The basketball players from Tübingen’s second division have the chance to advance to the semi-finals of the play-offs on Wednesday. But even if it should go until then and even further – then they will not play in the Bundesliga next season for financial reasons.
In fact, the championship of “ProA-Liga”, the second highest German basketball league, is the direct ticket to promotion to the Bundesliga. You can even advance by participating in the finals. And Tigers Tübingen have the chance to make it to that time. After a strong season, winning 15 of their 16 home games, the Tigers reached the playoffs for the first time ever. There they lead 2-0 against Bremerhaven in the quarterfinals – with the third victory in the third match on Wednesday (April 20), the semifinal would be perfect. So everything could be so nice, the dream of the championship lives on – but the dream of promotion is already over.
“The step is coming too early”
Although sporting might be enough, the club decided not to submit the license to the basketball Bundesliga. “We have long considered whether to send the application because the sporting success is there. But we could not create the financial basis to be able to hold a season in the Bundesliga,” explains the chairman of the board, Prof. Dr. Michael Bamberg. The licensing requirements for the first division are enormous, including a budget of at least three million euros. “We are still a long way from that,” said branch manager Jascha Maus. According to those responsible, the step is still too early.
With a three-year promotion plan
The Tigers have had a three-year plan for their young team since summer. They have reached their goal for this year of getting to the playoffs. They want to go there again next season before the final stage of the “promotion to the Bundesliga” must be in the third year at the latest. Board member Thomas Veeser said already this summer that the association is not yet that far with finances and structure. It has been confirmed. The Tigers want to continue working on the economic and organizational situation. In addition to the money, it must also have its own gym, which is in view, and an improved medical department to be able to keep up with the Bundesliga.
“It breaks your heart”
The tigers are not alone. In the last season, the athletically qualified second place from Leverkusen, for example, has also waived a license application. Although other teams share the same fate, those responsible for the Tigers find it difficult to make that decision. “It’s heartbreaking, you could almost say, because we did not expect this great success that we are so high up, because it is a very young team. But we have an excellent coach, they think so too To be able to keep the team together to a large extent to be able to build on this season’s successes again, “said Bamberg’s CEO.
The championship is the goal
Of course, there is no guarantee of that. Nevertheless, players and coaches are not frustrated either, but continue to work towards their goals – the championship: “As a team, we have our personal goal of winning the league. I think we felt we could do it , “said Forward Mateo Seric. Even with the knowledge that it is not going in the Bundesliga, the team wants to keep working and “simply win everything”.
The atmosphere in the team is fantastic, the forward is enthusiastic about the chemistry of the team. Šerić is not yet able to assess what the decision for the Tigers squad will mean next season. Each player has their own personal goals, and in professional sports it is always uncertain what will happen. Those in charge are dependent on continuity and want to keep a large part of the squad. One thing is already clear: Coach Daniel Jansson has extended his contract by two more years. He is convinced of the club’s concept.
When the corona pandemic began, Jansson says, the club was faced with the question of whether it could continue at all because the financial consequences were so severe. “I think we have done a pretty good job. Now we are in the position that we have a young team that plays basketball really well, the players are developing and that was our plan. Everything is going as planned. The plan is to play in the Bundesliga when we are ready for it, “says the coach. He wants to make the Tigers a team that is constantly successful.
You will walk step by step in Tübingen. The next step is the match against Bremerhaven on Wednesday (April 20). They will win and enter the semifinals of the playoffs. It will be the toughest match of all for Mateo Šerić. “It’s always the hardest part to close the sack.” Therefore, the motto is: stay focused and do not rest, for nothing has been achieved yet. The next victory is the next goal. And you might be thinking of promotion again in Tübingen next season.