Winning for The Deutsche Bank Skyliners in Bonn the last 6 years has been as difficult as NBA stars Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard refraining from hurling expletives in the direction of refs recently, actress/singer goddess Jennifer Lopez not feeling worthy of being named worlds most beautiful woman by People Magazine or Oscar award winner Robin Williams trying not to look like a combination of the Tom Hanks Castaway character and the Unibomber Ted Kaczynski in his new role in the new Broadway piece “The Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo”, but in the Ballsporthalle, Frankfurt has achieved solid success since the last win in Bonn(Jan 1, 2005)having a record of 6-3. Despite the non desirable history that has swept before the feet of Frankfurt in Bonn, they seem to have less problems at home as they were able to win their second game in a row against Bonn at home with a convincing 78-60 win securing second place for the 2010-2011 regular season. Frankfurt forgot any past bad misfortune in Bonn as they have had a superb season at home. “We had a great season at home winning 15 games. It is always important to win at home to secure that home court advantage in the playoffs. This was a huge win since we secured second place”, stressed current beko BBL top scorer Dashaun Wood. This was one of those games where an innocent bystander that had been caught at the hot dog stand flirting with a woman and had missed the game would of had an idea what went wrong just by staring at the post game stats. “We didn´t take care of the ball. We had 20 turnovers and three assists. But you have to give a lot of credit to Frankfurt. They played well and our turnovers hurt us”, stressed Telekom Baskets Bonn forward Jaacob Jaacks. Frankfurt also showed a sign that they were capable of recovering after the bitter loss 48 hours earlier in the Bamberg like atmosphere in Bayreuth. “BBC Bayreuth wanted to win more than us and it was really difficult to play there. However I have to compliment our coaching staff for finding the right words for the Bonn game. They told us to forget the loss in Bayreuth and just focus on Bonn and were able to get our heads free”, stressed Skyliner forward Marius Nolte. ex Skyliner Alex King lost for the second time this season in his old living room and one name was on his mind as has been so often for every other team. “We started well and defended well, but it is always hard to stop Dashaun Wood. Our biggest problem was our turnovers”, stressed Alex King.
It has been no secret that the beko BBL has been growing in parity the last years as any one can beat anyone and reaching the playoffs is not a given like it isn´t waiting in line at Mcdonalds with 20 hungry 300 pound offensive tackles waiting for hamburgers. The Telekom Baskets have missed the playoffs for a second season after reaching the beko BBL final 2 years in a row from 2007-2009. Bonn seemed to be on a roll in December winning five games in a row, but then suffered a 5-13 downslide, and lost Folarin Campbell. “I thought that this team was individually ok, but the team just didn´t fit together. The injury to Vincent Yarbrough really hurt us as our second leader on the court after Chris Ensminger was out. We had numerous injuries. Tim Ohlbrecht played better last season, but he never found his groove after his injury. After we seemed to catch Alba Berlin on their wrong feet, we went on a big losing streak losing to teams like Tuebingen, Trier and Bremerhaven which we should of won. Then our schedule was very tough and we were unable to recover”, stated Telekom Baskets Bonn sport director Andreas Boettcher. Despite not reaching the playoffs again and the summer vacation less than a week away, there were some positive developments with the team. “Nic Wise was a very positive development. I can´t say yet if he will return, because we first have to see what happens with coach Michael Koch. Then we will talk about players. We alsohave been very happy with our youngsters Fabian Thuelig and Jonas Wohlfarth-Botterman. Thuelig has started games the last weeks”, added Andreas Boettcher. The team lost leading scorer Folarin Campbell recently which also didn´t help the team with their playoff aspirations. “Campbell just didn´t fit in any more. There was no scandal or anything concerning him. It was a difficult decision letting him go”, stressed Andreas Boettcher. There has been lots of talk and speculation that Michael Koch will not return next season. Koch has done so much for the club and that might just keep him on the Rhine for another season. “I would like to keep Michael Koch as coach. He came in after the 8th game in the 2005-2006 and helped develop the team and reach two finals”, added Andreas Boettcher. The hardcore Bonn fans surely are suffering the last two seasons with the inability to reach the promised land, but there is always a bit of luck involved of how seasons run their course. “If you look at the stats, we have only missed 2 playoffs in 15 years, so I think thats ok. If you look back to the 2007-2008, we were as good as out against The Artland Dragons in game three, but won the game with 3,7 seconds to play as Miah Davis went from center court and scored and in the semi finals in game five, we were underdogs against Frankfurt, were without Davis who had witnessed the birth of his child and won as Pascal Roller missed on a lasts second lay up. This game has to do with luck. That season we had luck, but this season less luck”, warned Andreas Boettcher.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners entered the game wanting to seal up second place in the regular season standings while The Telekom Baskets were playing for nothing except ending the season on a positive note with a win. Frankfurt was with out American center Chris Moss that hurt his hand in Bayreuth. It is still unknown if he can play in Ludwigsburg this Saturday. In the first quarter. Frankfurt was cheered on by ex Skyliner Derrick Allen who came to Frankfurt for the weekend. “Just the presence of Derrick Allen helped my game”, added Skyliner guard Jimmy Mckinney. Bonn played as if the game meant something, but The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were able to take control of the game in the second quarter and never looked back. 4,830 patrons were in the Ballsporthalle to witness the action. The first quarter was very entertaining and tight as there were six lead changes. Frankfurt got on the board fast as Roger Powell tested his 30% three point field goal percentage with a bomb from the wing. But it didn´t take The Telekom baskets Bonn long finding their rhythm as they raced out on a 7-0 run to lead 7-3. Bonn displayed inside/out basketball as Chris Ensminger scored inside as did ex Cologne 99er Jeremy Hunt and Nic Wise buried a three pointer. The rule of keep giving the ball to a player who is cold also should be done when someone is hot and Frankfurt kept giving Roger Powel the ball as he connected on two more jumpers bringing Frankfurt back to 9-8. Bonn held the lead as 37 year old Ensminger continues to amaze with his focused work ethic as he made a left handed shovel shot. However Frankfurt was also in the zone as Dashaun Wood tied the score at 13-13. Wood than gave Frankfurt the lead with two free throws 15-13. Bonn then went on a mini 5-0 run as they attacked the paint as Ensminger made a running hook shot and German National player Tim Ohlbrecht a lay in as Bonn led 18-15. However the strong Bonn inside game didn´t scare Frankfurt as they closed out the first quarter with a 7-2 run to lead 22-20. Frankfurt wa sled in this run by Marius “The Force” Nolte who might of had his best game this season. He led the offensive charge with a nifty head fake on Ohlbrecht and lay in. Wood scored on a coast to coast sprint after Powell got a steal. Nolte also helped on defense with a steal and block as Frankfurt led 22-20 after one quarter. “The game was very even. Frankfurt was led by Roger Powell”, stated ex NBA player Vincent Yarbrough. “The first quarter saw Bonn going inside a lot while we shot more from outside”, described Skyliner sport director Kamil Novak. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 47% from the field and 50% from outside while The Telekom Baskets Bonn were shooting 46% from the field and 50% from outside. Bonn had the 9-8 rebound edge ,but five turnovers while Frankfurt had two turnovers.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners slowly started to pull away in the second quarter as they jumped on Bonn with a 9-2 run to lead 31-22. The Frankfurt run was ignited by a Roger Powell mid distance jumper. Frankfurt then got two spectacular buckets from Wood and captain Pascal Roller. One would need the hands of fingers of about 20 people to be able to count the number of amazing penetration lay ups Wood has presented this season. Wood did it again moving into the lane and then finding some space falling to his right and releasing the ball that somehow found its way through the rim. Roller might of even stole the show from Wood as he also found room went to his left them side stepped to his right and ended with a finger tip roll lay in. Frankfurt continued to take advantage of the pussy cat Bonn defense inside letting Kimmo Muurinen score and Powell do his magic as he was set up brilliantly by Mckinney. Frankfurt led 33-24. Bonn was unable to score on three straight Bonn sets as inefficient shots were thrown. Both teams continued to score at ease as the defense for both teams seemed to take a back seat. Mark Tyndale scored in side as did Mckinney with a reverse lay up as Frankfurt led 36-26. Jacob Jaacks led Bonn on a 5-0 run as he made up for previous bad shot selections by scoring in traffic and dropping an open three pointer as Bonn trailed 36-31 and Skyliner coach Gordon Herbert took a timeout. Despite Bonn threatening, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were able to keep the lead going into half time. Nolte continued to sparkle as he scored inside and played immaculate defense. Wood and Ensminger traded hoops as Frankfurt led 41-35. Bonn got a lucky break as Jaacks made a tip in as the buzzer sounded and Bonn trailed 41-37. “Both teams were not defending well. This was the quarter of Wood who got his team going. Frankfurt got many fast break points”, stressed Bonn American Vincent Yarbrough. ” We defended better in the second quarter. We still gave up too many easy points. We got more fast break points”, stated Kamil Novak.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 52% from the field and 33% from the three point line while The Telekom Baskets Bonn were shooting 52% form the field and 40% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 16-14 rebound edge and only four turnovers while Bonn had eight turnovers.
It took The Deutsche Bank Skyliners some time to get back into the flow of things in the third quarter as The Telekom Baskets Bonn clawed their way back to 45-43 despite not having the services of Chris Ensminger who had broken his nsoe and couldn´t return which happened under the basket in the battle for a lose ball. “Bonn was hurt not having Ensminger. I felt sorry for Chris. He is really a super guy”, stressed ex Paderborn Basket Marius Nolte. Bonn got baskets from Ohlbrecht and Wise while Frankfurt got Super Tez support from Quantez Robertson with two hoops inside. However as is the case so often in basketball, a new run came as suddenly as does lightening in the humid night. Frankfurt dominated the rest of the quarter closing out the third quarter with a massive 21-4 run to lead 66-47. Frankfurt hit basket after basket while Bonn was unable to break the stronger Frankfurt defense as they were forced more to one on one play. Frankfurt quickly led 59-45 as Muurinen made a mid distance shot, Wood a three pointer and pull up jumper, Mckinney an open jumper and Nolte a dunk on the fast break. Bonn got production only from Jeremy Hunt who made two shots. Frankfurt closed out their run with a Wood runner and free throws from Mckinney and Nolte. Frankfurt led 66-47 after three quarters. “We had too many turnovers in this run. We let them get too many easy baskets. You hav eto take care of the ball against a team like Frankfurt, but we didn´t. We missed Ensminer. He is our go to guy and we needed him”, said ex Skyliner Alex King. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 51% from the field and 36% from the parking lot while The Telekom Baskets Bonn were shooting 49% from the field and 22% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 25-22rebound edge. Bonn had 15 turnovers and Frankfurt only six turnovers.
The fourth quarter was very low scoring as The Telekom Baskets Bonn stepped up their defense, but their offense continued to sputter as they couldn´t get very much going. Both teams couldn´t get very much going in the early going except for Dominik Bahiense De Mello and Patrik Flomo trading baskets. Bonn coach Michael Koch then understood that with Bonn trailing by 19 points, a win on the road was getting more and more unrealistic so he inserted his Germans Sajmen Hauer, Jonas Wohlfarth- Botterman, Fabian Thuelig and 30 year old Marqus Ledoux who played at LSU for a season and in Austria, France and Hungary, but recently was inserted into the Bonn roster after playing for the Bonn Regionaliga team. It seemed like Bonn might make a comeback after a Thuelig Jumper and Wohlfarth-Botterman tip in dunk, but who arose to the occasion, but Mr reliable Pascal Roller who sunk back to back jumpers to somewhat dampen the Bonn comeback as Frankfurt led 73-53. Patrick Flomo helped with a dunk and tip in and Wohlfarth-Botterman with a lay in, but it was too little to late as Frankfurt got the much deserved 78-60 win. “Our second half defense was key. We only let up 23 points and we got the free throw line”, commented Jimmy Mckinney. “We let up in the second half and it wasn´t easy playing without Ensminger. Frankfurt did a good job limiting us to 23 points in the second half. We had too many turnovers and didn´t have our inside presence to cool us down”, added ex Arizona guard Nic Wise.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Dashaun Wood with 20 points, five assists and two rebounds. Roger Powell had 14 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Marius Nolte produced 11 points, eight rebounds, six steals and one block. Jimmy Mckinney added 10 points. The Telekom Baskets Bonn had no players in double figurers and were led by Tim Ohlbrecht with nine points and eight rebounds. Chris Ensminger and Patrick Flomo chipped in with eight points a piece. Marius Nolte had his best game of the season getting 6 steals and 1 block on defense and down played his many steals. “I am very happy about this win first, but I have to say that I had a lot of luck getting so many steals. Tez helped with his quick hands too. I just wanted to be in the right place and I was”, added Marius Nolte. “Marius Nolte stepped up to the challenge. He did an outstanding job on the offensive and defensive end”, stressed Skyliner coach Gordon Herbert. The Frankfurt défense was potent again, but again took some time to get rolling. “That has been our game this season. We tend to take some time to get started seeing what the opponent gives us. I think that this is ok as long as we keep getting stronge ron defense as the game progresses. However we can´t relax in the first half”, added Marius Nolte. “The good Frankfurt defense was a combination of our bad decisions and them collapsing very well. They have very active guys that make big plays”, stressed Jacob Jaacks. Frankfurt also showed again that the best way to win is with team basketball and support from more than only Dashaun Wood and Roger Powell. “I think that good defense helps us involve more players on transition. We have more problems getting everyone involved on set plays and that is something that we have to work on”, warned Dashaun Wood. “I think that if we execute well, then that gets the team more involved. If we don´t execute, then we rely more on Wood. We have to see that many guys get involved to be successful”, warned Marius Nolte. Frankfurt has one game left and if the beko BBL playoffs started tomorrow would play EnBW Ludwigsburg in the Quarterfinals. Frankfurt knows that this game could be a preview of what they will see more of in the next weeks. “Now comes the exciting part of the season. This game in Ludwigsburg will be a good test in a playoff type of atmosphere. We also want to stay in rhythm”, warned Marius Nolte. “This will be a big game for Ludwigsburg and a good test for playoffs”, added Dashaun Wood. EnBW Ludwigsburg host The Deutsche Bank Skyliners April 23rd.