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Home/Newscenter/Seljaas heroics help Würzburg eliminate champs Ulm / Chemnitz reach historic first Semis / Frankfurt promoted

Weekly NewsSeljaas heroics help Würzburg eliminate champs Ulm / Chemnitz reach historic first Semis / Frankfurt promoted

27. Mai 2024
The Semi-Finals of the easyCredit BBL are set with Würzburg Baskets eliminating the reigning champions ratiopharm ulm to reach the last four for the first time since 2012 despite not having the injured league MVP Otis Livingston. NINERS Chemnitz advanced to their first-ever Semi-Finals and were joined by FC Bayern Munich and ALBA BERLIN. The week also saw FRAPORT SKYLINERS earn promotion back to the Bundesliga by reaching the second division ProA Finals.

The Semi-Finals of the easyCredit BBL are set with Würzburg Baskets eliminating the reigning champions ratiopharm ulm to reach the last four for the first time since 2012 despite not having the injured league MVP Otis Livingston. NINERS Chemnitz advanced to their first-ever Semi-Finals and were joined by FC Bayern Munich and ALBA BERLIN. The week also saw FRAPORT SKYLINERS earn promotion back to the Bundesliga by reaching the second division ProA Finals.

In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the German easyCredit 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 easyCredit BBL short and sweet:

Semis set: Berlin vs Chemnitz, Bayern vs Würzrburg

The Semi-Finals of the easyCredit BBL will be historic as NINERS Chemnitz are making their debut at this stage of the playoffs and will take on ALBA BERLIN while Würzburg Baskets eliminated champions ratiopharm ulm to reach the Semis for the first time since 2012. Würzburg, who won the series without league MVP Otis Livingston, will now take on regular season champs FC Bayern Munich, who are appearing in the Semi-Finals for the 11th of the last 12 seasons - the only absence coming in the 2020 season-ending tournament.

Seljaas heroics help Würzburg eliminate champs, reach first Semis since 2012 

Würzburg Baskets eliminated reigning champions ratiopharm ulm and reached the Semi-Finals of the playoffs for the first time since 2012 with a thrilling 75-72 home victory thanks to late game heroics from Zac Seljaas. Würzburg took an 11-point lead late in the first quarter but it was tight the rest of the game. Ulm led by six points with under 3 minutes to play but Seljaas took over with back-to-back three-pointers and 4-of-4 free throws in the final 37 seconds for 10 of Würzburg’s final 12 points in the closing 100 seconds. Würzburg made 77.3 percent of their free throws compared to Ulm converting just 7-of-15 (46.7 percent) from the foul line. Seljaas finished with 19 points while Isaiah Washington collected 12 points and 8 rebounds, Darius Perry scored 12 points and Julius Böhmer scored 10 points in 11 minutes - two points more than he totaled the entire season. Karim Jallow led Ulm with 15 points. 

No MVP, no problem: Würzburg moves to one win of Semis

Würzburg Baskets moved to within one victory of the Semi-Finals as they fought past reigning champions ratiopharm ulm 82-79 for a 2-1 series lead - and that without the injured MVP Otis Livingston. Würzburg had a big second quarter and built the lead to 15 points early in the third quarter. Ulm trimmed the margin to two points just minutes later and it was close the rest of the way. The hosts led by eight points with 2 minutes to play but watched Ulm make it a one-point game with 6 seconds left. Darius Perry came through and iced the game with two free throws one second later. The stats of the game were very even as well with Ulm converting just 15-of-21 free throws compared to 18-of-20 for Würzburg. Zac Seljaas scored a game-high 17 points to lead Würzburg while Max Ugrai had 14 points and Javon Bess collected 13 points and 12 rebounds. Thomas Klepeisz had 15 points and 4 assists and LJ Figueroa chipped in 14 points and 5 rebounds in the loss.

Chemnitz finish off Vechta in four games, reach Semis for first time

NINERS Chemnitz reached the Semi-Finals of the playoffs for the first time in club history as they defeated RASTA Vechta 84-67 on the road to take the series 3-1. Chemnitz, who were swept in the first round of the playoffs in both of the last two seasons, raced away to a 27-14 lead after 10 minutes and never let up in taking the blowout win. Chemnitz shot 60.6 percent on two-pointers and held Vechta to just 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) from long range. Jeff Garrett scored a team-high 19 points, Aher Uguak had 14 points and DeAndre Lansdowne collected 13 points and 7 assists. Vechta’s superstar Tommy Kuhse returned and had 18 points but they were not enough as Joel Aminu and Ryan Schwieger missed the game injured.

Chemnitz reclaim home court advantage with road win over Kuhse-less Vechta

NINERS Chemnitz reclaimed home court advantage in their series with RASTA Vechta as they prevailed 84-76 in the Game 3 on the road against the hosts who were without leading star Tommy Kuhse. Vechta had a big first quarter run and led by 11 points in the opening frame, but the hosts could not hold the lead and trailed by five points at the break. Chemnitz were up the entire second half, never by fewer than five points in the fourth quarter. Chemnitz forced 18 turnovers, held Vechta to 32.1 percent shooting from long range and turned 17 offensive rebounds into 22 second chance points. Wes van Beck led the way with 20 points and 7 rebounds for Chemnitz with Kaza Kajami-Keane picking up 12 points and Jeff Garrett producing 11 points and 6 rebounds. Joel Aminu hit for 26 points and Spencer Reaves added 21 points off the bench but no other Vechta player scored more than 7 points. 

Bayern get big second half from Edwards, finish off Ludwigsburg to reach Semis

FC Bayern Munich finished off their first round series with MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in four games by winning 76-69 on the road to move into the Semi-Finals for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons. Bayern never trailed and the lead was 11 points early in the second quarter. But the guests never put Ludwigsburg away, leading by just four points with 63 seconds left before Carsen Edwards decided the game with a triple with 44 seconds remaining. Ludwigsburg managed to shoot just 36.9 percent from the field including 27.6 percent from long range. Edwards poured in 22 points - 18 of them coming in the second half - and Devin Booker tallied 13 points and 8 rebounds in the win. Eddy Edigin collected a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds and Yorman Polas Bartolo contributed 13 points in the loss.

Bayern depth carries team past Ludwigsburg on road, takes back home court advantage

FC Bayern Munich used their depth of talent to snatch back home court advantage as they beat MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg 84-73 on the road in Game 3. Bayern led most of the first quarter and the gap was 13 points early in the second quarter but Ludwigsburg tied the game in the third quarter. The Bayern cushion was only 3 points with 4 minutes left but the guests reeled off an 11-2 surge to lead by 12 points inside the last minute and decide the game. Bayern controlled the glass 40-27 with 14 offensive rebounds which led to a 20-6 advantage in second chance points. Serge Ibaka scored 16 points with 9 rebounds to pace five players in double figures including Devin Booker with 15 points and 5 rebounds and Carsen Edwards with 13 points. Silas Melson scored 24 points and Jeff Roberson picked up 17 points but no other Ludwigsburg player had more than 7 points. 

Olinde, Thiemann both score 18 as Berlin sweep Bonn 3-0

ALBA BERLIN finished off a 3-0 series sweep of Telekom Baskets Bonn with a 93-86 road victory to reach the Semi-Finals. The game was close throughout and Berlin finally decided it with a 13-5 run to make it 91-81 with 55 seconds left. Berlin allowed Bonn to shoot just 25.9 percent and the hosts committed only 11 turnovers. Louis Olinde and Johannes Thiemann both scored 18 points to lead ALBA while Matt Thomas picked up 17 points and Sterling Brown chipped in with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals. Thomas Kennedy came off the Bonn bench for a team-high 22 points and 6 rebounds. 

Oldenburg make first signing for 2024-25 with forward Rode 

EWE Baskets Oldenburg secured their first acquisition for the 2024-25 season as they added Kyle Rode. The 24-year-old American, who can play both forward spots, will be making his professional basketball debut after spending five seasons in college with Liberty University. 

Player(s) of the Week(s)

There were two rounds of games this week as all four series were decided in the first four games. The top showing for the Game 3s was Serge Ibaka of FC Bayern Munich with the big man collecting 16 points on 7-of-13 shots and 2-of-2 free throws, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 block for an efficiency of 24 versus MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg. The top performance from Game 4s also came from that series but for Ludwigsburg as Eddy Edigin tallied 15 points on 4-of-8 shots and 6-of-8 free throws, 14 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 blocks for an efficiency of 26. 

German Top Five of the Week

G: Joel Aminu, RASTA Vechta

Aminu poured in 26 points with 4 three-pointers, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in Game 3 against NINERS Chemnitz. But the guard could not play Game 4 with an injury. 

F: Karim Jallow, ratiopharm ulm

Jallow had 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in Game 3 versus Würzburg Baskets and followed that with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists in Game 4.

F: Louis Olinde, ALBA BERLIN

Olinde scored 18 points with 4 three-pointers, 6 rebounds and 2 steals in Game 3 against Telekom Baskets Bonn.

F: Max Ugrai, Würzburg Baskets

Ugrai collected 14 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal off the bench in Game 3 versus ratiopharm ulm and then contributed 3 points, 3 assists and 2 steals in Game 4. 

C: Eddy Edigin, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg

Edigin picked up 4 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks in Game 3 versus FC Bayern Munich and then had a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds with 3 blocks in the Game 4 loss.

Skyliners reach ProA finals, earn promotion back to Bundesliga

The easyCredit BBL will once again have the FRAPORT SKYLINERS in the league in 2024-25 after the 2004 league champions and two-time runners-up reached the Finals of the ProA to earn promotion back to the Bundesliga. Frankfurt downed top-seeded RÖMERSTROM Gladiators Trier 85-76 in the decisive Game 5 of the Semi-Finals playoffs for a 3-2 series win. 

Karlsruhe earn promotion to Bundesliga, but do not have license

PS Karlsruhe Lions also earned promotion to the easyCredit BBL by reaching the ProA Finals, but the club cannot move to Germany’s top flight as they do not have a license. Karlsruhe advanced to the ProA Finals for the first time in club history after downing Phoenix Hagen 93-72 for a 3-1 series win. 

Germans Abroad 

One of Germany’s top young talents Declan Duru was back in his homeland this week at the EuroLeague Final Four competing in the Adidas Next Generation Tournament Finals with Real Madrid and he helped the club repeat their title with a thrilling 85-84 overtime win over PFBB INSEP Paris. Duru had 3 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal and 3 blocks in the final - with his three points being a three-point play with 34 seconds left in the extra session. Fellow German Jack Kayil was named to the All-Tournament Team playing for Mega MIS Belgrade, averaging 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 2.7 steals.