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NBBL/JBBL Top4 2011 Preview

May 11th, 2011 · No Comments

This weekend, the German U19 League NBBL and U16 League JBBL will have their respective Top4 tournaments to be played in Ludwigsburg. We take a look forward today on the different teams competing for the National Championship.

In the NBBL category, the semi-finals will feature for the third time in a row the game between Paderborn Baskets and Team ALBA Urspring. The defending champions from 2010 are considered once again the favorites for the National crown because of their large talent pool and dominance during the season. The team of coach Felix Czerny is lead by the National Team players Kevin Bright (11.5ppg, 5.3rpg) and Julius Wolf (14.1ppg, 10.1rpg, 2.9apg). While Wolf was the leader during the season, Bright played only 6 games with the NBBL team because he saw already major minutes in the 3rd German Senior League where he was the team’s German top scorer. But Bright is also known for his excellent defense which was a major factor in last year’s Top4 title quest of Urspring. These two get scoring support by the guards Kenneth Ogbe and Malik Müller while USC-Upstate commit Mario Blessing is running the point. The roster is loaded enough to look at the title again this season and a defeat during the semi-finals could be considered as a surprise even if Urspring lost against Paderborn two years ago.

A Paderborn team that run through the regular season without using their main prospects that much. Lars Wendt and especially Ole Wendt have already become important factors for the Paderborn professional team in the 2nd German division and have missed several games during the season with the U19 squad. This gave a lot of responsibilities to players like the 93 born Till Gloger (20.1ppg, 10.6rpg, 2.0spg) or Eike Sünkeler (13.8ppg, 4.6rpg) who lead the team to another first place in the North-West division. Paderborn knows how to beat Urspring as they did it in 2009 but got eliminated last year in a devastating way after having dominated Urspring during 38 minutes. With the gained experience of both Ole and Lars Wendt on the professional level, advancing again to the Final after 2009 seems possible for Paderborn as it will be the last year of NBBL Basketball for the twins and they can not imagine a better ending than winning the National Title. But they need to play a perfect game together with their team mates on both ends of the court like they did in the 3rd game of the Quarter-Final series against ALBA Berlin.

Highlights: Paderborn Baskets–ALBA Berlin (NBBL)

The second semi-final of the NBBL Top 4 will see Braunschweig play against TSV Tröster Breitengüssbach. The farm team of Brose Baskets can be considered as a favorite here as they feature the probably most dominating player of the German 1992 born generation in Philipp Neumann. The NBBL All-Star Game MVP played though only a very limited number of games with the U19 team as he was a key player for the ProB team and also got some minutes with the Bundesliga Team already. But the team features several more players that are able to score in double figures like the U18 National team player Johannes Richter who is the second force in the paint for the Franks. The 2m05 tall Power Forward can also score from outside (41.7% 3FGs) and they will have to use the scoring talents of Jörg Dippold and Kevin Eichelsdörfer to go for it all. Additionally, a player like Alex Engel might step up during the Top4 but the main point is to present a good team effort and not a Philipp Neumann who tries to win it all by himself. The big guy will namely face the second German prospect for the Center position in the 1992 generation in a highly awaited duel.

It is in fact Daniel Theis’ Junior Phantoms Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel that reached the Top4 in a kind of Cinderella story by beating twice the better ranked teams in a 2-0 sweep. The team might be the hottest right now and has found a clear structure in the Playoffs with a highly athletic 1-2 punch in PG Dennis Schröder and Daniel Theis. The two combined for 75 of the 127 points the team scored in the Quarter-Finals against the favorites from Funkwerk Jena. While Schröder drives the offense with his excellent speed, Theis is a big time factor on both sides of the court as he averaged 14.0rpg and 4.0bpg during the Play-offs. These two get some scoring support by the versatile guard Dennis Nawrocki but the team lacks a bit of depth on the bench. However, they might be the outsiders for winning it all as the roles are set and they might be underestimated by the other competitors.

The JBBL U16 Top 4 will see a first semi-final that looks a bit like the Final already with the defending champion IBBA Berlin playing against Team ALBA Urspring. This game will be the battle between two of the most promising inside players of the 1995 generation in Germany with Robyn Missa facing Gavin Schilling. Both players impressed during the recent tournament in Ragusa and lead their respective teams to the JBBL Top4 again. Schilling, who is already recruited by several High-Major programs in the United States dominated the season with his physique and is the clear first option for Urspring. He gets some support by Zaire Thompson from the backcourt while Nils Dejworek is adding his contribution in the paint. Myssa comes off an excellent season as well but he struggled a bit during the Quarter-Finals. But the team from Berlin looks very balanced with several players able to score in double figures but also featuring a great team defense. They might miss their two main drivers from last season but they are still alive in order to defend their National Championship, even if Urspring looks like the favorite here.

The second semi-final will see the hosts from Ludwigsburg play against Bayer Leverkusen. The latter managed to beat the Hamburg Piraten around U16 National Team player Ismet Akpinar behind a great series of their inside players Christian Sengfelder and Torsten Pokar. Both averaged a double-double in the quarter-finals and will most likely be the first options in the semi-finals as well. The hosts from Ludwigsburg come with two U16 National Team players in Robert Zinn and Stefan Ilzhöfer and can be considered as the favorite for this game. They crashed Speyer in the quarter-finals with their National Team duo doing what they had to do and defensive specialist and team captain Tobias Heintzen coming up with big numbers. The locals can be sure that they have massive support from the stands in order to grab a first JBBL title ever for the Basketball Academy Ludwigsburg.

LIVE Stream of Semis and Finals

As a great new features for the event, you can follow the two NBBL Semi-Finals as well as the two Finals in a free LIVE Stream on the Internet. You can find all additional Information on the official website of the weekend.


14th May 2011

  • 12h30: IBBA Berlin – ALBA Urspring (JBBL)
  • 15h00: Ludwigsburg – Bayer Leverkusen (JBBL)
  • 17h30: Braunschweig – Breitengüssbach (NBBL) – Live Stream
  • 20h00: Paderborn – ALBA Urspring (NBBL) – Live Stream

15th May 2011

  • 11h00: Final JBBL – Live Stream
  • 13h30: Final NBBL – Live Stream

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