When German 23 year old Konstantin Klein took the Fraport arena microphone Tuesday night after the tough hard fought 77-74 Eurochallenge victory against Enisey Krasnoyarsk to announce that he had had his contract extended, he had no idea that this continued trust from the Fraport Skyliners could be an important ace in the hole for his self-confidence as little did he know shortly after the win that he would have to take over the reins in game two in the beautiful, but barren region of Siberia where Enisey Krasnoyarsk are at home. American rookie Justin Cobbs had knee problems and stayed in Frankfurt for observation and for treatment so could be ready for a game three in Frankfurt next Tuesday. There is no need to explain the worth of the Los Angeles native Justin Cobbs who is the general of the team and when he plays Eurochallenge the Frankfurt team has never lost as his 9-0 record stands tall. He scored in double figures in 21 of 23 games this season in German and Eurochallenge play and in all nine games in international play when he is wearing the Skyliners jersey. The only game since the arrival of Cobbs that he didn´t play in the Eurochallenge was against Avtodor Saratov that Frankfurt lost 71-68. However in that game was the debut of Konstantin Klein again after his long injury and he did a solid job scoring 10 points, hauling down four rebounds and dishing out four assists in 28 minutes of play. He held his own against ex NBA player Courtney Fortson who wasn´t much better logging 37 minutes while scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds and handing out six assists. Instead of the rematch between Justin Cobbs and DJ Cooper, it was the battle between Klein and Cooper. Without Cobbs on the floor, the Fraport Skyliners went in as the underdog and played catch up basketball all night long, but after tying the game at 63-63 in the fourth quarter were unable to combat a 15-5 Enisey run to end the game losing 78-68. Once again without the trusty general Cobbs, Frankfurt was unable to win again in Eurochallenge play. Frankfurt did a solid job containing DJ Cooper early, but at the end he was at his season average of nine assists and he chipped in with six points. Konstantin Klein and Quantez Robertson did the best that they could at the point guard position combining for 16 points and six assists. Despite a strong performance from American Sean Armand who added 23 points and really got the team going with his timely shots, it was Serbian Sava Lesic who had 16 points and Terrico White who produced 14 points and took seven possessions away from Frankfurt with his seven steals being the game´s unsung hero.
The Fraport Skyliners entered the game coming off a huge 77-74 victory at home in game one, had the momentum and didn´t have as much pressure as Enisey Krasnoyarsk, but felt the jet lag in the first three minutes as they quickly trailed 12-2. Enisey Karsnoyarsk came in very aggressive and didn´t waste anytime as they quicly got a Elmeden Kikanovic lay in and Terrico White three pointer. Sava Lesic who shines with that perfect inside out game also demonstrated his scoring in bunches as he hit a runner and nailed a three pointer. White finished off the run with a lay in. The Fraport Skyliners were being forced too many tough shots and weren´t getting into their sets as that Justin Cobbs decision touch was missing. Frankfurt then went on a 6-2 run to cut the Enisey lead to 15-8 as Quantez Robertson scored in bunches as he snuck inside for a quick two and then was fed a bomb pass from Johannes Voigtmann for the easy lay in. Voigtmann then secured an offensive rebound and made the put back. However Enisey continued to sparkle on the offensive end as their shots were falling as easily as it is too find sand on a beach as Eugeniy Kolesnikov and White hammered home three pointers to extend the Enisey advantage to 21-10. Finish shooting guard Mikko Koivisto was inserted and quickly got into a rhythm hitting his first shot and then finding Mike Morriosn for the perfect pick and role lay in cutting the Enisey lead to 22-13. However whenever Frankfurt struck, Enisey had an answer as Lesic dropped a three pointer for the 25-15 lead. Frankfurt did stay in the game as they ended the first quarter with a mini 4-0 run as Robertson made a dunk after getting a back door pass from Morrison and then made free throws. After one quarter Enisey Krasnoyarsk was leading 29-22 and was shooting 66% from the field and 85% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 58% from the field and 25% from outside. Enisey had the 6-4 rebound edge and three turnovers while Frankfurt had five turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners continued to fight back and got back into the game trailing by only five points midway through the second quarter, but trailed 46-38 at the intermission. Enisey continued to have hot shooting on the menu as it cooled down any nasty Siberian breeze that may have snuck through an open arena door as they bolted out to a 8-2 run extending their lead to 37-24. In the run it was 26 year old Artem Yakovenko who reached the 2010 Eurochallenge final with Samara losing to German club BG Goettingen was a one man wrecking crew as he nailed two three pointers and dropped free throws. Frankfurt got a bucket from Morrison with the dunk as Koivisto hooked up with the St Petersburg native for the second time. Now it was make or break time for the Fraport Skyliners and the perfect opportunity for Sean Armand to step up and give his team what he does best buckets. Despite the big win in game one, Armand remained scoreless posting the big goose egg and after the game had as long a face as one would ever see and he had a lot to prove. He came up big leading Frankfurt on a huge 9-0 run as he scored three consecutive buckets with a lay in, step back and floater. Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi also contributed knocking down a timely three pointer as Frankfurt suddenly trailed only 37-33. However Enisey kept their nose in front closing out the second quarter 9-5. Enisey did a good job getting to the free throw line as Kolsenikov got there twice as well as Cooper and Lesic one. Frankfurt got another hoop form Armand who made a tough shot and Klein took Frankfurt into halftime with a three pointer trailing 46-38. Enisey Krasnoyarsk was shooting 52% from the field and 66% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 56% from the field and 30% from the three point line. Both teams had 11 rebounds and Frankfurt nine turnovers and Enisey six turnovers.
In the third quarter Enisey Krasnoyarsk continued to lead, but the Fraport Skyliners had the fighting spirit cutting the Russian lead to 60-56 after three quarters. After starting the game with a 10-2 run, second quarter with a 7-2 run, they got off firing again at the start of the third quarter with a 7-3 run to extend their lead to 53-41. Komarovsky started off the run with a three pointer and Sava Lesic scored inside as Cooper found him all alone. Klein followed with a three pointer and Lesic then scored inside again. The third quarter then witnessed three more runs, two by Frankfurt and one by Enisey. Frankfurt had a 7-1 run to cut the Enisey lead to 54-48 as German national player Johannes Voigtmann scored in bunches nailing a hook shot and lay in. However Frankfurt then gave up a 6-0 run to Enisey as they continued to have difficulty combating the Russian ability to hit big three pointers as Yakovenko and Pavel Sergeev hit to extend the Enisey lead to 60-48. However the Fraport Skyliners finished the third quarter strong with a brutal 8-0 run as Morrison connected on his second chance and when Frankfurt needed buckets it was Sean Armand time as he hit two three pointers with his second from as distant as Karaulnaya Hill, Krasnoyarsk as Frankfurt trailed only 60-56 after 30 minutes. Enisey Krasnoyarsk was shooting 45% from the field and 55% from the parking lot and the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 55% from the field and 36% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 22-16 rebound edge, but 17 turnovers while Enisey had only 11 turnovers.
The fourth quarter was a tale of two runs as the Fraport Skyliners came out in comeback mode going on a 7-3 run to tie the game at 63-63 and seemed like the momentum was on their side, but it didn´t really sink in on the court as Enisey Krasnoyarsk let their offense speak for them finishing the game with a 15-5 run winning 78-68. For the second time in the game it was Armand again showing his undeniable explosiveness scoring three consecutive buckets as when Frankfurt needed spark he was the man. The ex Iona(NCAA) shooting machine scored inside and two step backs with the last being a difficult three pointer to tie the game at 63-63. Enisey Krasnoyarsk halted the Sean Armand shooting clinic as they had more options as Komarovsky scored a finger tip role, unsung hero Terrico White nailed a three pointer and Komarovsky struck again with a three pointer extending the Enisey lead to 71-63. Robertson stopped the Enisey run with a back door lay in as Voigtmann gunned him a bounce pass. However Frankfurt was unable to get consecutive stops as Kikanovic hit free throws and Enisey then displayed great team basketball as Cooper found Komarovsky back door, but with he had a bad angle and he found Kikanovic with the better shot which he finished with a lay in and Enisey 75-65 lead. White then made a steak and Kikanovic scored inside as Enisey led 77-65. Jacob Burtschi got the last Frankfurt bucket from down town. Frankfurt was unable to have that crunch time calmness they usually, made bad decisions, costly turnovers and couldn´t get big stops when they needed to. Enisey Krasnoyarsk were led by Sava Lesic with 16 points and five rebounds. Terrico White supplied 14 points, five rebounds, two assists and seven steals. Elmeden Kikanovic added 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Sean Armand with 23 points and Quantez Robertson chipped in with 10 points. Enisey shot 45% from the field and 535 from outside while the Fraport Skyliners shot 48% from the field and 33% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound duel 29-26. Enisey had 13 turnovers and Frankfurt 20. Both teams duel in a do or die game three Tuesday March 17th for the ticket to the Eurochalleneg Final four.