ProB

Bill Borekambi (wiha Panthers) Staying Is The Best Option Because I Love Playing In Schwenningen

Bill Borekambi is a 26 year old 198cm forward that has played for 9 professional teams and completed his first season with the wiha Panthers Villingen-Schwenningen (ProB) averaging 16,6ppg, 7,2rpg and 2,5apg. He has a lot of professional experience having played 36 Pro A games for Cuxhaven and Nurnberg and played 75 Pro B games with Lich, PS Karlsruhe and Rostock. He also played two seasons with Coll.Sequoias CC (JUCO) and played a season in the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven organization playing second Regionalliga and NBBL. Last season he was a key contributor for the Rostock Seawolves (ProB) playing 30 games averaging 14.3ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 57.6%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 72.6%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the completion of the 2018-2019 season.

Bill thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Congrats on an amazing season. How disappointed are you and the club about the season ending in Munster?

hey miles thanks for having me again. It was at first very disappointing because we knew we could have won that game in Munster. Losing a game 3 by 3 points is tough but after a couple days, I realized we had a great season and accomplished way more than expected. 

The club has some nice road trips home after the game three wins in Wedel and Giessen. How hard was the bus ride home and what were the most active thoughts going through your mind on the trip home from Munster?

Man the bus ride home after that was the longest, your body is tired but you can’t sleep because you keep thinking about the game and what if. 

The wiha Panthers had to fight back the whole playoffs and had extreme problems winning on the road early. Why do you feel did the team always have to put themselves in a hole early in the series?

Definitely wasn’t planed lol. I think it just took most of the time a game to get some feeling for our opponents and gain confidence back at home after a loss on the road. But even though we had some struggles we never gave up from the staff to the players. 

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The wiha Panthers Do it Again German Style Almost Always Wining It In The End Pulling Out Dramatic 101-100 OT Win In Giessen

One thing is for sure nobody who follows the Pro B closely or is a wiha Panthers Schwenningen fan can say that the season of the newcomer hasn´t been spectacular or exciting. Of course the success of his team doesn´t surprise head coach Alen Velcic, but for others not as close to the club would have had the audacity to predict that the team would have such an exciting season. The club won some very exciting close games, saw the Pro B break through of jovial Mr everything Rasheed Moore and even experienced some tough tough games when they were without their captain the strong muscled kostas Karamatskos who always seems to have one expression on his face as a guy who is all business on the court. The playoffs remained very dramatic for the club from Schwenningen as they were down 1-0 to SC Rist Wedel in games and fought back to in two do or die games in a row and were in the same position again with the Rackelos Giessen. After stealing a very exciting 92-86 victory in Giessen were Rasheed Moore took control in crunch-time, the club came back very confident to slam the door on Giessen as everybody expected a win, but instead the guests showed immense heart and fighting qualities winning 81-76 on the road. Borekambi who continues to have an amazing playoffs and Moore combined for 42 points, but they couldn´t keep talented young German Bjarne Kraushaar under control as he netted 23 points and the few more possessions that Giessen had at the end made the difference. After two excruciating long road trips to Wedel that covered 2000 kilometers, the club had to go back to Giessen for a second time, but all in all had a lot more comfortable trip as it was less than half way to Wedel.

Pandimonium breaks out in wiha Panther country after the buzzer sounded beating Giessen 101-100 in OT

 

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Rasheed Moore (wiha Panthers) Coach Velcic Has Taught Me To Be More Patient Instead Of Forcing The Issue

Po-Rasheed MooreRasheed Moore is a 23 year old 198cm forward from Wilkes-Barre playing his second professional season with the wiha Panthers Villingen-Schwenningen (Germany-Regionalliga). Last season as a rookie he helped lead the team into the Pro B playing 27 games averaging 21.4ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 31.4%, FT: 75.5%. He began his basketball career at Martin Luther King High School. He then played at E.Stroudsburg (NCAA2) from 2013-2017 playing a total of 106 NCAA 2 games and as a senior played 26 games averaging 19.0ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.1apg, 1.0spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 48.0%, FT: 79.2%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before the playoff series against Giessen.

Rasheed thanks for talking germanhoops.com You have experienced many exciting things in your basketball career, but where does the playoff series rank against SC Rist Wedel?

Thank you Miles for taking the time to reach out to talk to me, and yes I have experienced many exciting things in my career but this series will always have a special place with me because it was my first playoff series. Not only was it my first playoff series but it was also our club’s first playoff series so being able to get a win for our organization just means a lot. 

How important was it having playoff experience with E Stroudsburg (NCAA2)? Did you feel like at home in game three in Wedel? It could happen again with Giessen if you’re faced with a do or die?

For me it was very important to have playoff experience and playing in games where every possession matters. You have to know how to react and respond in crucial moments of the game. With 4 years of playoff experience at East Stroudsburg I learned how to control my emotions and composure at the most crucial parts of the games. For game three in Wedel we did not feel like we were at home but we did not let their fans rattle us. We were all able to keep our composure and just find a way to win. That is what you have to do on the road in the playoffs. 

Congrats on beating SC Rist Wedel 2-1. How difficult was this series for the club? The club had to travel twice to Wedel covering 2000 kilometers. Do you feel like surviving this series could capitulate the wiha panthers to greater things as the playoffs continue?

Thank you and this was a very difficult series for the club. Wedel was a very good fundamentally sound basketball team who has not lost on their home court all so they were not an easy team to beat and they never gave up. The series came down to the last shot and could have gone either way but since we were able to come out with the win then I feel like we could keep the momentum moving forward. 

Game Three was a real nail bitter. The wiha panthers were behind by double-digit points, but never gave up. What was key in the fourth quarter for saving the season and winning the series? 

The keys in the fourth quarter for us was to just stick together and trust one another while leaving everything we had in us on the court. Even when we were down by double digits we never panicked and knew we would find a way to come back. We just trusted in one another to go and make the plays that we have all year long. With that trust in one another we were able to make the plays we needed to make. 

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Dennis Mavin´s Overall Ability Outweighs His Current Status On The Basketball Ladder

In a span of a little more than eight and a half months, I came upon Dennis Mavin three times in three separate cities from Giessen-Rhondorf-Frankfurt and after a little bit of concentrated pondering, I was reminded of the annoying, but famous and classic song Rio from German pop group Trio that has the catchy line New York-Rio-Tokyo that was a late summer hit in Germany in 1986 reaching #3 in the charts leaving them as a one hit wonder. But the Giessen-Rhondorf-Frankfurt when hummed like the classic Rio song just didn´t fit the melody. Some people even mistook the German lead singer Peter Fessler as being the well known American singer Al Jarreau, because the song is in English and his voice sounds like the American. Of course the three German cities could never compete in name recognition as the world class cities in this song even if Frankfurt is a world class city, but not as big as those three, but for Dennis Mavin being mentioned with these lesser known German cities is sort of similar to how his basketball career has gone since he began at Florida Atlantic (NCAA) in 2011. He is one of hundreds, no probably thousands on earth who is playing professionally and where his overall ability outweighs his current status on the basketball ladder. I remember seeing Mavin for the first time a day before Easter on April 8, 2018 in Giessen when he played his last game for Pro B team Giessen Rackelos witnessing a heartbreaking 93-89 game three loss to Rostock propelling them into the semi-finals as his 19 points couldn´t withstand the combined 66 points of the lethal trio of Jordan Talbert, Bill Borekambi and Brandon Lockhart. In Giessen I remember seeing a lightening quick guard who was a lot better than the talent on the court. I saw the Florida native a little more than 6 months later in Rhondorf conducting a post game interview with him after he helped lead his new team ScanPlus Baskets to a 95-74 win over the Dragons Rhondorf where he produced a solid 11 points, five boards and seven dimes. Then a little more than a month later our paths crossed again in Frankfurt. After a convincing 77-55 victory by the farm team of easyCredit BBL team Fraport Skyliners Fraport Skyliners Juniors  over the RheinStars Cologne, a young man was standing in front of me wearing Skyliners apparel. He gave me one of those confident looks that someone gives one when one knows each other. The only problem was, I had one of those embarrassing moments again that I get from time to time. I had no idea who he was even though I had interviewed him face to face a little more than a month ago. When you interview players almost daily, you at times loose track of who your dealing with. After a few seconds, I had to tell him “sorry Man I have no idea at the moment who you are, could you give me a little help”. Inside I felt as embarrassed as a Steve Harvey must of felt when he announced the wrong winner at a beauty pagent. After I quickly got over my very embarrassing moment, all was cool with Mavin and me and he told me he was going to be playing for the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. The city hopping between Mavin and I coupled with not having him on my radar is nothing new for the American. He has been overlooked his whole basketball career despite having very good basketball abilities that could have him in a higher league than where he currently is now in the German third league Pro B. It is no secret that his overall abilities outweigh where he currently is on the basketball ladder, but he isn´t going crazy about his current basketball status, because he knows it is part of the basketball process no matter how ugly or unfair it can be for certain players. “I love basketball and I have 100 percent faith and what I can do. For me is just staying patient waiting on my opportunity! Yeah it gets tough but I think I’m tougher”, warned Dennis Mavin.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber´s first encounter with Dennis Mavin in March 2018 in Giessen

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Giessen Rackelos Escape The Dragon Dome Beating Rhondorf 74-70

It was still late summer, the weather was great and the Pro B season was just underway in it´s second weekend on September 29th, but the season of the Dragons Rhondorf had began slowly and their disgusting 102-56 drubbing in Giessen should have been a bad omen for the season. In this game the 2015-2016 Pro A team Dragons Rhondorf couldn´t muster anything on offense and shot only 3/21 from the parking lot while Giessen was very sharp from downtown nailing 12 trey´s and totally dominated the boards 42-25. Another interesting stat that would haunt the Dragons Rhondorf the whole season was how well their German players were able to score. Giessen got an incredible 74 points from their German players while the Dragons had to settle for only 37 points. This season has been a major struggle for the Dragons Rhondorf and with the stretch run of the season having arrived, they are in severe danger of moving down to the Regionalliga if they can´t start winning some games now in the last month to be in better position in the playdowns where each of the last four teams play each other twice and the best two remain in the league. The Dragons Rhondorf came into the game in the Pro B cellar with a 4-14 record while Giessen has been the big surprise team of the season as they sit comfortably in the playoff area in fourth place with a 10-8 record. They have had a tale of two seasons as they lost seven of their first nine games, but since then have won eight of nine games including three games in crunch-time. The Dragons Rhondorf were desperate for a victory and wanted to seek major revenge for their pathetic loss by 45 points in Giessen and played a lot better than the first game, but couldn´t full end their amazing fourth quarter comeback as the guests escaped the Dragon Dome with a 74-70 victory. After the win a disappointed Lotola Otshumbe tried to explain why the club was unable to pull out the win. “Our energy on defense wasn´t consistent. If you want to be successful in the Pro B, you need to bring this for 40 minutes. We had big problems on transition defense in the first half. We rebounded very well, got steals and fought back in the second half. If we can stay positive and bring energy than we can play with anyone. The question is why we can´t do it from start to end”, stressed Dragons Rhondorf forward Lotola Otshumbe. After the big win Giessen guard Jesten Lewis was relieved that the team could pull out the win despite the big comeback. “Defensive rebounding got us the win. We were outrebounded in the first half, but rebounded better in the second half. We played together on offense and stayed composed at the end”, added ex Mercer(NCAA) guard Jesten Lewis.

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The wiha Panthers Schwenningen Big Third Quarter Breaks The Fraport Skyliners Juniors 75-65

Every winning streak has to come to an end sometime as the wiha Panthers experienced last weekend losing a bitter nail bitter to Coburg 85-82 which ended their amazing 23 game winning streak at home which had started in April of 2017 and carried over all through last season where they won the Regionalliga title. They didn´t need any adjustment time this season as they have taken the Pro B South by storm. They won their first four games, but since then have had ups and downs, but produced a positive 7-6 record to have a strong hold on second place. A big problem for their offense has been the injury to captain and robust point guard Kostas Karamatskos as the team playmaking and leadership has been dearly missed, but the club still has done a good job compensating his void by getting solid production through out the roster. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors continue to play a super season despite having changing rosters all through out the season with the availability of the BBL double license players and injuries effecting their results. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors arrived into the battle with the wiha Panthers Schwenningen with a lot of self confidence as they had beaten talented and 2018 Pro B champion ScanPlus Baskets 81-75 as they were extremely deflated without their leading BBL double license players, but the younger guys stepped up and came up big in their absences leading the club to a huge victory. Against the wiha Panthers Schwenningen, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were without young kids Len Schoormann, Maxi Begue, Calvin Schaum and Jordan Samare who were balling at the Addidas Next Generation Tour in Munich, but in good company again as some of the BBL double license players were on board again like Elijath Clarance and Armin Trtovac, but not Richard Freudenberg and Garai Zeeb as a high scoring third quarter of the guests broke the back of the home team as they could never recover losing 75-65. After the tough loss, many of the players snuck out through the rear of the gym next to the dressing room, but young German big man Aaron Kayser left through the main entrance and gave his two cents about the loss. “We didn´t play together as a team in the third quarter. We had no solution for their zone. We also gave up too many transition baskets. We have to learn to play better as a team and share the ball better. Obviously Garai Zeeb was dearly missed, but that can´t be an excuse as we won last weekend without him”, stated ex Chemnitz Niners center Aaron Kayser. After the big win Philadelphia native Rasheed Moore was proud of how his team stuck together for 40 minutes. “We gave all we had today. We didn´t have a great start. The first half was ugly. In the second half, we began to hit shots and turned up the defense”, stressed wiha Panthers Schwenningen forward Rasheed Moore.

Post game interview with Bill Borekambi after he dropped 23 points in the win

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After Surviving His Nurnberg Woes Bill Borekambi (wiha Panthers) Learned One Should Never Give Up No Matter How Tough The Challenge

po-bill borekambiBill Borekambi is a 26 year old 198cm forward that has played for 9 professional teams and is playing his first season with the wiha Panthers Villingen-Schwenningen (ProB). He has a lot of professional experience having played 36 Pro A games for Cuxhaven and Nurnberg and played 75 Pro B games with Lich, PS Karlsruhe and Rostock. He also played two seasons with Coll.Sequoias CC (JUCO) and played a season in the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven organization playing second Regionalliga and NBBL. Last season he was a key contributor for the Rostock Seawolves (ProB) playing 30 games averaging 14.3ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 57.6%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 72.6%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before the Pro B game against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. 

Bill thanks for talking to germanhoops.com! You’re 26 years old and have played for 12 teams in the last 12 years. Are you a guy that has to by nature always be on the run and can’t be in one place for a longer moment of time. 

Hey miles, I hear that question a lot. but yea honestly I like to collect different experiences and see different places. For me it’s fun to see so many places for me it’s a part of that pro basketball lifestyle. It really helped me to grow as a person and player.

You helped lead PS Karlsruhe and Rostock to the Pro A. I never understood why a guy like you didn’t get rewarded with remaining with one of the teams and playing Pro A again. Has this bothered you and created a chip on your shoulder?

I figured out for myself that the Pro B is the perfect league right now for myself because I’m also working off the court on my future after basketball. I know the league very well by now and know that I can have a big impact on any team. I had a couple Pro A offers but instead of being a role player in the Pro A, I rather be a league lower and be one of the team leaders. I probably don’t have too many years left of pro basketball and I want to use them playing as much as I can and don’t sit somewhere on the bench. 

Your playing your first season with the wiha Panthers Villingen-Schwenningen (ProB). If somebody had told you in training camp that the team would be in second place with a record of 11-5 in January 2019 and had won all 8 games at home what would you have thought? 

I knew we had a very solid team and that the ambitions of the club and coaching staff were the same like before in Rostock and Karlsruhe. I think a lot of teams underestimated us but for me it wasn’t too much of surprise because I know that we put that work in and everybody is on the same page. 

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