In the last 30 years there have been many very very entertaining and well made NBA commercials that have made one boring evening watching a Charlotte Bobcats-Washington Wizards game even more worth while to watch as well as delaying the yawning and rubbing of the baby blues and turning the channel to Seinfeld reruns. Some of the classic NBA videos that have made the air waves that have remained unforgettable and plastered in the minds of basketball aficionados have been the Larry Bird-Magic Johnson Converse commercials where choosing a weapon was vital, or the amazing Nike commercials supported by Vince Carter or Jason Williams as for some learning the tricks like their basketball hero´s was as important as it is for inspiring break dancers in the 80s to know the Michael Jackson moon walk step by step or the Michael Jordan and Mars Blackmon segments with the famous saying could it be shoes, its got to be shoes or the NBA with their always amusing where amazing happens. The Kobe and Lebron puppet commercials bring another dimension to the commercials where one doesn´t always have to be human to get the point across. Other players surely dream of taking the roles of a Kobe or Lebron and dreaming is allowed and imagine if there was to be made a special Beko BBL commercial with sharp shooters Andrew Rautins of Frankfurt and David Bell of Phoenix Hagen making a video in the Fraport arena. The two names might not have the mega high profile of the NBA stars of today and yesterday, but with these two guys one could surely make a very entertaining video. Bell dressed up as baby hulk as his resemblance and body structure reminds one of the green monster, while Rautins is posing as Ferris Bueller who is ready to skip a day of basketball practice and just fire away and yell bombs away from all over the arena battling with the baby hulk Bell to see who can hit more shots even from the balcony or from the entrance to the catacomb. Anyway before any of these two guys dream of making a video like this, the guys first had to hit shots from the floor as two of the leagues best three point shooters met for the first time and Aziz N´Diaye with 16 points and Mark Dorris with 25 points stole the show from the two sharp shooters. Rautins finished with 13 points in the win after being limited to four points in the first half and David Bell had 17 points. It didn´t really matter which player you asked, each guy had their own Rautins-Bell commercial version. “I think if they did a commercial it could be never ending, because they both hit three pointers all day long. They would be shooting that commercial the whole day, because both are great shooters”, stressed injured Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robertson. Rautins was thinking old school when confronted with a possible commercial. “I think we would make a commercial like the old Mcdonalds commercials with Larry Bird and Michael Jordan playing horse. I really respect his game. Bell is a great shooter”, explained Andrew Rautins. Mark Dorris might of taken in to much of the Fraport Skyliners video to begin the game with Quantez Robertson doing his thing on the Frankfurt airport runway. “I think they would make a commercial at the airport shooting into moving planes”, smiled Cincinnati native Mark Dorris. It might only have been December 1st, but Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi was already in the Christmas spirit. “Those two guys should make a commercial like the current NBA one with Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant”, added Jacob Burtschi.
The game had so many interesting stories again as it was the break out game of Senegal big man Aziz Ndiaye, the 39 points contributed by the Fraport Skyliners bench, the amazing Phoenix Hagen come back in the fourth quarter and the unbelievable contested shots that Quantez Robertson buddy Mark Dorris was hitting all night long. Without starting point guard Henry Dugat available due to injury, Mark Dorris has had to take over a lot more responsibility and he almost was able to win the game at the end. Dorris came to Germany in 2009 via a solid NCAA career at Marshall and dominated the Pro A with Cuxhaven averaging 18,3ppg and arrived in the Beko BBL in Hagen in 2010 and is playing his third season for head coach Ingo Freyer after playing his second season in the Beko BBL in Ludwigsburg. Dorris is one of those guys that can light up the scoreboard with the likes of a Davin White or a David Bell, but the only difference is that he makes the most difficult shots that could almost warrant a special patent for the Ohio native. Dorris was relatively upbeat after the game and for him it was just another day at the office and with one more basket could have decided the game for Phoenix Hagen. “I just try to give what is needed for my team to get into a good rhythm and get the win. We had some good looks at the end and you just have to make those shots and we didn´t”, explained Mark Dorris. Besides penetrating to the basket, Dorris loves to wheel and deal in the zone and then take off balance shots over players which is helped extremely by his athletic ability. “He is a tough cover that knows how to get to the hole, can shoot and has so much athletic ability. He jumps so high when he shoots that he is tough to stop”, warned Jacob Burtschi. Bell who´s shooting clinic was left in the shadow by Dorris knows what the American is capable of doing. “Dorris played great. He has done it so many times for so many years in this league. We see him make these shots everyday in practice. It was great for us that he executed so well”, stressed David Bell. His friend Quantez Robertson also knows from the Cincinnati playgrounds of what Dorris is capable of displaying with the basketball. “Dorris has an endless motor. He always goes hard on offense and defense. When he finds his spots, then he hits tough shots”, stressed Quantez Robertson. Fraport Skyliner Andrew Rautins who usually likes to shoot out the lights from outside also found some room to penetrate and score and might have taken something from the game of Dorris. “Dorris was feeling it today. We didn´t do a good job containing his penetration. He played a solid game”, warned Andrew Rautins.
The Fraport Sklyiners came into the game with a two game winning streak and perched in tenth place with the chance of moving into the playoff places with a win. They had defended better the last two games against Artland and Tuebingen giving up 70 points and knew that they would have their hands full with high scoring run and gun team Phoenix Hagen. After letting Phoenix Hagen stay with them shot for shot, the Fraport Skyliners stepped it up in the second quarter and Phoenix Hagen then was forced to play catch up basketball all night long what they adjusted well to and almost turned around the game in the last minute had shots fallen. But once again the Fraport Skyliners got support from the whole team which was key for keeping the winning streak alive at three games. “We had a total team effort. Our bench contributed 39 points and that really helped us win. You need a strong bench to be able to win games better. If we can keep this up then we will be in good shape the rest of the way”, warned ex Syracuse guard Andrew Rautins. Phoenix Hagen came into the game riding on a two game winning streak and wanted to gain more leverage in the playoff places, but came up short despite a very very hard fought effort that almost paid dividends at the end with a victory. “It wasn´t easy playing without Henry Dugat, but this is something that we have to adjust to. We didn´t start out as aggressive on offense as we should have. We did a good job sticking to our game plan the whole game, but not with the sense of urgency in the first half that we should have”, stressed Oakland, California native David Bell. Phoenix Hagen assistant coach Steven Wriedt gave his two cents to the reasons for the loss stating that the second quarter was key for the Fraport Skyliners going in the right direction to securing the early roots for the win. “Frankfurt did a good job to pull away in the second quarter. We did a good job on Jacob Burtschi and Andrew Rautins, but that opened it up for Aziz Ndiaye who had too many easy buckets”, explained Steven Wriedt. “I think our bench did a great job as each guy contributed in different ways. After Burtschi got foul problems other guys stepped up. Our will was great. We didn´t play great basketball, but our will was very important. We struggled with turnovers having 8-10 too many”, expressed Frapport Skyliner head coach Gordon Herbert.
4,610 fans came into the Fraport arena to witness the return of ex Skyliner Bernd Kruel who is playing his last season and the question was if Phoenix Hagen would be able to play there preferred run and gun basketball and make meat out of so many other opponents. Phoenix Hagen got going quickly as Larry Gordon hit a midrange jumper from the baseline and David Bell said hello to Konstantin Klein nailing a three pointer in his face as Frankfurt trailed 5-2. However Frankfurt recognized early that they would be able to get a smooth flow in their offense inside and out as Barthel scored inside after getting a quick feed from Klein and Klein then nailed his first three pointer of the first quarter as Frankfurt led 7-5. Barthel and Bell then exchanged baskets as Phoenix Hagen trailed 9-7. However the first quarter belonged to Klein who dropped two more bombs and Frankfurt led 17-9. Phoenix Hagen did a supper job containing Rautins often double teaming him, so Klein opted to step up hitting his open shots. Phoenix Hagen then went on their first run of the game of 10-2 to dead lock the game at 19-19. Phoenix Hagen may have dominant shooters, but their inside duo of Dino Gregory and Keith Ramsey aren´t too shabby either as they scored consecutive buckets inside, Bell hit a jumper and Dorris an off balance shot. Nikita Khartchenkov who started his basketball career in 2003 with TV Langen hit a jumper as well. Los Angeles native Jarred Dubois had the last shot of the first quarter found open daylight and finished with his left hand as the Fraport Skyliners led 23-21 after one quarter. “Konstantin Klein really stepped up and hit big shots. The first quarter was pretty even as teams traded shot for shot”, explained Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 43% from the field and 60% from outside while Phoenix Hagen was shooting 50% from the field and 33% from outside. Frankfurt had the 9-7 rebound edge and three turnovers while Phoenix Hagen had two turnovers.
The second quarter was the professional basketball birth of 25 year old 213cm center Aziz Ndiaje of Senegal who dominated the second quarter with 12 points and his play seemed like day and night to previous games where at times he looked like a lost little kid in a play pen filled with big men. He scored on his first touch and on his second touch as rookie Dubois fed him nicely as Frankfurt led 27-23. Kevin Bright then hit a pretty catch and pop jumper from the corner and Dorris then was at his normal self connecting on another seemingly impossible off balance shot as Frankfurt led 29-25. Rautins then scored on a rare penetration as his outside shooting was more than limited. Phoenix Hagen continued to hang in the game not allowing Frankfurt to break away by connecting on their shots as David Bell hit from downtown again and Larry Gordon used the massive mismatch against Ndiaye making him dizzy with his dribbling and then hitting a jumper over the big man as Phoenix Hagen completed a 7-2 run to trail only 31-30. However the Fraport Skyliners didn´t let this comeback dampen their game as they raced out on a 8-0 run sparked by six points by Ndiaye who got increased confidence with every new touch making a reverse layup and put back over Gregory and Barthel made a monster dunk as Frankfurt led 39-30. Frankfurt closed out the second quarter with some big buckets from Ndiaye who made a tip in and Ramon Galloway floater. Dorris closed out the second quarter with another floater in traffic, but Frankfurt led 45-34. The story of the second quarter was Aziz Ndiaye who had 12 points and was more than instrumental for Phoenix Hagen being down by 11 points. He had his ups and downs as he also had five turnovers, but all in all it was refreshing to see the positive turnaround in his game. The big man was the last to leave the dressing room and had much to tell the reporters after his rebirth game. “I wanted to come out with energy and just be aggressive. I was able to use mismatches and coach knows that I like to play with my back to the basket and we had been working much this week in practice to get me in good position. I like to roll and catch and finish and my teammates did a great job finding me in the paint”, commented Aziz Ndiaye. “Ndiaye had a good game. He was a force in the paint. He took advantage of us taking away shooters Rautins and Burtschi and played a good game”, said Mark Dorris. “It was the break out game of Ndiaye. He has been working very hard in practice. He did good job getting to the right place so we could get him the ball in good position”, stressed Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 56% from the field and 43% from the three point line while Phoenix Hagen was shooting 42% from the field and 29% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 18-14 rebound edge and Frankfurt had eight turnovers while Phoenix Hagen had seven turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners continued to keep the lead in the third quarter despite Phoenix Hagen being a thorn in the side of Frankfurt never giving up and even cutting the lead to two points, but they couldn´t regain the lead as Frankfurt was able to get a comfortable lead again. Mark Dorris got Phoenix Hagen on the board first with a left handed lay in in traffic to cut the Frankfurt lead to 45-37. After a Johannes Voigtmann dunk, Phoenix Hagen closed out their 8-2 run to trail only 47-42. Dorris hit another jumper and then Larry Gordon made a steal and played run and gun as he closed out the fast break with an open three pointer as he had so much time sitting on the three point line and then shooting. However each time Phoenix Hagen was threatening on the comeback, they got slapped in the face by the Fraport Skyliners executing on offense as Andrew Rautins hit a three pointer in the corner and Konstantin Klein extended the Frankfurt lead to 52-42 with a lay in. One thing Phoenix Hagen didn´t do was lay down and give up as they continued to demonstrate heart and execution going on a 10-2 run and making basketball life so hard for Frankfurt as they trailed only 54-52. In the run Dorris scored twice as did Bell with a lay in and three pointer. However as has been the case in the last games against Artland and Tuebingen and Hagen there were always different hero´s that stepped up. In the last minutes it was rookie Jarred Dubois who led Frankfurt on a 14-4 run steering 11 points to the run. He hit inside on the penetration and dropped a three pointer. Ndiaye also had a giant dunk which was set up by German Danilo Barthel who showed his team play opting not to challenge the defense with a three pointer, but finding the open big man under the hoop. After three quarter, the Fraport Skyliner had a comfortable lead again 68-56. “Jarred Dubois hit big shots that helped us keep the lead”, added Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 56% from the field and 45% from the parking lot while Phoenix Hagen was shooting 45% from the field and 40% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 27-21 rebound advantage, but 12 turnovers while Phoenix Hagen had nine turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners went into the fourth quarter with a fine12 point lead, but saw it shaved down to two points and were lucky to escape their own living room with a victory. Two bench players gave their respective teams energy in the first minute as Nikita Khartchenkov hit free throws and a jumper while rookie American Ramon Galloway from Florida scored inside, made a big steal and fed Barthel for a big dunk as Frankfurt led 72-61. Despite the comfortable Frankfurt lead, one was never 100% confident that Phoenix Hagen wouldn´t make one last run especially when a Mark Dorris was hitting from all over on the court except from the top of Skyliner mascot dunking kong´s head. After Rautins made a slick steal and went coast to coast for the dunk, it was Dorris who continued to score in bunches making an off balance shot and then making a steal and dunk as Frankfurt led 76-68. Galloway then used his quick first step in the set offense went inside and made a reverse lay up as Frankfurt led 78-68 with three minutes to play in the game. However Phoenix Hagen had one last grasp of energy and used it best by going on a 9-1 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 79-77. Phoenix Hagen played practical team basketball as Larry Gordon made an offensive rebound and put back, Keith Ramsey blocked Voigtmann, Gordon hit a huge three pointer and Dorris withdrew from shooting and found 37 year old ex Skyliner Bernd Kruel back door as all of a sudden a seemingly won game for Frankfurt looked like Phoenix Hagen would take the momentum and win. A Ndiaye turnover and Dubois unsportsmanlike foul made the game a tick to exciting at the end. Dubois and Gordon traded free throws as Frankfurt led 81-79. It looked like Frankfurt would throw away the game as Ndiaye missed two free throws and Andrew Rautins one free throw, but Frankfurt was lucky as those missed shots and a turnover wasn´t punished by Dorris and Bell who took the last two shots, but missed. “Finishing games continues to be our Achilles heel. We have to improve this and do a better job finishing better”, warned Andrew Rautins. “We never want to lose. We fought until the end and many guys stepped up, but it just wasn´t enough”, stressed David Bell. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Aziz Ndiaye with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Jarred Dubois had 15 points. Andrew Rautins chipped in with 13 points, Konstantin Klein with 1 2points and Danilo Barthel added 12 points, four rebounds and four assists. Phoenix Hagen was led by Mark Dorris with 25 points. David Bell chipped in with 16 points and Larry Gordon added 16 points also. Frankfurt shot very well from the field at 52% and had 40 points in the paint. Having 39 point contribution from the bench was more than vital and was the true X factor for the Fraport Skyliners in the win. “Our biggest strength as a team was our bench. Ndiaye had a big game giving us points and rebounds, Dubois had a big second half and Klein great first quarter. Each guy on the team performed well”, stated Quantez Robertson.