In the last years, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have had to be aware of the Heiko Schaffartzik bombs from the Messe Tower just like 2010-2011 BEKO BBL teams have had to keep an eye on the PSB(powerful scoring boys) of Zachery Peacock, Ryan Brooks and Anthony Smith of the Giessen 46ers, pop sensation singer Justin Bieber having to cope with jealous fans bullying him and calling him vicious names or Bayern star Thomas Mueller keeping a watchful eye on his refrigerator and not letting Bayern scoring legend Gerd Mueller steal his Mueller milk, but Frankfurt didn´t have to worry about Schaffarzik since he is playing in Turkey, but moreover Brandon Thomas that was hitting from all over the court as if he was trying to persuade NBA legend Larry Bird to watch his shooting clinic, but the troops of Gordon Herbert was able to rally and come back and defeat The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig 94-91. “Thomas was pretty dangerous. He showed he can score posting up driving or hitting from outside. Both he and Schaffartzik are dangerous shooters, but it didn´t matter, we showed last season, we can beat them with Schaffartzik and tonight showed we could beat them without him and with a hot Thomas”, stressed Quantez Robertson. “We would of had a good chance with Heiko on the court. He might of made big shots at the end, but we are a different team now and we lost twice with him last season. We have to learn to win without him”, warned Brandon Thomas. “I would have loved to have played against Schaffartzik tonight. I am always up for a challenge”, stressed Skyliner American Jimmy Mckinney. Frankfurt stayed unbeaten at home this season winning their third in a row and 10th game in a row against Braunschweig dating back to 2006. “This was a great team win. Braunschweig has a tough 8 man rotation, but we proved grit and were very tough. We showed that we could pull it out at the end”, stressed Skyliner American AJ Moye.”We had big lapses on defense and being outrebounded hurt us. Key was having lapses on defense and not executing on offense”, commented Braunschweig American Brandon Thomas. “This was a crazy game that we maybe shouldn´t have won”, commented Dashaun Wood.
American Kevin Hamilton is playing his second season in Braunschweig and belongs to the top point guards in the BEKO BBL. He was primarly a shooting guard scorer, but two seasons ago was converted into a point guard in Poland and quickly became a top playmaker. He finished the game with 12 points, three rebounds, five assists, two steals and two turnovers. Last season, he played together with German national player Heiko Schaffartzik and the duo had a strong chemistry at the guard position. This season, Hamilton has no Schaffartzik, but American Tony Skinn who missed all of preseason, but had his breakout game with 14 points, five assists and three rebounds. Hamilton knows that having no Schaffartzik has some getting used to. “It is tough without Heiko. I miss the chemistry with him. I felt comfortable at all times of the game. I miss his clutch shooting. I wish him the best in Turkey”, warned Kevin Hamilton. However the New York native is certain that the club has enough good guards to fill this void. ” We have more than capable and experienced players with Lamarr Greer and Tony Skinn. Tony broke out of his shell tonight and I expect more of him”, warned Kevin Hamilton. It seems at times that Braunschweig was playing a type of 1.5 point guard system as when Skinn was playing the point, Hamilton was playing the two, but just as dangerous as a playmaker creating good opportunities with his quick passes. “I see it more as two combo guards. Tony is a scorer and can be a playmaker and Lamarr can also bring the ball”, stressed Kevin Hamilton. “Hamilton is a bit taller and we both play out of position. We are both combo guards that can change position. I like it because it takes some pressure off me”, stressed Nigerian native Tony Skinn.
The Ballsporthalle also welcomed back ex Skyliner Titus Ivory who was still flashing his big smile that he displayed back in the 2005-2006 season in Cologne together with Michael Jordan which got as big as the big apple as they won the BEKO BBL title in 2006. Ivory was back in Germany for a reason and watching basketball is one of his least priorities. “I flew myself to Germany and am looking for a team. I am 100% healthy again and ready to go. I have alerted teams and will take any tryout”, said ex Skyliner Titus Ivory. Last season, Ivory played in Israel for Hapoel Holon playing 21 games: 7.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 70.3%. “I liked playing in Israel. I played at Holon which is a suburb and 10 minutes away from Tel Aviv. It was a very passionate club, good weather and nice people. The atmosphere wasn´t anything like what you see on TV. It wasn´t dangerous as one might think. I actually played against Braunschweig guard Lamaar Greer to stay in the league. It was a best of five and we played game five away and came back winning and surprising everyone”, stated Ivory. Ivory has nice memories of his one year in Frankfurt and Murat Didin. “Murat is a survivor. He always finds a way to come back and succeed. Now with Duesseldorf he is in a tough situation, but he found a way to get new sponsors with his Turkish influence. My nicest memory was him welcoming me into his home. He is a big family man which you dont see often with coaches. I wish him the best”, stated Titus Ivory.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were without Jermaine Bucknor who was dribbling a basketball like a point guard before the game, and Jimmy Mckinney who had a very contemplative look before the game as injuries seem to become more and more into an unwanted habit that just keep recurring like going to a dentist appointment. American Joe Dabbert made his debut in a Frankfurt Skyliner jersey. Tony Skinn got Braunschweig on the board first, but The Deutsche Bank Skyliners quickly answered with a 5-0 run as Dominik Bahiense De Mello got hot quick nailing a jumper and Dashaun Wood dropped a three pointer. Brandon Thomas answered with a dunk from the wing, Brad Buckman made a lay up after getting a crisp Moye pass and Kevin Hamilton knotted the game at 7-7 with a three pointer. Thomas then made another jumper as Frankfurt was being hurt on the transition by Braunschweig as they weren´t getting back on defense. Skyliner captain Pascal Roller then made two free throws to tie the score at 9-9. Braunschweig then cruised out on a 8-0 run to get their biggest lead of the game 17-9. Thomas and Hamilton hit consecutive three pointers and Tony Skinn made a lay up after a Thomas steal. Frankfurt was playing pretty good half court defense and were getting beat by some contested shots. Frankfurt then closed out the first quarter strong getting back into the game with a 11-5 run. De Mello started the run with a jumper and Joe Dabbert made a nifty left handed lay in and free throw. Thomas then made two free throws and Braunschweig still led 19-14. Quantez Robertson then made a lay in getting a quick pass from Roller and Kimmo Muurinen cut the Braunschweig lead to 20-18. Thomas then got cut on the face and left, but would return in the second half. “I got an elbow. It hurts like a bad headache, but thats part of the game”, expressed Brandon Thomas. Dabbert and Visser then traded baskets as Braunschweig had the narrow 22-20 lead after one quarter. “It was an uptempo game. Braunschweig got out quick on transition. Frankfurt came back on defense stopping their transition late and playing better half court defense”, said ex Cologne player Titus Ivory.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners got off on a quick start in the second quarter going on a 9-0 run leaving Braunschweig somewhat shocked taking the 29-22 lead. Wood got the run started with a lay up and free throw. Then it was time for Pascal Roller to improve his miserable 2/19 shooting this season as he nailed a three pointer. “Taking shots doesn´t seem any different. I am just happy they went in. The key is to keep shooting”, said Pascal Roller. “If the game is on the line, you always want the little guy shooting. It seemed like he was all alone in the arena. I like playing with him. he is always steady, never gets to high or too low”, stressed AJ Moye. “Big time players always step up. I remember a game when he was shooting 1/6 and then hit 2 or 3 jumpers in a row. You always want a guy like Pascal shooting at the end even when he is in a slump”, warned Titus Ivory. Roller then made his second shot in a row with a catch and pop. Frankfurt led 29-22 and were doing a terrific job staying physical in the zone and not giving Marcus Goree touches. Braunschweig then got a Jason Cain dunk and Skinn free throws as Frankfurt only led 29-26. Frankfurt got some big hoops inside from Marius Nolte and Brad Buckman increasing their lead to 33-26.
But Braunschweig never let up fighting and creating shots and getting buckets from Goree and Greer as Frankfurt only led 35-30. Braunschweig kept getting closer and closer and Greer nailed another jumper and Skinn scored on transition cutting the Frankfurt lead to 37-36. Braunschweig got the lead back 39-38 with a Visser dunk. After a Greer free throw, Moye tied the game at 40 with an off balance jumper. Visser then scored a lay up and free throw and Wood ended the quarter with two free throws. At halftime, The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig had the slim 43-42 lead. “The second quarter was a game of runs and Frankfurt did better job getting back on defense”, stated Titus Ivory. The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig were shooting 58% from the field and 42% from the three point line while The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 50% from the field and 50% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 18-11 rebound edge, but eight turnovers while Braunschweig had five turnovers.
The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig had the slim lead going into the third quarter and would build their lead to as much as 13 points. Visser got Braunschweig on the board first with a lay up after getting a globetrotter like touch pass from Thomas and Goree then scored inside. Frankfurt would keep the lead slim for the first few minutes getting timely baskets from De Mello and Buckmann cutting the Braunschweig lead to 49-47. Thomas returned with a big bandage on his forehead and nailed a shot from downtown which was followed by Skinn free throws and a Visser free throw as Braunschweig led 55-47. Braunschweig then went on a 8-3 run to lead 63-50. Goree scored twice inside and Thomas hit again from the parking lot. Frankfurt kept picking at the huge Braunschweig lead getting a clutch three pointer from Pascal Roller, but Thomas hit his fifth three pointer of the game as Braunschweig led 66-53. Frankfurt then went on a 7-1 run to cut the Braunschweig lead to 67-61. Muurinen and Robertson scored inside and Moye hit a mid distance jumper. Hamilton hit four free throws and Nolte closed out the third quarter with a lay in and free throw as Braunschweig led 71-64. “Braunschweig had the momentum in the third, but we came back because of Pascal. he made shots and assists. He put the team on his back”, stressed Dashaun Wood. The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig were shooting 57% from the field and 47% from outside, while The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 52% from the field and 40% from outside. Frankfurt had the 26-16 rebound edge, but 13 turnovers while Braunschweig had only six turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners got out on a quick 4-0 strut as Nolte scored inside and Muurinen hit two free throws. However then came an unexpected 15 minute delay as the rims had to be exchanged. One never knows how much a long delay like that will effect a team, but in the long run, it might of helped Frankfurt get some calmness in their minds and really focus on the task of coming back into the game. Frankfurt kept rallying getting baskets inside from Moye and Buckman. “Moye goes where it hurts”, stressed Titus Ivory. However 1994 New Jersey basketball high school player of the year Lamarr Greer kept Frankfurt at bay hitting hitting two jumpers and Frankfurt still trailed 78-74. Dabbert and Goree traded baskets and Braunschweig still led 80-76. Frankfurt then went on a 5-0 run to take the lead 81-80. Muurinen scored inside and made a free throw and Moye made two free throws. Hamilton and Muurinen then traded baskets, but Frankfurt still led 83-82. However Braunschweig still had one last hurra as they cruised on a 6-0 run to lead 88-85 as Goree and Cain nailed three pointers. Moye made two free throws and Thommas retaliated with a lay in and Hamilton made one free throw as Braunschweig led 91-87. Braunschweig seemed to have the momentum, but Frankfurt struck with a 7-0 run to win the game 94-91. Mr reliable Pascal Roller nailed a three pointer to tie the game at 91-91. Wood then scored inside giving Frankfurt the 93-91 lead. It seemed like everyone knew in the Ballsporthalle that Wood would penetrate except for Braunschweig. “Braunschweig knew it. You can´t out run Wood. He has wings on his feet. You can´t outrun a bullet”, joked AJ Moye. “I knew I would make the shot. I knew they would try to switch off the ball screen. I knew with Goree there it would be hard for the big man to defend me. I gave a little hesitation and then went to the basket”, said Wood. Hamilton then missed a three pointer and Robertson sealed the win with a free throw with 1,5 seconds to play. “The 7-0 run at end killed us. We ran away from the game plan. I take responsibility. Robertson got an offensive rebound and Roller hit a three pointer which got them rolling. They deserved to win”, said Kevin Hamilton.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners played nine players and seven scored in double figures. Pascal Roller and Kimmo Muurined led the team with 13 points a piece. Dashaun Wood added 11 points and six assists. AJ Moye and the three big men Marius Nolte, Joe Dabbert and Brad Buckman chipped in with 10 points a piece. “The equal distribution of points shows how unselfish this team is. No guy will score 30 points. We make the extra pass and just want to play as a team on offense and defense”, stressed Dashaun Wood. The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig were led by Brandon Thomas with 22 points. Tony Skinn and Lamarr Greer added 14 points a piece. Kevin ´Hamilton scored 12 points. Marcus Goree chipped in with 11 points and Kyle Visser added 10 points.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners move to sixth place with a record of 3-2, while The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig move to seventh place with a 3-3 record. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners shot 52% from the field and 36% from the parking lot while The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig shot 53% from the field and 44% from the parking lot. Frankfurt totally dominated under the boards 38-24 and had 14 turnovers while Braunschweig had nine turnovers. Braunschweig can score, but for them to be successful this season, they will have to give better performances on defense. “Frankfurt was great on offense. We couldn´t get stops. We couldn´t stop their penetration or pick and role or them getting to the free throw line. We won´t out score teams. We have to lock down on defense. We changed our philosoy on defense. It just takes some time to adjust to. Either we will get it or we won´t and that will be the difference between a good or bad season”, stressed Kevin Hamilton. Frankfurt next visit the always tough Artland Dragons on the road. “Artland have some of the biggest guys in the league. We have to improve our pick and role defense. We will go there to win not lose. I have trust in coach Herbert and Perwass that they will come up with a good game plan”, warned AJ Moye. The Artland Dragons host The Deutsche Bank Skyliners on October 30th at 20:00.