The last time Max Weber had a Skyliner jersey draped over his sweat filled body while lunging for a loose ball over Darius Hall who was also on the floor battling, ex Fraport Skyliner head coach Muli Katzurin was winning titles in the Czech Republic with Nymburk in 2009. Weber was always the quintessential role player no matter where he played, but had to fight for his minutes like any other player. In his last season in Frankfurt, Weber reached the playoffs losing to the EWE Baskets Oldenburg in the quarterfinals 3-1 as his teammates included Derrick Mr ballerina Allen, Konrad the professor Wysocki, Pascal Mr reliable Roller or Illian swishhhhhhhhhh Evitomov. However his time in Frankfurt was up and he moved on to Giessen where he helped the team reach their best position of 14th and best since the 2005-2006 season playing 28 games and often sparkling through his defensive prowess. The next season he took a step back going to the Saar-Pfalz Braves (ProA, starting five): 27 games: 11.5ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 46.6%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 60.0%. His solid season got him a ticket back to the big game to the Beko BBL with BG Goettingen. However in the last three seasons, his luck has changed as the teams that he has played for BG Goettingen, Ludwigsburg all landed in the cellar. Ludwigsburg only remained in the Beko BBL, because it paid for a wildcard. So often in life and in the basketball world, three is a charm, but not for the German Weber who once gained experience in Peru, who has had a season to forget in Vechta as this team is also in the cellar and will move back to the Pro A. Weber has played only 20 games averaging 9,5 minutes per game and 1.4ppg and 1,5rpg. He just hasn´t been able to break the rotation of head coach Pat Elzie the way he has wanted to. In the first loss in Frankfurt, Weber played nine minutes. In the return game in Vechta, there was no teammate on Frankfurt that had played with him back in Frankfurt in 2008-2009 and Weber was only younger than Quantez Robertson and Skyliner captain Marius Nolte. Weber was focused to play his old team again, but his mood was severely dampened after the buzzer beater loss to Frankfurt 76-75 which officially sent them back to the second Bundesliga.and reflected on his bad luck of being on Beko BBL teams that have moved down the last years. ”This was a bitter loss and we knew that the season would be tough. I came to Vechta, because I wanted to study at the same time. I didn´t even go to morning practices, but just evening practices. I had injuries and pain and never found my role in the team. I thought I wouldn´t break even with Wayne Bernard with three times having to depart the Beko BBL, but I did against my ex team Frankfurt. But it was still the right decision for me to come to Vechta”, stressed ex Fraport Skyliner Max Weber. His teammate Richard Williams had an expression of sorrow on his face after the loss while eating a dish of fish in the second floor in the Rasta Dome arena and was content that no player can really be responsible for a team moving down. “Max Weber had bad luck. You never want to be attached with moving down, but that is a part of the sport. It can happen to anyone. Max played quality minutes for us. There is so much to love about his game. He helped us so much on the court”, stressed California native Richard Williams.
The season of Fraport Skyliner Kevin Bright can be summed up in two games while the rest of the season he was battling injuries. The Mannheim native who played a season at Vanderbilt before coming back to Germany had his break out game against MLP Ludwigsburg scoring 23 points in a losing cause that Frankfurt let get away in overtime and he connected on six three pointers. In Vechta he found himself in the starting lineup as the team surprisingly announced that American Ramon Galloway had been sent home for the rest of the season on account of disciplinary reasons. This was the big chance of Bright to step up in a meaningless game and he did like a veteran scoring 23 points matching his season and career best and broke his record of six three pointers hitting seven as his last was sweeter than chocolate ice cream on a hot summer day in Mannheim as he won the game with a buzzer beater. After the game the German was soft spoken and calm and one would never have thought that he had just dropped a buzzer beater as his teammates Jacob Burtschi and Johannes Voigtmann were shouting their brains out with happiness. One thing Bright did know was that his shot was going to go in. “I had a good release and feeling and knew it would go in. I felt so good after so many unlucky loses that we could win this game”, stressed Kevin Bright. It is never a secret that Basketball players are as confident in their own abilities as ex FC Bayern Munich legend on the field and now in the front office Karl Heinz Rummenigge is about his team getting by Real Madrid at home in the second leg of the Champions League this Tuesday. “I didn´t know that I had had six three pointers when I took the buzzer beater, but I am sure that there will come more three pointers in the future”, smiled Kevin Bright. His teammates were thrilled about the hot hand of Bright. “Bright was a stud tonight. He had been injured the last two months. He came out wasn´t hesitant and came out hitting shots and had confidence shooting”, warned Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi. Future German national player Danilo Barthel was a bit in the shadow of Bright, but he played a great game with two sweet ally-op dunks, but stepped aside after the win and gave the curtain call to Bright. “He had a great game. When he shot the ball, you knew it was going in. He made big plays and he won the game for us with his play”, warned Danilo Barthel. Bright was definitely on our scouting report. He is a smart good player. He hit some tough contested shots especially the last one”, explained ex San Diego State guard Richard Williams.
The Fraport Skyliners entered the game in 11th place with a record of 12-19 and were coming off a big win at home against TBB Trier where they were able to break their crunch time disease of not being able to win down the stretch. The Fraport Skyliners played a solid game, but were never really able to break away as SC Rasta Vechta stayed on their heels and even took over the lead at the end, but Frankfurt had lady luck on their side as they won their second crunch time game in a row. Frankfurt had some big wins this season including Ulm and Munich at home and the three OT win In Ulm and one could surely add this victory too one of their top wins, but what made this win so special were the circumstances. “This was a big win, because we didn´t have a Ramon Galloway and Kevin Bright stepped up. It was nice that with all our misfortune this season that we finally had some luck at the end of the game. Our biggest strength besides staying together at the end, was even when Vechta made runs, we never gave up and stayed cool. We continued to play our game and execute”, stressed Heidelberg native Danilo Barthel.. SC Rasta Vechta arrived in the game in 18th place with a record of 6-25 and were clinging to their lives and despertately needed a win for any hopes to stay in the Beko BBL. SC Rasta Vechta like so many times this season played their hearts out, but like the Skyliners lost many many tight games and were a team that was a lot better than what their record displayed. “This loss was a tough pill to swallow. We lost so many games like this. We lost buzzer beaters against Bonn, MBC, Hagen and tonight against Frankfurt. We didn´t always play smart against Frankfurt. In times where we didn´t play smart, our energy made up for that. I think that we played well enough to win. It is always hard to find something positive after a loss like this, but I feel every player learned how to play physically and mentally at this level”, stressed 2013 Pro A top assist maker Richard Williams. ”This was a big win for us. Even in our six game and seven game losing streaks, we were so close to winning. We have been piecing things together and we seem to have figured out how to win tight games now”, warned ex Bremerhaven forward Jacob Burtschi.
Before the game started, it was nice to observe pre game things happening on the court as Richard Williams visited Jacob Burtschi on the sidelines as he was stretching, Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann were sporting short hair cuts as both must have seemed relieved that none had lost their bet at the TBB Trier game and could keep their hair, SC Rasta Vechta mascot Bob was getting the fans into the mood. The Fraport Skyliners were without American Ramon Galloway and SC Rasta Vechta were without German Flavio Stuckemann. The first quarter had nine lead changes as no team could break away. Danilo Barthel got Frankfurt on the board first with a jumper over Jacob Doerkson. Ex Georgetown forward Brandon Bowman shows his touch from outside as did Williams. Kevin Bright then nailed his first three pointer as the Fraport Skyliners led 7-5. After Williams connected on another jumper, it was Bright again sinking a three pointer as SC Rasta Vechta still led 11-10. Barthel then nailed a three pointer as Frankfurt led 13-12. Doerkson then made a lay in giving SC Rasta Vechta the 14-13 lead, but German Johannes Voigtmann responded with a tip in dunk and Frankfurt 15-14 advantage. SC Rasta Vechta ended the first quarter with a mini 4-0 run as Bowmann hit over Quantez Robertson and 134 Kilo bull Isaac Butts made a lay in getting a bullet pass from Williams for the 18-16 lead. “Both teams were feeling each other out and it was more a low scoring game. Kevin Bright got hot early which would remain throughout the game”, stressed SC Rasta Vechta guard Flavio Stuckemann. SC Rasta Vechta was shooting 58% from the field and 67& from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 40% from the field and 33% from outside. Frankfurt had the 9-6 rebound edge, but four turnovers while SC Rasta Vechta had three turnovers.
The second quarter was the tale of two faces as SC Rasta Vechta dominated in the first four minutes going on a 11-0 run, but the Fraport Skyliners stormed back in the last six minutes going on a 24-7 run to go into halftime with the lead. In the 11-0 run of SC Rasta Vechta, they started with a bang as role player German Daniel Krause hit a three pointer and Williams followed with a three pointer as well. American Isaac Butts followed with a lay in and Krause did another fine basketball deed hitting another three pointer as SC Rasta Vechta led 29-16. Frankfurt was overwhelmed by the SC Rasta Vechta intensity and couldn´t get into a sound rhythm on offense often being very late in their plays with the shot clock down. However Frankfurt didn´t let this overpowering run dim their self confidence as they slowly but effectively chipped away at their lead. The light of Kevin Bright was getting brighter and brighter as he hit his third three pointer and American Jarred Dubois made a pull up jumper to cut the SC Rasta Vechta lead to 29-23. Frankfurt was on the comeback trail and continued to execute as Bright hit two more three pointers and Skyliner captain Marius Nolte made a lay in and suddenly Frankfurt trailed only 33-32. Robertson made a free throw to tie the score at 33-33. Then it was Dubois who connected on a three pointer as Frankfurt retook the lead 36-33. In the last minute Voigtmann made free throws and Super Tez scored inside as Frankfurt led 40-36. “We had two faces and that was scary. We started hot with the 11-0 run, but then we let two bad turnovers infect us which let Frankfurt end the second quarter with that big run. We were too passive on offense as we could of done more against their defense”, stated Flavio Stuckemann. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 48% from the field and 50% from the three point line while SC Rasta shot 48% from the field and 46% form the three point line. SC Rasta Vechta had the 16-14 rebound edge, but had 10 turnovers while Frankfurt had seven turnovers.
In the third quarter, the Fraport Skyliners held the league as SC Rasta Vechta stayed on their door step, not letting Frankfurt run away with the game. Frankfurt started the third quarter with a 5-2 run as Kevin Bright dropped his sixth three pointer and Dubois made a jumper as Frankfurt led 45-38. SC Rasta Vechta stormed back with their own 6-0 run as Bowmann hit another three pointer and Butts made a hook shot in the lane as Frankfurt led 45-44. Frankfurt continued to have good offensive spurts cruising out on a 9-0 run to lead 54-45. This might have been the best phase of team basketball as Robertson scored inside, Jacob Burtschi hit a jumper over Krause, Voigtman scored inside retrieving a perfect extra pass from Robertson and Tez then literally was so close under the basket that he still threw up an ally-op pass that Barthel jammed home. “I had the feeling that Tez would throw it up for me”, smiled Danilo Barthel. After Bowmann and Urule Igbavboa hit free throws, it was time for Barthel to jam home his second consecutive ally-op as Voigtmann made the perfect pass from top of the key. A few plays later it was Barthel that returned the favor to his friend Voigtmann who made the dunk. Williams closed out the third quarter with a three Pointer as Frankfurt led 58-54. Quantez Robertson was the man of the third quarter as he was everywhere getting steals, buckets, offensive rebounds, forced turnovers and simply big plays. “Robertson is a very high active player. He is a type of MR hustle for Frankfurt. He got big rebounds, hit shots and made plays. He demands a lot of attention. He kind of reminds me at 190cm”, smiled Richard Williams.. “I just wanted to be aggressive on the court. I wasn´t hitting shots so I did other things like rebounding and making plays on defense. We executed well as team and had little turnovers”, added Quantez Robertson. “Tez got big rebounds, played his style and played hard. He showed once again why he is a defensive force for us”, warned ex Phoenix Hagen forward Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 47% from the field and 41% from the parking lot while SC Rasta Vechta was shooting 44% from the field and 44% from the parking lot. SC Rasta Vechta had the 25-22 rebound lead, but 14 turnovers while Frankfurt had nine turnovers.
The fourth quarter was very exciting as the Fraport Skyliners held the slim lead and like so often the last months gave up the lead, but instead of not being able to regain it, kept their composure until the last shot. German Johannes Voigtmann started off the fourth quarter with a rare three pointer as he might have had his two three pointers from Wurzburg still on his mind. Frankfurt had the comfortable 61-54 lead However SC Rasta Vechta didn´t waste any time trying to erase the Frankfurt lead going on a 8-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 63-62. Williams continued to seek the three pointer nailing one from downtown, Bowmann scored inside and German Dirk Madrich closed out the fast break up with a lay in. Frankfurt got a dunk from Bright who got a perfect back door pass from Barthel. Barthel and Williams then traded three pointers as Frankfurt still had the slight edge 66-65. Ex NBA player William Conroy gave SC Rasta Vechta the lead back with a lay in in traffic, but that didn´t last long as Dubois responded with a floater as Frankfurt got the lead back 68-67. Madrich then made free throws while Mr unselfish Jacob Burtschi made the extra bounce pass to Nolte for the put back as the game was dead locked 70-70. SC Rasta Vechta then seemed to get some extra intensity as the crowd got louder as Bowmann gave Doerkson a shovel pass for an easy lay up while Robertson missed a jumper and Madrich connected on a big three pointer after Burtschi had missed and SC Rasta Vechta led 75-70 as Fraport Skyliner head coach Gordon Herbert took a time out. “We didn´t want to lose this game. Jarred Dubois came to me and said that we can´t lose this game. We believed it in our hearts that we could win the game”, expressed ex Erdgas Ehingen guard Kevin Bright. Robertson then hauled down an offensive rebound and made the put back cutting the SC Rasta Vechta lead to 75-72. After a Robertson turnover, Madrich missed an easy mid distance jumper. With ten seconds to play, Jacob Burtschi made one of two free throws as Frankfurt trailed 75-73. Once again it was Super Tez grabbing the offensive rebound, but his shot was blocked by Bowmann. With 6 seconds remaining, it was Robertson again who made his fifth and final steal of the night picking off a Conroy pass and getting the ball to Barthel who fed Bright as he released a bomb with 1.5 seconds to play having nothing but net and an arena as quiet as a pasture behind the Rasta Dome. “On the last play, we just played and didn´t really know what would happen. Tez made the great steal and found Barthel who got me the ball”, stressed Kevin Bright. “Even after our turnover, we had the chance to get the stop. He made a big shot and you never really expect it to happen, but that is a part of basketball”, warned Richard Williams. “I had four seconds in my head and wanted to get our best free throw shooter the ball, but they got the steal and game winning shot”, added Washington native William Conroy.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Kevin Bright with 23 points. Germans Johannes Voigtmann chipped in with 13 points and Danilo Barthel had 12 points. Jarred Dubois added 10 points. SC Rasta Vechta was led by Richard Williams with 18 points. Dirk Madrich contributed 15 points and Brandon Bowmann had 14 points. Frankfurt shot 47% from the field and 40% from outside while SC Rasta Vechta shot 45% from the field and 45% from outside. SC Rasta Vechta won the rebound duel 33-32, but had 16 turnovers while Frankfurt had 14 turnovers. Frankfurt now goes into their last home game of the season against Bremerhaven in 48 hours with a lot of self confidence and know that besides their fighting qualities can take some of their offense cleverness into the game. “We did a good job with our ball movement, finding the open man and making right decisions”, stressed Kevin Bright. Bremerhaven come to Frankfurt coming off a bitter loss at home against Wurzburg and Frankfurt know that they will have to be ready. “Bremerhaven had a tough start, but since their 0-9 start have played 500 basketball. They have great players with Derrick Allen and top offensive player Darius Adams. We will have to play hard for 40 minutes to win”, warned Jacob Burtschi. After a buzzer beater game winner, a Kevin Bright deserves to use some humor remembering the 32 point game by Andrew Rautins in Bremerhaven in a win. “We have to play the way we did against Vechta, play hard for the fans in the last home game and maybe I will have a game like Andy Rautins did in Bremerhaven”, joked Kevin Bright. The Fraport Skyliners host the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven April 27th.