BBL: Niners shakes for first home ground right in the playoffs after loss to Crailsheim | free press


This match had everything that makes basketball so interesting: Merlins Crailsheim 95:93 against Niners Chemnitz had excitement right up to the last few seconds, system changes, an excellent pitcher, a surprising comeback and an atmospheric hall. But there were also many interruptions and a very wild mistake. “Freie Presse” arranges it all.

Starting position before the match: Both teams absolutely had to win to reach their goal: Crailsheimers wanted to keep the small chance of getting into the playoffs, Niners wanted to take a fourth place finish at the end of the main round to have a home advantage twice in the playoffs. On Niner’s side, Canadian Isiaha Mike had to pass at short notice with a fever.

The turning point in the game: The visitors from Chemnitz had everything under control in the early stages and led 18:12 after five minutes. By then, the two big players Bogdan Radosavljevic (Crailsheim) and Darion Atkins (Niners) had fought an intense duel. After a clear error by Radosavljevic against Atkins was not called, the American in Chemnitz hired went through the nerves. He retaliated with a header to the chest for a disqualifying foul. This not only got Atkins excluded from that game; he will probably also be suspended for at least one match in the playoffs. “It was unacceptable. We knew that with Isiaha Mike we already had to do without a big player under the basket. It made it even harder,” said Niners coach Rodrigo Pastore, who was visibly operated. He did not want to comment on the referees, who especially in the first half whistled very one-sidedly. “As a team, we’ve had to deal with the way the whistle is played for a long time,” he said.

Comebacket: After a two-month break due to an arm injury, German national team player Jan Niklas Wimberg was surprisingly back in the Niners squad. He only had to play a few minutes, Pastore said. “Due to Darion Atkins’ action, Niklas had to play very early and much longer than planned,” said the coach. With nine rebounds, Wimberg got most of his team, but even they were not enough. Under the basket, the Niners lost the match.

Collection: Despite all the problems and a 52:68 deficit in the third quarter, the Niners started a magnificent race to catch up. This was mainly due to Mindaugas Susinskas, who set the season best with 36 points, and Nelson Weidemann with a strong 26 points. The visitors came up at 90:90 shortly before the end of a match that lasted 2:15 hours, but that was not enough.

The situation after the match: Niners can now only hope that both Ulm and Ludwigsburg lose their last main round matches. If Ulm wins on Sunday afternoon against Gießen, who have already been relegated, Niners will be relegated to sixth place. That’s how it would be, even if Ludwigsburg wins against Heidelberg on Wednesday. If Ulm loses while Ludwigsburg wins, Niners is number five and plays first in Ludwigsburg. If Ulm wins while Ludwigsburg loses, Niners is also in fifth place, but would then start the playoffs in Ulm. If both Ulm and Ludwigsburg win, the championship round for Chemnitz begins next Friday and Sunday – with two away games against FC Bayern Munich.

Statistics niners: Susinskas (36), Weidemann (26), Lockett (11), Richter (5), Karacic (4), Atkins (4), Wimberg (3), Ziegenhagen (2), Washington (2), Massenat

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