Some things are easier said than done like if Argentine striker Lionel Messi predicts 10 goals in the next classic FC Barcelona against Real Madrid, New England Patriot Tom Brady saying that he will never lose another Superbowl to the New York Giants and arch nemesis Eli Manning, Lebron James predicting three NBA titles in a row or Paris Hilton never checking into a HIlton hotel again. For the Fraport Skyliners to win in Bamberg seems more like a dream than ever happening in reality as the last time the Skyliners won a regular season game in freak city, NBA superstar Kevin Durant was a tenth grader at the well known Oak Hill academy, Tom Brady only had one Superbowl ring and teen singing sensation Justin Bieber was only nine years old. The last time that the Fraport Skyliners were able to depart the floor in Bamberg as the winner in a regular season game was January 18th, 2004. It was the bests coring game of ex Skyliner Tyrone Ellis who recently announced his retirement dropping 32 points and nailing nine three pointers. Ex NBA player Mario Kasun was also on that team. Ex Skyliner Max Weber was an 18 year old kid on the Bamberg team that made a point and grabbed a rebound against his future team. Coming into the game, The Frankfurt Skyliners had lost the last eight regular season games and after a slow start, no one was really expecting anything from them, but they gave a spirited effort keeping the first half close, but then losing some focus in the third quarter as the Brose Baskets Bamberg was able to take control of the game and win 76-67. It isn´t only the team that opponents have to contend with in trying to crawl out of the Stechert arena with a win, but also the noisy arena and loud fans. Skyliner Quantez Robertson played his tenth game in Bamberg and is still overwhelmed by the difficulty of playing there. “This is one of the hardest places to play at. It is always difficult to hear the point guard calling the plays, but you just have to play through it”, stressed Quantez Robertson. For new Skyliner Ted Scott, it was his first experience in Bamberg that he won´t forget so fast. “This is a very tough place to play in, because the crowd never lets up. It was one of the toughest places that I have played in, because the crowd is so involved. It seemed like they helped with some of the calls. I felt comfortable on the court, but was a little annoyed that I couldn´t find my three point shot as well”, added Fraport Skyliner guard Ted Scott.
The Fraport Skyliners came into the game coming off a huge win at home against the Telekom Baskets Bonn and were sitting in 14th place. They had gotten some extra self confidence after the win against Bonn, but despite the fourth place in the standings with Bamberg, nobody was really giving the Fraport Skyliners a big chance to win this game. The game seemed similar to the game in Giessen recently where the Hessen team stuck with Bamberg in the first half, but then as so often is the case, the Brose Baskets Bamberg shifted their game up a few gears and Frankfurt was unable to match their intensity and stay in the game. One needs to play concentrated for 40 minutes in Bamberg and limit mistakes, because once you make errors, the five time Beko BBL champion makes you pay. “We played very well on offense and defense in the first half being able to limit Bamberg to one shot. In the second half, they drew more fouls got to the foul line often and made easy and tough shots”, commented dunk expert Quantez Robertson. For the Brose Baskets Bamberg, they came into the game riding a 4-1 record losing only in Artland and coming off a huge win in Euroleague play against Rytas. Bamberg did have three days to recover, but didn´t look like the Bamberg that they usually present in the first half. After the game ex NBA player Casey Jacobsen who set 49 school records at Stanford was more than relieved that they could escape the Stechert arena with a victory. “This was not a pretty game. There were many fouls and Frankfurt wasn´t happy with some of the calls. Frankfurt hung around and played tough until the end. We did all we could at the end just to get the win”, stressed Casey Jacobsen. “We hung around until the end. We fought well despite the circumstances and calls. This was a good team effort”, warned Skyliner American Zach Peacock.
In the last years, the Fraport Skyliners had often started off very slowly in the Stechert arena thus having to come back the whole game exerting so much energy and never being able to get back into the game. On Bamberg, there are so many scoring options, but instead of spreading the scoring love around, the Fraport Skyliners got an early taste of how lethal ex NBA player Bostjan Nachbar can be as he nailed three three pointers in a row giving Bamberg a 9-2 advantage. It happened so quickly that Bamberg manager Wolfgang Heyder could of still been in the midst of shaking hands with patrons that he might of missed the early Bamberg fire power. “Nachtbar hit that first open shot and then he felt as if he could make any shot. He got his team and crowd going”, stressed Quantez Robertson. However despite this lightening start by Bamberg, it didn´t ruffle the feathers of the Fraport Skyliners as they slowly got into the game thanks to an aggressive defense that was already forcing Bamberg too early turnovers. Skyliner American Devin Gibson got on the board eraly scoring on the penetration and then on a fast break after Peacock mad ethe steal and fed the guard for the easy bucket. Dion Dowell than sunk a three pointer as Bamberg led only 12-9. Bamberg had lost some rhythm after the quick three pointers and weren´t as patient anymore on offense as Frankfurt stepped up their defense a notch also. Bamberg skipper Chris Fleming called a time out and then inserted defense terror John Goldsberry who once registered 10 steals as a rookie in 2006 in a Bayer Giants Leverkusen jersey. The defense of GOldsberry sparked the Bamberg offense as they scored two consecutive back door lay ups from him and Casey Jacobsen as Bamberg led 16-9. Dowell then hit a three pointer as he seemed very comfortable with in the surroundings early on, but Bamberg countered with a Jacobsen lay in as Nachtbar found him cutting into the lane. Robertson and Sharod Ford then exchanged baskets as the Brose Baskets Bamberg led 22-14 after one quarter. “Bamberg started very well, but Frankfurt found themselves and came back. Bamberg was shooting very well which makes them hard to stop. Frankfurt made some mistakes at the end which Bamberg made them pay for”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The Brose Baskets Bamberg were shooting 73% from the field and 67% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 40% from the field and 33% from outside. Bamberg had the six to five rebound advantage and six turnovers while Frankfurt had five turnovers.
Fraport Skyliner head coach Muli Katzurin found the right words in the break as the Fraport Skyliners exploded in the first minutes of the second quarter going on a 10-0 run to take their first lead of the game 24-22. The second quarter started off with a bang as Devin Gibson caught Dion Dowell heading to the basket and lobbed up a perfect pass that the American slammed home the ally-op pass. “That Dowell ally-op dunk was a top ten play. I would give it a eight or nine. That was really a spectacular play. I had no idea that he could jump so high”, smiled Zach Peacock. This spectacular play seemed to spark Frankfurt as captain Marius Nolte followed with a lay in. Then it was Ohio native Ted Scott who can take over games at anytime went on a scoring frenzy scoring six consecutive points giving Frankfurt the 24-22 lead. He displayed his knack of also penetrating scoring two buckets like that and then nailing a pull up rainbow jumper. In this run, Frankfurt was just the more aggressive team that showed more effort and just wanted the ball more. They hauled down 6 offensive rebounds and German national player Maik Zirbes had been totally silenced with zero points. Sergerio Gipson then tied the score at 24-24, before Devin Gibson gave Frankfurt the lead back with a lay in after Marius Nolte had grabbed an offensive rebound 26-24. Bamberg then hurried out on a 5-0 run to lead 29-26 as Nachtbar made three free throws and Jacobsen scored on a floater from the wing. Ted Scott continued to be in a scoring mood making an off balance jumper cutting the Bamberg lead to 29-28. After Nachtbar and Gibson free throws, it was Quantez Robertson that hit a three pointer giving the Fraport Skyliners their last lead of the game 33-31. Jacobsen ended the second quarter with free throws as the game was dead locked at 33-33 at halftime. “It was a great game until halftime. It was a defensive battle as no team could keep a rhythm for a long period of time. Bamberg was shooting well, but 11 turnovers was way too much. Frankfurt did a great job having the 16-9 rebound edge which was something new”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The Brose Baskets Bamberg were shooting 58% from the field and 50% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 44% from the field and 25% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 16-9 rebound edge and only eight turnovers while Bamberg had 11 turnovers.
So far this season the third quarter has been the big quarter for the Fraport Skyliners or it has been their Achilles heel. The Fraport Skyliners had the misfortune that the Brose Baskets Bamberg came out with a higher gear and were able to go on a 8-2 run to take the lead again leading 41-35. Gipson and Scott exchanged buckets, but then it was top defender Anton Gavel who showed no mercy showing his penetration skills scoring with a tough running hook shot with his left hand and then hitting a pull up jumper on transition. The Brose Baskets Bamberg had stepped up their defense which Frankfurt was having difficulty with not finding the best shot and thus losing rhythm as Bamberg had the momentum and was able to build off it. The Fraport Skyliners didn´t give up as they stayed on the heels of Bamberg. Frankfurt was able to come back cutting the Bamberg lead to 46-43. Scott continued to hit shots, Daniol Bathel didn´t shy away from sneaking inside getting a quick pass form Gibson and Peacock scored consecutive baskets. German Konstantin Klein set him up with a no look pass inside and them made a quick hoop on the base line easily gliding past Oliver Kahn look a like Phillip Neumann with Bostjan Nachtbar watching him in flight. However this quick flash of brilliance by Peacock didn´t scare Bamberg as they stampered onto a 11-2 run to take the comfortable 57-45 lead. Neumann started the run with a dunk as he was set up nicely down low with a Jacobsen bounce pass and then made two free throws. The turning point of the game came as Ted Scott then was hit with a technical foul after making a off balance shot. Jacobsen, Nachtbar and Neumann then made free throws as Bamberg led 56-45. “That was a bad place in the agme to get the technical foul. The game was close and that was tough to give up those free throws. The Skyliners were close, but we were able to get that distance then with the foul and we were able to play with more freedom”, stressed Casey Jacobsen. “I don´t think that it was the turning point of the game. The refs were whistle happy. Bamberg went on a run and had the momentum then”, added Ted Scott. The Fraport Skyliners were able to cut the lead down to 60-50 with a Robertson lay up and Klein three pointer at the end of the third quarter. “The Skyliners didn´t come concentrated into the third quarter. The Scott technical foul hurt them. Bamberg was more aggressive, had more pressure and Frankfurt didn´t stay calm”, expressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The Brose Baskets Bamberg were shooting 56% from the field and 45% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 48% from the field and 24% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 22-15 rebound advantage and 12 turnovers while Bamberg had 13 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, the Brose Baskets Bamberg did a good job keeping a healthy lead and not letting the Fraport Skyliners put a dent into it until late in the game. Bamberg started off the fourth quarter with a 5-0 run to extend their lead to 65-50 as Anton Gavel dropped a three pointer and ex Phoenix Sun Sharod Ford made two free throws. The Fraport Skyliners stepped up their defense as Dowell made some blocks as did super Tez and Gibson made a steal, but they couldn´t capitalize on offense not getting any shots to fall. “Dowell gave us a good defensive presence down low blocking and altering shots”, stressed Dion Dowell. Skyliner guard Johnathan Jones who had been very quiet throughout the game found some daylight hitting a three pointer and Robertson scored inside showing his magnificent athletic ability as Frankfurt trailed only 69-57. However whenever Frankfurt was trying to get the lead below 10 points, Bamberg continued to have an answer on offense as Gipson showed his amazing one on one ability making a turn around shot as Bamberg led 71-57. The Fraport Skyliners then showed their last gasp of air as they cruised on a 8-0 run to cut the Bamberg lead to 71-65. One has to give a lot of credit to the Fraport Skyliners in this phase as three young Germans with Johannes Voigtmann, Danilo Barthel and Konstantin Klein were on the floor and were showing amazing grace and calmness making the right decisions and producing. Voigtman started the run scoring over Ford who never averaged less than 9,5rebounds per game in four years in Italy, Tez then set up Barthel for his new hobby with a dunk, Tez then reeled in a bullet pass to Voigtmann again hitting a short distance bank shot and then it was Jones scoring inside easily getting by Nachtbar. However time was running out and Bamberg then slammed the door on the Fraport Skyliners finishing on a 8-2 run to win 76-67. Neumann and Gavel made key lay ins to seal the win. “They got some easy buckets and got to the free throw line. We didn´t get stops and couldn´t capitalize on our open shots”, said Quantez Robertson. “We have had this problem this season in Euroleague that we weren´t able to close games as well. We were able to do this recently against Rytas. This win gave us confidence. Great character teams are able to close out games. Great teams will always slam the door. We aren´t quite there yet, but we are improving”, warned Casey Jacobsen.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg were led by Anton Gavel with 19 points. Ex NBA players Casey Jacobsen and Bostjan Nachtbar chipped in with 14 points a piece. Sergerio Gipson contributed 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Ted Scott with 14 points. Quantez Robertson chipped in with 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Frankfurt shot well form the field, but a miserable 22% from downtown. After struggling under the boards in the early going this season, the team gave a spirited effort on the rebound winning 34-27. “Team rebounding was big on the agenda this week in practice. Coach told us that if we didn´t fight on the boards that it could be a tough game. We had to hit the boards and we did a good job”, stressed Ted Scott. The Fraport Skyliners did a great job holding German national player Maik Zirbes to 0 points and one rebound in 16 minutes. “I had a rough game, so the credit goes to Marius Nolte and Johannes Voigtman”, said Zach Peacock. The Fraport Skyliners played another strong game on defense and will need to do it again against Braunschweig. “This was one of the best efforts of the season. If we play like that each game then we will be fine”,added Zach Peacock. The Fraport Skyliners host the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig on November 11th.