Even two days after the blackout in the game at Merlin’s Crailsheim, Niners player Darion Atkins is still afraid of what happened to him there. “Sorry” is the word the American most often used in an interview with “Freie Presse” on Monday. “I’m sorry for the fans, which I would like to apologize to,” the 29-year-old said. “I’m also sorry for the club and for the team, which I have already apologized to. Something like that simply can not happen to me as a professional.”
There was a lot at stake in the BBL match on Saturday night between the basketball players from Crailsheim and those from Chemnitz. Both should win. The home team would take their last chance at a spot in the playoffs. The Niners wanted to make the first home run ready in the championship round. The game was hard fought from the first minute and the atmosphere in the sold out hall was heated. Crailsheim’s Bogdan Radosavljevic and Darion Atkins of the Niners fought a fierce man-to-man duel. 2.13 meters high against 2.03 meters high. Two absolute athletes.
“When we attacked, I got a push from him from behind, and suddenly I was lying on the ground,” describes Atkins Radosavljevic’s action after nearly five minutes of play. “Then we scored and went back in defense. When he was in front of me, I hit my head on his chest.” The TV pictures clearly show that this mistake was comparable to the world-famous mistake committed by the French footballer Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final against Italy’s Marco Materazzi. But it was by no means that difficult. “I did not really mean to hurt him. But there is no excuse for that either,” says Darion Atkins. “It was impulsive. It was not me. That’s not how I am.”
In fact, Atkins can usually be found under the curve in Chemnitz matches, where things really get going. He is one of the best defensive rebounders in the BBL without being unfair. The American who moved to Chemnitz this summer received an average of 2.7 personal errors per year. match. With an average of 11.8 points, he is also a very important player for the Niners in the offense.
After the Crailsheim offense, which was considered disqualifying, Atkins will miss Chemnitz for at least one game in the playoffs. BBL decides if more will come. “I really hope I can still help in the playoffs,” the father of two said. “I want to make it up to you.”
Playoff dates have been set
Niners Chemnitz play their first home game in the quarterfinals of the BBL Playoffs on Friday, May 20th. This was announced by BBL on Monday. Another home game would be held on May 22nd.
The playoffs will be played in best-of-five format. The one who has three victories first moves into the semifinals of the German championship.
Only this Wednesday night will it be decided who it is against: If Ludwigsburg wins its catch-up match against Heidelberg, the Niners are in sixth place and play against Bayern Munich. So first on May 13 (20.30) and May 15 (20.30) in Munich. The home game would take place on May 20 at 8:30 p.m.
If Ludwigsburg loses, Niners will play number five in the table against Ulm – then only on 14 May (18.00) and 16 May (19.00) away. The home game would then start on May 20 at 19.00.