The Fraport Skyliners Steamroll The Giessen 46ers 75-42

In the last years having the autobahn series between the Frankfurt Skyliners and Giessen 46ers where fans could already have been home including having had a Mcdonalds stop before the team bus of either club had rolled out of the parking lot and test games before the season had been as typical as Candian pop singer Justin Bieber landing in the tabloids almost daily and taking over for Lindsay Lohan who has quitted down a bit lately with front page news, Boston winter teams Celtics and Bruins playing pre season games in neighboring cities like Providence and Worcester or big time defense lawyer Robert Shapiro coming to the aid of sports stars when in the time of need like for OJ Simpson almost 20 years ago and now for busted NBA player Lamar Oden who was slapped with a DUI charge. The only difference this season in the head to head matchups between Frankfurt and Giessen will be that their only meeting will be preseason as they wont meet in the regular season, because Giessen has moved down to the second Bundesliga for the first time ever after winning a series of BBL titles in the 70s. In the past, these games before or during the season were always entertaining and Frankfurt fans could have seen a mix of outstanding players like Euroleague player Chuck Eidson, NBA draft pick Maurice Jeffers, Euroleague player Ricky Hickman, or NCAA champion Souleymane Wane battling in the famous Hessen derbies. Now with a step down, the Giessen 46ers might not have the strength of former players, but still have a mix of interesting players that have potential like Steven Bennett that got to practice daily with NBA player Dennis Schroeder last season, TJ Dileo who is a rookie that played at Temple and probably knows some Allen Iverson secrets that none knows since his dad is the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, or recently signed Rob Chubb who will be trying to enforce the good last name of relative Adam Chubb who also played in Giessen early in his career. The love and hate relationship between the fans will probably never change for each other, but all in all Giessen is a traditional Basketball city and belong in the Beko BBL and now will have to show how quickly they can return back. For some Skyliners playing against Giessen is always something special. Just like the last years, Frankfurt had little trouble beating Giessen as they steamrolled the Pro A team 75-42. “This is a great rivalry in basketball and both teams have a great fan base. They may not be in the first league now, but I hope they are back in the Beko BBL soon, because it is always nice to see a familiar team in the league”, added Fraport Skyliner forward Jacob Burtschi. After beating USC Heidelberg 72 hours ago, the Fraport Skyliners returned back to work and had little problems walloping the Giessen 46ers 75-42. The Fraport Skyliners started very strong in the first half holding the Hessen club to 17 points and it could even have been less had the opponent not gone on a 5-0 run at the end of the first half. Jacob Burtschi who had fled Frankfurt to take part at a friends wedding in Florida was back on the court again after arriving in Frankfurt 24 hours earlier and surprisingly was pretty fit, but not happy how the team finished the game. “I was ok in the States and was used to the time difference, but jet lag hit me bad yesterday as I arrived. We played well in the first half being very aggressive, but let up a bit in the second half and just cruised. That is what happens in basketball at times either playing a good first half and bad second half or vice versa”, stressed Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi. 24 hours earlier, Giessen was able to win a defensive battle in Giessen against Gotha with six players, but had less luck in Frankfurt with nine players. Giessen was behind quickly and were never able to get into the game as the Fraport Skyliners dominated the game. “We have had personel problems. Dustin Mitchell was cut recently, Myles Hesson is with the English national team and Rob Chubb arrived yesterday. I think this loss showed us where we exactly are in our development. Our spacing was off and pick and role defesne was terrible. The rookies from the States still have to get used to this. We still need time to find our rhythm”, stressed ex TBB Trier guard Joshiko Saibu. The Fraport Skyliners started the game with Johannes Voigtmann, Danilo Barthel, Stefan Ilzhoefer, Quantez Robertson and Beko BBL rookie Frankie Sullivan. The Fraport Skyliners found their rhythm quickly racing out on to a 6-0 lead. Illzhoefer started the game with a lay in getting a perfect back door feed from Danilo Barthel, Super Tez then dunked getting a crisp back door pass from Johanes Voigtmann and then it was time for Danilo white men can jump Barthel show his dunking excellence getting the feed from Auburn graduate Frankie Sullivan. Last season in the pre season it was the Konstan Klein to Johannes Voigtmann give and go that released the ohhhs and ahhhhs in the BCM training facility and tonight it was the remarkable passing ability that Voigtmann and Barthel have had continue to develop. It might be difficult to argue that they are the best four-five man passing German combo in the Beko BBL. “They both have great touch on their passes and just see the floor so well. To have this great ability so young is remarkable and it will only get better. They are a great combo”, stressed Jacob Burtschi. Dawan Robinson misses being on the court, but he loves having that Spkie Lee front row seat on the bench to watch the German wunderkinder big men show their poise passing. “I love how Joe Voigtmann passes the ball. He makes passes that even point guards would have problems making. It really is untypical how well they both can pass the ball”, commented Philadelphia native Dawan Robinson. Giessen head coach Denis Wucherer then made a change inserting Steven Bennett who wasn´t fit and he quickly changed the game as he led Giessen on a 6-0 run to dead lock the game at 6-6. Giessen got all three buckets inside as Benjamin Lischka scored over Voigtmann and Atlanta native Rickey Young scored twice inside including a thunderous dunk. Frankfurt was taken a bit out of their offense, but soon regained their touch as they finished the first quarter with a 13-4 run to lead 19-10 after ten minutes. Frankfurt played enthusiastic inside out basketball as Voigtman made a tip in and captain Marius Nolte scored over Chubb and then got consecutive three point bombs from Jacob Burtschi and Quantez Robertson. Bennett and Max Merz traded baskets in the last seconds. Merz didn´t have much time on the clock, but used the time like a veteran and scored high off the glass. The Fraport Skyliners really took control of the game in the second quarter going on a 6-0 run to start the game as Merz scored inside, then Nolte scored on the pick and roll getting a nice pass from Jan Novak and Burtschi then scored on a fancy reverse lay up waiting for Young to commit before making the shot. Young then scored as Giessen trailed 26-12. Then came a big drought period for Giessen as the Fraport Skyliners went on a 13-0 run to extend their lead to 39-12 as they continued to play aggressive defense not giving Giessen any easy shots and even when they had wide open shots, they were unable to connect. Frankfurt Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert continued to sub his players at ease not fretting to play all his German players and the team showed good control of their offense so early in the preseason. Frankfurt could do what they wanted as the Giessen big men Chubb and Young really showed little resistance in keeping Frankfurt far from the hole. Burstchi started the run with a left handed lay in past Young where he looked like a lost country boy searching for the unharvest corn field, then it was Voigtman and Barthel hooking up again for an easy lay up and then it was Sullivan scoring hard to the hoop as Young was still far off looking for that lost corn field. Then there was an interesting observation to be made after a loose ball that Sullivan was fighting for, Dawan Robinson came on the court and gave pointers to the rookie. “I am like an assistant coach. I try to help Sullivan as much as I can. One has to remember that this is just his second professional game. I know how tough it is for him, but when you are a good player and work hard which he does, you have a shorter time to adjust”, warned Dawan Robinson. Frankfurt continued to pour on the offense as Barthel drilled a jumper over Chubb and Ilzhoefer nailed a three pointer from the corner after Quantez Robertson did like a point guard and whisteled over a bullet for the assist. Giessen was able to get away from their horrible two point showing and score five points in the last two minutes to make the halftime score of 43-17 just a tad bit better looking. TJ Di Leo finally hit a jumper and Bennett hit a step back jumper. “Frankfurt played very good defense. They did excellent work switching and I enjoyed their ball movement”, stressed Lebron James buddy Ronald Howard. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting an incredible 71% from the field and 43% from outside while Giessen was shooting 35% from the field and 14% from outside. Frankfurt had the rebound edge 16-7 and nine turnovers. The first few minutes of the third quarter were very hectic as both teams were filling up their turnover account and missing shots left and right, that the basketball play on the court looked as nasty as a rush hour pile up on highway 10 in Los Angeles. The Fraport Skyliners got on the board first as it was the German 4-5 connection once again as Voigtmann scored getting the pass from Barthel. Saibou then scored who got stronger as time marched on. “I see myself as a leader and want this responsibility, so I need to show it. I took more control which the other players took into their game”, added Joshiko Saibu who was sporting a blond hairdo that reminded one of the Dennis Rodman faze back in the late 90s. Then it was Barthel that scored inside retrieving the pass from buddy Voigtmann. Giessen connected on a few more offensive plays as Bennett scored in massive Skyliner traffic, Saibu hit a floater and Benjamin Lischka nailed a three pointer, but Giessen still trailed 50-26. In the last minutes, Frankfurt closed out the third quarter with a 7-2 run as the Fraport Skyliners led comfortably 47-28. Merz who likes to penetrate and has a knack for making one or the another difficult shots hit a off balance shovel lay in. Ilzhoefer then hit an open three pointer and Robertson nailed an off balance jumper. Six months ago 18 year old 200cm guard/forward Stefan Ilzhoefer was playing in the NBBL playoffs and tonight he led all scorers with 13 points and contributed three steals on 56% shooting from the field. This German player could be the biggest steal that the Fraport Skyliners have done in years. It will be interesting how he will develop and just how much Beko BBL minutes he will get, but one thing is for sure, the two Skyliner elder statesmen Dawan Robinson and Jacob Burstchi have much respect for the player. “He can shoot the hell out of the ballHe isn´t fast, but he makes the right decisions and he finishes well. The thing that I really like about him is that he listens. I told him help attack the baseline more on screens and he did it”, stressed Dawan Robinson. “Ilzhoefer was a great steal from the Skyliners. He can still put on muscle, but he will become a very good player”, added Jacob Burtschi. In the fourth quarter, the Fraport Skyliners continued to control the game as Giessen continued to struggle finding any kind of consistency in their game. Ilzhoefer started the scoring for the Fraport Skyliners with another lay in and then it was Quantez Robertson with a heads up play catching a Jan Novak airball and making the put back. Di Leo and Barthel then traded baskets as both made step back jumpers as Frankfurt led 63-32. Then there was a faze where one could see a minimal, but careful Ilzhoefer to Super Tez comparison as the German scored inside and then made a few back to back steals showing that bit of being all over the court something that Frankfurt fans have been used to the American from Auburn doing since his arrival in Frankfurt in 2009. Young then dropped a jumper who played a solid offensive game, but was hidden on defense. Sullivan then made a floater as time was winding down. The last defensive and offensive play by the Fraport Skyliners was spectacular. It started on the defensive end where Danilo Barthel who is as much a delight to watch dunk as it is swatting away a ball which he did blocking the young Giessen player Pfannmuller which led to a last offensive play as Frankie Sullivan found Voigtmann on the ally-op which the big man had problems reaching, but was able to lay in ending the game as Frankfurt won easily 75-42. Dawan Robinson might not have played, but was still sporting that huge smile and was satisfied about the play of his team. “This was a good win and big step forward to the first game. Our defesne was excellent. Our offense was a lot better and it has been progressing with each practice. I think that we will be ok and will compete in the Beko BBL. A big compliment goes to coach Herbert that just wants everything to be perfect. He just wants everybody to know what to do and he wont stop until it is correct. This attitude helps in fine tuning the team”, stated Dawan Robinson. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Stefan Ilzhoefer with 13 points. Quantze Robertson sparked the team with 11 points, six rebounds and three assists. Frankie Sullivan, Jacob Burtschi and Danilo Barthel chipped in with 10 points a piece. The Giessen 46ers only had Rickey Young in double figures who accounted for 12 points. Frankfurt shot 57% from the field and 33% from the parking lot and Giessen shot 35% from the field and 17% from the three point line. Frankfurt dominated the boards 36-21. For Skyliner Jacob Burtschi, playing with such young players is a new experience, but he has no problem being one of the elder statesmen on the team. Working with young players will not only make him better, but also keep him in shape. “It is tough on the body, but you want to go hard in practice, because you want them to get better. These are a good group of kids. Frankfurt didn´t get any young kids form the playground, but really got good players”, warned Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners next travel to Strassburg, France for back to back games on Friday and Saturday. Despite having only played two test games, the team still has enough to improve on. “We have to work on everything and improve on everything. We need to talk more on defense and execute our offense even better”, stated Jacob Burtschi. “

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