When you look back at the rosters of the Frankfurt Skyliners between the seasons of 2007-2010, you will come across players that one never saw again in action playing for another German Beko BBL team like an Adam Emmenckar, Jimmie Hunt, Greg Jenkins, Dragan Labovic or Seth Doliboa. The list grows however when you list the names of guys that one saw play again since their stay in Frankfurt with guys like Jimmy Mckinney, Konrad Wysocki, Anthony King, or a Dominik Bahiense De Mello. There are even a few guys that changed jerseys more than once like a Koko Archibong who played in towns like Giessen, Bayreuth and Munich or even a Max Weber who really might have had a rebate on Regio trains in Germany as he was shuffling all over the place from Giessen to Kaiserslautern, to Goettingen or to Ludwigsburg and now is closer to home playing with SC Rasta Vechta. But if one had to choose one player that one has the most affection for when seeing him dazzle the paint area even in a strangers uniform then it is Mr ballerina Derrick Allen. He also has changed uniforms more than once in the Beko BBL since his last season in Frankfurt in 2009-2010. His last game was the bitter last second loss to the Brose Baskets Bamberg in game 5 of the 2010 finals. Since then he went for the money in the twilight of his career playing for Alba Berlin form 2010-2012 and last season in Belgium for Belgacom Spirou (Belgium-Ethias League). He is known as being one of the hardest workers in the game of basketball and in his time with the Frankfurt Skyliners was the go to guy playing a total of 148 games for the 2004 BBL champion. He was second in league scoring in 2008 and was just a delight to watch and one of those guys when asked why you came out to the arena saying to watch Derrick Allen play. His trademark was his unconventional, overhasty moves that at times looked like a factory worker stumbling to punch out at 4.30 in the afternoon to get over to the bar to join the boys. He may be 33 and is his twilight of his career, but he can still be a force as he has formed a solid forward punch with Brian Harper with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. He was back again at the office dueling against his ex coach Gordon Herbert who he had as coach in Frankfurt and Berlin, but couldn´t put a dent in the explosive Andy Rautins Show as the Fraport Skyliners snapped their two game losing streak 88-72. Allen was sold again in his third game scoring 13 points, grabbing five rebounds and finding the open man from the post with two assists. Brian Harper who was a force last season with TBB Trier and is 5 years younger than Allen scored only two points and is always able to learn something from the Alabama native. D.A is the ultimate professional. He plays hard every minute in practice and game. It is awesome to watch him play and I can still learn from him and get better. It is an honor to play with him. He is a great captain”, added Bremerhaven forward Brian Harper. Allen was playing a lot of center in the game and Skyliner Jacob Burtschi was glad he didn´t have to be perplexed by his ballerina moves. “He works so hard and I am happy that I didn´t have to guard him. He makes you play and never takes any possessions off. I have a lot of respect for him”, added Jacob Burtschi. After the loss Bremerhaven head coach Calvin Oldham had little mimic in his expression, but when he heard the name Derrick Allen, his face lit up as bright as the New York skyline. “As a professional, Derrick is at the top of the list. There are always guys you like to be around no matter their talent. I always feel like he says and does the right ting at every moment”, lauded Bremerhaven head coach Calvin Oldham.
Andy Rautins came to Frankfurt in September with huge expectations as a guy who had to play a huge role on the offensive end on a team that is missing snipers as much as the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven are missing their own shooter Stefan Jackson. Rautins was averaging a satisfactory 12ppg after two games and had taken an overwhelming 25 shots and averaging an unacceptable 28%. Rautins who played 5 NBA games with the New York Knicks is a shooter by nature and sooner or later he is going to free himself out of his funk like a Miro Klose when he has been held scoreless for many minutes. The New York native who is the son of ex NBA player Leo Rautins started off with 5 points, then was in the Rautins zone putting on his own dazzling shooting clinic in the second quarter netting home 16 points and had eight points in the third quarter. In the end he recorded 32 points hitting eight three pointers. He was humble after the big win giving his teammates much credit. “My team did a good job running plays for me. They did a good job finding me. I am just trying to continue to find myself in the system”, added Andy Rautins. One guy who has stuck by his side since his arrival is Jacob Burtschi. Both were kind of in a shooting slump in the first few games and Burtschi wasn´t taking shots, but still had good advice for his new friend. “Andy is a stud and is capable of always shooting like that. He had a coming out party. He really was in the zone. He missed some late, but then hit a big one. He is a shooter and was feeling the pressure at the start, but I just told him to let the game come to him”, stressed Jacob Burtschi. Bremerhaven forward Brian Harper was only shaking his head after that shooting spectacle of Rautins. “He shot the ball extremely well. When you let a guy like that get hot, it is really difficult to stop him”, added Brian Harper. Guys like Rautins can be stopped if team defense is on par. “After we noticed that Robinson wasn´t there, we knew that guys like Rautins, Burtschi or Robertson would step up. Rautins stepped up took big shots, kept them in game and then took the lead. Good defensive teams are able to handle a player like Rautins, but at the moment we aren´t a good defensive team”, said Calvin Oldham. Bremerhaven head coach Calvin Oldham went a step further by stressing that Rautins may have stole the show from Burtschi with his downtown bombs, but the Oklahoma native was infected by his scoring 16 points and five three pointer and shot 71%. Burtschi who had been criticized for his lack of fitness played a solid game contributing in many aspects especially on defense where he did a super job against Harper. “Jake worked his tail off and is one of the hardest workers on the team and his shots fell”, expressed Andy Rautins.
The Fraport Skyliners entered the game with a record of 0-2 and were involved in a early season do or die game and needed a big win on the road to help gain some confidence for the next games. The Fraport Skyliners let the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven score 25 points in the first quarter which is untypically high for them, but took control of the game in the second quarter taking the lead and really blowing the game wide open in the third quarter. “The first 15 minutes were bad and the last 25 minutes were good. Our defense wasn´t good in the first 15 minutes, but our offense kept us in the game. We scored 32 points in the second quarter. We picked up the intensity on defense, got loose balls and moved the ball very well on offense”, stated ex Phoenix Hagen forward Jacob Burtschi. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven also came into the game with an unflattering 0-2 start in the season and even worse were coming off a pitiful 40 point loss in Ulm and were looking to win their first home game of the season. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven seemed to take the injury of Quantez Robertson not as a weapon, but used it more to their disadvantage. “”We started off well, but Frankfurt got hot in the second quarter. It was interesting when Robertson got injured the game changed. We seemed to get too relaxed and the intensity on defense dropped off. Frankfurt was shooting very well and hitting tough shots. From that point on we were hanging on a string and playing catch up”, stressed Calvin Oldham.
The Fraport Skyliners had to play with out starting point guard Dawan Robinson who stayed at home on account of disciplinary reasons and Quantez Robertson was injured after the first quarter got off to a quick start as Jacob Burtschi nailed a three pointer which was equaled by a bomb from downtown from ex Alba Berlin forward Philipp Zwiener. Sengalnator Aziz N’Diaye countered with a quick turn around shot and and Zwiener made it 5-5 with a jumper. Andrew Rautins then hit his first jumper of the game giving Frankfurt the 7-5 lead, but the biggest player in the Beko BBL Nick Schneiders at 221cm who wasn´t in the starting lineup in the first two games hit three quick shots inside grabbing a lob pass from point guard Darius Adams and the guard from Illinois then hit a three pointer as Bremerhaven topped of a 9-0 run and 14-7 advantage. The Fraport Skyliners had problems finding a rhythm and didn´t have the defensive intensity that Gordon Herbert would have liked. Johannes Voigtmann made a pretty hook shot over American Devin Searcy who had been a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. Bremerhaven continued to get to the foul lines and were able to keep a healthy lead. Despite two three pointers by Burtschi and Rautins in the last minute of the first quarter, the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven continued to stay in rhythm on offense as Adams and Searcy scored. After one quarter, the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven led 25-16. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were shooting 50% from the field and 335 from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 50% from the field and 50% from outside. Bremerhaven had the 11-5 rebound edge and three turnovers while Frankfurt had six turnovers.
In the second quarter, the Fraport Skyliners had their best offensive quarter of the season scoring 32 points and despite Bremerhaven still having a groove on offense were able to stay with them and even take the lead. Rautins started off the quarter with a catch and pop jumper and Nick Schneiders caught the lob pass from Allen for an easy bucket. Barthel then made a pretty hook shot over Schneiders and then found Rautins on a back door pass as Frankfurt was slowly coming back trailed only 29-23. Kevin Bright gave his 2 cents to the scoring onslaught with a high rainbow three pointer and Rautins connected on a three pointer as Bremerhaven led only 31-29. After another Adams three pointer came the biggest play of the night as Danilo Barthel making a fake on Allen at the free throw line and then flying to the hoop and dunking over Searcy. Angelo Sharpless who is a rookie and last summer dunked over 208cm Brooklyn Net Mason Plumlee at a summer camp held back with his athletic play and hit a three pointer and Barthel made a put back as Frankfurt trailed 37-34. The Fraport Skyliners then closed out the second quarter with rigorous 14-3 run to lead 48-40 at halftime. Rautins scored 8 points in this run showing his playfulness and enjoyment from the three point line and making ahead fake on Angelo Sharpless and watching him sky as high as the ceiling and then hitting again form outside and making two steals and one that led to a dunk. Barthel and Burtschi also contributed to the scoring attack. “We picked up our defensive intensity, rebounded better and just made adjustments”, added Andy Rautins. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 62% from the field and 56% from the three point line while the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were shooting 54% from the field and 40% form the three point line. Bremerhaven still had the 16-8 rebound edge, but nine turnovers while Frankfurt had no turnovers in the second quarter having six turnovers.
In the third quarter, a time where the Fraport Skyliners seem to be in space and dreaming of anything except the third quarter came out focused and went on a 13-3 run to lead 61-43. N’Diaye scored over Searcy and really showed that he doesn´t waste any time as he didn´t hesitate to release the ball as soon a she got it in his hands. Rautins continued to have the hot hand dropping two three pointers and Burtschi also was still hitting consistently as he hit form the parking lot. Bremerhaven then went on a mini 5-0 run as Zwiener connected from outside and Adams hit a pull up jumper as Bremerhaven trailed only 61-48. However even with this small threatning run by Bremerhaven, the Fraport Skyliners continued to hit at their leisure as Burtschi nailed another three pointer for the 64-48 lead. Konstantin Klein scored and Derrick Allen scored twice where he is best near the basket. Kevin the light Bright closed out the third quarter with a clutch three pointer to keep the big lead at 72-54. “Frankfurt had total control of the game and we didn´t execute the way that we wanted to”, stressed Brian Harper. “We opened up the game and continued to up our defensive intensity and that decided the game”, added Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners were still shooting at an immense level at 56% from the field and 55% from the parking lot while the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were shooting 50% from the field and 38% from the parking lot. Bremerhaven still had the 23-20 rebound lead, but 13 turnovers and Frankfurt eight. Frankfurt only had two turnovers in the second and third quarters.
In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners kept control of the game as both teams were pretty even, but on account of the huge Frankfurt lead, could take the win back to Frankfurt. German Johannes Voigtmann who had been rested in the third quarter and had only played 2.49 minutes in the first three quarters was inserted in the fourth quarter and got some buckets as Frankfurt had a solid 77-57 lead. On one put back he got a perfect bounce pass from Klein who was top assist man for the Skyliners together with Andrew Rautins with five. Klein and Adams then traded three pointers as both teams continued to keep their shooting percentages up. After missing a few shots, Rautins found his touch again nailing an open three pointer as Frankfurt led 83-64. Rautins who had shown his keen shooting habit which was as successful as a shark´s feeding on baby whales with a strong connection rate, the new York native finished his evening with a remarkable pass out of the double team as Allen left Voigtman in the post came up to help, but Rautins somehow flicked the pass to the German for a crashing dunk for the 85-69 Frankfurt lead which sealed the nail on the coffin for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. Frankfurt won a big game without two of their most important players. “Our defense was better the last 25 minutes. We had better communication, rotated better and rebounded better”, commented Jacob Burtschi. “We didn´t do what it took to win this game. We got away from our game plan and they took control of the game in the second quarter. Their German kids did a great job stepping up for the missing players. That is what happens when you don’t take care of business”, warned Brian Harper. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Andrew Rautins with 32 points. Jacob Burtschi added 16 points and Danilo Barthel 12 points. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were led by Darius Adams with 20 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Derrick Allen chipped in with 13 points, Philipp Zwiener added 12 points and Devin Searcy 11 points.