foul amongst them.
Season over for Betz, Simon
Without wanting to focus too much on Würzburg and Bayreuth this week, but both teams saw important German players get the bad news that their Beko BBL seasons were over. Sebastian Betz underwent successful knee surgery and cannot return to Würzburg practice for three months while Bayreuth guard Nicolai Simon will miss at least three weeks of training with a right hand injury. Simon could possibly return to the court at the very end of the season – though it’s unlikely.
Bogdan Radosavljevic, 20, C, WALTER Tigers Tübingen
Radosavljevic continues to play some excellent basketball in the relegation fight for Tübingen, collecting 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting and 7-of-8 free throws. He also had eight rebounds and one assist while committing two turnovers and three fouls in 30:07 minutes against MBC.
Niklas Geske, 20, PG, Phoenix Hagen
Welcome back to Young Guns! Geske, who turns 20 years old on Sunday, hit a couple of big baskets in the third and fourth quarters against Bamberg in scoring seven points on 2-of-5 shooting – including hitting his only trey attempt – to go with 2-of-2 free throws, one assist, one turnover and three fouls in 15:54 minutes.
Daniel Theis, 21, PF, ratiopharm ulm
Theis also continued his superb play for Ulm, albeit in a losing effort as he had 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting with 3-of-6 on three-pointers while grabbing seven rebounds in 26:35 minutes against Bayern before fouling out late in the game. Theis also continued his spectacular play, once again taking a spot in the week’s Top Ten:
Meat and Potatoes
The Beko BBL saw a new leader atop the standings for about a day until Bayern Munich returned to the top, evening Brose Baskets Bamberg’s record of 24-4 ahead of their big showdown on Sunday. ALBA BERLIN are third at 20-7 while EWE Baskets Oldenburg are fourth at 20-8. Tübingen dropped to 6-22 in 17th place while last-placed RASTA Vechta lost their 11th straight game to fall to 5-23. Bremerhaven’s Darius Adams leads the Beko BBL in scoring with 18.32 ppg, ahead of Braunschweig’s Isaiah Swann (18.11 ppg) and Hagen’s David Bell (16.50 ppg). The leading rebounder is Bonn’s Jamel McLean at 7.5 rpg with Hagen’s Larry Gordon second at 7.3 rpg and MBC’s Angelo Caloiaro third at 7.1 rpg. Jared Jordan from Bamberg still is tops of the assist category with 7.8 apg. Second place is Bayreuth’s Kevin Hamilton (5.8 apg) and third is Munich’s Malcolm Delaney (5.0 apg). The most effective player in the league is Caloiaro at 17.86 per game while Jordan is second at 16.43 and McLean third at 16.39.