Artículo en inglés escrito por Florian Kurth, que colaborará puntualmente con Fullbasket en un nuevo espacio íntegramente en lengua inglesa.
Its the 17th of May in 2018. Oldenburg loses in a close quarterfinals matchup against Alba Berlin in five games. In the end the homecourt advantage brought Berlin the series win over the Baskets. You could feel, that the whole city was really sorrowful after the season ended for the north german team.
Because they knew they could have won this tough series.
Because everyone knew, they probably will not play in any of the three highest European international competitions. (Euroleague, Eurocup, Champions League)
The organization, the coach, the team and also the fans just wanted to forget this season as fast as possible. In the year before they went to the finals, but lost to Brose Bamberg, so this season was obviously quite a frustration.
As some of you maybe noticed, this season lead into another great year so far. They are currently on the 2nd seed and are one of two teams, who could beat Euroleage participant Bayern Munich.
But first things first.
The Oldenburg officials announced very early in the season, they will not play in any european competition in season 18/19, so their complete focus is on the german Easy Credit BBL. They could have qualified for the FIBA Eurocup, but they noticed, like everyone already knows, that this competition isn’t high ambitious and prestigious. The biggest goal for the club was, to get back to the Champions league or even the Eurocup and especially play for homecourt advantage in the first round again to survive finally again the first playoff round.
The first highlight in last years offseason was the signing of guard Will Cummings who played for Darussafaka Istanbul the season before. He has Euroleague experience and it was obvious, that the american was absolutely convinced of what Oldenburg will build this season.
Moreover they kept players like Rasid Mahalbasic and Frantz Massenat, who are even more important for this team, than it seems.
Actually no surprise
What happens with a high quality basketball team, which has just one game a week maximum?
Yes exactly, they are really hungry to get every win, because they are tired of just playing against their own teammates in pracitse scrimmages. And thats exactly what Coach Drijencic achieved. He made his team all season long hungry as hunters. Oldenburg is the most explosive team in germany (best offensive team: 92 pts per game) and plays also great physical aggressive defense (2nd best defense in the league).
In the last some weeks, you heard also the word Euroleague in some articles about this team. Bayern Munich already has qualified for the Euroleague season 19/20 and Alba will probably get also a wildcard, although they didn’t win the Eurocup final against Valencia. So Germany has one spot left and if Oldenburg returns to the finals, maybe they have a small chance to get in this competition again after several years. For sure they will clinch a ticket for the Eurocup, because they are just playing to consistent and great this year.
Mister Triple Double
This season one player stood out of this great team. RASID MAHALBASIC. Once he was a kid with NBA talent and great upset. He was signed by Fenerbahce when he was young, but played not even one second, because he couldnt handle the hype about his talent. But it seems like he finally, after many years, found the perfect situation for him and his family. He plays like a MVP candidate and leads his team in many stats. Especially in Europe we don’t see triple-doubles that often, but he reached this stat mark already twice this season. Once a very smart basketball analytic said: „Stats are not everything.“ But you have to mention if someone makes history, because no other player had two triple doubles in one season in the german highest basketball league.
Oldenburg is one of the german basketball sites, which symbolizes how basketball is growing in Germany. By the way Munich made history this season with winning for the first time 14 games in the Euroleague. In the next competition, the Eurocup, Alba could reach the finals and had a realistic chance to win it. And also in the champions league the germans have a team in the final four in Antwerp in a few weeks, with Brose Bamberg. It’s a fact that in all european international leagues the germans has made furor.
And you can see this development also in Oldenburg. They built few years ago a great arena and also a practise facility. They rised, went also up with their farmteam to the third highest german league. In this team especially the young players are responsible and can improve their game, while playing against pros.
The EWE Baskets Oldenburg are maybe better thanever, just because of consistent work and development in infrastructure and the whole organization.
They are one of the best teams in Germany right now, although they took a timeout from the international leagues. All germans who are even not fans, are looking forward to have another great team behind the three big B’s (Berlin, Bayern, Bamberg), which can improve to a international respected team.