Road to Final Four: Telekom Baskets Bonn

Telekom Bonn is the representative of Germany in the Basketball Champions League Final Four having an amazing season. Their mission is to improve or repeat the best German performance in the competition, the 3rd place, last year occupied by MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg.

They had the misfortune of being assigned to Group B, a strong group alongside AEK Athens, Pinar Karsiyaka and Reggio Emilia. They started with a defeat at home against Reggio Emilia 88-84 and nothing announced what was to come, 5 victories in a row and winning the group, the match in Italy with Reggio being a demonstration of strength, 90-66. The demonstration continued in the Round of 16, where they were part of group J together with BAXI Manresa, Rytas Vilnius and Bahcesehir College, they won the group without losing a single match, in some matches playing incredibly: 87-69 at Manresa or 99- 72 home with Rytas. In the Quarter-Finals, it seemed that they would have an easy mission against Strasbourg, but they surprisingly lost the first match at home, 77-76, but then they managed to qualify after 76-66 in France and 83-77 in the decider at the Telekom Dome.

They were one of the most offensive teams with 83.5 ppg (4th) to which they added 37.7 rpg (5th) and 18.5 apg (8th). All their offensive game revolves around one of the most sensational players in the competition, TJ Shorts, who with 18.4 ppg, 7.1 ast and 4.2 reb is one of the favorites for the title of MVP. A key move is the transfer of Javontae Hawkins from Limoges in 6 games scoring 14.0 ppg. Leon Kratzer became an extremely important player in the fight for rebounds, having 6.4 ppg with 6.8 reb.

The chances of the German team in this Final Four revolve around the form of TJ Shorts and how well the opponents can block him. He is the player with the highest average points remaining in the competition, he is also an extraordinary passer generating over 7 assists per match. Unfortunately, they will meet in the semifinals the host and the title contender Unicaja Malaga.

Valentin Petruta

Photo credit: Basketball Champions League