TBB Trier Lead After 10 Rounds, But The Deutsche Bank Skyliners Win The Heavyweight Bout With 69-61 Knock Out

After the more than satisfying 92-53 romp against Phoenix Hagen 48 hours earlier, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners had to be more than awake against TBB Trier as their continued goal of reaching the playoffs was not sweetened by the 80-61 loss in Bamberg 48 hours earlier. Frankfurt had to be more than ready for TBB Trier, because since Phoenix ´Hagen sit back mostly on defense, sipping Margaritas, watching spectacular offense unfold and prepare their next offense in their mind, TBB Trier on the other hand play defense for a passion and just wear down the opponents offense with continued stress play. Frankfurt couldn´t afford their minds slip for an instant second on offense possibly contemplating if golf and betting could ever mesh with golf legend Tiger Woods, if the valet parker in Miami beach can be serious for being to traumatized to continue back to work after being slapped by the mom of Lebron James or wonder when the one man horror show tour of actor Charlie Sheen will ever end. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners had problems converting against TBB Trier on a consistent rate, but had the better nerves, defense and a 10-0 run in crunch time to win 69-61. “We knew that the weekend games were two different kinds of games with Phoenix Hagen having a high power offense and TBB Trier having a high power defense. We had to be able to switch our mentality within one day. We were able to lock down our defense in the second half and grind out the win”, stated current beko BBL top scorer Dashaun Wood. TBB Trier also showed Frankfurt that they weren´t a second Phoenix Hagen. “Every team has to adjust to situations like this. Our players are pro´s. Phoenix Hagen were playing for nothing an dgave up on defense while TBB Trier gave everything to win the game, because they are still fighting to reach playoffs”, stressed Skyliner sports director Kamil Novak. “I think that Frankfurt needed some time to adjust to our defense, but they showed in the second half that they are in second place for a reason. I thought that we did a good job in the half court defense not letting Frankfurt get easy baskets”, stated TBB Trier guard John Bynum. It was a big adjustment for us. TBB Trier was very physical and we were a little surprised how different the defenses of Phoenix Hagen and TBB Trier were”, added Skyliner forward Kimmo Muurinen.

TBB Trier fans got horrible news on Saturday as the club announced that 40 year old veteran George Evans had left the team on account of personal reasons. Evans was averaging 8,0ppg and 4,2rpg and left a big void under the baskets. Evans sparkled not only with his play on the court, but also with his work ethic, dedication and heart that he brought to the court every day. Evans had a lot to do for the rapid development of 21 year old 205cm German big man Maik Zirbes who had played with the American since 2008. Zirbes is averaging 7,1ppg and 4,3rpg and played 34 minutes against Frankfurt and finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. “George helped me in so many ways. He always pushed me to become a better player. I was able to learn a lot from his attitude. He was the most professional player that I ever played with. He was always there for me on and off the court”, stressed Maik Zirbes. Evans who hasn´t closed out returning back to TBB Trier in the future also will be remembered by his opponents. “He was a very good big man that could score, pass and rebound. If he played well than TBB Trier usually won. He is a very nice guy and I always respected him”, commented Skyliner Fabian Franke. “Evans was a super experienced player that had many battles on the court. I wish him the best”, added Skyliner sport director Kamil Novak. “We had the jersey of George on the sidelines. His hard work always rubbed off on us”, said TBB Trier guard John Bynum.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners extended their winning streak to two games and keep a secure hold on position two in the beko BBL standings. TBB Trier on the other hand lost twice within 48 hours and have lost three of their last four games and slipped from position seven to position 10 within 48 hours as quickly as Chicago Bull Derrick Rose has reached the hole from the free throw line on one of his normal penetrations and now are at risk of not reaching the playoffs. “The Frankfurt play brought back some memories to the teams play last season under ex coach Murat Didin rallying in the last minutes to win games. TBB Trier was in control for most of the game, but let it slip away in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. “This was a very tough loss for us. We controlled the game for the most part and were unable to execute in the last four minutes. Frankfurt stepped up their defense and Dashaun Wood his offense”, stated John Bynum. It wasn´t a pretty win for The Deutsche Bank Skyliners, but in the end a win is a win and the team will take grind out wins like this at the end of the playoffs helping their confidence in being able to win tough come from behind games. “TBB Trier is a great team and it is amazing how well they play as a team despite all the injuries. TBB Trier had very much energy all throughout the game and we didn´t find our rhythm until the fourth quarter and we were able to close out the game successfully”, said Skyliner center Marius Nolte. “I though that TBB Trier fought very hard and controlled most of the game. I thought the difference at the end was that they had made many difficult shots, but in the second half less”, said ex TBB Trier American Chris Copeland. Frankfurt took a chapter out of the TBB Trier handbook of defense and gave them a taste of their own medicine displaying the typical Skyliner defense that the team had played earlier in the season. “TBB Trier scored 43 points in the first half and only 18 points in the second half. We let them get too many easy baskets in teh first half and less in the second half. This was a real hard fought win for us”, warned Skyliner forward Kimmo Muurinen.
Despite not having George Evans, and German national player Phillip Zwiener in the lineup and a banged up John Bynum who had run into Predrag Suput in Bamberg with his shoulder, TBB Trier didn´t show any real weakness as they played their normal fighting basketball. The first quarter was the type of basketball that fans want to see much as it was going back and fourth as there were 12 lead changes. TBB Trier got off to a good start leading 6-3 getting two jumpers from a hot Dru Joyce. Frankfurt retook the lead 7-6 going on a mini 4-0 run as Chris Moss and Roger Powell took advantage inside with hoops. TBB Trier continued to get good support from Dru Joyce with a jumper, a lay in by Luxemberg guard Samy Picard and a Maik Zirbes dunk getting the extra pass from Barry Stewart. Muurinen tied the game at 13-13 with a no hesitation jumper from the wing. Frankfurt took the lead another two times only to be tied again by ex Alba Berlin forward Dragan Dojcin who scored in the paint twice. Dashaun Wood then scored his first field goal with a floater as Frankfurt led 19-17. However the concentration of Frankfurt was snapped a bit as TBB Trier closed out the first quarter with a 9-2 run to lead 26-21 after one quarter. TBB Trier continued to shoot very well as Picard and Stewart nailed jumpers. ” We shot too many three pointers in the first 3-4 minutes. TBB Trier was doing a good job not letting us do what we wanted to on offense. They didn´t let us do too much under the basket”, stressed Kamil Novak. TBB Trier was shooting 63% from the field and 67% from outside while The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 47% from the field and only 20% from outside. Frankfurt had the slight 8-7 rebounding edge and there was only one turnover from Frankfurt.
The second quarter began with three turnovers, two by Frankfurt and one by TBB Trier. TBB Trier started out on a 5-0 run to lead 30-21 as John Bynum dropped a three pointer and 23 year old German Oliver Clay, who has to play more due to Evans leaving scored inside after getting a needed offense rebound. Frankfurt was getting their chances on offense, but were unable to capitalize on second chances under the hoop. Frankfurt chose the prefect time to go on a run as they didn´t want TBB Trier to extend their lead to 10 plus points. Frankfurt went on a 8-0 run and trailed TBB Trier only 30-29. Frankfurt mixed up their offense scoring in three different ways on this run as Jimmy Mckinney nailed a bomb from the top of the key, Powell continuing to battle under the glass with an offensive rebound and put back and Wood scoring his first penetration bucket of the game. Frankfurt defended better in this run limiting TBB Trier to difficult shots and Powell made a monster block on Picard. All of a sudden, Frankfurt got cold on offense and TBB Trier hot on offense as they shoved a 10-2 run in the faces of Frankfurt to extend their lead to 40-31. Maik Zirbes scored inside as he got an extra pass from the shifty Dojcin, Picard continued to give massive support with a lay in and three pointer and Joyce scored in the lane in traffic. In the last minute, Barry Stewart scored a type of Brian Roberts crazy bomb with a hand in his face and Dominik Bahiense De Mello closed out the first half with a three pointer. TBB Trier still had the lead 43-36. “TBB Trier was still hitting tough shots. Zirbes was scoring inside and the team was making big plays”, stated current second best scorer in the Belgium league with Generali Okapi Aalstar Chris Copeland. TBB Trier was shooting 57% from the field and 44% from the three point line while The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 41% from the field and 38% from the three point line. Frankfurt still had the big rebounding edge 19-12, but five turnovers while TBB Trier only had one.
In the third quarter, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners started to step up their defense and quickly rattled TBB Trier going on a 9-3 run to cut the lead of the opponent to only 46-45. After Zirbes started off the third quarter with a lay in, Frankfurt went to work on offense, but had to find production from others besides Dashaun Wood who was 2/14 from the field at that juncture. Chris Moss scored inside and then it was Powell again scoring inside getting a quick feed from Quantez Robertson. Then there was a short delay in the game as a water bottle exploded in front of the Frankfurt bench and Skyliner coach Gordon Herbert showed that you need team work everywhere as he helped mop the floor with a towel using his feet. Mckinney then answered with a three pointer from the corner and Super Tez Robertson scored inside over Zirbes. Frankfurt continued to stay on the door step of TBB Trier as Zirbes and Nolte exchanged baskets as Frankfurt trailed 49-47. Wood then scored on the penetration, but it was Dojcin who hurt Frankfurt with his three point shot something he didn´t use as much as he was needed more under the basket. TBB Trier led 54-49. Frankfurt then perfected their first pick an droll of the game as Wood set up Nolte for two quick points. However on the last play of the game, it was Barry Stewart again who connected on a tough three pointer as De Mello was in his face. After 30 minutes TBB Trier still led 57-52. “Our strength in the third quarter was that we never gave up and stayed with them and were always in reach of them”, added Kamil Novak. TBB Trier was shooting 50% from the field and 38% from the parking lot while The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 42% from the field and 27% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 27-24 rebound edge, but six turnovers while Frankfurt had only five turnovers. TBB Trier did a good job registering 6 offensive rebounds in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were all business as they stepped up their defense another three notches allowing only four points for TBB Trier. Frankfurt tried a Wood to Robertson ally-op in the first play, but were denied. However on the next play, an ally-op tip in from Mckinney to Shepherd worked. Frankfurt kept chipping at the TBB Trier lead. Wood was having grave misfortune with his jumper, so he kept at penetrating and scored inside and drew fouls to tie the game at 59-59. TBB Trier had more bad shot selections and Powell made a monster block on German Oskar Fassler. Lebron James buddy Dru Joyce gave TBB Trier the lead one more time with two free throws 61-59. However that was all the scoring that TBB Trier would do on this day as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners closed out the game in top notch fashion riding out the game with a 10-0 run. Moss tied the score at 61-61 with a tip in. The Frankfurt defense then rose to the occasion forcing three TBB Trier turnovers in a row due to very aggressive defense by Roger Powell who annoyed Dojcin in the middle. Jimmy Mckinney then scored the winning basket as he was parked in the right corner as Frankfurt led 64-61. Mckinney then scored again and Wood closed out the game with free throws as Frankfurt prevailed69-61. “The three turnovers at the end didn´t help us. I feel we may have been a little tired. Joyce has to carry the load playing 30 plus minutes”, stressed John Bynum. “Our intensity on defense was key in the second half holding TBB Trier to only 18 points”, expressed Kamil Novak. “I thought that rebounding was key in crunch time. They held TBB Trier to one shot and Powell did a great job on defense”, added Chris Copeland.

The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Dashaun Wood with 18 points and five assists. Roger Powell and Jimmy Mckinney added 11 points a piece. TBB Trier was led by Barry Stewart with 14 points, six rebounds and two assists. Maik Zirbes produced 12 points and eight rebounds. Dru Joyce had 11 points, five reounds and five assists. After losing the rebounding battle in the first game against TBB Trier in a win, Frankfurt had the handle on the glass winning the rebound duel 41-32. Frankfurt also won the points in the paint 30-22. Frankfurt had their problems with the TBB Trier defense for phases of the game, but when it counted most in the fourth quarter took advantage of fatigue on the part of TBB Trier. “I thought that we played solid defense all night. We kept Wood in check for the most part, but Frankfurt did a good job getting shots over Zirbes and making plays”, stressed John Bynum. “Frankfurt didn´t always have an easy time. TBB Trier play very active defense and protect the paint well. They hedge very quick and their help side is good. They play defense like on a string”, warned Chris Copeland. “They play very physical and we didn´t get many easy lay ups on pick and roll. There was always a big guy stopping the middle”, added Kimmo Muurinen. One might of thought that perhaps the suits that the players had worn at the gala the night before in Frankfurt for “Basketball Macht Schule” might have been too tight on them and effected their play? “My suit was not too tight on me. This was a tough weekend for us. I had to get a hair cut, get a suit and prepare for the game. However the team showed mental toughness again which we have shown all season long. TBB Trier was another challenge for us and I am not surprised that we pulled out this win”, smiled Dashaun Wood. Frankfurt has four days to prepare for BBC Bayreuth. “This game will be similar to TBB Trier. They are fighting to stay in the league. This will be another tough physical game that we will need to be ready for”, warned Kimmo Muurinen. BBC Bayreuth host The Deutsche Bank Skyliners on April 15th at 19:30.

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