The one guy let his defense speak volumes at Auburn(NCAA) while opponents were ripping out their hair as too who this quick athletic player was with the less common name Quantez while the other guy was making a name for himself at Marshall(NCAA) where as a senior he averaged 13.6ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.4apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 39.1%, 3Pts: 34.3%, FT: 75.9% and also displayed defensive skills being named to the C-USA All-Defensive Team. However at the end of the day Quantez Robertson and Mark Dorris are only your average professional players that are experiencing their dream of playing overseas and in the same country in Germany. Both guys also come from the same city Cincinnati. And after a hard workout during the summer where each guy is meticulously working on their game the way a satisfied Lion is scrapping off the remaining meat from a bone, these guys will still test their skills together on the playgrounds of the city that gave the world the likes of basketball great Oscar Robertson, Baseball hero´s David Justice and Barry Larkin and football great Roger Staubach each night during the summer. Robertson has been in the Beko BBL since 2009 and is playing his fifth professional season with Frankfurt while Mark Dorris is playing his fourth professional season and third with Phoenix Hagen and also played a season with Ludwigsburg. Robertson has really upped his offensive game as of recently being a sort of go to guy with injuries and other guys having off nights while Dorris has always been a scorer as he had 27 points against hi ex team Ludwigsburg and 25 points against Frankfurt. His stringy agile play is so unique that a special fantasy figure should be created that makes it difficult to get a hand on his shots as off balance should be his second nickname after Mr fantastic. These two friends have met in the Beko BBL seven times as Robertson has the edge coming into the game at 5-2. Dorris is 0-2 in Hagen against Super Tez and was hoping for that first win in his away from home living room and was rewarded with a 66-63 crunch time win as Phoenix Hagen snapped their four game losing streak at home against Frankfurt finally winning for the first time against the 2004 Beko BBL champion. Even after another tough crunch time loss which now must be feeling like an eternity for the Fraport Skyliners, Skyliner forward Quantez Robertson had a stern look, but his face found a little life when the name Mark Dorris popped up and the question about the 100 yard dash. “It was too bad that he didn’t play so much, but it is always fun playing against him, because he is such a competitor. He has been taking that step back jumper since we were kids. There is no question that I would beat him at a 100 yard dash. He may have a quicker first step, but I have make up speed”, stressed Quantez Robertson. Dorris was relaxed after the win, but thrilled to have finally beat his friend in Hagen and had a new Cincinnati story prepared. “There is the famous debate of Kobe vs Lebron as to who is better and in Cincinnati there was always the debate of Tez vs Dorris and we just love to compete, but I got the better of him tonight. Tez is faster in a straight line, but I am quicker side to side. Tez is fast, but I am quick”, laughed ex Ludwigsburg guard Mark Dorris. Long after the game ended and as the last players were exiting, Phoenix Hagen Larry Gordon whispered these words as Mark Dorris was listening. “It is great to watch these two guys compete. It is amazing how Tez still has that zip after that long injury. I think the way Tez can dribble up the court so fast, I think he would take Dorris in a 100 yard dash”, stressed California native Larry Gordon.
It really doesn´t matter where Frankfurt has played this season, if it was in Oldenburg, Ludwigsburg, Braunschweig or Frankfurt, they have been caught with the crunch time disease and it seems like they have absolute no remedy for it. It is slowly starting to seem like when a game is drawing to an end and the game is close that the Fraport Skyliners suddenly do everything wrong that there is too much missing shots, making fouls, turnovers, missing 50/50 balls, making the wrong decisions and all combined has become one big mental mess brewing in the heads of the players and coaches. After the loss American Ramon Galloway took a lot of time to reflect and try to analyze why the team can´t win at the end any more. “I think that with all the mistakes done like missing shots or me getting traveling calls twice, that it has to do with us thinking too much instead of just going out and playing the game. We feel a lot of pressure at the end and then we think should we give the lane or make the play. If we make the wrong decision or play, they then go on transition and make an easy basket”, warned Texas native Ramon Galloway. Phoenix Hagen also went through a stretch this season where they had problems winning games near the end. California native David Bell who has the body of baby Shaq and can shoot out the lights whenever he wants had some advice for the Fraport Skyliners. “Frankfurt just needs to be a tic tougher down the stretch and play better defense. They have to stick together. We went through the same thing, but stayed together and got out of it”, stressed Ex Montana(NCAA) guard David Bell. Fraport Skyliner Jacob Burtschi´s phrases and words have gotten less and less in the last month of the losing streak, but even if there is less quantity, his heeding words have quality. “We couldn´t shake the crunch time disease, but we better if we want to end the season well”, added Jacob Burtschi.
Phoenix Hagen entered the game in tenth place with a record of 13-16, but had lost four of their last five games and badly needed a victory to keep their playoff chances alive. The Fraport Skyliners controlled the game for the most part, but Phoenix Hagen stayed on their heels and at the end took the Frankfurt crunch time woes to their advantage. “It feels great getting the first win against Frankfurt in Hagen. Frankfurt did a great job keeping us under 70 points which isn´t easy to do. It wasn´t really an ugly game, but just a very good defensive battle. We did the little things and hustle plays better. Key was that they didn´t hit many three pointers despite shooting much. Our biggest strength was our will to win. This win was so important for our chances to get into the playoffs. We have to win our home games”, warned Phoenix Hagen assistant coach Steven Wriedt. The Fraport Skyliners arrived in the game in 12th place with a dismal record of 11-18. After a seven game losing streak and then two amazing home wins against FC Bayern Munich and ratiopharm Ulm, the club was locked in another losing streak which stood at five games. Frankfurt never got a healthy rhythm on offense and turned over the ball 19 times which probably will be on the mind of Gordon Herbert this Easter weekend as he prepares for TBB Trier. It is at the point now, that one could start a contest as to which late game loss has been the most bitter. “It has really been very tough that we are unable to close out the third and fourth quarters. We fought, but missed some open shots and 50/50 balls”, stated Ramon Galloway. “It was a tough fight for 40 minutes where it went back and forth, but at the end Phoenix Hagen just made more plays”, added Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi.”We kept Frankfurt out of their comfort zone. We kept Barthel in check who has had some big games recently and had Burtschi in check somewhat. Frankfurt made a run, but it really sucks that they lost so many key pieces in the first half of the season”, added top Beko BBL rebounder Larry Gordon.
The Fraport Skyliners got on the board first when German Danilo Barthel found Ramon Galloway back door for an easy bucket. Maryland native Dino Gregory got the first points for Phoenix Hagen with a hard two handed dunk. Ramon Galloway quickly showed leadership as he wanted the ball and produced dropping a three pointer which was matched by Larry Gordon as the score was 5-5. Gordon was doing what he does best grabbing rebounds at a quick rate and got a put back after an offensive rebound as Phoenix Hagen led 7-5, but it was Galloway once again that was smoking hot from down town nailing a three pointer as Frankfurt led 8-7. Keith Ramsey then got a lay in for the 9-8 Phoenix Hagen advantage. Texas native Henry Dugat then connected as did Los Angeles native Jarred Dubois on a pull up jumper. Both guys continued their offensive shooting fest exchanging three pointers as the first quarter came to an end as the game was dead locked at 14-14. “It really wasn´t a good game of both teams. Frankfurt had problems finding an offensive rhythm and Ramon Galloway kept Frankfurt in the game”, stressed Phoenix Hagen amanger Oliver Herkelmann. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 31% from the field and 30% form outside while Phoenix Hagen was shooting 45% from the field and 67% from outside. Phoenix Hagen had the 11-7 rebound edge, but five turnovers while Frankfurt had two turnovers.
The second quarter remained tight and the Fraport Skyliners soon gained the lead again and would keep it going into the break. Dubois got Frankfurt on the scoreboard with a pull up jumper, but Larry Gordon connected on a three pointer as Phoenix Hagen led again 18-17. Senegal native Aziz Ndiaye then had his best offensive moments as he got a lay in and easy dunk while getting quick feeds from Jacob Burtschi and Dubois as Frankfurt led 22-18. However Phoenix Hagen went on a mini 4-0 run as Bell and Gregory hit shots to tie the game at 22-22. Robertson and Bell then exchanged buckets for the 24-24 score and then it was Burtschi who nailed a three pointer for the 27-24 lead. Frankfurt kept the lead as Dubois made free throws and Tez spun his way coast to coast for an easy lay up and 31-27 Frankfurt lead. Phoenix Hagen head coach Ingo Freyer didn´t shy away from playing his young Germans Niklas Geske and Fabian Bleck who contributed. Bleck scored on a pretty lay in and Geske preformed the perfect pick and role with Ramsey who finished with a dunk as Phoenix Hagen trailed 35-33. “Our German guys did a good job. Not many know, but our German under 22 guys get the most minutes in the Beko BBL after Frankfurt. Our NBBL team was one of the best two years ago. Those guys play for us now and we want them to have BBL minutes”, added Steven Wriedt. Skyliner Ramon Galloway ended the second quarter with a last second tip in as the Fraport Skyliners led 37-33 after 20 minutes. “Both teams we replaying with much energy, but both teams were making easy mistakes and not hitting shots. Dorris hadn´t played much, but he really needed some energy form him”, warned Oliver Herkelmann. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 38% from the field and 29% from the three point line while Phoenix Hagen was shooting 46% from the field and 43% from the three pint line. Phoenix Hagen had the 17-13 rebound edge, but nine turnovers while Frankfurt had eight turnovers.
In the third quarter, The Fraport Skyliners had control until the last minutes where they allowed Phoenix Hagen to take the lead again. The Fraport Skyliners started off the third quarter hot going on a 7-1 run as all Frankfurt points were supplied by Mr Top Gun Jacob Burtschi who hit consecutive three pointers including the four point play as Frankfurt led 44-34 which was their biggest lead of the game, but that didn´t last for long. Mark Mr fantastic Dorris didn´t get too much playing time up to this point, but made his presence felt quickly hitting a three pointer and then making a big steal which led to Gordon free throws. Gordon then completed the Phoenix Hagen 7-0 run with a mid -distance jumper as suddenly Frankfurt led only 44-41. In this run, Frankfurt was making lousy mistakes like Galloway getting his second travel call of the game. Frankfurt then got a burst of energy as Dubois gave a perfect shovel pass to Barthel who rammed home the massive dunk as Frankfurt led 46-41. However Phoenix Hagen continued to do a super job in the half -court offense since Frankfurt took away their fast break play and took advantage of more Frankfurt turnovers going on a 11-3 run to finish the third quarter with the slim 52-49 lead. In the run, Phoenix Hagen did a marvelous job getting to the free throw line and got timely buckets from David Bell who hit twice. Phoenix Hagen was shooting 40% from the field and 36% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 36% from the field and 33% from the parking lot. Frankfurt rebounded better in the third quarter and led the rebound duel 30-27, but had 15 turnovers while Phoenix Hagen only had 10 turnovers.
The fourth quarter looked like a carbon copy of the third quarter where Frankfurt got the lead again gave it up and then lost again in crunch time. Danilo Barthel quickly got Frankfurt the lead back in the first minute of the fourth quarter with a three pointer and free throws. German Konstantin Klein closed out the Frankfurt 8-0 run with a bomb from outside as Frankfurt led 57-52. Mark Dorris then stopped the Frankfurt run by taking on Galloway and making an in your face fade away jumper to cut the Frankfurt lead to 57-54. Both teams were missing shot after shot as it was evident that the game would end low scoring. Phoenix Hagen kept fighting and closing in and went on a 6-0 run to retake the lead 60-59. In this run, Phoenix Hagen got some rare in the paint points from Gregory and Ramsey and a Bell pull up jumper. Robertson missed three shots during the run, but made amends making a tip in off a Burtschi miss as Frankfurt led for the last time 61-60. Gregory then nailed a 20 footer as Phoenix Hagen got the lead back 62-61 and would never look back. With under a minute to go, it was Dubois who elected to go into traffic penetrating, but got stopped which led to Bell free throws and the 64-61 Phoenix Hagen lead. With 30 second left, Burtschi missed a good look. “I should of shot and not faked. I didn´t learn from the Tuebingen loss”, expressed Jacob Burtschi. Bell then made two free throws to close out the bruising Phoenix Hagen 6-0 run as they led 66-61. With six seconds to play, Galloway hit a jumper which ended the game 66-63 for Phoenix Hagen. “Key in crunch time was defense and rebounds”, stressed David Bell. Decision making is always something that can be key at the end and something that hasn´t been on the positive side for Frankfurt. “We got lucky at the end. We threw them a match up zone. I think that Frankfurt could of made better decisions at the end”, added Steven Wriedt. “I thought that we had ok decisions. Burtschi took a tough shot in that if he made it he would have been the hero and if not one would have been aww. I thought he had a good look and Dubois penetrated and was aggressive”, stated Ramon Galloway.
Phoenix Hagen was led by David Bell with 17 points. Larry Gordon added 15 points and nine rebounds and Dino Gregory contributed 13 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Ramon Galloway with 15 points. Jacob Burtschi added 12 points and 11 rebounds while Quantez Robertson had 11 points. Both teams ahd miserable shooting nights as Phoenix Hagen shot 39% from the field and 29% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners shot 33% from the field and 28% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebounding 44-36, but had an unacceptable 19 turnovers while Phoenix Hagen steered 12 turnovers to the win. The Fraport Skyliners now have 96 hours to regroup before the home game against TBB Trier. The club can take one positive thing into the TBB Trier game. We rebounded very well and even when times were tough in the third and fourth quarters, we always stuck with it and didn´t hang our heads”, warned Ramon Galloway