FC Bayern Munich might be the most famous and well known German sports team, but when it comes to German basketball competition the biggest duel and most intense rivalry of the last 10 years belongs to the two big B´s Alba Berlin and the Brose Baskets Bamberg as they have been battling each other for titles seemingly forever, but currently the Bavarian team having the 9-4 edge, but Alba Berlin has won the last two cups. Both teams are currently also the crème de la crème in the Beko BBL as they are 1 and 2 in the standings boasting a 23-4 record and hoping for bragging rights before the playoffs start in a month. Bamberg came into the game well rested having last played last weekend while Alba Berlin were still digesting their bitter 71-64 Euroleague loss to top Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv 48 hours ago as they were denied the ticket to the quarterfinals as the experience factor played a massive role in crunch time. Both teams had battled only one time this season as 6 time Beko BBl champion Brose Baskets Bamberg destroyed Alba Berlin 98-69 as the Bavarian team shot out the light Stephen Curry style hitting 13 three pointers and displaying six players in double figures. Alba Berlin was unable to crack the Bamberg defense hitting only four three pointers and presenting splitting head aches for head coach Sasa Obradovic all night long. Even though this semi final was the top game, it started at the unconventional time of 5.00pm a time where Brad Wanamaker or Reggie Redding are usually getting ready for a light pre game snack while the other semi final of the EWE Baskets Oldenburg and Telekom Baskets Bonn was the top draw at 8:00 pm to help cater to the home crowd. Despite a small lull in the third quarter, the Brose Baskets Bamberg controlled the game for 33 minutes and easily reached the final disposing of Alba Berlin 86-65. “We played very aggressive defense, had nice ball movement and took the lead quickly. We allowed Alba Berlin to come back, but we stepped up our defense in the fourth quarter and were able to finish the game in fine fashion”, stressed Brose Baskets Bamberg forward Karsten Tadda. “We were a bit tired coming into the game and Bamberg limited our pick and roll and just didn´t let us play to our strength. We played more intensive defense in the third quarter being able to come back. We decided to stop pick and roll and just banged the ball inside to Mclean and Banic and that worked. But they came back hitting big three pointers and Dalibor Bagaric hurt us inside”, stressed Alba Berlin guard Ismet Akpinar. The Brose Baskets Bamberg were led by Brad Wanamaker with 21 points. American Ryan Thompson added 18 points. Elias Harris and Trevor Mbakwe added 12 points a piece and Janis Sterlnieks contributed 11 points. Alba Berlin were led by their big men Marko Banic and Leon Radosevic with 11 points a piece. Jonas Wolfarth-Botterman gave energy from the bench with 10 points. Bamberg had a hot shooting night shooting 53% from the field and 41% from outside while Alba Berlin shot 40% from the field and couldn´t hit the side of a barn from downtown shooting a miserable 12%. Alba Berlin did win the rebound battle 30-29, but had 13 turnovers while Bamberg had 11 turnovers.
Casper Ware is a 24 year old 178cm point guard that is playing his third professional season and first with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. He started his basketball career at Long Beach St. in 2008 where he played until 2012 playing a total of 131 NCAA games and as a senior played (NCAA) 34 games averaging 17.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 79.3%. In 2012-2013 he started his professional basketball career with Novipiu Casale Monferrato (Italy-Lega2, starting five): 36 games: Score-2(20.4ppg), 3.9rpg, 4.2apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 44.8%, 3PT: 36.6%, FT: 87.3%. Last season he played for Granarolo Bologna (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 22 games: 11.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.2apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 43.2%, 3FGP: 26.4%, FT: 65.4%, left in Mar.’14, later that month moved to Philadelphia 76ers (NBA): 9 games: 5.3ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 83.3%. This past summer he played NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando (Philadelphia 76ers) Champion: 5 games: 19.0ppg, 3.2rpg, 5.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 88.2% and NBA Pro Summer League in Las Vegas (Philadelphia 76ers): 2 games: 7.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 29.4%, 3PT: 20%. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the Fraport Skyliners.
Casper thanks for talking to German Hoops. When seeing the skyline in Frankfurt, does it remind you of home around Los Angeles? How do you like Germany?
My first impression of Germany is good. The people are very nice here. Frankfurt reminds me of the big cities in California. Seeing Frankfurt is like having a taste of home.
After playing your first two professional seasons in Europe in Italy you are playing your first season in Germany. What has been your impression of the Beko BBL so far?
My first impression of the BBL is good. It is a very good league. You cant take a day off here as anybody can beat you. The level is about the same as what I experienced in Italy.