Basketball Champions League: End of suffering: Bonn basketball players get their first title

Basketball Champions League: End of suffering: Bonn basketball players get their first title

After losing eight finals in their club’s history, Bonn’s basketball players win their first title by winning the Champions League. Playmaker TJ Shorts towered above again.

After leading Telekom Baskets Bonn to their first title in the club’s history, TJ Shorts let himself be overcome by great emotions.

First, the outstanding point guard from the USA dropped to the ground crying before his teammates buried the 1.75 meter small playmaker under them. Then he ran towards the stands and hugged his mother tightly. “I thank God that I’m allowed to go out on the basketball court every day. That’s not to be taken for granted,” said the 25-year-old.

With 29 points, Shorts led the Bonn team in Málaga to a 77:70 final victory over Hapoel Jerusalem and thus to the title in the Champions League, which is now the second most important international competition after the Euroleague. After five lost German championships and three lost cup finals, the Bonn team won a title for the first time in their 28-year club history.

“These are the moments that every basketball player lives for. These are the moments that you work towards from day one of the summer,” Shorts said after the game. “It doesn’t feel real right now.”

Success as a sign of German progress?

After all, the Rhinelanders are only the fifth German team to win an international cup. Previously, Alba Berlin (Korac Cup 1995), the Syntainics MBC from Weißenfels (FIBA EuroCup Challenge 2004), the BG Göttingen (EuroChallenge 2010) and the Fraport Skyliners from Frankfurt (FIBA Europe Cup 2016) were successful.

“This success of one of our clubs also makes it clear that our clubs, our league and German basketball in general are making great progress in all areas,” said Stefan Holz, Managing Director of the Basketball Bundesliga. After winning the bronze medal at the home European Championships in Cologne and Berlin last year, German basketball is setting the next exclamation point. The next highlight is the World Cup in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia in the summer, in which the team around NBA professional Dennis Schröder wants to play for a medal again.

Is the championship now?

For Bonn, however, the Bundesliga playoffs will continue. Already on Wednesday they will receive the Niners Chemnitz for the first game of the quarter-final series in the local Telekom Dome. Which is why we flew back to the Rhineland from Andalusia on Monday morning at 10.05 a.m. Center Leon Kratzer proudly carried the trophy onto the plane, accompanied by his teammates chanting “campeones”.

The triumph of Málaga should now also lead the baskets to the German championship. “We want to be champions,” TJ Shorts said a while ago. It would be the crowning glory, also for the fast and spectacular American, who has shaped this season like no other. The American was named the most valuable player in the BBL. The day before the European Cup final, Shorts received the Champions League season-to-date MVP award. And after the final success, the playmaker was also awarded the best player of the final tournament.

After 21 points in the 69-67 semi-final win over hosts Malaga, Shorts followed up with 29 points in the final, and no player has hung up in a final in the seven-year history of the competition. Despite the gala performance of his playmaker, Bonn’s head coach Tuomas Iisalo highlighted the team. “I don’t think there’s a better collective in European basketball,” said Iisalo, who also has the first title of his career. “I’m already looking forward to when we meet again in 20 years and get drunk in the Bahamas.”

Source: Stern

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