Whoever said, you can only be a Lebron James or Kevin Durant to have a whirlwind basketball career with so much happening like the James and Rashard Lewis rumors about foul play and a girlfriend last summer or Durant seemingly being headed to every team in Europe even BBC Bayreuth, but even a Beko BBL player like EJ Gallup has had a very exciting 2011 going from the restaurant business to playing in the IBL with the Albany Legends to TBB Trier for a few months after being a away for three years. Recently, the American confirmed that he will be heading back to the States to pursue a coaching career. After TBB Trier was unable to send him on his way with a win at home, the team had one last chance winning in Frankfurt and the club from the Mosel river was as focused as Green Bay Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers is to follow in the footsteps of New England quarter back Tom Brady for a perfect regular season, Justin Bieber telling David letterman that he can smell a weasel concerning the woman who claims that she is fostering his baby or Chester Frazier is getting back to playing professional basketball with the s. Oliver Baskets Wurzburg after being away from the professional ranks for a season going back to Illinois(NCAA) helping as an assistant coach as Gallup as his teammates grinded out a big 64-54 win. Gallup played only four minutes, but is just happy to leave the floor as a winner and has fond memories of teammate dru Joyce.. “This was my first win here in this arena. With Ulm, I left as a loser here. This win was nice. I understand that since I am leaving, coach doesn´t want to keep building the team after I go. I remember Dru showing me the ropes in UIm and when I came to Trier, he was first guy I met and helped me out. I consider Joyce a good friend”, stressed Dru Joyce. After the tough win Joyce was stretching on the floor and had some time to reflect about EJ Gallup. “I am excited that we got him the win. This was a big win for us and him. I remember my rookie season in Ulm, he helped me out when I came in. I remember him showing me how to drive manual. He really looked out for me”, added Dru Joyce. “We will miss Gallup a lot. He helped us out so much on the court. He is a great guy and I wish him the best of luck”, stressed TBB Trier guard John Bynum.
It had been 46 day and 8 losses since the Fraport Skyliners last won a game and that was only accomplished do to a buzzer beater from Justin Gray which has been simply dubbed the shot and with the overall play of Frankfurt vastly improved over the last games, the team was hoping for a success experience, but were disappointed again as they played a more than solid defensive game, but mustered only 54 points losing their ninth game in a row and entering the deregulation a place they hadn´t seen since the Charles Barton era of 2006. “Big today was that we stayed together as a team from the start until the end, but we had way to many turnovers and didn´t rebound as much or as good than in the past. We have to keep positive, not feel sorry for ourselves and keep fighting”, stressed ex NBA player Jermareo Davidson. For TBB Trier they were riding a three game losing streak and so far in the Henrik Rodel era had never lost more than three games in a row and showed a solid effort for 40 minutes. “We played consistent for 40 minutes, kept our style and didn´t let Frankfurt put us under pressure”, stressed TBB Trier center Maik Zirbes. Lebron James friend Dru Joyce has lost enough games against Frankfurt in his career including two last season as a Dashaun Wood was in control and knows how Frankfurt feels now. “I really feel for Frankfurt. You never want to lose so much. I know many guys in the team and they worked very hard tonight and left it on the floor. I know that when they are healthy, that they have the talent to win many games”, warned Dru Joyce. Jon Leuer friend and teammate Keaton Nankivil was at the game to support him and was in awe of the hard fought game. “I saw two good teams today and they did good things on the court. Frankfurt lost some steam in the second half, but every game is tough and Frankfurt just has to move on to the next game”, stressed ratiopharm Ulm forward Keaton Nankivil.
Before the game started on time at 3.00pm, there were some interesting things seen on the court as TBB Trier forward Nate Linhart made a fancy behind the back shot with help of the back board, Quantez Robertson was highly motivated high fiving this reporter, Jimmy Mckinney was reunited with a friend from St Louis and the Skyliner fans made a very direct and forceful sign that was clear to see for the players as is it stated Relegation spot for one day is enough. Play, fight and win this game today. In the last weeks, the Fraport Skyliners have had solid starts and against TBB Trier it was no exception as they quickly found their rhythm, but TBB trier didn´t allow Frankfurt to run away yet. Davidson and Mckinney put Frankfurt on the board early, but TBB Trier got three consecutive points inside with a Dragan Dojcin lay in and Zirbes lay in and dunk as TBB Trier led 6-5. However despite the quick tempo of the game, The Fraport Skyliners seemed a bit more motivated and finished the first quarter with a stunning 14-2 run to lead 19-8. German national player Tim Ohlbrecht hit a crisp hook shot over Zirbes and Quantez Robertson used his quick first step scoring with his left hand. Philipp Zwiener then scored on the fast break as Frankfurt still led 9-8. Frankfurt then closed out the run 10-0. It was John Leuer whos nickname Ferris Bueller gave a smile form Nankiviland has been known for scoring in bunches in recent games. He scored the last eight points hitting four jumpers from the wing. “Jon has some resemblance to Ferris Bueller, but his character also fits to him. Frankfurt started off well and the run at the end was big. No matter if Leuer comes from the bench or starts, he is a scorer and proved it again in that run”, stressed Keaton Nankivil. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 50% from the field and 25% from outside while TBB Trier was shooting 31% from the field and 0% from outside. Frankfurt led the rebounding duel 10-5 and had three turnovers while TBB Trier had four turnovers.
The second quarter was almost ten minutes of runs as TBB Trier started with a 7-0 run, followed by a mini Frankfurt 4-0 run, followed by a 8-0 TBB Trier run and ended with a 8-0 TBB Trier run as the game was deadlocked 23-23. In the first TBB Trier run, the club got good production from young German Andreas Seiferth who got to the free throw line and a tough runner from Zwiener who was being defended well by Leuer. American John Bynum then made his first of three steals in the quarter which led to two dunks and free throws. “We really picked up our energy after Bynum made those steals. He brought life to us and we kept it up for the rest of the game”, added Dru Joyce. Frankfurt then went on a mini 4-0 run and Mckinney buried a catch and pop jumper and Frankfurt caught TBB Trier napping on fast break as Mckinney fed Davidson for a hard dunk as Frankfurt led 23-15. Then it was time for TBB Trier to go on a 8-0 run as Maik Zirbes dunked over Davidson and Bynum made another steal and went coast to coast with a one handed dunk as TBB Trier was back in the game trailing only 23-19. The run was extended as TBB Trier played aggressive defense and got easy steal as American Nate Linhart stole an inbound pass from Herber to Super Tez flinging a pass to little used German Joshiko Saibou who scored. Linhart then had some fortune standing in the right place getting the ball in his hands after Davidson had blocked Zirbes and lay the ball in the hole. Frankfurt then took the short lived 25-23 lead as Robertson showed that electrifying athleticism penetrating to the hoop and scoring with his left hand. TBB Trier answered with a John Bynum jumper as the score was 25-25. Dojcin then scored on a bank shot and Robertson hit two free throws as both teams escaped to their locker rooms with the score 27-27. “Basketball is very fast paced and that is how it is with runs. It was good that Frankfurt could stay in the game. The play of Bynum hurt Frankfurt as they had more turnovers. TBB Trier also stepped up their defense forcing Frankfurt to tough shots”, explained Keaton Nankivil. “It felt good getting the steals. It is nice hearing nice words from Joyce, but I was just doing my job. I sparked the team, but the I just caught the ball in the lane”, commented John Bynum. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 40% from the field and 17% from the three point line while TBB Trier was shooting 40% from the field and were 0/6 from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 19-13 rebound edge, but 9 turnovers in the second quarter as their total had risen to 12 while TBB Trier was doing a good job taking care of the ball with six turnovers only.
Against Gran Canaria, The Fraport Skyliners lost control in the third quarter and the team didn´t learn form that as they allowed TBB Trier on a 13-4 run to take control of the game, own the momentum and take their biggest lead of the game 41-31. Mckinney started the third quarter with a runner, but TBB Trier kept the pressure on offense and defense hitting their shots and being able to escape on another run. Joyce hit a jumper and got in the lane for a lay up while versatile Serb Dojcin scored inside while Zwiener hit a jumper and TBB Trier led 36-31. Dojcin then got free for a split second and dropped a three point bomb over Skyliner captain Marius Nolte and John Bynum used his quickness and quick thinking scoring inside as Mckinney lost sight of his footwork as Frankfurt trailed 41-31. The Fraport Skyliners then were able to put a small dent in the TBB Trier momentum as they didn´t allow the club to extend their lead, but cut it down a bit. Davidson hit a jumper and Michael Thompson made a steal and saw Jon Leuer in the corner of his eye and flung an ally-op pass for the American to put home as Frankfurt trailed only 41-35. Ex Alba Berlin youngster Andreas Seiferth then scored inside as Jon Leuer was a step to late, but Thompson had an answer ready with a juicy juice floater and Davidson dunked after fetching a no look pass from Robertson. Seiferth closed out the third quarter with two free throws as TBB Trier led 45-39. The overall play of the Fraport Skyliners was like night and day. In one instance totally concentrated, in the next as if they were playing their first pick up game in training camp. “We pressured the ball well and had much havoc on defense which didn´t suit Frankfurt”, stressed Dru Joyce. “TBB Trier got the lead and we had problems coming back”, added Jon Leuer. TBB Trier was shooting 45% from the field and 22% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 39% from the field and 11% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 25-21 rebound advantage, but 14 turnovers while TBB Trier had nine turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, The Fraport Skyliners kept fighting, but each time where they were able to cut the lead down a bit and seemed still to be in striking range, they were unable to make some big stops to put a little crack in the TBB Trier offensive arsenal. After Zwiener and Mckinney traded baskets, it was Leuer who made a jumper and suddenly there was no life again in the Fraport arena as Frankfurt trailed only 47-43. However to some degree, Frankfurt had some fortune since Bynum, Joyce and Oskar Fasler missed six free throws as TBB Trier could have had a more comfortable lead at that juncture. However with Frankfurt seemingly to be pressuring, TBB Trier remained cool as they sneaked out on a 6-0 run to get the lead back to a healthy 53-43. It must be commended how TBB Trier head coach plays young Germans like Seiferth, Zirbes, Fassler and Saibou who would see only garbage time for most other teams and then in phases where there could be a turning point. In this run, Linhart made a lay in getting a nice pass from Zwiener and Seiferth dunked as help defense seemed to be taking a break and the young German then made his best play of the game getting a pass in the low post and not hesitating but releasing a turn around shot right away as Davidson only watched. German national player Johannes Herber then hit a big shot form the corner as TBB Trier led only 53-46. However, even in mismatches, TBB Trier was able to take total advantage as Bynum made a sweet fake and move around Davison missed , but tipped in his own rebound as no help on defense was around. TBB Trier led 55-46. Frankfurt made one last gasp comeback as Mckinney hit a three pointer and Leuer made two free throws as Frankfurt trailed 55-50. As quickly as Frankfurt was making some ground with time running down, they were able to lose that ground as fast as TBB Trier as Linhart made a big shot from the side and Joyce got free from the pick and hit a pull up jumper as TBB Trier led 60-50 with two minutes remaining. Frankfurt made costly turnovers and were forced too terrible shots that hit the side of the back board. After Linhart made an incredible runner high of the glass, TBB Trier led 62-51 with less than a minute to play. The Fraport arena was quieter and the first fans were leaving. A Mckinney jumper and Joyce free throws were the lasts coring plays of the game. “We stayed with our play, not dropping our intensity and executing on offense. We had problems in the past like last week against Giessen closing out games, but today we got good looks and made our shots from good screens and cuts”, warned Dru Joyce. “We didn´t get enough easy baskets today and we could of ran more transition. We had some mistakes on defense, but overall it was solid”, stated Jon Leuer. “The difference today was that when we were down, we stayed together until the end”, stressed John Bynum.
TBB Trier was led by German Andreas Seiferth with 12 points. Philipp Zwiener, Dru Joyce, Dragan Dojcin and Nate Linhart chipped in with nine points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jon leuer with 14 points and three rebounds and Jimmy Mckinney with 14 points and four rebounds. TBB Trier shot 49% from the field and 27% from outside while The Fraport Skyliners shot 40% from the field and 21% from outside. The rebounds were 29-29 and Frankfurt had a high count of 17 turnovers while TBB Trier had 12. Frankfurt has been hearing the same words for weeks from opponents, but nothing changes. Sooner or later they will start winning. “Frankfurt is playing together at times, but it hurts that Justin Gray is out. They have enough talent to get through this, but what their problem is, I can´t really put a finger on it”, added John Bynum.
With the NBA lockout over, the question will be, how much longer will Jon Leuer still be in Frankfurt? He was a 2011 second round pick of the Milwaukee Bucks and can go if the club makes him an offer. “If they want me, then I will go. We will see what happens in the next days”, added Jon Leuer. Ex NBA player and teammate Jermareo Davidson has advice for Leuer if he makes the long journey across the big pond. “He should be the first and last out of the gym. He also should find a friend with an NBA veteran preferredly a point guard, because they always fight for you”, smiled Jermareo Davidson. The next game is in 48 hours on November 29th in Eurocup play against Lokumotive Kuban.