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Austrian League semifinals: Gmuden Swans come back at home, Bulls Kapfenberg snatch home court

Four teams remain in the Austrian basketball playoffs and BallinEurope contributing writer David Hein is paying close attention, giving us another roundup of recent action there.

Top-seeded Allianz Swans Gmunden roared back from a double-digit third quarter deficit to beat WBC Raiffeisen Wels in overtime in Game One to defend home court in the Austrian Admiral Basketball Bundesliga semifinal playoffs while ECE Bulls Kapfenberg stole home court advantage by beating Xion Dukes Klosterneuberg.

Morris Curry stayed red hot, scoring 31 points – including two free throws with three seconds left – and Dan Oppland collected 21 points and 19 rebounds as Gmunden beat fourth-seeded Wels 87-84 in overtime.

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Oberwart Gunners capped: Austria to have fifth new champion in five years

Farokhmanesh, Wels send Gunners home

With the Beko BBL in the homestretch of the regular season and the Austrian playoffs underway, BallinEurope’s man in Germany, David Hein, finds himself overdosing on basketball these days. Hein rounds up the latest events in the ÖBL tournament below, including the bouncing of yet another defending champion from contention…

There will be another new champion of the Admiral Austrian Basketball Bundesliga as WBC Raiffeisen Wels swept title holders Oberwart Gunners in the first round of the playoffs while the top three seeds all regained home court advantage after game one losses.

For the fifth straight year, the Austrian champion was unable to defend its crown as Gunners join Allianz Swans Gmunden in 2008, BSC Raiffeisen Fürstenfeld Panthers in 2009, Wels in 2010, and Swans again in ’11. The last repeat champion was Gmunden, who won three straight titles beginning in 2005, a run that ended Kapfenberg’s four-year run from 2001 to 2004.

Wels finished their 3-0 sweep of the fifth-seeded Gunners as Ali Farokhmanesh drained a three-pointer at the buzzer for an 83-80 win in Oberwart. Farokhmanesh, who scored a game-high 21 points including five three-pointers, knows a thing or two about big triples: It was his long ball that allowed number nine seed Northern Iowa to knock off overall number one seed Kansas in the second round of the 2010 NCAA tournament.

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Upsets galore as underdogs steal home court advantage in Austrian playoffs

Wow, things in the Austrian playoffs started with a lotta oddity. David Hein fills us in on a troika of upsets in Bundesliga play…

The first round of the Austrian Admiral Basketball Bundesliga playoffs tipped off in thrilling fashion with the lowest three seeds UBC Carefuel Güssing, BSC Raiffeisen Fürstenfeld Panthers and BC Vienna all stealing home-court advantage while defending champions Oberwart Gunners lost their opener at WBC Raiffeisen Wels.

Stjepan Stazic’s three-pointer with two seconds left gave Vienna a 77-76 game one win yesterday against top seeded regular season champions and 2011 finalists Allianz Swans Gmunden, who failed to hold a 14-point lead with 12 minutes to play.

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Game of the month, season, century: Bulls Kapfenberg top Raiffeisen Wels in four OTs

From the In Case You Missed It Department, David Hein reports to BallinEurope on recent events in the Austrian Bundesliga and most importantly on a ridiculous quadruple-overtime game that went down in late February amidst an incredibly tight race for the playoffs there.

Publicly accessible highlights of this “Thriller für die Ewigkeit”, ECE Bulls Kapfenberg’s 60-minute 137-127 victory over WBC Raiffeisen Wels, are lacking on YouTube, Daily Motion et al (not too much of a market for Austrian basketball it seems…), but a comprehensive highlight clip may be seen at the Admiral Basketball Bundesliga official website.

The race in the Austrian Admiral Basketball Bundesliga can hardly get any closer as the top five teams are just one game apart in the standings three games into the second stage of the season.

Regular season winners Xion Dukes Klosterneuberg dropped their third straight game to fall to 17-6 and are now in a tie with 2011 runners-up Allianz Swans Gmunden. Following these, knotted up at 16-7 are WBC Raiffeisen Wels, reigning champions Oberwart Gunners and ECE Bulls Kapfenberg while Carefuel Güssing Knights are 11-12 as the final team in the six-team second stage.

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