After you took over the team, you could already see a different body language in the players on the field. But it was a good month before they were able to win their first victory under your leadership. The BBC narrowly lost many matches. Were you and the team in doubt during this dry period?
That’s part of it sometimes. So it was very important that the guys trusted the growth process. Success is not always immediate. Often, only a few points were missing to win. But that’s how it is in basketball.
Was the victory in Speyer a key match?
In Speyer, we settled the match in our last attack. I think it was very important for us to free ourselves from the burden on our shoulders. From then on, we could breathe freely and continue to grow together. In the match that followed, we beat Frankfurt. Unfortunately, we also played a bad match in Munich at the bottom of the table at the end of the year, but maybe it was a timely wake-up call that showed us that just because we had won a few matches, not everything would go perfectly. Everyone can be beaten in this league if they do not do their best. Therefore, this defeat was also an important moment for us.
A turning point in the season was the match against Koblenz at the beginning of January after the turn of the year, right? After a few seconds inside the match, Chris Wolf suffered an injury that ended the season for him. How bad was the loss for the team?
I can not say enough good things about Chris. He is the captain and also the leader of our team, he brings the passion that you just have to love. And he is extremely competitive and will do anything to not lose. That’s why you should love him as a coach, but he’s also a great guy in his private life. Of course, his absence was difficult for the team to cope with and we had to adapt to it. Usually, Chris is the one who gets the others back on their feet and builds them up. The team then took his injury as an opportunity to pull themselves together and put a shovel on it for Chris. And I think the guys did a great job.
Two reinforcements came to the team in the following match: Joaquin Carrasco and Chris Wolf’s brother Nico. Both had a fantastic start and the BBC immediately brought a victory from Ulm. How important was the contribution the two made from there?
As an experienced point guard, Joaquin was very important to us in bringing organization and calm to our young team. In the past, it was often difficult for us to take control in situations that were game-changing. He wants to get on the field and get his teammates with him. He also wants to help develop his teammates. Like Chris, he has that competitive spirit and does not want to lose. And therefore Joaquin was an important replacement for him in that sense.
And Nico Wolf?
Like his brother, he does not like to lose. He also brings this competitive spirit with him, and with the many points he scored, he also took us to a new level offensively. The two made us even stronger as a team, and with the victory in Ulm we asked ourselves: If we can win such a match, then we can not beat everyone? When we bring that level of energy and are willing to work hard and grow as a team, we can make a difference. From there we started a run.
You have four wins in a row. In the second half of the season, there were a total of seven wins from eleven games. In the first half of the season, there were only three wins. With this strong performance in the second half of the season, the team was able to cement their place in the playoffs. They then delivered a solid performance against the big favorites from Wolmirstedt, who then reached the semifinals, and only narrowly lost both matches. But how bitter was it not to have reached the next round?
After winning the last home game against Munich, it was clear that we would be in the playoffs and that we had reached our goal for the season. But after the fight in the locker room, we said we wanted more, we wanted to move on to the next round. Wolmirstedt also had problems with Corona and as a result one or two players who could not compete. And it also changed the order of the venues, so we started at home first. It would have been very important to win the home game. We played solidly away from home and had a team bigger and more experienced than us on the verge of defeat. We then sat in the bus on the way home and could not fathom that the season was coming to an end. We wish we had had more time. It’s still bitter to talk about.
Nevertheless, we are now looking ahead. Jannis Sonnefeld, Tyreese Blunt and Leon Bulic have already signed three key players for the upcoming season. What are you planning for next season?
We will try to continue where we left off. We try to stick together at the core of the team so we don’t have to start over. The goal, of course, is to get back into the playoffs and then get through the first round. But we would also like to have the prospect of moving up to Pro A if the opportunity arises. If we position ourselves well in terms of staff and take the leap to the top, it would also be ideal for our collaboration with Brose Bamberg. Now is the time to lay the groundwork for that. We will not be in the basement again for Christmas. We want to get back on track and play more consistently.
Alexander Ronke asked the questions