When one looks back on the short stay of Dawan Robinson in Frankfurt, two things come to mind most with his amazing penetration skills and knack of getting buckets and his soft smile which is just a notch behind the more forceful smile that ex Giessen 46er Philadelphia native Michael Hakim Jordan showed on the floor, but then again there is something magical about those smiles that come from the city of brotherly love. Robinson´s stay in Frankfurt was a tale of two different tales as he was hauled in in December 2012 a few days after Christmas as the team had lost five of their last six games and had two very young point guards in Devin Gibson and Konstantin Klein. Robinson was brought in to give that veteran touch and right in his first game he helped the team to a win against Bayreuth scoring nine points in 13 minutes. Robinson wasn´t gold at first as it took some time for the team to gel under his guidance as the team then lost six of seven games, but then won three of the next four games beating top teams Alba Berlin and the Brose Baskets Bamberg. The season was a struggle, but when it counted most the team buckled down and won their last game of the season in a do or die game at home against Ludwigsburg. Robinson finished the season playing 15 games and averaging 12.8ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 80.3%. He was kept for the next season, but a new coach with Gordon Herbert came and they didn´t see eye to eye, but Robinson had no remorse about his stay in Frankfurt under Herbert. “There was never any chemistry between us. I think that was the problem. I respect him as a coach and I really think he is a good coach but we just didn’t click. I do think the point guard and the coach should have a great relationship and that wasn’t the case”, stressed Dawan Robinson. With Frankfurt Robinson played 5 games averaging 14.2ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.4apg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 51.2%, 3FGP: 6.7%, FT: 96.0. He then moved to GreenTops Netanya (Israel-Winner League) and rocked the league playing 24 games and was the second highest scorer in the league averaging 19.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.0apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 26.9%, FT: 74.8%. He started this season with OpenjobMetis Varese (Italy-Serie A) playing 15 games averaging 16.2ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.4apg, 2FGP: 55.0%, 3FGP: 28.6%, FT: 82.9%. Now Robinson is in Bamberg and will have to come to terms with strict Italian basketball mastermind Andrea Trinchieri and was back in Frankfurt for the first time since he left in October 2013 and helped lead Bamberg past the 2004 BBL champion Fraport Skyliners 85-69. After the game Robinson was all smiles and content about his homecoming, the Philly connection, but didn´t support Konstantin Klein´s statement that he always beat him at suicide sprints in practice. “It felt good to be back seeing old friends and coaches. For me it was just like any other game. I always loved the atmosphere here. The Philly connection works well and I worked out with Brad Wanamaker when we were younger. We feed off each other. He controls what is happening on the court and is the decision maker while I play more off the ball. I always beat Konsti at suicide sprints in practice. That athletic trainer Dennis Welm doesn´t remember has to be a Frankfurt connection”, smiled Dawan Robinson. “It was nice seeing Robinson again. He has so much experience and was very efficient today. This was definitely a good signing for Bamberg. I always won the suicide sprints”, stressed Konstantin Klein. Robinson and Wanamaker who both hail from the city of brotherly love Philadelphia combined for 26 of the Bamberg 85 points and Wanamaker also has been content with their play as a duo on the court. “I know Dawan from home. He has been here a few games and has already showed his leadership. He has already helped me improve and has been a great addition to the court. We are two guys that can create and that always makes it more difficult for the defense as we pose a tough match up”, stressed 2015 Beko BBL Allstar Brad Wanamker.
The Fraport Skyliners entered the game with a 10 game winning streak at home and last lost a game in their comfy living room 110 days ago on the opening weekend of the season against ratiopharm in Octobert. The Fraport Skyliners had won their last three home games in the Eurochallenge and seven Beko BBL games, but one must add that they hadn´t had one of the top title candidate teams yet so meeting the Brose Baskets Bamberg was a huge task that they had to master. However in order to beat Bamberg one has to either play a perfect game or hope they have an off day, but instead Bamberg had a perfect day where the basket looked as large as an ocean for them and Frankfurt weren´t up to par with their defense schemes and couldn´t play consistent offense. “We fought hard and we really wanted to keep the winning streak going at home, but Bamberg was well organized and we just didn´t defend well on their penetration and on the pick and role. We tried to come back in the second half, but they hit three tough shots that broke our back”, stressed German national player Johannes Voigtmann. The Brose Baskets Bamberg have been the hottest team in the Beko BBL in the last month as they have defeated Alba Berlin and FC Bayern Munich and won eight games in a row in the German league. Bamberg played a very good game for 40 minutes and never gave the Fraport Skyliners a chance to come back whenever they were making a run. “The key for this win was our defense. It is never easy to win on the road, but we played as a team today. We have made the experience that when we play good defense that our offense also works well. When we shoot well then we are tough to beat”, stressed ex Minnesota(NCAA) forward Trevor Mbakwe who played a season there with Frankfurt Skyliner guard Justin Cobbs. Jermale Jones of Lich(PRO B) who rarely misses a Skyliner game was sitting first row with TV Langen forward Martinis Woody and had his own perspective after 40 minutes. “Bamberg was stronger, more physical, made the plays and hit shots. At the end it wasn´t the result Frankfurt wanted, but they fought hard”, added Jermale Jones.
Whenever Bamberg is in the building, it is more than likely that the arena will be sold out or close to it as 4,940 fans made the Sunday matinee and witnessed a blazing start by the 2000 BBL cup winner Fraport Skyliners who quickly led 7-3. The Fraport Skyliners twin towers Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann exploded for back to back dunks. Barthel and Josh Duncan who played at Xavier(NCAA) and in Israel the last four years connected for three pointers. Frankfurt caught Bamberg off guard as their intensity was very high as they were ready for the challenge. However Bamberg didn´t sit back and enjoy the Frankfurt show as they didn´t waste any time finding their rhythm going on a 6-3 run to dead lock the contest at 9-9. Bamberg was displaying a very versatile offense and already doing damage inside as Americans Ryan Thompson who played at Rider(NCAA) and in Belgium the last two seasons scored inside, Wanamaker hit a step back and Trevor Mbakwe made an ally-op connection from Daniel Theis. Mbakwe continued to hit shots, but before he did it was Barthel who electrified the arena getting around Theis and soaring to the rim from the wing with a massive one handed dunk. Mbakwe then had some fortune as his brick turned to gold falling in and then he scored in traffic as Bamberg led 14-11. Bamberg kept pouring on the pressure as whenever they put in new players they got support. Dawan Robinson was inserted and right away connected on an open three pointer. Wanamaker ended the first quarter with a lay in as the Brose Baskets Bamberg led 24-16 after one quarter. “Frankfurt started great and were hot, but Bamberg got better and had Brad Wanamaker who when in need was their go to guy. Bamberg also had great ball movement passing up good shots for better shots”, stressed TV Lich guard Jermale Jones. The Brose Baskets Bamberg were shooting 64% from the field and 67% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 50% from the field and 50% from outside. Frankfurt had the 6-5 rebound edge, but four turnovers while Bamberg had two turnovers.
In the second quarter, the Brose Baskets Bamberg were able to extend their lead to as much as 16 points as they played perfect inside out basketball, but their penetration was deadly as the Fraport Skyliners had absolutely no remedy how to stop it. Bamberg started off the second quarter with a back door bucket from Robinson where Theis showed that passing is always an option for him. Quantez Robertson then showed his brilliant athleticism scoring inside. Bamberg then countered with possibly the best four man German combo ever with Harris and Theis even though when they are on the court at the same time they play the three and four position. Theis hit a jumper and then penetrated and shoveled the ball to Harris who made the easy dunk as Bamberg led 30-16. Even if Frankfurt could muster a mini 4-0 run with Voigtmann supplying two baskets, Bamberg had no real lulls on offense as they always had an answer going on a 9-4 run. Robinson nailed another three pointer as his bread and butter the penetration was left on the back burner more on this day. Wanamaker scored inside as Voigtmann was left in the dust and Thompson scored two buckets as Bamberg led 39-24. Robertson then scored inside again and Janis Strelnieks from Latvia and Sean Armand traded three point bombs, but Bamberg had the comfortable 42-29 advantage at halftime. “Bamberg was hurting Frankfurt with their big men who when they did pump fakes got the Frankfurt big men in the air which allowed them the option of driving or kicking it to the open shooters which worked very well. On defense Bamberg had their hands everywhere which hurt Frankfurt”, added American Jermale Jones. “If you play good defense then you can stop anyone on the penetration in the BBL, but we didn´t play good defense and paid for it”, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Konstantin Klein. The Brose Baskets Bamberg were shooting 67% from the field and 57% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 54% from the field and 33% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 11-10 rebound edge, but coughed up the ball seven times while Bamberg did four times.
In the third quarter, the Fraport Skyliners always had glimpses of fine offensive spurts, but couldn´t cut the Bamberg lead under ten points as the Bamberg offense continued to roll along. A good example of how Bamberg kept punishing the Fraport Skyliners happened in the first 30 seconds of the third quarter. Aaaron Doornekamp made a steal and made a quick pass to American Justin Cobbs who was all alone for the lay up on transition, but Brad Wanamaker came out of nowhere blocking him and on the next possession Josh Duncan hit a three pointer as Bamberg led 50-34. Frankfurt reacted well from that opening sequence going on a mini 4-0 run as Canadian Aaron Doornekamp hit an off balance shot and Robertson split the defense and made a hard two handed dunk as Frankfurt cut the Bamberg lead to 50-38. However Frankfurt would always make stupid turnovers which Bamberg capitalized on as Strelnieks hit a three pointer and scored inside as Bamberg led 59-41. The Frankfurt twin towers Barthel and Voigtmann remained aggressive inside scoring as Frankfurt trailed 59-46. However each time where it seemed like Frankfurt was threatening, Bamberg had an answer and this time it was Robinson who used his strength of using his physical body scoring inside and Theis nailed a three pointer as Bamberg led 64-48. Frankfurt closed out the third quarter strong with a mini 4-0 run as Mike Morrsion made a put back and Barthel scored inside, but the Brose Baskets Bamberg led 67-54 after 30 minutes. “We couldn´t come back because we continued to make dumb mistakes. They played good defense and continued to execute very well”, added Johannes Voigtmann. “We started off the third quarter slow, but we picked it up. We have to start third quarters stronger in the future”, said Dawan Robinson. The Brose Baskets Bamberg were shooting 65% from the field and 70% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 55% from the field and 18% from the parking lot. Bamberg was leading the rebound duel 18-15 and both teams had nine turnovers a piece.
The fourth quarter was a tale of three stories as the Brose Baskets Bamberg rolled out on a 5-0 run which was combated by a Frankfurt 9-0 run and Bamberg closed the door on Frankfurt with three consecutive contested shots with less than two seconds left on the shot clock. Bamberg started the fourth quarter with a 5-0 run as Robinson used the mismatch against Cobbs scoring inside easily and Bamberg then showed their unbelievable ability to share the ball as Strelnieks dropped a three pointer extending their lead to 72-54. The Fraport Skyliners then exerted that last ounce of energy powering out on a 9-0 run to get the spirits high again in the arena for the home team fans cutting the Bamberg lead to 72-63. In the run everything seemed to work for once in the game for Frankfurt as Super Tez Robertson hit a three pointer after Johannes Voigtmann did a good job kicking him the ball under the hoop in traffic as he wasn´t far from making atight line dance, the German then hit free throws and then made an ally-op lay in from Doornekamp. Justin Cobbs ended the run with a finger tip roll in. “It was a good comeback by Frankfurt. They got easy baskets and did good pressure defense”, added Jermale Jones. It seemed like Frankfurt now was ready to have a chance of regaining the lead, but Bamberg was ice cold and just slammed the door shut on Frankfurt without giving any warning. Bamberg nailed three consecutive shots extending their lead to 78-65, two from Josh Duncan and one from Daniel Theis with less than two seconds on the shot clock and so contested that one could only think “how did he hit that shot” after each attempt? “Those three shots closed the game for us. They were all off broken plays, but it sealed the deal for us and gave us breathing room”, commented Dawan Robinson. “I believe if Frankfurt had got those three stops then they would have won. That was the game changer. Those shots broke the back of Frankfurt and they couldn´t bounce back after that”, added Jermale Jones. Wanamaker then added salt to the wound of Frankfurt connecting on a jumper as Bamberg led 80-65. Cobbs hit free throws, Thompson hit a three pointer and Barthel ended the game with free throws. “For 30 minutes we didn´t show the kind of basketball that we are capable of. We were too slow, not aggressive and had no power”, added Konstantin Klein. The Brose Baskets Bamberg were led by Janis Strelnieks and Josh Duncan with 15 points a piece. Dawan Robinson and Brad Wanamaker added 13 points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Danilo Barthel with 16 points. Johannes Voigtmann added 14 points. Justin Cobbs chipped in with 13 points and Quantez Robertson added 12 points. The Brose Baskets Bamberg finished the game shooting a ridiculous 66% from the field and 69% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners finished shooting 49% from the field and 23% from outside. Bamberg won the rebound battle 26-18, but had 15 turnovers while Frankfurt had 12 turnovers.