The last time that German Rouven Roessler played in the basketball city Mainhatten gym, he had teammates like ex German national players Robert Maras or Gerrit Terdenge or Americans like Obe Trotter, Michael Umeh or Tory Walker who could wear a black suit with the best of them, but back in 2006 and 2007 the two games didn´t count in the standings, but were preseason games with his then team Giessen 46ers against the then called Deutsche Bank Skyliners. Roessler is a 34 year old 198cm small forward that has played most of his basketball career in Karlsruhe this being his 12th season as he had two quick years in Giessen and a very short intermezzo in Spain with Caceres 2016 C.B. (Spain-LEB Gold). He returned back to Karlsruhe in 2008 because he felt comfortable there and despite being one of the best German players at that time decided to keep playing for the team where he started his career BG Karlsruhe despite getting great offers from better teams in Germany. Roessler is a pure scorer and has been getting buckets his whole career and in the last six seasons in the German pro A averaged 15,0ppg twice, 17ppg twice and 18,0ppg twice. This season in the German pro B, the German veteran is averaging 13,2ppg, 4,2rpg and 2,1apg and has scored in double figures 14 times including a 28 point explosion in a 73-68 victory against Schwelm. Roessler returned back to Frankfurt, but instead of putting up jumpers in the 5,000 Fraport arena where he played five years with BG Karlsruhe and Giessen, he came back to the little cozy BCM gym where he played the last time 8 years ago in an exhibition with Giessen, but this time it was a regular season game where a win was rewarded with a trip to the playoffs for both teams. Even if the 19 point effort by Roessler was overshadowed by the wrecking crew of the Brotherson and Dorsey show, he was just as important in the 88-83 OT win as he was all smiles after the victory not only seeing old Giessen faces that made the trip to Frankfurt, but also Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert that made a brief appearance before heading to the airport to travel to Russia for their Eurochallenge game. “I always liked playing in Frankfurt. The BCM may not be as loud as the Fraport arena, but it was nice seeing familiar faces and even Gordon Herbert where I got my first BBL win against with BG Karlsruhe in 2004. I think that was a good game for the fans. Both teams were eye to eye and I think we had a bit more luck at the end”, stressed ex Giessen 46er Rouven Roessler. A win could of propelled the Fraport Skyliners Juniors into the playoffs, but instead the club couldn´t carry that recent positive overtime feeling of Beko BBL team Fraport Skyliners as they lost the overtime period 12-7. “It was an interesting game where both teams shot very well in the first half. In the second half, both teams played with more intensity and shots weren´t falling as frequently anymore. In overtime it was the little things that made the difference. We had two costly turnovers at the end and Brotherson hurt us all day long, but especially at the end with his intensity, rebounding and basket”, added Fraport Skyliner Stefan Ilzhoefer. “You always have to give 100% when you play against Rouven Roessler, because he is so experienced”, stressed Armin Musovic.
Before the game started two ex Beko BBL players had a nice greeting for each other as Marius Nolte and Rouven Roessler shock hands as they dueled against each other from 2006-2008 as they played for Paderborn and Giessen. Frankfurt was without Stefan Ilzhoefer, Tim Oldenburg and Kevin Bright. BG Karlsruhe got early production from Aussie Paul Brotherson who scored inside twice and gave Frankfurt an early indication what was awaiting them inside. 17 year old 2015 NBBL allstar Niklas Kiel got Frankfurt on the board putting home a mini ally-op pass from American Andrew Bock and Kyle Fossman got going early hitting a three pointer for the Frankfurt 5-4 advantage. Frankfurt kept the offensive pressure on as Bock nailed a pull up jumper and Fossmann connected on his second three pointer as Frankfurt led 11-6. Brotherson scored on a transition dunk, Johannes Richter made a lay in and Maryland native Jimmy Dorsey made a pull up jumper as BG Karlsruhe trailed 15-10. Offense continued to take center stage as defense was put on the back burner as the game became a three point shooting clinic as American Kenny Fluellen, Fossman, Dorsey and Richter connected on consecutive three pointers as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors led 21-16. BG Karlsruhe continued to hover on the heels of Frankfurt, but were unable to retake the lead. Frankfurt countered with a Richter lay in for the 23-16 lead. BG Karlsruhe continued to be able to match the Frankfurt offense as Dorsey made his first step to good use getting an easy lay up and 26 year old German David Watson who played 7 Beko BBL games in the 2006-2007 season with BG Karlsruhe dropped a three pointer cutting the Frankfurt lead to 24-21. Frankfurt kept the lead until the end as Kiel hit a pull up jumper, Brotherson made a three pointer and Kiel nailed a runner as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors led 28-24. “We didn´t have that defensive nip that we needed. We were rebounding well on defense, but not on offense”, stressed Tim Oldenburg. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 53% from the field and 50% from outside while BG Karlsruhe was shooting 67% from the field and 67% from outside. Frankfurt had the 9-6 rebound edge and no turnovers while BG Karlsruhe had two turnovers.
In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to stay ahead and thanks to the Jules Akodo show who scored 13 of the 17 second quarter Frankfurt points and 13 in a row to lead 45-42 after 20 minutes. Ex Cape Breton(CIS) guard Jimmy Dorsey got BG Karlsruhe on the board first making a beautiful forward step and then step back over Lennart Okeke as BG Karlsruhe trailed only 28-27. Then out of nowhere came Jules Akodo who had already had a positive experience the day before leading the NBBL team Eintracht Frankfurt with 22 over German legendary basketball academy Urspring stepped into the limelight leading his team on a 13-2 run scoring all points. One probably could of put a blindfold over his eyes and he still would of hit as he was sizzling hot hitting three three pointers, a lay in off a steal going coast to coast and connecting on a floater as Frankfurt led 41-29. “Akodo had a great weekend and I think that he made big steps in these two games. I think that he was very motivated to play against the well known academy Urspring and that carried on to this game. He made big shots the whole weekend”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Junior guard Armin Musovic. However the second quarter was a tale of two stories as BG Karlsruhe took a page out of the Frankfurt massive run going into halftime with a 13-4 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 45-42. Even if he didn´t score 13 points in this run the way Akodo did earlier, 34 year old Rouven Roessler was the catalyst in the BG Karlsruhe run as he produced 8 points including two three pointers. He also was involved in two perfect back to back fast break plays as he retrieved a touch down pass from Brotherson for the reverse lay up and then made a pretty touch pass to Watson who fed Brotherson for the two handed dunk. Later he set up the Englishman Robert Gilchrist for the massive ally-op dunk as he faked the floater which turned into a pass. Frankfurt couldn´t muster much on offense in this phase as they missed shots and free throws. “Akodo was big, but we are starting to expect that from him. He is so quick that he usually will take care of his defenders. We were better on defense, but not as aggressive as we could have been”, stated Tim Oldenburg. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 47% from the field and 54% from the three point line while BG Karlsruhe was shooting 50% from the field and 50% from the three point line. Frankfurt still dominated the rebound battle 23-14, but had four turnovers while BG Karlsruhe had three turnovers.
In the third quarter, BG Karlsruhe was able to retake the lead as the game was even. BG Karlsruhe came out of halftime strong going on a 12-2 run to retake the lead 54-47 as the Fraport Skyliners had to be careful not to let the opponent run away with the game. In the run it was Dorsey who showed that he doesn´t need to score much for his team to be successful as he played set up man finding his teammates. Dorsey first found Gilchrist with the ally-op tip in and then snatched an offensive rebound kicking the ball out to Georgia native Ken Fluellen for the three pointer. Roessler also contributed another three pointer, Fluellen a pull up jumper and 20 year old German Moritz Thomany scored inside. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors seemed to be in an offensive funk, but like a day earlier in the NBBL game, it was Jules Akodo sparking his team with a three pointer which must of infected Okeke as well as he followed up with a three point bomb as well cutting the BG Karlsruhe lead to 54-53. Frankfurt continued to trail, but kept fighting as Okeke also demonstrated his penetration finding daylight for an easy bucket. After a Brotherson lay up who was set up by Dorsey, it was work horse Kiel getting back to back buckets with a mid distance shot and put back giving Frankfurt the lead back at 59-58. The lead would change hands three more times at the end as Roessler hit free throws, Akodo scored inside and Watson nailed a three pointer for the 63-61 BG Karlsruhe lead. Richter closed out the third quarter with an offensive rebound and put back as the game was deadlocked 63-63 after 30 minutes. “We had a bad start because we settled too much for jumpers and didn´t get in the paint”, expressed Jules Akodo. “We had a great start and were very aggressive on the rebound and set the tempo”, said BG Karlsruhe guard David Watson. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 48% from the field and 50% from the parking lot while BG Karslruhe was shooting 49% from the field and 48% from the parking lot. Frankfurt still had the huge rebound edge 32-21, but eight rebounds while BG Karlsruhe had five rebounds.
In the fourth quarter, it was BG Karlsruhe who continued to set the tone of the game and the Fraport Skyliners Juniors needed a timely come back in the last few minutes to force overtime. Just like in the third quarter, BG Karlsruhe started off the fourth quarter with a run of 9-2 to lead 72-65. Brotherson started off the run dropping a three pointer which was quickly matched by a Fossman jumper. BG Karlsruhe continued to capitalize off Frankfurt turnovers as Brotherson scored inside and Fluellen connected on a floater. Gilchrist also scored on the fast break. Kiel and Roessler then traded buckets, but BG Karlsruhe still led 74-67. Frankfurt started to play better defense getting stops, but also couldn´t score on offense and also had problems at the free throw line. After a Roessler miss, it was Richter who answered with a huge three pointer to cut the BG Karlsruhe lead to 74-71. Brotherson who played with a high intensity for 40 minutes then extended the BG Karlsruhe lead to 76-71 with a reverse lay up. Kiel then hit a mid distance jumper as Frankfurt trailed 76-73. Frankfurt kept fighting and tied the game with Mr big shot Jules Akodo at 76-76. Frankfurt even could of won the game as Fossman made a steal, but Richter missed a last second shot sending the game into overtime. “In the last minutes of the fourth quarter, it seemed like Frankfurt knew our plays and defended us accordingly. We took some wild shots and Frankfurt got big shots”, stressed David Watson. “We played very aggressive defense at the end. I am happy that my teammates had confidence in me taking that last shot”, commented Jules Akodo. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 45% from the field and 44% from outside while BG Karlsruhe was shooting 49% from the field and 42% from outside. Frankfurt had the overwhelming 41-29 rebound advantage, but 11 turnovers and BG Karlsruhe had 10 turnovers.
In the overtime period, it was Fraport Skyliner guard Armin Musovic that got his team going hitting a three pointer, but BG Karlsruhe nailed two consecutive three pointers from the wrecking crew of Brotherson and Dorsey to take the 82-79 lead and they would never look back. Richter then kept Frankfurt on track with an offensive rebound and put back to trail 82-81. German Adrian Lind then connected on free throws as BG Karlsruhe led 84-81. However two consecutive Frankfurt turnovers led to a Brotherson left hand tip in and Dorsey free throws as BG Karlsruhe put a clamp on the game leading 87-81. After a Roessler free throw, it was Andrew Bock that hit a jumper at the buzzer, but it was too little too late as BG Karlsruhe won their third game in their last six games. “We weren´t tired in overtime. I think that we weren´t able to play our style. We weren´t aggressive enough on the offensive board”, added Jules Akodo. “We played with more intensity and the Brotherson basket was key”, added David Watson. “Our will to win wasn´t there at the end. You could see that Brotherson just wanted it more than we did”, stressed Armin Musovic. BG Karlsruhe was led by Paul Brotherson with 25 points and five rebounds. Rouven Roessler added 19 points, six rebounds and three assists. Jimmy Dorsey contributed 14 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Jules Akodo with 21 points. Johannes Richter added 16 points and 13 rebounds and Niklas Kiel contributed 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Kyle Fossman chipped in with 11 points, nine rebounds and five assists. BG Karlsruhe shot 48% from the field and 43% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 43% from the field and 40% from the three point line. Frankfurt won the rebound battle 48-34, but had 14 turnovers while BG Karlsruhe had 10 turnovers.