Time is Now


Posted by Salman Mitha

Posted in Basketball / Beko BBL


Beko BBL Weekend Preview – Final Day of Regular Season

April 28 – Two games will decide the fates of four clubs on the final day of the Beko BBL regular season.

The Telekom Baskets Bonn will host the FRAPORT SKYLINERS to decide who gets the final playoff spot.

And in a battle for top flight survival, the LTi GIESSEN 46ers will try to burn the Phoenix Hagen and send them to the ProA, the second division of German professional basketball.

Hagen was the subject of a documentary that followed them during their promotion campaign back in 2009-2010.  Now they are one step from going back down.  It’s been a rough season for them.  Despite coming into this game on a two-game win streak, they lost 12 of their previous 13 games, only winning four since the calendar turned.

The key for them has been injuries.  “We were able to finally practice with our complete squad this week,” admitted Phoenix head coach Ingo Freyer.  “But no matter who is on the court, every player will have to give it their all every second.”

It’s the same story for the 46ers, only four wins in 2012 and coming in to the final day of the season having lost seven of their last eight.  They have three players scoring in double figures but other than the already relegated BG Göttingen, they have the worst scoring differential.

Giessen head coach Björn Harmsen made their goal clear.  “We are playing for nothing else, other than to stay in the league.  And that clearly gives us more motivation, but at the same time, fear and nervousness.”

But they do have thing going for them, a 86-75 against the Phoenix back on December 10th.  Maurice Jeffers scored 26 points, 15 from the charity stripe.  This game will be broadcast live on sport1, tip-off at 20:00 CET.

Bonn has had an up-and-down season.  They started off the season 5-0.  But then went directly into a five-game losing streak.  And this pattern continued throughout the season – they get hot, then cold.

On October 15th, Bonn defeated the SKYLINERS in Frankfurt 79-64 as Simonas Serapinas scored 20 points, Chris Ensminger and Tony Gaffney each added 13 points.  FRAPORT’s leading scorer Justin Gray scored 21 in the losing effort.

The Baskets hosted the BBL Top Four and thus were automatically in the draw and made it to the final, but lost to Bamberg.  Despite the roller coaster ride, they had a chance to clinch a spot on Wednesday but lost against the New Yorker Phantoms in Braunschweig, who themselves earned a place in the final eight.

“We can’t change that result now,” said Bonn head coach Michael Koch.  “We are going to have to want this game more than Frankfurt.  We’ve worked our way to this chance, and we have to use it.”

The SKYLINERS were on their way to the playoffs after winning five in a row, but a devastating loss to the WALTER Tiger Tübingen in overtime at home on Sunday, dropped them just out of the postseason picture.  This is a team that beat the league champions and several playoff teams, but also lost to BG.

“We are not looking back, we are completely focused on the game against Bonn,” stated FRAPORT’s head coach Muli Katzurin.  “The situation is clear, both teams must win.”

The time is now.  Either  win… or go home.

Coaches like Dirk Bauermann of Bayern will be keeping a close eye on their teams as they prepare for the playoffs. Photo: Sport Eagle / Mitha

And the rest…  Teams may have already qualified for the playoffs, but the seedings are still yet to be decided.  The games to watch are ratiopharm ulm versus s.Oliver Baskets and ALBA BERLIN hosting the NY’er Phantoms.  Ulm win and they clinch the #2 seed and home court for the second round, if they make it there.  If they fall, a Berlin win give them the advantage  against the Ulmers for what will surely be a cracking semi-final series….

In the Franconian Derby, Brose host BBC Bayreuth.  Nothing at stake here, only a chance for Bamberg to once again go undefeated at home.  A German team has not won at Stechert Arena since June 2010 (a loss in the Finals Game 1 vs. Frankfurt)….

FC Bayern will look complete their unofficial ‘Revenge Tour’ when they host the Eisbären (Polar Bears) from Bremerhaven.  Munich lost tough road games at the beginning of the season – losing every which way possible, dropping their record away from the Audi Dome to 1-10 at one point of the season.  Not only have they recovered, winning five of their past six away from the Car Drum, they’ve defeated the teams in the return matches at home.

First game                         Return match
at Oldenburg, L 88-81        vs. Oldenburg, W 102-71
at Ulm, L 76-75                 vs. Ulm, W 87-83
at Artland, L 86-83 OT       vs. Artland, W 97-70
at Würzburg, L 64-55         vs. s.Oliver Baskets, W 72-62
at Bonn, L 80-76 OT          vs. Bonn, W 87-69
at Brose, L 89-77               vs. Bamberg, W 107-103 2OT
at Bremerhaven, L 73-71    vs. Bremerhaven, Saturday


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