The Big Test


Posted by Salman Mitha

Posted in Basketball / Beko BBL


Beko BBL Game of the Week Preview – Brose Baskets vs. ALBA BERLIN

April 20 – The Brose Baskets have licked their wounds from last week’s double overtime loss in Munich and look towards to the mission to three-peat in the Beko BBL.  Before they get to the second season, they will host second place ALBA BERLIN on Sunday in what could be a finals preview.

Bamberg have clinched the top seed and will have home court advantage throughout the playoffs with their 28-4 record.  They have not lost a home game to a German team since June 6, 2010, a Game 1 loss in the Finals against Frankfurt.  The coach of the Skyliners?  Current Berlin head coach Gordon Herbert.

“This is a great challenge to have at this moment,” admitted Herbert.  “Bamberg have built a successful team that have a great advantage with their sixth man.  This game will show us, where we stand and what we’ll have to work on.”

Sport Eagle will have Salman Mitha tweeting live during the game, follow him @Sal_SportEagle for insight and analysis.

Berlin are 16-3 in 2012, including a 12-game winning streak that catapulted them up the Beko BBL standings with a record of 25-7.  They are in a fight with ratiopharm ulm for the second seed and home court advantage if they were to meet in the semi-finals.  But first they will have to measure up to Bamberg on the road, a place that the Albatross have lost six of their games.

“The most relevant for us, is what form we will go into the playoffs,” added Herbert. “What counts in the playoffs is our mental and physical strength, not our seeding.”

The Baskets have all angles covered at Stechert Arena and have not lost a league game in almost two years. Photo: Sperduto / Sport Eagle

Bamberg‘s General Manager Wolfgang Heyder won’t be surprised if he sees Berlin once again on the other side of the court.  “ALBA lost some games at the beginning of the season, but are now playing at our level.“

Check out highlights from the first time Bamberg and Berlin played this season.

Derrick Allen scored 20 points and DaShaun Wood added 17 points as Berlin overcame a halftime deficit to beat the Baskets 87-81 in front of a sold out o2 World back on November 20th.  Bamberg has six players in double figures but only managed eight points in the final quarter.

“The game was a long time ago, but we remember it well,” recalled Bamberg head coach Chris Fleming.  “We lost the game because Berlin were better on the offensive boards.  We will need to get a more from our guards in this area.”

The German national TV audience maybe treated to another classic game like last week.  Tune in, tip-off is at 14:35 CET live on sport1.

Playoff Scramble – Other teams in the Beko BBL will also be playing important games, to get the final two playoff spots or stay in the league.

ratiopharm ulm will hope a win at home versus TBB Trier and a loss by Berlin at Bamberg will get them back to second place…  Artland will secure the 4th seed and home-court in the first round with a win at Bremerhaven and damage the Eisbären’s (Polar Bears) playoffs dreams…. FRAPORT SKYLINERS will clinch a berth in the postseason with a win at home against WALTER Tigers Tübingen… Telekom Baskets Bonn look to climb back into playoff picture with a win at Giessen and hope Braunschweig or Oldenburg damage each other’s playoff chances… and finally the relegation battle takes center stage when BG Göttingen and Phoenix Hagen face off.  BG will be relegated with only four wins, but Hagen need a win and hope ENBW Ludwigsburg lose to s.Oliver Baskets, along with losses by Trier or Giessen.  Still a lot to be decided and it may go down to the final day.

Beko BBL Standings

Beko BBL scoreboard

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