With winter taking a much appreciated break and the warmer temperatures blowing the harsh brittle winter air away from Frankfurt, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were hoping that The EWE Baskets Oldenburg thunderbirds would not be able to get accustomed to the more mild air in the same way ex Oldenburg forward Steve Smith was unable to adapt to the Predrag Krunic thought device, Ratiopharm Ulm fans having to get used to not seeing Mr Ulm Jeff Gibbs racking up rebound after rebound in the Kuhberg halle and soccer millionaires Jefferson Farfan and Demba Ba having to hear the shouting concerts of angry fans and negative responses concerning them not playing for their teams, but striking and causing much disarray. However The EWE Baskets Oldenburg Thunderbirds not only couldn’t get adjusted to the warmer temperatures, but crashed in their flight in the Ballsporthalle in the third quarter as they sustained a 24-0 run by Frankfurt which led the gang of coach Gordon Herbert getting their 10th win in a row in the Ballsporthalle 76-71.The Thunderbirds not only didn’t get used to the warmer air, but seemed famished in the third quarter as they had no energy to stop the dunking clinic by Frankfurt. “Oldenburg didn’t get going, because we gave them no food, so they had to leave unhappy after 40 minutes”, joked current BEKO BBL scoring champion Dashaun Wood. Wood might have had the amusing catch phrases after the game, but he was all business on the court finishing with 24 points and seven assists and had the utmost respect from ex NBA player and teammate Roger Powell. “We have the best point guard in the league and have a great team. We had been practicing defense the last days and we finally played good defense”, stressed ex Utah Jazz Roger Powell. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg lost the game in the third quarter as they remained scoreless for almost seven minutes. “We came out with little energy. Everything that Frankfurt did seemed easy. They got many easy baskets and open shots and the crowd helped them get the momentum. We fought back but it was too little to late”, said ex NBA player Eddie Gill.
Having a dunk or two is always nice, but the game featured 5 spectacular dunks in the second and third quarter as Roger Powell produced three in the second quarter and Quantez Robertson two in the third. The only thing missing was a Nate Robinson, Dwight Howard or Gerald Green appearing on the court and adding flair to the festivities with some sweet desert dunks, but the crowd had their fun with the duo of Roger Jordman Powel and Super Tez as fans were high fiving each other and popping out of their seats faster than AJ Moye can flash his friendly smile. “I liked the dunking show. I used to dunk like that, but now I need a 1-0 fast break dunk, because I cant dunk in the crowd. My thing are the tip ins and put backs. My favourite dunk was the Tez ally op. I think that Tez can win the dunk contest at the Allstar game”, warned Skyliner forward Kimmo Muurinen. For Eddie Gill, all the dunks had that NBA atmosphere. “I felt like I was in the NBA again. But we gave up too many easy baskets to Frankfurt”, added Eddie Gill. The Skyliners were having their fun on the bench watching the ball sail through the hardware. “The dunking was fun and it is always great to see the players showing their athletic ability. I think that Tez can win the dunking contest. He has some tricks up his sleeve. He has some redemption after finishing in second place last season”, commented Canadian national player Jermaine Bucknor. The four three pointers by Wood seemed a bit overshadowed by the dunks, but he also enjoyed the Skyliner highlight film. “The many dunks was a credit to our defense. We fed off the dunks and it started with the defense and finished with the fast break points. I think that Tez can also win the dunk contest”, said Dashaun Wood. Robertson as usual was humble after the game and concise in his dunk description. “I was able to get the dunk on the fast break with a nice De Mello ally-op”, added Quantez Robertson. “Tez and Roger are great dunkers. The dunks got Frankfurt into the game”, added Rickey Paulding.
Before the game, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners announced the signing of 30 year old 204cm forward Chris Moss who comes from Chesterfield, Virginia. He played at West Virginia from 1998-2002 including two seasons with ex Skyliner Marcus Goree. He played five seasons in the best European league the ACB for Menorca and Murcia. Last season, he averaged 5.8ppg, 6.7rpg, FGP: 43.4%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 73.3%.I came from the bench. I didn’t have a particular good season. My role changed each season in the ACB”, added Chris Moss. His best season in the ACB was 2005-2006 for Llanera Menorca playing 26 games: 14.1ppg, 7.3rpg, 2FGP: 50.0%, FT: 67.0%. He had only been a few hours in Frankfurt, but was at the game to see his new team play. When asked what he thought about having to come in and play center, he displayed a soft laugh and voice. “I do what the coach tells me to do”, added Chris Moss. His most important asset will have to be his toughness under the basket which he will share with his friend Roger Powell. “Roger is always physical and so am I. Roger and I want to be physical together on the court”, warned Chris Moss. Moss who has a hidden talent of passing and defending also remembers playing together with Marcus Goree at West Virginia(NCAA). Goree showed me the ropes in college. He simply showed me everything”, added Chris Moss. “Anytime you have a guy that played in the ACB, you will get someone with a lot of experience. He is a great rebounder and exactly what the team needs. I am looking forward to having him on the team. We will be better with him”, warned Dashaun Wood.
The most beautiful moment before the game was seeing AJ Moye in the Ballsporthalle again and witnessing how the American was dribbling the basketball. Moye took his place on the bench as the game started and led the player cheerleading from the sidelines. The EWE Baskets Oldenburghad the better start taking the 7-2 run as they were displaying a smooth ball movement and going inside and out. Mindaugas Lukauskis scored on a runner, Oliver Stevic with a hook shot over Muurinen and Lou Campbell with a three pointer. However Frankfurt didn’t wait to long and stormed back going on a 8-3 run to take their first lead 12-10. Frankfurt got Marius Nolte involved down low as Super Tez fed him for a bucket and Dashaun Wood scored on a lay up and on free throws. Oliver Stevic who is the leading scorer of Oldenburg, but seems invisible next to guys like Dashaun Wood and John Bryant when it comes to press exposure went on a mini 4-0 run to give Oldenburg the 14-12 lead as he scored inside and then on an ally-op dunk as he stuffed home a perfect Lukauskis dunk. Dashaun Wood didn’t hesitate as he nailed a catch and pop jumper from the left wing as Frankfurt led 15-14. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg then went on a 5-0 run to lead 18-15 as 51 Euroleague game player Luka Bogdanovic dropped a three point bomb and Christopher Mcnaughton scored hard to the hoop. With 5,8 seconds to play, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners had one more try and everyone was anticipating Dashaun Wood to unleash his road runner sprint, but he was covered so it had to be Roger Powell who went coast to coast scoring as the buzzer sounded as the EWE Baskets Oldenburg led 18-17 after one quarter. “We were struggling on defense in the first quarter. We gave up too many easy baskets, got beat on 1-1 play, offensive rebounds and on put backs”, stressed Skyliner forward Kimmo Muurinen. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were shooting 67% from the field and 67& from outside while The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 55% form the field and 50% from outside. Oldenburg was leading the rebound battle 7-2, but had five turnovers while Frankfurt had two.
In the second quarter, The Deutsche Bank Sklyiners would regain the lead, until The EWE Baskets Oldenburg would go on a run. Skyliner captain Pascal Roller and Stevic then traded baskets as the score was knotted at 20-20. Frankfurt was always trying to run and were successful as Jimmy Mckinney scored off a Dominik Bahiense De Mello steal. Stevic then used his physical play gaining position on Bucknor and scoring with a hard shot off the back board as the score was tied at 23-23. Oldenburg then took a 29-25 lead as Stevic scored inside after getting a risky, but perfect pass from Paulding and Lou Campbell scored on a spin move. Powell then did his first of three dunks getting a nice pass from Wood who had gotten free from Daniel Hain. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were unable to really get free as Frankfurt remained on their heels. After another Bogdanovic three pointer, it was Robertson who got a layup as Oldenburg led 32-29. Paulding then went on a 4-0 run making two free throws and making a lay up on the fast break after getting a bullet pass from Campbell as Oldenburg led 36-29. Frankfurt was continuing to shoot bad and having problems on the boards. Frankfurt closed out the second quarter with a 4-2 run as Roger Powell made two big dunks from nice feeds from De Mello and Wood, while Stevic scored on a fade away jumper as Frankfurt trailed 38-33 at halftime. “Oldenburg continued to be very aggressive and getting easy layups and extra shots even though our defense was ok”, added Quantez Robertson. “Each team was trying to establish the momentum. Oldenburg made their run making their shots while we missed too many open shots”, warned Dashaun Wood. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were shooting 58% from the field and 38% from the three point line while The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 39% from the field and 11% from the three point line. Oldenburg had the 19-13 rebound edge, but nine turnovers while Frankfurt only had three turnovers.
Through time there have been many famous explosions on earth like the Krakatoa volcanic eruption in 1883, the Port Chicago explosion in 1944, or the Big bang, the birth of the universe 13,7 billion years ago, but the Ballsporthalle received an offensive Skyliner explosion in the firsts even minutes of the third quarter as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners on a 24-0 run to go from trailing 38-33 to be leading 57-38. Frankfurt did everything right in these firsts even minutes putting on an offensive show that would of even impressed the top team of the BEKO BBL Brose Baskets Bamberg. Frankfurt got production form the invisible player who does the dirty work Kimmo Muurinen as he toughed out 6 points under the hoop. Dashaun Wood nailed four three pointers in which two were on transition. And not to forget Super Tez Robertson who made two dunks getting in some extra practice time for the upcoming BEKO BBL slam dunk contest. Besides the pretty ally-op feed from de Mello. Robertson found some daylight in the paint scooted in and flew to the hoop and finished with a two handed dunk. The energizer in this run with the production was Wood. “When I get going, there is really nothing that can stop me. I am not one dimensional, but can beat you in many ways. I once scored 39 points in Italy on 13/13 shooting and 6/6 shooting from outside”, added Dashaun Wood. Ex Indiana Pacer Eddie Gill had never heard of Wood before coming to the BEKO BBL, but had kind words for the Skyliner. “Wood is a good player. He controls the team and makes them go. How well he plays is how well the team plays”, stressed Eddie Gill. Oldenburg finally got on the board and finished with 8-4 run to trail Frankfurt 61-46. Oldenburg got two big three pointer from Lukauskis and Campbell chipped in with a score inside. “We were more aggressive in the third quarter. We came out wanting to get three defensive stops and then get three more defensive stops. We made big shots and easy shots”, warned Quantez Robertson. “We came out to sluggish in the third quarter. We had to many turn overs and they got transition baskets”, commented Eddie Gill. “We were very aggressive on defense. We were more physical in the post, got steals and deflections that helped”, expressed Kimmo Muurinen. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 50% from the field and 36% from the parking lot while The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were shooting 51% from the field and 36% from the parking lot. Frankfurt led the rebounding edge 22-21 and had only five turnovers while Oldenburg had 15.
In the fourth quarter, The EWE Baskets Oldenburg tried to nip away at the big Frankfurt lead and were unsuccessful until crunch time where they suddenly made the game exciting again. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were able to cut the Frankfurt lead to 63-51 with a Stevic lay up and another Lukauskis three pointer, but Frankfurt was always able to put a dent into the run and up the lead again. Frankfurt went on a mini 4-0 run to lead 67-51 as Roger Powell grabbed an offensive rebound and put back and Muurinen made a mid range jumper. Oldenburg continued to fight as Oliver Stevic went on a 5-0 run as he made an open easy lay up down low as Lukauskis found him wide open, and then scored on the fast break on a Paulding steal as Frankfurt led only 67-56. Oldenburg was unable to get it under 10 points until crunch time as Frankfurt got a big effort hoop from Super Tez as he stuffed home a Powell miss and Powell then hit a fade away jumper as Frankfurt continued to lead comfortably 71-57. Oldenburg them made a last hurra effort going on a 14-5 run to end the game and giving the Ballsporthalle a little nervousness. Oldenburg went on a unexplained 10-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to71-67 as Campbell made a three pointer, Paulding a lay up and many team free throws. Frankfurt was missing too many shots and adding to their turnovers. Despite a Stevic dunk to cut the Frankfurt lead to 72-69 with less than a minute to play, Frankfurt held their nerves as Mckinney and Robertson made their free throws as the club won 76-71. “We played better in the fourth quarter as Frankfurt lost their rhythm a bit, but they deserved to win”, added Daniel Hain. “We became a bit sluggish on defense. We weren’t executing our defense the way we wanted to. They got too many second chances and got to the free throw line”, added Quantez Robertson.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Dashaun Wood with 24 points and seven assists. Quantez Robertson and Roger Powell chipped in with 12 points a piece and Kimmo Muurinen had 10 points and five rebounds. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were led by Oliver Stevic with 23 points and six rebounds. Lou Campbell had 15 points. Mindaugas Lukauskis had 11 points, six assists and three rebounds. Rickey Paulding chipped in with 10 points. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners Had a miserable shooting day from outside at 26%, but lived off their hot shooting third quarter. After a slow rebounding start, the team won the rebounding duel 36-30. “We made some simple adjustments at halftime. We gave them too many easy shots inside and out in the first half. In the second half, we contested more of their shots. It became harder for them to rebound when they aren´t in position”, added Dashaun Wood. Frankfurt did a good job sustaining only 11 turnovers, but it was their defense that got the five star treatment. “Our defense intensity in the second half was our best feature tonight”, added Jermaine Bucknor. Wood also noticed something very positive that he hopes will carry on until the end of the season. “We got better as a team today. Our defense intensity was high. We got away from it the last 5-6 games. Even though we beat a team like MBC, we weren’t really where we wanted to be a team. We saw today what happens when we play well”, warned Dashaun Wood. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners host Ratiopharm Ulm January 15th at 18:30.