There are many wonderful things that a DaShaun Wood (185-PG-85, college: Wright St.) would desire like battling a Derrick Rose in a one on one duel on a playground in Oak park, Chicago, having Monta Ellis 26, 8, 7 like stats in every Beko BBL game or finally experiencing a Detroit Lions Super Bowl some time in his lifetime. Wood has won a Beko BBL MVP title in 2011 and the only thing missing in his basketball career is a title. Whenever asked why he is on the court, his usual answer is is too win that championship and that is the main reason why he fled from Frankfurt two seasons ago with Gordon Herbert. However so far he still is winless in the hardware department in the Beko BBL in his third season. The last time Alba Berlin the 8 time Beko BBL champion won a title was the cup in 2009. With the high budget and unending talent that lands in the Spree each season, it can be at times a real mystery like it is how a Brazilen boy could juggle a soccer ball for 12 hours and 15 minutes nonstop and his name wasnt Pele as too why the team is unable to win titles in more of a consecutive rate. Alba Berlin is a top basketball address in Germany and was the FC Bayern Munich of the league before the Bavarian club moved up to the Beko BBL in 2011. With Marco Baldi, Alba Berlin has a top executive who made the team to what it is since making it a top team in the 90s and definitely has that Uli Hoennis passion 24 hours a day with the only difference that he can keep his emotions better in check. The team has always had top coaches on board and a supporting cast of players that makes a team like the LTi Giessen 46ers foam in their mouths. The Beko BBL gets more and more competitive each season and winning atitle isnt as much of a cake walk like in the past and one cant forget that the Brose Baskets Bamberg started their little dynasty in the 2009-2010 season right after the last title of Alba Berlin. Maybe this is the year as Alba Berlin is hosting the 2013 Beko BBL Top 4 as Alba Berlin only needs to win two games and could get revenge against FC Bayern Munich in the semi final with a win and as a good omen head coach Sasa Obradovic won two titles with Rhein Energy Cologne. Alba Berlin always has strong players, but I feel that ex coach Luka Pavicevic was unable to get equal strong players at each position when he was there. I really like the three new players they got with Je Kel Foster, Derrick Byers and Ali Traore. They have been up and down this season and should be playing better. They have interesting new players and now Obradovic has to make them fit in with the other players. I think that they have a chance to beat FC Bayern Munich in the cup game. They already beat them once before in Berlin this season and why shouldnt they be able to do it again, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss.
What does a traditional and respected Beko BBL team do that has won 8 titles to get back on track after last winning a title in 2009? It brings back a familiar face that is used to winning and has won with Alba Berlin before. No one better than sasa Obradovic who won the Korac cup in 1995 and the double in 1997 with Alba Berlin. As a player he won three world championships with the former Jugoslavia and as a coach won the title in 2006 with Cologne. His name stands for winning. He stands for unending passion. He burns for this team, stated Marco Baldi. Obradovic is a tough coach, but is also the type of coach that makes his players better. Obradovic brought something new to the spree with versatility that the new players have. He chose players that can play many different positions thus making it harder for opponents to read and defend. The team has only won one title in the last nine years and Sasa Obradovic did a house cleaning this past off season getting rid of seven players and hauling in eight new players. The team held DaShaun Wood, Heiko Schaffartzik, Yassin Idbihi and Sven Schultze to somewhat maintain a small collective in the team. Obrdovic did a good job bringing in a healthy mix of three Americans, a Bosnian, Serb and two young Germans. He brought in experienced Vule Avdalovic who he coached at BC Donetsk and has Euroleague experience and has played many years in the ACB and will make some competition for DaShaun Wood. Nihad Djedovic was brought in for giving that special versatility and all around good play. He brought in Nathan peavey who might be the most underrated power forward in the Beko BBL. A pity that he was injured and will miss most of the season. Zack Morley was brought in for toughness and can also score when needed. Further flexibility and power under the basket was brought in with Deon Thompson who played at the top NCAA school North Carolina. Obradovic brought in Spanish ACB veteran Albert Miralles recently to help bring muscle to the basket and help bang with the centers of the league. Young German David Herwig and Steven Monse also arrived to help round out the roster. The biggest strength of Alba Berlin likely is their guard rotation with Wood, Schaffartzik and Avdalovic who could be the best guard trio in the Beko BBL. Obradovic will be very flexible at this position often being able to play two at a time. Also at the forward position, he has players like Thompson, Miralles and Morley that can play different positions and will keep opponents guessing what the 8 time Beko BBL champion will do next in their offensive sets as they will be unpredictable. Alba Berlin has a very deep roster once again and if there are any problems that could arise then it is how well the team can respond to the coaching decisions of the coach as playing time will be reduced. DaShaun Wood that was the commander on the court in Frankfurt and Berlin doesnt have that big role this season with more offensive weapons, but has taken this reality in stride and showed his character of playing for the team and not for his stats. Obradovic will make Wood an even better player than what he already is. The team cant afford more injuries as they will need a full roster to make an impact in the Beko BBL playoffs as they also play Euroleague.
Since the climatic semi final win over Alba Berlin in 2005, where guys like Chris Williams and Tyrone Ellis led the then Opel Skyliners into the BBL final, Frankfurt has only a 9-16record against the Albatros, but have built installed a special albatross cage in the Ballsporthalle which has rewarded them with a 5-3 record. One of the biggest and most emotional wins in the last years was the 81-67 trouncing in January 2006 as it was the debut of ex Skyliner coach Charles Barton. It was only a shame that the team was unable to take this big win and grow off it as they won little more that season and had to win on the last day at home against The EWE Baskets Oldenburg to stay in the BBL. Some nice wins in the last years was the 74-58 win in 2008 as American Derrick Allen added 19 points and six rebounds and in 2009, they won 73-66 as ex Skyliner Lorenzo Gordon chipped in with 15 points and six rebounds. Last season, the two teams split the season series 1-1 as Alba Berlin held Frankfurt to 53 points in the Ballsporthalle and winning. Frankfurt returned to Berlin to win 76-70 as Derrick Allen led the team with 18 points. Frankfurt then surprisingly kicked out Alba Berlin in the playoffs 3-1 winning game four at home 69-58 as Derrick Allen had 26 points. In the first meeting last season, Alba Berlin escaped the O-2 World arena with a 81-77 win. Frankfurt led for 36 minutes before Alba Berlin put on the turbo and went on a 8-2 run which sparked the win. DaShaun Wood led all players with 32 points and Derrick Allen chipped in with 17 points for Alba Berlin. Alba Berlin shot 57% from the field and 44% from the parking lot, but Frankfurt had control of the boards 31-21. In the second meeting last season, Alba Berlin prevailed 79-70 as DaShaun Wood led Frankfurt with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and ex Skyliner Derrick Allen had 18 points. Frankfurt lost in the 2011 Beko BBL semi finals 3-2 . Last season the Fraport Skyliners stunk out their Fraport arena with a 83-57 loss where DaShaun Wood led all scorers with 21 points and also lost a close game 70-66 in Berlin. This season, The Fraport Skyliners were walloped in Berlin losing 91-65 as they had little chance. Frankfurt didnt shoot so bad hitting over 40% from the field and outside, but were clobbered under the boards 36-22 and relinquished 19 turnovers. After starting the season at 500 , the team went on a 8 agme winning streak, but then around Christmas lost three games in a row, but then rebounded having won five of its last seven games. Their biggest win of the season was a 90-75 bruising of the Brose Baskets Bamberg. The Fraport Sklyiners have won their last two games in a row with solid wins against Tuebingen and Hagen, games they had to win, but now with Alba Berlin face a stiff opponent. Frankfurt is riding a lot of self confidence at the moment. We can beat anyone. We have a lot of talent and feel very good at the moment. We just have to continue to play our game, stressed Fraport Skyliner Dawan Robinson. Phoenix Hagen assistant coach Steven Wriedt has movie experience with Phoenix in der asche and added some humor concerning the chances of Frankfurt to win. Frankfurt has to hope that Alba Berlin has a bad shooting day or have a hangover form their Euroleague game in Moscow Friday, stressed Steven Wriedt. Alba Berlin is the favorite in every game and I think that they are the best team in the league. We cant make them feel comfortable and take them out of what they do well. We have to protect the ball and get little turnovers. We have to rebound well and get back quick as they are one of the best fast break teams in the league.Our only advantage may be that they play in Moscow Friday. If we can make our game hard for them then we have a chance, warned Fraport Skyliners head coach Muli Katzurin.
Alba Berlin is led by Deon Thompson who is playing his first season in the Beko BBL. Thompson is a 24 year old 203cm forward from Torrnace, California. He played at North Carolina from 2006-2010, reaching a NCAA Final 4 and Elite 8. At North Carolina, he had the pleasure of playing with NBA players like Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansborough, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green. As a rookie in 2010-2011, he played for Ikaros Kallitheas (Greece-A1, starting five): 25 games: 14.1ppg, Reb-2 (8.8rpg), Blocks-3 (1.3bpg), FGP: 50.0%, FT: 70.7%. Last season, he played for Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia-Telemach League, starting five):