After having to play against a strong and well rehearsed Bamberg team last weekend, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners didn´t have a breather long having to face Turkish power house Besiktas Istanbul and without reinforcements, the chances of winning were slim and about as unlikely as if funny man Will Smith were to shut his mouth for a day, Bayern Munich and Louis Van Gaal not winning anymore games or tennis ace Roger Federer never winning Wimbeldon again as Frankfurt gave a superb effort, but missed too many open shots down the stretch as the Turks snuck out of the Ballsporthalle with a 68-61 win. Frankfurt knew that it would be tough going into the game without a starting center and power forward, but didn´t try to think about it. “Once you are on the court there are no excuses. Every player had to step up. We just focused on what we had on the court and we played well”, stressed Skyliner point guard Dashaun Wood. There was some pressure on Marius Nolte to fill the void and finished with six points and three rebounds in 14 minutes. “I thought a lot about this game this afternoon and how we have to go into it. I wanted to be aggressive and bring energy, but not get quick fouls. I got fast fouls and need to be more clever in the future”, warned Paderborn native Marius Nolte. Frankfurt now needs to return to Istanbul next week and win by 8 points or more to advance to the next round.
Frankfurt didn´t have to hang their heads after 40 minutes, because they led for more than half of the game and gave a solid effort, but couldn´t get the job done in the fourth quarter. “We played a good game, but just didn´t get as many stops at the end to be able to win. We had so many open looks at the end. We don´t expect to shoot like this again. We will have to shoot better in the game in Istanbul”, added San Diego native Grayson Moyer. In some ways, Besiktas Istanbuhl can be happy that they escaped with a win. “We didn´t play well, but we won. We played good zone defense and that hurt Frankfurt. In the second half, Andrew Ogilvy had a great game and was the main reason that we won. We hit big three pointers down the stretch, but during the regular season we will have to play better”, warned 2006 ULEB Cup winner with Dynamo Moscow Mire Chatman. It was the first game of the season for The Deutsche Bank Skyliners and the game garnered more interest then one may have thought as 2,840 people wanted to see this basketball game. Who could forget the past as some years ago there were some international games with only about 800 people in attendance. It probably didn´t hurt either that a big Turkish sports team with Besiktas Istanbul was in town as one could see bunches of Turks in the arena as well as many Turkish flags. Some were expecting ex coach Murat Didin too be in the arena as it is no secret that his favourite team in Turkey is Besiktas Istanbul. Perhaps Babba as Didin is called was in the Ballsporthalle, but he did a great job of hiding himself. Even if he may have not been in the arena, just the name Didin was a topic with players. “I remember seeing Didin last season in Turkey. We were playing somewhere and I remember him coming into the locker room and talking to some Turkish coaches. I am looking forward to the Duesseldorf game soon as I hear the arena will be packed for his return”, stressed New Skyliner forward Bradley Buckman. In Turkey, Didin is as known as Kinder Chocolate is in Germany as the faces of Cuneyt Erden and Cevher Ozer lit up when they heard the name Didin. “He was my coach in Turkey”, stated Ozer. The other amusing tidbit was the resemblance of Vlade Divac and Turk Cevher Ozer. He seemed a bit in awe as he was told of the similarity. “Divac was a great player and it is an honour to look like him. He played with the best in the NBA. I don’t have a chance for the NBA. I would have to improve my post moves”, stressed Ozer. Skyliner center Marius Nolte seemed a bit surprised about the resemblance. “You see a beard and right away think of Divac. He didn´t play like Divac, but he played well. He was hard to defend and his 19 points and 13 rebounds shows how good he was tonight”, stressed Marius Nolte. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners didn´t have anything to lose and came to play as they didn´t let Besiktas Istanbul run away with a lead early, but stayed on their heels. Jimmy Mckinney got the Frankfurt attack going with a fade away jumper and AJ Moye made two free throws. Cevher Ozer got inside quickly and really hurt Frankfurt with two baskets and two consecutive offensive rebounds as the score was 4-4. Dashaun Wood had a strong first quarter scoring six points all inside. Frankfurt led 6-4, but Besiktas Istanbul grabbed the lead back as Michael Ignerski made a shot from downtown as they took the lead 7-6. Frankfurt grabbed the lead back 10-7 as Moye muscled his way to the basket for a basket and then De Mello scored on a coast to coast run after good Frankfurt double team defense. Mustafa Abi scored, but Frankfurt managed to stay consistent on offense as Wood scored again with his left hand as Frankfurt led 12-9. Andrew Ogilvy then got an offensive rebound and scored, but it was Wood again penetrating and scoring as he seemed unstoppable as Frankfurt led 14-11. “I have always scored inside. As a small guard you always have to find different ways to score. I work a lot on this practice. It is tough when there are two 210cm big guys inside so I have to create different ways to score”, added Dashaun Wood. “Wood is a good player. He is fast and can score. We have to give more help on pick and role”, said Mire Chatman. Ozer then made a fade away jumper and Pascal Roller a jumper for the 16-13 Frankfurt lead. Ozer then was fouled from the parking lot and nailed three free throws. After 10 minutes the score was deadlocked at 16-16. “Frankfurt got off to a slow start, but they then got going. Frankfurt did a good job getting fast break points and taking the right shots”, stressed Skyliner forward Bradley Buckman. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 43% from the field and 0% from outside while Besiktas Istanbul was shooting 37% from the field and 25% from outside. Besiktas Istanbul had the slight rebound edge at 10-9 and only two turnovers as Frankfurt had three. In the second quarter, the game stayed close for a few minutes before Frankfurt started to pull away. AJ Moye got Frankfurt on the score board first with an offensive rebound and lay in before Ogilvy scored inside getting a semi ally op pass from Bekir Yarangume. Frankfurt then marched out on a 17-6 run to take the 35-24 lead. Frankfurt was playing perfect team basketball in this phase as there were no unselfish players, but just players working to get the best shot. Grayson Moyer nailed a three pointer from the corner as Wood led the fast break and dished out a pass to the American in the corner. Nolte then made a tip in and Dominik Bahiense De Mello hit a jumper from the top of the key. Frankfurt continued to play smart offensive basketball as Moyer made a no look bounce pass to Nolte as Frankfurt led 30-24. Wood then scored five consecutive points as he scored inside twice and made a free throw. Frankfurt was a bit unlucky in the last few minutes as they lost a little momentum and let Besiktas Istanbul rally and go on a 6-2 run and trail only 37-30 at halftime. Andrew Ogilvy scored all six points as he scored with a runner, lay in and a left handed hook. He had 12 points at halftime and seemed to have found his rhythm in the game. “I didn´t practice all week. I had a rolled ankle. It took a while to find my groove and I got more comfortable as the game went on”, added Andrew Ogilvy. “We forced them to shoot a lot of three pointers. We played good help defense and Wood distributed the ball well and scored when it was needed”, stressed Bradley Buckman. “We didn´t play well in the first half. Our defense was not up to par”, said Andrew Ogilvy. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 42% from the field and only 25% from the three point line while Besiktas Istanbul was shooting 38% from the field and 33% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the slim 19-18 rebound edge and a 5-6 turnover edge. In the third quarter, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were able to keep their comfortable lead, but Besiktas Istanbul would rally and get stronger as they continued to pound inside as Frankfurt was slowly getting tired inside. If it wasn´t Ogilvy then it was Ozer who was doing damage inside as he scored twice from close range. Frankfurt had a huge play by Wood who blocked Ogilvy inside and then scored with a mid distance jumper. Pascal Roller who was quiet on the night with 7 points on 3/8 shooting hit a floater for the 43-32 lead. Ogilvy then scored five unanswered points as he drew fouls inside and suddenly Frankfurt led 45-39. Down the stretch in the third quarter Besiktas Istanbul started to hit more shots and Frankfurt got weaker from the field. After De Mello made one free throw for the 46-39 lead, Besiktas Istanbul ended the quarter with a 9-1 run to tie the game at 48-48. Yarangume hit a three pointer, Ozer scored again inside as Frankfurt only led 46-43. Kimmo Muurinen also had a cold day shooting 2/9 from the field, but hit a jumper in the last minute as Frankfurt led 48-45. Yarangume nailed a three pointer in the last seconds which was kind of a bad omen for what was going to happen in the fourth quarter. “A thing I liked was that Frankfurt is always hustling and never giving up. Our shots weren´t falling and it is tough when the opponent keeps going inside”, added Bradley Buckman. “We went inside more and tried to slow down our offense as we were rushing a bit in the first half”, said Andrew Ogilvy. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 37% from the field and only 15% from the parking lot while Besiktas Istanbul was shooting 40% from the field and 28% from the parking lot.Besiktas Istanbul had the 32-26 rebounding edge and nine turnovers while Frankfurt had six. In the fourth quarter, Besiktas Istanbul would slowly take control of the game as they continued hitting big shots while Frankfurt was unable to get anything positive going on offense. Frankfurt did retake the lead 50-48 on a Moye jumper, but Ozer hit a three pointer as the Turks led again 51-50. Mckinney gave Frankfurt the lead back with a jumper 52-51, but that would be their last lead of the game. Erden then was fouled behind the three point line and sunk all three free throws as Besiktas Istanbul led 54-52. Ogilvy then scored inside. It doesn´t look pretty with the Australian, but it is very effective when he scores inside. Yarangume then nailed another three pointer as Frankfurt trailed 59-53 and the Ballsporthalle was slowly getting more quiet except for the legions of Turk supporters cheering. “Frankfurt wasn´t playing bad, but just weren´t hitting their shots. They also weren´t getting second chance points”, stressed Bradley Buckman. Ozer then dropped a three pointer as Frankfurt trailed 62-53. Roller then scored from the wing as Besiktas Istanbul only led 62-56. However the Turks continued to find ways to score as it was Ozer again getting one of his five offensive rebounds and scoring. Mckinney hit a big three pointer as Frankfurt only trailed 66-59. Ogilvy and Wood traded baskets at the end as Frankfurt lost 68-61. “The key down the stretch was our ability to knock down big shots and our defensive rebounding”, stressed Andrew Ogilvy. “Ogilvy had a good game. He is strong and skilled around the basket and can handle the penetration from the high post. We will have to box him out better and get more guards helping with rebounds”, stressed Grayson Moyer. Besiktas Istanbul was led by Andrew Ogilvy with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Cevher Ozer added 19 points and 13 rebounds. Bekir Yarangume chipped in with 11 points. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Dashaun Wood 15 points,four rebounds and three assists. AJ Moye and Dominik Bahiense De Mello added eight points a piece. Besiktas Istanbul shot 43% from the field and35% from down town while The Deutsche Bank Skyliners shot 35% from the field and 16% from down town. Frankfurt clearly lost the rebound battle 43-33. The most positive statistic were the eight Frankfurt turnovers. Even though the Deutsche Bank Skyliners lost, they demonstrated for long phases of the game that they could stay with Besiktas Istanbul and even lead for a while. After this success, Frankfurt will go to Turkey knowing they can win. “We fought hard in this game. We had a chance to win. We know even if we had won in Frankfurt that we will have to play well in turkey. If we can win by 8 points in Turkey then I will take that”, warned Dashaun Wood. Beisktas Istanbul learned in this 68-61 win that Frankfurt is a strong team. “We never underestimated Frankfurt. We know that all teams want to qualify and they all fight to win”, added Andrew Ogilvy. “We saw that Frankfurt can play very well when they are undersized. They play fast and physical. We will have to play better next week at home”, stressed Mire Chatman. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners next start the BEKO BBL regular season against The EWE Baskets Oldenburg October 2 at 20:00.