When going to the spectacular German capital Berlin one can look forward to seeing new athletic wear at Nike town, taking in a spec of nature in the animal garden, visit the last remains of the Berlin wall across the street of the O2 world arena, or possibly seeing a squabble between German rapper Sido and a fan, but one thing the Deutsche Bank Skyliners weren´t looking forward to was having to get a live lecture in ballerina moves from ex Skyliner forward Derrick Allen. One can enjoy acting lessons from Denzel Washington, singing lessons from Mariah Carey or free throw help from Rick Barry, but who wants lessons in ballerina moves from Allen who can use it to his advantage and hurt The Deutsche Bank Skyliners? It wasn´t only the hectic play, spins and pull up jumpers from Allen who supports the Indianapolis Colts, but a supporting cast of teammates that stepped it up in the second half beating Frankfurt 81-77 and snapping their seven game winning streak. Alba Berlin copied what Frankfurt did all last season giving them a taste of their own medicine coming back and winning in the last minutes. “This is a game that we could have won. We led for 36 minutes and then didn´t have enough power at the end to win. We had some turnovers and Berlin stepped up their defense. They made us took tough shots, got easy baskets and we missed two key free throws. It was little mistakes at the end that cost us the game”, stressed Skyliner sports director Kamil Novak. “The key at the end was that we locked down our defense and made stops. We also made the right decisions on offense and executed well”, stated ex Telekom Baskets Bonn guard Bryce Taylor. Despite the loss, the Skyliners weren´t hanging their heads as they departed the locker room after the game. “We played a very good team that was very difficult to play. It was clear that at some point that they would make a run”, stressed Skyliner center Marius Nolte.
The anticipation of seeing Derrick Allen play against his old team was about as huge as seeing the Gloria Giants Duesseldorf continue their winning streak in the BEKO BBL. Before the game, Allen was upbeat and jovial and greeted everyone he knew with a lot of heart. One didn´t even have to look at the face of Allen, because one already knew that he would give 180% in this game and play as if it wa shis last basketball game. “I had fun out there. It was tough at times and I just took what the defense gave me”, stressed Derrick Allen. Allen finished the game with 17 points (8/10) and six rebounds in 27 minutes and had a blast playing against his old teammates as well as Marius Nolte. “The greatest thing about this game was playing against friends. Marius knew my moves and I got doubled a lot, but I had fun playing against him”, added Derrick Allen. Nolte had his problems with Allen looking like a lost pony on a field as Allen made a spin move and scored. “I have so much respect for him. He is such a professional. It was fun playing with him and against him. I wish him all the best”, stressed ex Paderborn Baskets Marius Nolte. It doesn´´t matter where Derrick Allen is, he is respected all over the place. “When I watch him play it looks like he is playing 1-0. It seems like he is playing with himself. He is one of the best back to the basket players I have ever seen. I like to watch how he works. I try to establish my gave after his work ethics. His work ethic is what has gotten him so far”, warned Bryce Taylor. “I watched Allen in Giessen last weekend. Allen really does it all. He never gives up and is the reason Alba Berlin won tonight”, stressed Dashaun Wood.
With AJ Moye and Roger Powell injured, it was no secret that Dashaun Wood would try to take matters into his own hands again and he did scoring 32 points and now has scored 66 points in the last two BEKO BBL games. Wood finished with 32 points, four rebounds and four assists and still has not been able to be stopped by the opponent in his wheeling and dealing in the zone. The questions remains, when will he make 40 points. “Maybe if I had scored 40 points against Alba Berlin, we might have won. It is these type of games where you play in a arena like this that you dream of”, stressed Dashaun Wood. Bryce Taylor wasn´t only impressed with Derrick Allen, but also Dashaun Wood who had been no stranger to him on the court. “I played against Wood in Italy. He is so fast and aggressive and finds the open spots and drawing fouls. He could easily get the most free throw attempts in the league. If he can score 40 points, I am not sure, but he sure has the talent to do it”, added Bryce Taylor. I think Wood can score 40 points on Tuesday in the Eurochallenge game. He can flat out score. He is hard to check”, stated Jermaine Bucknor.
On a very cold early winter Sunday afternoon on the first advent in Berlin, 11, 104 people came to see the contest in the O2 World arena and were soon rudely greeted by a very prepared Deutsche Bank Skyliner team that entered the court focused and seemed to have the words of teammate AJ Moye(To play with the heart of a kid and the passion of a warrior) on their lips and in their bodies as they dominated the first quarter. Frankfurt cruised out on a 4-1 lead as Dashaun Wood hit a pull up jumper in the zone, but the game was quickly tied as Immanuel Mcelroy dropped a three pointer. Mcelroy continued his hustle play making a steal and going one on one against Wood and scoring as Alba Berlin led briefly 6-4 and would soon give up the lead until retaining it at the end again. Frankfurt then stepped it up going on a 21-4 run to lead 25-10 as the first mini alarm signals were ringing in the stands. Frankfurt was playing very controlled basketball and executing well on offense and hitting their shots. Wood score two three pointers in this run and a reverse lay up. Frankfurt also got much needed help from Kimmo Muurinen who was an offensive rebound beast getting a tip in, Dominik Bahiense De Mello a three pointer and a three pointer from Jermaine Bucknor that was back for his second ur of duty in Frankfurt. Jimmy Mckinney ended the first quarter as the buzzer sounded with a jumper. The lone bright spot for Alba Berlin was Derrick Allen who chipped in with six points coming in at the five minute mark. After one quarter, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were leading 28-15. “Frankfurt executed their game plan well in the first quarter not allowing us find our rhythm. We missed many shots and Wood was killing us”, stated Bryce Taylor. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 67% from the field and 80% from outside while Alba Berlin was shooting 42% from the field and 14% from outside. Frankfurt had the incredible 11-1 rebound edge and both teams had three turnovers a piece.
In the second quarter, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were able to keep their big lead as they continued scoring, but Alba Berlin was slowly finding their rhythm on offense, but couldn´t get stops on a regular basis to pick at the Frankfurt lead. Allen made a pretty fade away jumper over Nolte and Taylor made a tough floater, but those points were erased by back to back three point bombs from Bucknor. With Frankfurt leading 38-24, Alba Berlin was able to close out the second quarter with a 11-7 run, but Frankfurt still had the comfortable 44-35 lead at halftime. Patrick Femerling and Marko Marniovic scored back to back and Julius Jenkins who had been fairly quiet hit a big three pointer to cut the Frankfurt lead to 39-35. Alba Berlin was pressing, but Frankfurt stayed calm and closed out the second quarter with a 5-0 run as Quantez Robertson hit two free throws and Dashaun Wood nailed a three pointer as the clock was winding down. Frankfurt led 44-35 after two quarters. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 56% from the field and 58% from the three point line while Alba Berlin was shooting 48% from the field and 18% from the three point line. Frankfurt still had the enormous 19-6 rebounding edge, but had nine turnovers and Alba Berlin had only four.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners might have had a window slightly open in the dressing room, because as they came back out on the court, their game seemed to be in a slight freeze as Alba Berlin rushed out on a 7-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 44-42. The good thing about Alba Berlin is that a Julius Jenkins and Tadija Dragicevic can only stay cold for so long before getting warmer and that is what they started to do. 2008 Utah Jazz NBA draft pick Dragicevic started off the third quarter with a three pointer from the wing, which was followed by an Allen lay in and a Jenkins floater. Frankfurt had no rhythm on offense and were missing too many shots. The third quarter remained very tight and The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were strong enough to keep the lead. Wood scored on a lay in and De Mello a three pointer from the top of the key, but it was ex Artland Dragon Hollis Price that had two answers nailing three pointers as Frankfurt led 52-48. Both teams would trade baskets as Marinovic scored with a lay in hard to the glass and Wood made an easy lay up getting a bullet pass from Robertson inside as Frankfurt led 54-52. Alba Berlin then showed how to play perfect transition basketball as Allen made a nice outlet pass to Jenkins who scored, but it was Wood again who scored inside as Frankfurt kept the upper hand leading 56-52. Mcelroy, Bucknor and Nolte made free throws down the stretch and Jenkins dropped a three pointer as Alba Berlin trailed only 60-57 after three quarters. “Alba Berlin made their run in the third quarter, which is kind of expected at home, but we were always able to keep that 4-5 point cushion”, expressed Dashaun Wood. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 50% from the field and 53% from the parking lot while Alba Berlin was shooting 54% from the field and 40% from the parking lot. Frankfurt still had the 26-10 rebounding edge, but 13 turnovers while Alba Berlin had seven.
Jimmy Mckinney started off the fourth quarter with a catch and pop jumper as Frankfurt led 63-57. However Alba Berlin didn´´t allow Frankfurt to break free as they stayed on their door step going on a mini 4-0 run as Marinovic scored in traffic and Allen nailed a pull up jumper as Frankfurt led only 63-61. Frankfurt then got a huge hoop from Wood who got fouled on the floater and made the end one as Frankfurt led 66-61. Dragicevic and Bucknor traded three pointers as Frankfurt was still up on a ledge and starting to hang as they led 69-64. Derrick Allen nailed a three pointer and then scored on a lay up high of the glass as Alba Berlin was trailing only 69-67. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners then surrendered free throws to Price as the score was tied at 69-69. The game was on the line and Bryce Taylor made a monster block on Joe Dabbert. “We were so close to winning, but that block was the turning point of the game”, stressed Marius Nolte. “I was just trying to do my job and get a hand on the ball”, said Bryce Taylor.
Taylor then gave Alba Berlin the lead back 71-69 with two free throws, but that was short lived as Wood tied the game at 71-71 with two free throws. The Taylor monster block must of really stimulated his play since he then nailed a three pointer from the top of the key and Allen then scored inside as alba Belrin led 76-71. Frankfurt didn´´t give up as Wood drew another foul nailing both free throws as Frankfurt trailed 76-73 with time running out. However Taylor was still on the court and wasn´´t done yet as he scored inside and made the end one as Alba Berlin led 79-73. With a minute to play, Frankfurt had one last push as Bucknor scored on a tip in and Wood made a steal anticipating a pass in the backcourt and scoring as Frankfurt trailed only 79-77.Immanuel Mcelroy sealed the game with two free throws as Alba Berlin won 81-77. “Alba Berlin got over the hump in the last five minutes. We didn´t get 2-3 defensive stops at the end and that was key”, warned Dashaun Wood.
Alba Berlin was led by Derrick Allen with 17 points and six rebounds. Julius Jenkins added 14 points. Hollis Price contributed 13 points. Tadija Dragicevic produced 12 points, five rebounds and three assists. Bryce Taylor chipped in with 10 points off the bench. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Dashaun Wood with 32 points, four rebounds and four assists. Jermaine Bucknor scored 17 points in his return to Frankfurt. The secret to his good game lies with assistant coach Klaus Perwass. “It is good to be back. I get along really well with the team and it is a pleasure to play for them. I still have some jetlag, but coach Klaus Perwass gave me some things to work on while I was in Canada. This gave me a lot of confidence and I have to say that I feel a lot better on the court”, stressed Jermaine Bucknor. Bryce Taylor was impressed with the Frankfurt play. Frankfurt attacked us and executed very well. They are well coached and very disciplined”, warned Bryce Taylor. Despite the loss, Frankfurt goes to the Ukraine with a lot of confidence. “We played the right way tonight. We did many positive things. We are taking a lot of positives into the next game”, commented Dashaun Wood. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners meet Khimik Yuzny in Eurochallenge play November 30th.