The injury plague that hampered the Fraport Skyliners in the first half of the 2014-2015season was annoying and as unwanted as stepping on a hornet with your foot, but the 2004 Beko BBL champion did the best out of the situation and even if they were hurting, they didn´t display any uncomfort in their own comfortable and smug Fraport arena living room as they have been unbeaten since 106 days. The last loss for the Fraport Skyliners was on the first weekend of the regular season as they got outplayed at the end against ratiopharm Ulm and Skyliner rookie from Brooklyn New York Sean Armand got an introduction to German three point expertise as Philipp Schwethelm led Ulm to a 77-70 win leading all scorers with 22 points and nailed five three pointers. Since then the club has rattled off 10 wins in a row at home with seven in the Beko BBL and three in the Eurochallenge with consistent and stingy defense that has been a big key for their success as they have averaged giving up 69 points in their BBL games and 64 points in the three Eurochallenge games. Despite all the injuries that the club has had, the home court dominance and success must of prevented some new gray hairs for Frankfurt head coach Gordon Herbert in the last three months. Last week Herbert proclaimed that the team hasn´t been this healthy since two seasons. Last weekend the team won a huge road game in Ulm and the club had a deep roster with only German guard Konstantin Klein missing. With the round of 16 of the Eurochallenge having got under way, the Fraport Skyliners are healthy, have a 1-0 record after a huge road win at Tartu in Estonia and were shooting for their 10th win in a row in their living room and with the chilly temperatures outside, the only thing missing was a hot fireplace next to the best seats in the house at midcourt to help make the atmosphere even more relaxing and the home team were focused and had to fight until the end to escape the hot shooting of Brandyn Mr cheesecake” Curry as Frankfurt won their fifth straight Eurochallenge game 75-70. The Fraport Skyliners continue to be undefeated as that home court dominance is superb. “We have had a long winning streak. As soon as we got our injured back things started to click. We had a tough start, but those first few wins gave us self confidence. We realized that we are a good team and continue to win here”, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Mikko Koivisto. “All good teams win at home. We are the same as we haven´t lost at home either. Frankfurt showed that they are comfortable at home and their crowd gives them energy”, added Den Bosch point guard Brandyn Curry. The game itself was tight through out as both teams had their leads, but no team was able to get away from the other and get that big lead. The Fraport Skyliners had the stronger nerves at the end and showed their back breaking three point shooting strength. “Frankfurt won at the end because they were aggressive and played team basketball. They got some big three pointers and were able to contain Curry. Their biggest strength on the night were 23 assists and outrebounding them”, stated TV Langen American Martinis Woody. “The transition game of Frankfurt was key for them winning. They got off to strong start all on transition buckets and at the end hit three pointers all off the transition. They hit shots when they needed to”, added North Carolina native Brandyn Curry.
The Fraport Skyliners jumped on the SPM Shoeters Den Bosch from the get go taking the 7-0 lead. The German twin towers of Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann powered home consecutive dunks and Los Angeles native Justin Cobbs dropped a three pointer. However Den Bosch stayed alert and stormed back going on a 7-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 9-7. Curry scored the first Dutch points with a step back jumper, 13 year veteran Kees Akerboom nailed a three pointer and ex Miami(NCAA) big man Reggie Johnson hit a baby hook shot. The Frankfurt offense was flowing as the ball movement was on as Voigtmann made an easy lay in being fed by Armand and then the ex Iona(NCAA) shooting guard dropped a three point bomb as Frankfurt led 14-7. Frankfurt seemed to had been keying in more on the dangerous scoring Chris Denson and let Brandyn Curry test his solid 39,3% three pointing percentage from the Dutch league as he connected on back to back shots cutting the Frankfurt lead to 16-13. Frankfurt remained tough down the stretch as they continued to hit shots as Canadian Aaron Doornekamp made a three pointer and Justin Cobbs scored inside as he was fed perfectly from Quantez Robertson as Frankfurt led 21-13. Koivisto and Alvin Slagtar who won titles in Holland with ex BBL players Monta Mghee and Quenton Pryor at Leiden and Groningen hit consecutive three pointers. The Fraport Sklyiners led 24-17 after one quarter. “Frankfurt started good and were aggressive forcing Den Bosch to turnovers early. Curry got hot and kept Den Bosch in the game”, stated TV Langen forward Martinis Woody. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 67% from the field and 57% from outside while Den Bosch was shooting 43% from the field and 67% from outside. Frankfurt had the 10-4 rebound edge, but five turnovers while Den Bosch had four turnovers.
In the second quarter, the contest remained tight and the game was deadlocked twice and Den Bosch had the lead as well shortly, but the Fraport Skyliners went into half time with the advantage. In contrast to how the Fraport Skyliners started in the first quarter, this time it was Den Bosch who got off to a lightening start as they went on a 12-2 run to lead 29-26. Den Bosch played old school basketball and just smart as Slagtar made a step back jumper, Ralf De Pagtar made a pretty left handed hook shot and 31 year old Marcel Arts used his 213cm body and athleticism to making a finger tip role lay up as Frankfurt led 24-23. Doornekamp then found an open parked Mike Morrison in front for the massive dunk as Frankfurt led 26-23. Even if cheese is a speciality in Holland, cheese cake apparently is good in Holland and North Carolina as Brandyn Curry knows. In high school he really liked the cheese cake in the school cafeteria and students started calling him that and made signs at games. This nickname didn´t follow Curry to Holland, but he does eat cheese cake in Holland and if he got special energy eating it or had some before the game is unknown, but his shot was definitely working as he nailed two shots from down town in a row as Den Bosch had their first lead of the game 29-26. Curry then scored again unleashing a soft tear drop for the 31-28 den Bosch lead. However basketball is a game of runs and Frankfurt struck back going on a 12-4 run to lead 40-35. Frankfurt got support from four separate players with three coming in the paint as Barthel scored inside, Armand nailed an open three pointer, Tez made a dunk and Voigtmann scored inside. Frankfurt crept into the locker room at intermission nursing the 42-37 lead. “Frankfurt missed some assignments at the start, but then their offense clicked. Armand was a spark plug and one could see with everyone healthy the team is more of a unit. When Armand is open like that his shot is like a lay up for him”, expressed TV Langen forward Martinis Woody. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 66% from the field and 45% from the three point line while Den Bosch was shooting 45% from the field and 66% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 16-11 rebound edge, but 10 turnovers while Den Bosch had 10 turnovers.
In the third quarter, The Fraport Skyliners started well, but quickly lost their concentration allowing the 15 time Dutch champion to a big run as they ended the third quarter with the advantage. Sean Armand and Mikko Koivisto rattled off two consecutive three point bombs as the Fraport Skyliners led 48-39. Den Bosch head coach Sam Jones then took a time out and ha dthe right advice as Den Bosch went on a devastating 14-0 run to regain the lead 54-48. Den Hagen got contribution from five different players as they were able to score in a variety of ways which kept the Frankfurt defense guessing while also forcing the home team to an influx of untimely turnovers. Reggie Johnson started the run with a free throw and fade away shot. Curry then kept up his aggressive shooting nailing a three pointer, Akeerbom took advantage of a big Frankfurt mistake hitting three free throws, Slagtar hit a high rainbow and Arts got a quick back door pass from Stefan Wessels for the dunk. Den Bosch did a good job taking Frankfurt out of their game and forcing them to careless turnovers. Frankfurt didn´t let Den Bosch run away with the game as they got timely three pointers from Quantez Robertson and Konstantin Klein. Tez tied the game in the last minute, but it was Curry showing his explosiveness again hitting a step back jumnper as Den Bosch led 59-56 after three quarters. “We got big stops and rebounded well. We also did a good job forcing them to one shot and just took care of the ball”, expressed Brandyn Curry. “We got out of our offense and played too much 1-1 ball. That is not our game”, added ex California(NCAA) guard Justin Cobbs. Den Bosch was shooting 45% from the field and 60% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 57% from the field and 45% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 23-19 rebound edge, but 16 turnovers while Den Bosch had only seven turnovers.
The fourth quarter remained tight as there were three lead changes, but the Fraport Skyliners were the more controlled team in crunch time as they were able to win. Klein got Frankfurt going in the fourth quarter as he nailed his second three pointer as his rust quickly evaporated on the court. “I was very happy to be on the court again to be able to help the team. I hit two three pointers and the team won”, added Konstantin Klein. “It was good to have Klein back on the court and at times be relieved from him. He may still be a bit rusty, but he hit big shots and his defense was good”, added Justin Cobbs. Barthel followed Klein with a running floater ending the 5-0 run giving Frankfurt the 61-59 advantage. Ex Auburn star Chris Denson got Den Bosch the lead back with a tear drop for the 62-61 lead. Frankfurt clogged the lane all night making the bread and butter shot in the lane a double awkward shot for him. “Frankfurt did their homework on me. I am glad that Curry had a big game and we also got help from other players”, added Chris Denson. After Barthel tied the game, it was Akeerbom and Denson that made free throws as Den Bosch led for the last time 65-62. The Fraport Skyliners then offered the ultimate back breaker closing out the game with a 11-0 run to lead 73-65. After Voigtmann connected on his favorite shot the mid distance jumper it was bang, bang ,bang as Barthel, Armand and Tez nailed three consecutive three pointers for the knock out. “Those shots hurt us and we turned over the ball at crucial times. Frankfurt was good in transition the whole game and hurt us at the end with that as well. They upped the pressure and hit huge three pointers”, explained Georgia native Chris Denson. “We moved the ball extremely well, executed and hit big three´s sealing the win”, stressed Justin Cobbs. Even if the game seemed over, it was Curry who gave his team one last gasp of energy as he scored inside and nailed his seventh three pointer of the night to cut the Frankfurt lead to 73-70. Curry finished the night with 27 points giving him his best scoring game in Eurochallenge play with one point more than against ratiopharm Ulm. “I was in the zone. My shot was feeling pretty good. Coach always says that when we are open, that we should shoot. I am happy that my shot was falling, but at the end of the day I would have rather had the win”, said Brandyn Curry. “Curry did a superb job running the team and hitting big shots. Sean Armand asked me where Curry went to school as he seemed amazed by his shooting. It was Curry´s night”, commented Chris Denson. Just when Den Bosh thought they might change the momentum, it was Justin Cobbs who closed the door on the Dutch team with a lay in. It wasn´t a big night for Cobbs in the scoring department, but he didn´t have to score much on this night. “Cobbs is the floor general and can score, but he doesn´t have to. He did his job tonight getting all involved”, added Martinis Woody. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Quantez Robertson with 15 points. Johannes Voigtmann and Sean Armadn steered 12 points a piece while Justin Cobbs and Danilo Barthel conreibuted 11 points a piece. Den Bosch was led by Brandyn Curry with 27 points. The Fraport Skyliners finished the night shooting 54% from the field and 48% from outside while Den Bosch shot 41% from the field and 52% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound duel 32-27, but had 20 turnovers while Frankfurt had 12 turnovers.