In theBeko BBL, you can experience loud arenas and then again you can witness bedlam atmospheres as well. Giessen or Artland can be very hostle places to play especially when Toby the dragon is roaming the sidelines looking to scare an unknown face and the Stechert arena in Bamberg is known to be the loudest place to play in the Beko BBL. However the Oberfranken arena in Bayreuth may not be the biggest, but the noise volume that is generated there can be as annoying for opponents as it is for NBA teams to currently face the killer scoring instinct of New York Knick Jeremy Lin, David Holston getting punished for an untimely turnover and having to guard big ratiopharm Ulm center John Byrant or New England Patriots having to survive another off season with the New York Giants fans heckling them about a second Super Bowl loss to them. For ex Skyliner Dashaun Wood, the Oberfranken halle remains an unfriendly place as he has lost both times in a Skyliner jersey despite pouring in 29 points last season and recently with Alba Berlin, but the Fraport Skyliners wanted revenge for the loss last year as well as for their loss in Frankfurt in December as they showed a superb performance blasting BBC Bayreuth 90-57 and playing as if an announcement had come before the game that Kevin Durant had arrived for an autograph signing outside the Oberfranken arena and everyone departed to see the NBA superstar legend, because Frankfurt played as if nobody was in the arena blocking out any Bayreuth fan distractions making it look so easy. “The atmosphere here is amazing and that we were able to block out the atmosphere was great. We were able to play our game and stay calm for 40 minutes despite the noise. It may have looked easy, but it was still hard to win here”, warned Skyliner captain Marius Nolte. For BBC Bayreuth, they have only a 6-6 record at home and seem unable to use the fans as a sixth man. “When you start 0-8 and are behind in double digits after 3-4 minutes, you take the crowd out of the game. We were unable to give the crowd a chance for getting going with this loss”, stated BBC Bayreuth guard Kevin Hamilton. This was the second time that Jacob Burtschi played in Bayreuth and continued to be impressed by the atmosphere. “Our start was the big difference and we were able to take crowd out of game. For every run they had, we always had an answer. BBC Bayreuth have faithful fans, even when they were down by 25, the fans were loud”, commented ex Phoenix Hagen forward Jacob Burtschi.
After the big 68-49 win last weekend against FC Bayern Munich, the Fraport Skyliners were able to continue their strong play with their second win in a row and started another winning streak on the road after the bitter loss in Bremerhaven 10 days ago. This was a game where not only the defense was superb like it had been for the last months, but also the offense was strong as the team was able to give a top performance for 40 minutes and never let BBC Bayreuth get into the game. “Key for Frankfurt was their fast start. Their strong offense got the defense of BBC Bayreuth out of rhythm and the team had no answer the rest of the way. Frankfurt played with a lot of intensity on offense and defense and BBC Bayreuth were unable to stay with them”, stressed ex Science city American Sean Mccaw. Since the 79-71 win in Frankfurt where the team was riding a high after new coach Marco Van Den Berg had sparked them to some wins, the club has struggling with only a 3-8 record and have lost five of their last six games and their playoff aspirations seem to be dwindling each day. BBC Bayreuth was unlucky that they witnessed a very hot shooting performance by the Fraport Skyliners. “Frankfurt is very much a different team from the first time we played them in Frankfurt. They have really come together as a team and play a lot better defense. Their strong defense and hitting their shots really hurt us today”, expressed 2010 Dutch top scorer Danny Gibson.
The Fraport Skyliners arrived in the Oberfranken halle in Bayreuth for a rare Saturday afternoon basketball matinee and 3,308 fans packed the arena and quickly made their living room feel like a place where they could of ordered some ear plugs from the nearest drug store, but the gang of Muli Katzurin didn´t let the belligerent atmosphere hinder their play as they jumped on BBC Bayreuth right away going on a 8-0 run. Frankfurt was without Justin Gray and BBC Bayreuth was weakened as they didn´t have the services of Americans Kevin Hamilton and Tyler Smith and German Stefan Schmidt. For Brose Baskets Bamberg head coach Chris Fleming taking an afternoon off seems to be something you can´t do when you are pursuing the triple and despite their next game against Giessen was the next day, the 2008 cup winner with the Artland Dragons and Bamberg manager Wolfgang Heyder scouted the game for their encounter next weekend in Frankfurt. Tim Ohlbrecht started the run with a pretty left hand lay in past ex NBA player Brandon Hunter who soon was dinner for various Skyliners on defense. Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi tested his 29% parking lot shooting percentage with a three pointer and followed that up with a lay in and free throw. The Fraport Skyliners quickly found their rhythm showing BBC Bayreuth who was king in their living room supplying rapid pressure on offense and defense controlling the game and having the momentum. After young German Tom Spoler followed up his own miss with a lay in, the Fraport Skyliners offense continued to clicking on all cylinders on offense as Michael Thompson found his touch from outside, Ohlbrecht connected over Hunter again and Jimmy Mckinney dropped his first three pointer of the contest as Frankfurt led 16-5. BBC Bayreuth got a bucket from ex Bamberg American Beckham Wyrick and got to the free throw line, but Frankfurt continued to score any which way as Quantez Robertson snuck inside and Devin Gibson hit a contested three pointer from the top of the key as Frankfurt led 21-13. After Canadian Osvaldo Jeanty cut the Frankfurt lead to 25-17, Muli Katzurin continued to gaze down his bench and inserted ex NBA player Jermareo Davidson who quickly found his touch making a beautiful fade away jumper over Brandon Hunter and dunking home a beautiful Gibson pass who had escaped losing the ball and somehow found the big man inside with one second to play in the first quarter as the Fraport Skyliners led 29-21. “Frankfurt was clearly better as they had very high shooting percentages and rebounded very well”, stressed Brose Baskets Bamberg manager Wolfgang Heyder.
In the second quarter, The Fraport Skyliners continued where they left off in the first quarter with an aggressive offense that just didn´t want to miss as they went on a 12-1 run to extend their lead to 41-22. Jimmy Mckinney and Jacob Burtschi hit back to back three pointers, Jermareo Davidson burned ex Boston Celtic Brandon Hunter another time with a fade away jumper and got a pat on his butt from Muli Katzurin as he was running back to get on defense, German national player Johannes Herber hit in the zone with a difficult fade away jumper and Gibson stole the ball from Gibson and fed Burtschi who gave Robertson a quick no look pass as the American scored inside. After a Tom Spoler floater, Frankfurt countered back with a Herber three pointer and another Davidson fade away jumper as Frankfurt led 47-27. Estonian guard Rain Veideman tried to give the team some energy with a thunderous two handed dunk, but Thompson stopped any kind of BBC Bayreuth run to continue as he hit back to back shots as Frankfurt continued to stay in control doing what they wanted on offense leading 52-29. Skyliner captain Marius Nolte then scored inside getting a nifty back door pass from Herber as scored on a layup. The Fraport Skyliners led 55-32 at halftime. “The bottom line at half time wasn´t how much Frankfurt had given up, but the point difference. BBC Bayreuth may have came back in Giessen last weekend, but to do the same against avery strong Frankfurt team would have been very difficult”, stressed Bamberg head coach Chris Fleming. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting a whopping 72% from the field and from the three point line while BBC Bayreuth was shooting 50% from the field and 17% from the three point line. Frankfurt led the rebounding duel 12-9 and had only three turnovers while BBC Bayreuth had eight turnovers.
Muli Katzurin was surely aware of the capability that BBC Bayreuth showed last weekend in Giessen scoring 63 points in the second half and getting the win, but BBC Bayreuth wasn´t able to transform the words of head coach Marco Van Den Berg into cutting down the lead of Frankfurt. “Coach told us to keep fighting and try to cut lead down to 10 or less, so we could have a chance in the fourth quarter”, added Danny Gibson. “Coach had warned us about the Braunschweig game where they came from 20 back. That experience helped us in the second half as we never let them get the run they needed”, expressed Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners continued their offensive rampage starting the third quarter going on a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 62-34 and dashing the hopes of BBC Bayreuth more quickly about ever turning the game around to their fortune. In this run, Jimmy Mckinney who was hot spun in the zone and finished with a pull up jumper, Burtschi nailed another three pointer and Davidson hit a mid distance jumper. After Hunter and Thompson traded buckets, BBC Bayreuth was trailing 65-36. However BBC Bayreuth went on a 9-1 run to close out the third quarter, but still trailed 67-45. It is never easy to be fully concentrated for 40 minutes, but even harder when you are leading by 29 points. In this run, Frankfurt missed some shots and also an easy Robertson tip in while BBC Bayreuth was grinding away at the mammoth Frankfurt lead. Ibekwe and Wyrick hit some free throws while Brandon Hunter hit his trade mark mid distance jumper. It was getting more evident that BBC Bayreuth simply had too little time left and were running out of energy. “We got hit so early that we couldn´t rebound and find the momentum. Whenever we made a dunk or play, Frankfurt had an answer not letting us get closer”, commented ex Phantom Kevin Hamilton.
In the fourth quarter, the Fraport Skyliners held their own stepped up their offense again while BBC Bayreuth were unable to get any kind of notable run on offense scoring only a meager 12 points. The Fraport Skyliners jumped on BBC Bayreuth again like they had in every quarter going on a 7-2 run to lead 75-47. Frankfurt outscored BBC Bayreuth 35-5 combined in their four runs to start each quarter. In the fourth quarter 7-2 run, Frankfurt got support with a Mckinney lay in with one second on the shot clock, an open three pointer from Thompson, Nolte lay in and free throw. Even after a Veideman three pointer, Frankfurt always had answer as Mckinney silenced the Oberfranken halle with a three point bomb as Frankfurt led 78-50. Frankfurt then went on a 6-0 run to have their biggest lead of the game 84-50. Frankfurt got busy getting to the free throw line as Mckinney,Gibson and Robertson connected. Veideman then made the play of the game stealing the ball from Gibson at mid court and going to the basket and finishing with a thunderous two handed slam, but it was too little too late as BBC Bayreuth still trailed 84-53. Frankfurt got a Mckinney catch and pop jumper and Nolte lay in after getting a bullet pass from Gibson from the bass line and ex Skyliner Maksym Shtein scored twice to end the game. “We got phenomenal defense today and our offense was great. We had great ball movement and we were knocking down our shots”, expressed Jacob Burtschi. “We weren´t hitting our shots and we were unable to pick up our defense”, stressed ex Nordlingen Giant Danny Gibson.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jimmy Mcinney with 22 points. Jacob Burtschi and Michael Thompson chipped in with 14 points a piece. “It felt good having my shot again. I hope I can keep my confidence and my shot continues to fall in practice and in the next games”, stressed Jacob Burtschi. Jermareo Davidson contributed 12 points. BBC Bayreuth was led by Brandon Hunter with 12 points. The Fraport Skyliners finished the game with an astounding 57% from the field and 62% from the parking lot while BBC Bayreuth shot 41% from the field and 23% from the parking lot. Frankfurt won the rebounding battle 25-24, but the stat of the game was the incredible five turnovers that the Skyliners produced while BBC Bayreuth had 16 turnovers. Despite the potent offense, the big Skyliner weapon continues to be their defense. “Our pick and role defense was good and we really did a good job on Gibson and Jeanty. We showed a lot of hustle and effort on defense which sparked our offense”, warned Jacob Burtschi. “Frankfurt really have good personal on defense. They all work well together and have big bodies. Their instinct is to play together”, commented Kevin Hamilton. The Fraport Skyliners host the Brose Baskets BambergMarch 4th.