For A Lebron James or Kobe Bryant, scoring 30 plus points in an NBA games is a normal routine and is really as simple for these Americans as it is for Phoenix Hagen 200cm forward American Dino Gregory to swat away at least one ball during a Beko BBL game as he has done most times this season, Telekom Baskets Bonn classic point guard Jared Jordan finding Tony Gaffney last season each game for an ally-op dunk or Walter Tigers Tuebingen big man Ohio native Kenny Frease chewing gum during each game and possibly annoying some opponents and getting them off track with his unorthodox method of using his teeth to get all 100% of the gum. Phoenix Hagen also has something quite unusual to brag about this season besides their almost always potent and annoying run and gun power house offense, that they also have currently four players that have scored 30 plus points in the Beko BBL at some time in their career. American point guard Davin White who has gone from mini Dashaun Wood to a player that is putting up similar Wood type scoring stats from his 2011 MVP season finally eclipsed the 30 point mark last weekend in a crushing win against ratiopharm Ulm where he netted home 33 points as no player could keep him in check. This season, he came close already once in a loss to FC Bayern Munich scoring 29 points. Scoring has been nothing new for White as he has been a scorer all his life once averaging 28ppg in Mexico. Another guy that can shoot out the lights on a regular basis is American David Bell is a guy that can assault any game and already two seasons ago showed his scoring touch in a Phoenix Hagen uniform finishing third in the league scoring. He has a very compact body and could pass for baby Shaq, but he is all business on the court as this season he scored 31 points against the Telekom Baskets Bonn dropping six three pointers. This season, he has been very close to 30 points scoring 29 against FC Bayern Munich and 28 points against Giessen and Bremerhaven. Adam Hess is no stranger to the Beko BBL as he played three seasons for the Artland Dragons. He may not score as much in the past, but still has that scoring touch. In his first season in the Beko BBL in 2005-2006, he lite up BG Karlsruhe for 33 points. The last Hagen player that has scored 30 plus points is Mark Mr fantastic Dorris who is a very spectacular player and could probably make some side money making a weekly dunk contets with his friend Quantez Robertson. Dorris is a type of player like Wood also that can score 30 plus points and on the next night when his team needs his playmaking dish out 10 assists. He already came close this season to the 30 point mark canning 29 against the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg and had good memories of that team scoring 35 back in his first season with Phoenix Hagen in 2010-2011. With so much scoring power with Phoenix Hagen, the Fraport Skyliners had to be very focused defensively not only keeping these four scorers in check, but just giving an all around top defensive performance against the aspiring playoff team. “Phoenix Hagen is the quickest team in the league. They have one of the best point guards in the league, great shooters and athletic guys like Larry Gordon and Dino Gregory who makes opponents crazy. I don´t think its so important that they have guys that have scored 30 points before in a game, but the most important thing is that they can use all that potential on any given night to their advantage. When they are hot, they can beat any team in the league”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. Phoenix Hagen had five players in double figures, but no player could eclipse the 30 point mark as the Fraport Skyliners never let Phoenix Hagen play their game hanging on in crunch time for the convincing 81-78 win.
After the convincing win against the Walter Tigers Tuebingen last weekend where the Fraport Skyliners snapped their five game losing streak, they came back to work and wanted to win on the road again after losing four games in a row and had to meet the leagues best offense with Phoenix Hagen. After their very disappointing 107-102 loss in Frankfurt against Phoenix Hagen where they let themselves get run into the ground with the opponents run and gun game, they came prepared and this time didn´t let themselves get involved with a fast paced game. The Fraport Skyliners won their second game in a row and played nothing like a 17th placed team being the eight placed team Phoenix Hagen. “We did a good job controlling the tempo tonight. Robinson did agreat job controlling the tempo. We rebounded very well, played good transition defense and just had the will to win the game at the end”, commented Fraport Skyliner captain Marius Nolte. For Phoenix Hagen, they continue to be a very up and down team. Two weeks ago they get crushed by 30 points in Tuebingen, but last week return home and beat top team ratiopharm Ulm. Against the Fraport Skyliners, Phoenix Hagen was unable to play their game as Frankfurt did their notes on how to stop a run and gun system by their opponent. “The Fraport Skyliners had a very good game plan and they never let us get into our offensive rhythm. Frankfurt forced us to take shots that we normally don´t want to take. They forced us to take bad shots and that showed with our poor shooting percentage”, stressed Phoenix Hagen assistant coach Steven Wriedt. For ex Giessen 46er Ryan Brooks after losing so much in Giessen getting another win put an extra smile on his face as well as stopping the biggest strength of Hagen. “This was a very important win for me and Laquan Prowell. This was our first back to back wins this season and we really enjoyed it with the team. We did a great job stopping their transition. We watched a lot of video last week and we were advised to sprint back as soon as we scored, because Davin White is always ready to push the ball and it was to our advantage if he saw four blue jerseys back already instead of only one”, warned Ryan Brooks.
Dawan Robinson had been out for eight months because of an injury and after his slow start with the team, some were getting critical of his play, but in the last two weeks, he hast upped his game 108 degrees scoring 21 points against Tuebingen and a game high 25 points against Phoenix Hagen. Robinson is slowly getting fitter each week and it is showing in his play as he is a penetration monster. He is slowly becoming unstoppable as he can do as pleases forcing himself into the lane and almost always finishing with a layup or drawing a smart foul. “Robinson got to the rim a lot. We wanted him to run the line and get contested by Dino Gregory, but our help wasn´t always there. He really showed that he is a good guard”, stressed Oakland, California native David Bell. Robinson wasn´t oblivious to the criticism and was as motivated as ever to show the basketball world that there are other strong guards besides a Davin White. “I really like the challenge when playing against big time players. I really get sick of hearing how good they are. I try to step up and show that I can play with guys like that. Not only on offense, but also on defense. I take pride in my defense. I remember when I was growing up, I didn´t have a good shot and people kept telling me to let him shoot. When the feet are planted is when I have the chance to go around guys. I always try to get the defense off guard, play mind games and change the pace of the game”, stressed Dawan Robinson. Robinson is getting more and more respect of his teammates. “He has been reading the defense very well in the last two games. He is very smart finds the open man or when he has space penetrates and finshes strong to the hole”, added Fraport Skyliner guard Ryan Brooks.
An interesting note for all basketball players concerning hard work and dedication is what makes top players go was the sighting of Davin White as the first player on the court in warm ups 1.45 minutes before game time. Fraport Skyliners young players Johannes Voigtmann and Konstantin Klein were seen in the stands have a long conversation with Phoenix Hagen point guard Ole Wendt. When the game finally did begin, 3,145 people were in the stands and might have been a bit surprised to see Beko BBL top scorer Davin White on the bench. Bernd Kruel sat out the game due to injury and Fraport Skyliner centers Marius Nolte and Johannes Voigtmann didn´t play on account of the quick play of Phoenix Hagen. It was important that the Fraport Skyliners wouldn´t let Phoenix Hagen get off to a quick start as they took control of the pace early going on a quick 8-2 lead as they got hot fast getting two three pointers from Quantez Robertson and Dawan Robinson. Frankfurt then scored on the fast break as Tez found Robinson for quick points. Robertson continues to have that offensive spirit and zeal as he penetrated hard to the hole finishing with his left hand. Prowell then tested his 50% three point accuracy nailing from the parking lot as Frankfurt led 13-6 Frankfurt quickly showed Phoenix Hagen who was master in their living room not letting them play run and gun and along the way hitting their shots early. However one can never get to comfortable, because if Phoenix Hagen catches you off guard then they can quickly get back into the game going on a 6-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 13-12. Bell started the run with a tough jumper over Klein, Bell then set up Dino Gregory for a thunderous dunk and White made a difficult floater over Danilo Barthel. Ex Artland Dragon Adam Hess then made a free throw to tie the socre at 13-13. However this lightening run didn´t discourage Frankfurt as they ended the first quarter strong with their own flash of brilliance going on a 10-2 run to lead 23-15 after one quarter. Frankfurt was finding many ways to score as Robinson hit free throws, Zack peacock snuck inside from the baseline with a reverse lay up and Robinson struck from downtown. Hess finished the first quarter scoring with a three pointer. “Frankfurt hurt us with four three pointers. We couldn´t stop them and we missed some easy shots”, said Phoenix Hagen assistant coach Steven Wriedt. “The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 40% from the two point area and 80% from outside while Phoenix Hagen was shooting 67% from the two point area and 0% from outside. Frankfurt had the 8-6 rebounding edge and both teams had five turnovers a piece.
The Fraport Skyliners held the lead in the second quarter and led by as much as 12 points before Phoenix Hagen was able to come back and get back into the game and trail by only three points at the intermission. Davin White scored on a fast break as Phoenix Hagen showed really how lethal and fats their transition works. However Frankfurt kept hurting Phoenix Hagen inside as Devin Gibson set up Barthel inside for an easy bucket and Robinson scored on one of typical I´ll mow you down if you get in my way penetration and Robertson also scored with his left hand and Prowell connected on a running hook shot as the Fraport Skyliners had the 31-20 advantage. Barthel then smashed home one of his two monster dunks of the night as Quantez Robertson found him inside giving him a bullet pass. Frankfurt then got a taste of what Dino Gregory can do on the defensive end as he got a pair of blocks including denying Tez. Devin Gibson may have been held scoreless the last two games, but his energy on defense remained high as he got a steal which led to a Peacock bucket and 34-24 Skyliner lead. David Bell who is like baby Shaq in a guards body is afraid of nothing and challenged Peacock and hit a huge three pointer over him which was answered by a quick pass from Peacock inside to Prowell for a fast lay in as Frankfurt led 36-29. After a pull up jumper by White, Peacock and Robinson followed with free throws as Frankfurt seemed to be heading into halftime with the comfortable 40-31 lead. However Phoenix Hagen didn´t have their feathers ruffled as they started one last spurt catching Frankfurt off guard squirming into the break with a annoying 6-0 run to trail 40-37. Mark Mr fantastic Dorris hit a fade away jumper that looks as beautiful as the sunset in his home town Cincinnati, Gordon scored inside, and White stole the ball from Robinson and mid court and went coast to coast for the lay up. “We finally had our rhythm on offense, wore them down a bit and had the better conditioning”, stressed Steven Wriedt. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 48% from the field and 40% from the three point line while Phoenix Hagen was shooting 50% from the field and 13% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 19-14 rebound edge, but 10 turnovers while Phoenix Hagen had six turnovers.
The third quarter remained the tightest of the game as their were five lead changes and Phoenix Hagen had the slim lead after three quarters. Larry Gordon who last season played in Austria for Furstenfeld and played 59 minutes in a triple overtime game against ex Phoenix Hagen American Quentin Pryor still had much energy helping on the offensive end with a floater over Barthel and nailing a three pointer. For Frankfurt Ryan Brooks was slowly getting warm after playing only 3.32 in the first half after getting hit with two fouls. “I was shooting consistent in the second half and my pull up jumper is my biggest strength”, added Ryan Brooks. Mark Dorris had been rather quiet in the first half, but he also got going as he scored a lay up and then showed his dunk qualities dunking form the wing after cutting in getting a pretty no look feed from Davin White as Phoenix Hagen led 53-49. Frankfurt then went on an 8-0 run to retake the lead 57-53. Frankfurt took advantage of the Dino Gregory foul trouble scoring easily inside three times from Brooks, Robinson and Prowell. Frankfurt got a bit clumsy coughing up the ball twice to 24 second shot clock violations, but the score of the game came as Danilo Barthel dunked over Abe Lodwick with the sheer brute showing in his face that looked like there will be even harder ones coming in the future. Barthel has dunked so much this season that it is hard to keep up with them. “It has been many dunks, but I still like the one against Bonn. I really don´t remember the dunk over Lodwick. I will have to check the video”, smiled Danilo Barthel. “He really sparked Frankfurt. He gave them momentum and did a good job”, stressed David Bell. Robinson was very focused with his forceful penetration, but was aware of the damage of Bartel. “He is very athletic and has a bright future. He really is a white man that can jump. If he can play with even more confidence then he won´t be in Germany that much longer. He can be an euroleague player”, warned Dawan Robinson. Wriedt remembers Barthel from years ago. “I remember him when he was 16 or 17 when we played them in the PRO A against Heidelberg. He is quick and athletic for his size. When he adds a consistent outside shot then he can be a national player”, added Steven Wriedt. The Fraport Skyliners then left sharp shooter Adam Hess open twice and he burned them with consecutive three pointers as Frankfurt trailed 62-61 after three quarters. “I thought that we tried to slow down the game a bit too much. We didn´t take advantage of getting easy buckets in the third quarter”, expressed Dawan Robinson. Phoenix Hagen was shooting 62% from the two point area and 36% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 63% from the two point area and 35% from the parking lot. Phoenix Hagen had the rebound edge 22-21 and only nine turnovers while Frankfurt had 12 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, the Fraport Skyliners would take the lead and let Phoenix Hagen tie the game twice, but never let them lead again. Robinson started the fourth quarter with a lay in which was met by a Bell jumper over Peacock to tie the game at 64-64. Brooks then got to the free throw line twice hitting only twice and hitting a jumper over Bell as Frankfurt led 68-64. However Phoenix Hagen never gave up going on a mini 4-0 run to dead lock the game at 68-68 as White hit a floater with one second left on the shot clock and Gordon scored inside. Frankfurt continued to hit with consistency as it seemed like they might have decided the game going on a 7-0 run to lead 75-68. Brooks made an off balance jumper, Prowell dropped a three pointer and Barthel muscled down an offensive rebound and put back. Phoenix Hagen continued to fight going on a 5-0 run as Bell got to the free throw line and Gordon nailed a three pointer as Phoenix Hagen trailed 75-73 with two minutes to go. Then came maybe the two most emotional buckets which just kept everybody in awe as both teams just didn´t want to lose. Robinson who had had his own penetration clinic scored his most beautiful basket of the evening weaving inside and finishing with a finger tip role as Frankfurt led 77-73, but Davin White struck back with a crunch time three pointer where he was as cool as Larry Bird back in the day at that moment where it mattered most as Frankfurt led only 77-76. The last minute remained exciting as Robinson hit free throws and Bell finished with alay up high off the glass as Frankfurt still led 79-78. With time running out Brooks blocked Bell which led to Robinson scoring on the penetration one last time. Phoenix Hagen then had the chance to send the game into overtime, but White missed from outside giving the Fraport Skyliners the win. “Frankfurt executed very well at the end. We weren´t able to make our shots. They forced White to take a tough shot. We live with him taking tough shots”, added David Bell. “This was a big win for us. We as the 17th place team beating the 8th place team brought us back into the league. Our fans really supported us tonight. We really worked hard tonight, nothing was easy for us”, stressed Fraport Skyliner head coach Muli Katzurin. “Barthel made a big offensive rebound. Gregory fouling out didn´t help us and Robinson was always penetrating which hurt us as well”, stressed Steven Wriedt.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Dawan Robinson with 25 points. Ryan Brooks added 14 points and Laquan Prowell chipped in with 13 points. Danilo Barthel produced 11 points, while Quantez Robertson contributed 10 points. Phoenix Hagen was led by Davin White and Adam Hess who both hit for 16 points each. Larry Gordin added 14 points and six rebounds and David Bell chipped in with 11 points and Mark Dorris produced 10 points. The Fraport Sklyiners shot 52% from the field and also won the rebounding duel 32-28. The new players Brooks and Prowell continue to get integrated better as well as finding their rhythm while Dawan Robinson is getting fitter. Frankfurt showed another solid team effort for 40 minutes and continue to show that they are a much better team than what their place in standings shows. “Our biggest strength tonight was our rebounding, staying together and team defense”, stressed Dawan Robinson. The Fraport Skyliners will have to continue to up their game as the next three games are against Berlin, Ulm and Bamberg. Thier confidence is high as their game is slowly getting into shape.