Author: Manuel Schust

Three-peat completed: Bamberg wins another BBL championship

After losing game 1 of the quarterfinals-series against Bonn, Bamberg managed to win 9 play-off games in a row! 3-1 against Bonn in the quarterfinals, 3-0 against the Artland Dragons in the semis and 3-0 in the finals against ratiopharm Ulm.

So it’s time to put the broom back in its place and enjoy the sweet taste of success.

The German Hoops crew says: Congratulations to the Brose Baskets Bamberg for winning the 2012 Beko BBL championship!

After becoming the first team since Alba Berlin in 2003 to defend the title last season. The Brose Baskets made history this season as they became the first team ever in german basketball to secure three cup-wins and championship wins in a row. Looking back at the last 20 years in german basketball it is easy to say that there was a Bayer Leverkusen era in the early nineties (7 championships from 1990-1996) that was followed by Alba Berlin’s dominance (7 championships from 1997-2003). Chris Fleming’s Brose Baskets are not far from that status now with three consecutive championships.

You can watch all three game of the BBL Finals on YouTube! (Check out the Channel basket24grTV!)

Game 1: Brose Baskets – ratiopharm Ulm 98:72

Game 2: ratiopharm Ulm – Brose Baskets 70:86

Game 3: Brose Baskets – ratiopharm Ulm 97:95

Keaton Nankivil’s Buzzer Beater Seals 76-75 Win Over Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich seems to have a knack for losing close games. After unfortunate overtime losses against the Telekom Baskets Bonn (80-78) and the Artland Dragons (86-83), Bauermann’s team also lost the road games in Bremerhaven (73:71) and Würzburg (64:55).

In the game against Ulm Bayern Munich was able to come back from a double digit deficit and take a 2-point lead within the last few seconds. But then former Badger Keaton Nankivil made a 25-foot three point shot and gave Bayern Munich another close loss on the road. Thorsten Leibenath’s (Ulm’s coach) time out speech looked quite desperate as he was not really sure what play he wanted his team to execute. Somehow the ball ended up in Nankivil’s hands and with just a few seconds remaining he just took the shot.

You can watch the full game here:

Bayern Munich’s soccer team is known to sign the opponent’s best players. I don’t know what Bayern’s team manager Marco Pesic and Dirk Bauermann have in mind for next season. But maybe we see Nankivil in a Bayern Munich uniform next season. I would not bet my money on this though. If Bayern should really be interested in a player who defeated them it should rather be Artland’s David Holston…

Teamcheck 2011/2012: EWE Baskets Oldenburg

The EWE Baskets Oldenburg had a rollercoaster season full of ups and downs in 2010/2011. Most of the new signings could not fulfill the expectations and were either replaced throughout the season (Nemanja Protic and Steven Smith) or had to go this summer (Aron Baynes and Lou Campbell).

Only Rickey Paulding and Robin Smeulders remained with the club and coach Krunic had to build a whole new team this summer. It is pretty obvious that the management and Krunic were not in the mood for big experiments. With just two exceptions all rotation players are familiar with the BBL what should minimize the risk of another signing fiasco.

The Thunderbirds could never really fill the gap left by the departure of Jason Gardner. Gardner, a former BBL MVP was one of the main reasons for Oldenburg’s championship in 2009 and retired due to back problems in 2010. I think it must have been Oldenburg’s first priority to find a real quality player for the Point Guard spot.


Teamcheck 2011/2012: Bayern Munich

Ever since Bayern Munich announced to re-establish its basketball project everybody has been enthusiastic about the impact Germany’s biggest sports brand could have for basketball in Germany.

With a roster full of experienced BBL players (e.g. Aleksandar Nadjfeji, Darius Hall) and german national players (Steffen Hamann, Demond Greene) it was not a big challenge to make it to the Beko BBL. Former national coach Dirk Bauermann had formed a team that could have been a play-off competitor in the BBL. With just two losses during the season and mainly huge wins over other ProA teams the club could fulfill expectations and is now ready for the real challenge in Germany’s elite league.

While some german players retired this summer (Robert Maras, Robert Garrett and Arthur Kolodziejski) coach Bauermann decided to keep most of the players from last year’s roster. The only American who had to leave was Beckham Wyrick, who signed with BBC Bayreuth. These changes were necessary to make the team more competitive for the much more physical BBL and Bayern’s participation in EuroCup.

The new Bayern Munich team that is expected to be a top team in the BBL right from the start looks like a typical Bauermann roster. It’s the mixture of veterans and german national players he also signed during his time with Bamberg.


Teamcheck 2011/2012: Telekom Baskets Bonn

Last season the Telekom Baskets Bonn missed the Play-Offs for the first time in seven years. It has been just for the second time since 1996 that the post season started without the magenta colored jerseys.

It was clear that everything had to be questioned this summer and almost every player seemed to be replaceable.

The one big exception was Bundesliga veteran Chris Ensminger. The 37-year old center, who has spend almost his entire pro career in Germany was signed for two more years – and with good reason. Ensminger has always been one of these players you love to have on your team and you easily start to hate on the opponent’s team. Of course his style sometimes seems questionable and he did his best to be called Mr. Elbow or the league’s elbow among fans. But even in his late 30s Ensminger is simply one of the best big men in the BBL. He still knows all those old school center moves (that slowly disappear from the game), works hard under the baskets and is always a team-first player. What else could you wish for? And I think there could not be a better teacher for german youngster Jonas Wohlfahrt-Bottermann, who should finally get some more minutes in Germany’s elite league. The 21-year old prospect averaged 12.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for ProA club Rhöndorf Dragons last season and has to get more quality minutes to take the next step in his career.


Brose Baskets Bamberg Win The 2011 Beko BBL Championship

Brose Baskets Bamberg – Alba Berlin 72-65 (29:30)

For the third consecutive time the BBL finals saw a game 5 – and for the third consecutive time the hosts could take advantage of the home-court advantage. After trailing for most of the second half Bamberg played their best basketball when it all came down to the last few minutes.

Congratulations to the Brose Baskets Bamberg and coach Fleming who formed a group of great individual talent to a team that set standards in playing with enthusiasm, discipline and unselfishness.

Alba Berlin finished the season in second place. But after a season full of ups and downs, the departure of former head-coach Luka Pavicevic and the integration of two new playmakers in February Alba can be proud of winning decisive games 5 (in the quarterfinals against Oldenburg, in the semis against Frankfurt) and giving Bamberg a really tough game 5 in the finals.


Alba Berlin Forces Game 5 With A Huge 87-67 Win Over Bamberg

Did Bamberg’s team want to celebrate the championship on their home court?

Or what exactly happened to the most dominant team of the Beko BBL in game 4 of the finals?

With a win coach Fleming’s team could have won the BBL championship. But with their backs to the wall Alba Berlin handed Bamberg their biggest loss of the season (87-67) and showed that you just cannot count out the team from the capitol city.

After a nice start Bamberg was in front with 12-21. But it took only a few minutes for Alba to go on a 16-2 run and take the lead. The momentum had changed with Alba’s nice zone defense and Bamberg’s inability to find a way to score on a regular basis. On the other side of the court Berlin found good ways to create mismatches against Bamberg’s zone as they moved the ball very well. Often wing players like Casey Jacobsen ended up defending in the paint and Alba took advantage with their big men.

A prime example for Berlin’s strength today was the Bamberg’s last possession in the first half. Brian Roberts tried to go hard to the basket but Alba responded with a nice defensive rotation that made Julius Jenkins block the lay-up. Then with some seconds left Alba passed the ball nicely to Bryce Taylor, who faked a shot and then made a buzzer three pointer right on time. At the half Alba led by 7 (44-37).

At the beginning of the second half Tadija Dragicevic replaced Derrick Allen and had some nice scenes offensively. Alba constantly led by 4-8 points at this stage of the gameand even if Bamberg managed to have some successful situations offensively, the team simply forgot to box out defensively.

It really felt like Alba Berlin could easily grab offensive rebounds whenever they missed a shot. German national player Yassin Idbihi did a great job getting 4 of the team’s 11 offensive boards. It is often said that good rebounding is a question of dedication.