At 1.00pm on a Saturrday afternoon it is still too early to catch any German Fussball Bundesliga, Beko BBL, Pro A or Pro B and German sports fans may have already been having thoughts about what new amazing things would be happening with their favorite players and teams, but even at lunch time, one is able to witness entertaining sports as about 100 fans did in Frankfurt as the absolute top teams of the youth league NBBL south west Team Urspring battled against Eintracht Frankfurt. Both teams entered the afternoon having won 27 games combined and having only lost two games as they were fighting for the top spot in the standings. In their first meeting this season, Urspring defeated Eintracht Frankfurt in their living room76-69 as a high field goal percentage and rebounding were the keys for Germany´s top basketball academy to come out on top. In the rematch in Frankfurt, Eintracht Frankfurt came into the game with a lot of revenge feelings and had control of the game for 40 minutes even if they could never totally blow away their opponent as they won the defensive battle 67-60. Jules Akodo stole the show from team stars Niklas Kiel and Mahir Agva scoring 22 points and whenever Urspring was threatening to come back nailed big shots. Two key factors for the loss for Urspring were the 16 missed free throws and their inability to set the tone on the boards which Eintracht Frankfurt totally dominated 44-31. After the game Eintracht Frankfurt point guard Armin Musovic was delighted about the win and even had to briefly interrupt his words as he gave retired player Jakob Merz a big hug. “I am happy that we got revenge today. We just wanted to prove after our first loss that we could win. Coach told us before the game that if we could win the rebounding then we would win. Our offense was consistent and was led by Jules Akodo. We did a good job on defense as anytime you can hold an Urspring to 60 points than you can be happy. We did a good job taking Mahir Agva out of the game. The only negative stat for us were the 20 turnovers”, stated Armin Musovic. It wa s only the second loss for Urspring as they fought back at the end, but just ran out of time. “Frankfurt played very well. We never were able to get into the game. Whenever we came back they had the right answers with big shots. We got into foul problems early and they dominated the boards”, stressed Urspring guard Janic Staiger.
NBBL team Eintracht Frankfurt came into the game being the top defensive teamin their division having held teams to under 50 points 11 times including 36 against the Junior Baskets Rhein Neckar and knew that they would have a tough assignment against top team Urspring. A top game like this garnered much attention as a majority of the Fraport Skyliner Juniors were in attendance as well as injured Fraport Skyliner Konstantin Klein who was in between work outs as well as ex Urspring player Kevin Bright who even spent a few minutes watching the game from their bench as well as agents who were observing the future of German basketball. In the first few minutes there were four lead changes until Eintracht Frankfurt was able to keep the lead half way through the first quarter and would never trail again. In the first few minutes it was Niklas Kiel and Mahir Agva that brought that early intensity to their respective team getting to the free throw line and hitting buckets. Eintracht Frankfurt also established their inside game early as 17 year old 203cm forward Ivan Mihaljevic scored inside twice for the 10-5 Eintracht Frankfurt lead. 18 year old Agva who played in Giessen 7 hours later contributing 27 points in a Pro A loss for Erdgas Ehingen and his first Beko BBL game as a 16 year old for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen dropped a three pointer as Urspring trailed only 11-10. After Musovic and Trtova dropped free throws, it was Agva that nailed two free throws, but then it was Jules Akodo who showed his first example of being a nasty comeback blocker as he made a bucket and free throw to keep Eintracht Frankfurt in front 17-13 after one quarter. Both teams had horrible shooting percentages after 10 minutes as Eintracht Frankfurt was shooting 30% from the field and 0% from outside while Urspirng was shooting 21% from the field and 22% from outside. Eintracht Frankfurt had the commanding 14-8 rebound edge, but an unhealthy six turnovers while Urspring had four turnovers.
Except for a little comeback scare midway through the second quarter, Eintracht Frankfurt was able to end the second quarter on a 10-6 run to lead 35-28 at halftime. Akodo displayed his aggressiveness right from the start drawing two fouls, but left two shots on the rim as Eintracht Frankfurt led 19-13. Eintracht Frankfurt then found some consistency on offense getting three buckets as Niklas Kiel who recently was named to the Allstar team at the Basketball without boarders global camp in New York fought against Agva in the zone with a spin move and sudden step back jumper finding nothing but net while the big man was off balance, Musovic nailed his bread and butter pull up jumper and then found teammate Mihaljevic on the pick and role for the easy lay in as Eintracht Frankfurt led 25-16. However Urspring found a spark of energy from Lars Berger who tested his 36% three point shooting percentage and Nikolaus Schaffer his 28% three point percentage and both hit consecutive shots getting their team back to 25-22. However the story of the game was Jules Akodo who had the audacity and skill of hitting big shots whenever Urspring had retrieved the momentum and was threatening to narrow the lead as he nailed a three pointer for the 28-22 advantage. Then it was 17 year old Trtovac who used his massive body and 112 kilos to muscle home a lay in after getting the perfect feed from Musovic. Then Urspring got free throws from Schaffer and he then made a steal and went coast to coast catching the Eintracht Frankfurt transition defense napping as they narrowed the Eintracht Frankfurt lead to 30-26. However then as if the basketball god had addressed him to stop that Urspring comeback again, it was Akodo again stopping the opponents new comeback run with another three pointer and lay in as Eintracht Frankfurt led 35-26. Maximillian Eisele closed out the second quarter with free throws, but Eintracht Frankfurt led 35-28. Eintracht Frankfurt drastically improved their shooting in the second quarter as now they were shooting 48% from the field and 50% from the three point line while Urspring was shooting 24% from the field and 29% from the three point line. Eintracht Frankfurt still had the overwhelming 25-13 rebound edge, but had 11 turnovers while Urspring had five turnovers.
In the third quarter Team Urspring continued to fight and stayed on the heels of Eintracht Frankfurt, but still couldn´t put together the complete package to retake the lead. Armin Musovic started off the scoring in the third quarter with a pretty left hand lay in. Here and there Urspring would showcase outstanding ball movement and when they did they would be rewarded as Lars Berger connected on an open three point bomb cutting the Eintracht Frankfurt lead to 38-32. Trtovac then displayed old school basketball hitting a hook shot and Eisele made a shot as Eintracht Frankfurt led 40-35. Akodo was always preying on that opportunity to capitalize on an Urspring mistake and did as Agva missed three of four free throws and then upped the Eintracht Frankfurt lead to 45-36 hitting consecutive buckets with a three pointer and lay in. Despite missing another two free throws, Agva erased his mistakes getting a three pointer and free throw as Urspirng trailed 45-41. Now it was time for another magical act from Akodo which he did with a lay in, but he was also aided by his teammate 18 year old 190cm shooting guard Can Akbayar who nailed two three pointers once again halting the Urspring come back as Eintracht Frankfurt led 54-45 after three quarters. Eintracht Frankfurt continued to have high shooting percentages as they were shooting 47% from the field and 56% from the parking lot while Urspring was shooting 32% from the field and 38% from the parking lot. Eintracht Frankfurt still had the huge rebound advantage 34-23, but coughed up the ball 13 times while Urspring had nine turnovers.
In the fourth quarter despite Eintracht Frankfurt starting off with an 8-0 run Urspring was able to stage one last comeback, but came up short as time ran out. In the 8-0 run it was Musovic who hit consecutive three pointers and Niklas Kiel got busy on the offensive glass swiping an offensive rebound and registering the put back as Eintracht Frankfurt led 62-45. Despite this 8-0 shock from Eintracht Frankfurt, Urspring wasn´t impressed and was able to close out the game on a positive note finishing with a 15-4 run, but fell short losing 67-60. In the run it was Agva doing damage scoring on the pick and role from Eisele and hitting a three pointer. Urspring 17 year old small forward Benaissa Traore also added production with a three pointer and put back. Eintracht Frankfurt couldn´t muster more than Lennart Okeke free throws and a Mihaljevic step back jumper, but Eintracht Frankfurt played exceptional for 36 minutes and at the end what counts was the win. Eintracht Frankfurt was led by Jules Akodo with 22 points. Armin Musovic added 12 points and six assists. Team Urspring was led by Mahir Agva with 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Maximillian Eisele added 12 points and Nikolaus Schaffer contributed 11 points. Eintracht Frankfurt finished the game shooting 45% from the field and 44% from outside while Team Urspring shot 34% from the field and 36% from outside. Eintracht Frankfurt dominated the rebound battle 44-31, but ended with a disappointing 20 turnovers while Urspring had 14 turnovers.