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NBBL/JBBL Top4 2014: the Finals

May 18th, 2014 · No Comments

After a first day in Quakenbrück, it was Finals time in the Artland aas the German championship decisions were on the line in the JBBL and NBBL categories. See below for the reports on the two final games of the 2013/14 season.

Tröster Breitengüssbach – Artland Dragons 60-68

The Dragons started better into the game with Isaiah Hartenstein creating a jump shot for himself out of the dribble and imposing his size in the paint against Noah Kamdem. Nicolas Wolf answered though with 5 points and the game remained tied in the beginning but Breitengüssbach needed a first time out when Hartenstein hit the pull-up jumper from behind the three-point line to give Artland a 12-5 lead. Artland continued to dominate from behind the arc after the timeout as Jan Philipp Mügge and Hartenstein once again hit the triples. Kamdem broke the draugth with a big dunk and the Brose farm team hit a 3 ball so that they were back in the game and Artland needed the timeout. Kamdem kept Güssbach in the game with his first three-pointer of the game while Moritz Sanders was a non-factor that far getting even called for a charge on a drive against Hartenstein. The big guy from Artland added yet another pull jumper to give his team a 27-13 advantage at the first quarter break.

Sanders was more present to start the second quarter with a post score and a block and he scored the three ball from the corner to bring his team back in the game. Hartenstein got frustrated a little bit missing two free-throws and Sanders scored another triple from the top of the key in Hartenstein’s face. Sanders became a little too aggressive as he got called for the offensive foul in a duel with Hartenstein but the game intensity was at a very high level where nobody could take a serious advantage to increase the lead or come back. Güssbach then came up with two three-pointers in a row but Johan Potratz found the answer from behind the arc as well. Sanders being on the bench was not really a disadvantage for Breitengüssbach as Kamdem scored a difficult jump shot to bring the score to 33-40 at the halftime.

The third quarter could not start worse for Breitengüssbach as Sanders made his fourth foul on a strong drive to the basket by Hartenstein who made the and-one play but Karl Potratz got his fourth on the other side as well with only 30 seconds played. Breitengüssbach needed their first time out after three minutes when Mügge nailed the corner triple to give his team a 13 point advantage. The Brose farm team head coach took a risk by bringing Sanders back with four fouls. But it was not for long as the big guy got called for an extremely stupid fifth foul putting his leg in pure football style in the drive of an Artland player. However, like in the first half, it was not a great problem for his team as Kamdem worked in the post to keep the difference around 10 points. With a big dunk, Kamdem kept the hope alive and their aggressive defense gave Breitengüssbach the necessary energy to be down only by 9 before the last quarter.

Thorben Döding opened the final 10 minutes with a nice three pointer while Hartenstein forced the early timeout on yet another hard drive to the basket where he got fouled. The Dragons went up to 14 points as Tröster looked physically overmatched by the guard pressure but the decision was not yet there with 6 minutes to play. However, no team was able to score on a constant basis during this phase of the game so that the difference remained the same until the 3 minutes mark. And Breitengüssbach could not reduce the gap anymore and the Artland Dragons could celebrate the victory at home in the JBBL category.

MVP: Isaiah Hartenstein 22pts, 14rebs, 6blks

ALBA Berlin – CYBEX Urspring 69 – 56

The game started with dominating defenses and nobody could create an early lead. Urspring did an excellent job to keep Ismet Akpinar out of the game while Thomas Grün was the matchup on the academy side that they wanted to use. The battle was intense in the paint where Mahir Agva and Niklas Ney brought their strength to fight for position and Agva gave Urspring the 9-4 lead after five minutes. Akpinar struggled with his finishes despite beating his man on the dribble at will but he drew a couple of fouls to keep his team in the game. And Herwig with the corner three after the shot fake brought his team back to 10-13 with 2 and half minutes to play in the first quarter. Christian Sengfelder was the only one able to add another basket so that Urspring was up 16-11 on the first quarter break.

Ney had a good start into the second quarter with four points in a row and a nice kick-out pass for a triple that tied the game. But ALBA needed a timeout after Urspring was not impressed by the Berlin run and found a basket by Zaire Thompson on the strong drive. Akpinar scored the nice pull-up from mid-range and Sengfelder continued to miss his jump shots but Urspring kept the lead with 4 minutes to play in the second quarter. ALBA seemed to have found the secret to beat the Urspring defense and Akpinar gave his team a first lead on a nice drive finished on the layup. Grün made his third foul as he struggled now to stop Akpinar on the drive and Urspring stayed in the game because of the post play of Agva. ALBA managed to get a last shot just before the halftime break but they converted only 1 free-throw of the foul call so that the score was 30-27.

Agva tied the score directly to start the second half with an and-1 finish. But Moritz Wagner and Akpinar answered with two strong drives while Ney added the inside score for a 6 point advantage. Sengfelder was present with two big threes to stop the Berlin run. But Akpinar continue to beat the Urspring defenders in the 1-1 situations going to the line where he as automatic. Agva did his job in the low post with different moves but ALBA was up by 6 with 4 minutes to play in the third quarter. Ney added a putback and Urspring needed the timeout in order to avoid a double-digit deficit coming. With Akpinar on the bench, ALBA remained scoreless for several offenses and their coach took the timeout to reorganise them for the last 90 seconds on the third quarter. But nothing happened and ALBA went to the last break with a 6 point advantage.

The difference remained with 6 points in the first moments of the last quarter as both teams struggled to find good situations on offense. Noah Aghas scored with the foul to bring the gap back to only 3 points before the last five minutes of the game. Maximilian Eisele was taking care of Akpinar who was unable to impose his scoring for ALBA so that Urspring was back in the title race. Ney added the good low post move and on a great roll was able to add two more so that ALBA was up by 8 points again with four minutes to play. Ney was now the decisive player as he added another score in the paint but Aghas answered with the dunk. Grün scored the tough jumper from the baseline and Urspring was still alive with 2 minutes to play at 59-53. After the timeout, Akpinar struggled with his handle but saved the ball and found Ney again in the paint for the easy two. Urspring could not find the score after their timeout and had to go for stop-the-clock but Akpinar once again drove hard to the basket to find his big man who made one of his free-throws. Janic Staiger was present to give a last hope to Urspring with the corner three 50 seconds before the end but Akpinar was irresistible from the free-throw line. ALBA Berlin won the title for the first time since 2009 and could celebrate a great victory.

MVP: Ismet Akpinar 25pts (17/17FTs), 3rebs, 2asts

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