Ludwigsburg basketball players in front of the derby cracker against Ulm

Ludwigsburg. “Play-offs, baby!”: At the end of the main round of each BBL season, this slogan inspires clubs and fans once again in the certainty that the showdown itself is about to begin. And since Tuesday night, it has been a certainty: After the MHP giants won the overtaking battle against promoted Heidelberg, they finally secured fourth place in the table. So the derby breaker in the quarterfinals is perfect: Fourth to fifth he is called, Ludwigsburg against Ulm.

Ludwigsburg starts Saturday night (20.30) with home rights in the best-of-five series. Next Tuesday (19.00) the next meeting is already planned in MHP Arena, before Thursday (19.00) and until what can already be the decisive match in Ulm. However, neither team believes that the first knockout round will be decided in three matches.

The expectation is similarly high: “We have been preparing for Ludwigsburg for a few days because we assumed they would win their catch-up match,” Ulm head coach Jaka Lakovic explains the long wait for the quarter-final opponent. This year’s playoff participation is the eleventh in the history of the Ulm club. “It will be an exciting series that will demand everything of us. We saw this season that we can beat Ludwigsburg and that we do not have a chance, says Ulm’s sports director Thorsten Leibenath optimistically.

Ludwigsburg has also been a regular guest in the playoffs in recent seasons. This year there was a lot of pressure in the Champions League, but coach John Patrick is also full of confidence: “I am proud that after the intensive weekend in Bilbao we were able to focus on such a short time, even though we were a little tired. Now we are happy that we have secured the home court advantage in the play-off against Ulm, “said Patrick after the victory against Heidelberg.

Ludwigsburg’s direct hit Justin Simon

The competition is likely to be particularly explosive for two players in particular: Justin Simon, who was recently named the BBL season’s best defender, started this season as Ulmer, but was only brought in as a replacement for Karim Jallow, who was injured at. the beginning of the season, which is why the paths are different separated again after only two games. Some Ulm fans will probably still be saddened after leaving for Ludwigsburg, precisely because national team player Karim Jallow has recently weakened and will be absent at least until the start on Saturday. Jallow played for the Giants in 2018, and the talented forward even made his first senior call.

For Justin Simon, the move to Ludwigsburg was a hit: “I wanted to make sure that my presence and my influence would never again be forgotten, underestimated or ignored,” he told our newspaper confidently after the strong display in the Champions League. And coach Patrick also likes the defensive artist a lot: “I am lucky to have trained many good players. What sets Justin apart: He’s an ordinary guy, but he does not play a position. I can not define Justin, no one can, and that’s what makes him so dangerous on the field. Sometimes he plays point guard, sometimes he plays center. It is special and a fantastic weapon in modern basketball. ” The next few weeks will show if Simon can confirm this confidence in the tough series.

Champion Alba Berlin right on track

Defending champion Alba Berlin has substantiated his role as favorite and clearly won the first playoff duel with old rival Brose Bamberg. The winner of the main round from the capital won Friday night with 114: 89 (61:45) and showed an excellent offensive performance. In the best-of-five fashion series, the Berliners lead 1-0. Already on Sunday (18.00) Alba can follow up in front of his own audience, only then does the series go to Franconia. Whoever wins three matches first will reach the semi-finals, where the possible opponent will be Ludwigsburg or Ulm.

Leave a Comment