The BBL Cup starts with a surprise. A world champion is also in the first round – even if only in the stands.
The Jobstairs Giessen 46ers pulled off a surprise in the first round of the BBL Cup: The second-division club defeated first-division team Hakro Merlins Crailsheim 79:73 (42:35) at home on Saturday and is thus through to the last 16. Former national team captain Robin Benzing hit his first four threes and scored 17 points in his first competitive game for Giessen. The Giessen team was in the lead from the middle of the first quarter and pulled away to a difference of up to 18 points in the second half.
This season is the first time since 2008/09 that second-division teams are participating in the BBL Cup. The top six second division teams from last season and the ten BBL teams that missed out on the playoffs will play in the first round of the cup. The eight BBL play-off teams from last season will enter the competition in the round of 16.
Braunschweig and Vechta win – Würzburg struggle
In front of the eyes of basketball world champion Dennis Schröder, the Basketball Löwen Braunschweig won 78:64 (38:32) against BBL promoted Tigers Tübingen. Schröder is the sole shareholder of the Braunschweig club and will be on hand with the World Cup trophy at the Löwen’s first home game next Friday.
The second BBL promoted team Rasta Vechta won 84-76 (42-39) against the Rostock Seawolves thanks to a strong Tommy Kuhse (26 points). With a little effort, the Würzburg Baskets won 93-81 (47-38) against the second-division PS Karlsruhe Lions.
The round of sixteen matches of the BBL Cup will take place on 14 and 15 October. The Giessen Baskets will then play host to the Niners Chemnitz, Vechta will receive BG Göttingen, Braunschweig will play Alba Berlin, and Würzburg will meet ratiopharm Ulm at home.