Scoring 48 points is all in a day´s work for Jules Adoko even if he didn´t score all those points in one game. On Saturday night Akodo who played the last three years for the Union Olimpija Ljubljana junior team was in action in Rostock in the Pro B playoffs with the Fraport Skyliners Juniors and hammered home 29 points in a 97-91 overtime loss to the Sea Wolves. He then traveled back the 669 kilometers to Frankfurt in the morning hours and 17 hours after the buzzer sounded in Rostock, Akodo was competing again in the NBBL playoffs and led Eintracht Frankfurt to a hard fought 72-63 victory in game one against Team Basket Munich North scoring 19 points. Eintracht Frankfurt entered the game the favorite having had a 15-1 regular season record while Team Basket Munich Nord had a 10-6 record. Eintracht Frankfurt had held teams to 50 points or less 12 times this season and didn´t do that against Team Basketball Munich Nord, but overall defended very consistently even if they could never totally shake off the pesky Bavarian team until the fourth quarter where they were able to lead by 10 points despite having to combat a last Munich comeback near the end. “Consistency was a factor today. This was our first playoff game as a group and I thought that we played well together. Their play on the boards kept them in the game. We didn´t rebound well as a group”, stressed Jules Akodo. Team Basket Munich North fought hard for 40 minutes, but just could never get over the hump and go on a huge run and get consistent stops. “I thought that we played a good game defensively, but their shooting killed us. They moved the ball very well and Jules Adodo was a big factor for them”, stated Team Basket Munich North guard Liam Carpenter. “This was a hard fought game. We knew what to expect with their unorthodox play. We didn´t have Niklas Kiel and had problems rebounding. The game was always tight, but we always led. We did make some bad mistakes in the game, but we need to correct them and learn from them”, stressed Eintracht Frankfurt guard Armin Musovic.
Eintracht Frankfurt barreled out to the quick 4-0 lead as the two guards Musovic and Akodo scored. Team Basket Munich North got early big man presence from 201cm center Oliver Russ that connected twice inside and made a free throw as the Bavarian team led 5-4. However Eintracht Frankfurt responded well and went on a 7-2 run to regain the lead at 11-7 and would never trail again in the game. Musovic gave Eintracht Frankfurt the lead back 6-5 with his bread and butter the pull up jumper. 18 year old 203cm big man Ivan Mihaljevic battled underneath and made the put back on his third try and 18 year old Jamin Knothe dropped a three pointer. Eintracht Frankfurt did a good job spreading out the scoring as 18 year old shooting guard Lennart Okeke was successful on his first two shots extending the Eintracht Frankfurt lead to 16-12. Team Basket Munich North guard Chris Wurmseher gave his team a boost at the end going coast to coast for a lay in, but at the end of the first quarter Eintracht Frankfurt still had their nose ahead leading 17-14. Eintracht Frankfurt was shooting 33% from the field and 29% from outside while Team Basket Munich North were shooting 36% from the field and 0% from outside. Munich had the 11-10 rebound edge, but five turnovers while Eintracht Frankfurt had two turnovers.
In the second quarter Eintracht Frankfurt held on to the lead, but Team Basket Munich North continued to live on their door step. Eintracht Frankfurt took that intensity from the first quarter directly into the second quarter jumping all over their opponent going on a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 24-16. Okeke continued to have the hot hand nailing a three pointer and Can Akbayir hit back to back buckets. However Team Basket Munich North took a page out of the Eintracht Frankfurt scoring book going on their own run of 6-0 to cut the Eintracht Frankfurt lead to 24-23. In the run the Bavarian team got production from three different players with a three pointer from Wurmseher, a beautiful hook shot from 18 year top scorer Salman Manzur and Carpenter jumper. Eintracht Frankfurt would hold the slim lead as the two Eintracht Frankfurt guards Musovic and Akodo continued to harmonize together on the floor. Musovic made a no look pass to Akodo for the easy lay up and Musovic then hit another pull up jumper for the 28-24 advantage. Wurmseher continued to be an important offensive force making free throws and dropping a three pointer as Eintracht Frankfurt led only 29-28. However Eintracht Frankfurt went into half time with a brutal 6-0 run as Akodo and Knothe connected on consecutive three pointer to lead 34-29. Eintracht Frankfurt was shooting 41% from the field and 31% from the three point line while Team Basket Munich North was shooting 37% from the field and 25% from the three point line. Munich had the 19-16 rebound lead, but six turnovers while Frankfurt had two turnovers.
The third quarter continued to remain very tight as Eintracht Frankfurt always had the lead and were able to lead by six points after 30 minutes. Manzur entered the game shooting 42% from outside and got Team Basket Munich North on the board first nailing from downtown as Team Basket Munich North trailed only 34-32. The game continued to be a contest of little runs as each team could always counter the other with coming back. Eintracht Frankfurt went on a 5-0 run to lead 39-32 as Akodo was instruemental penetrating for a lay up and finding Mihaljevic back door for the lay in. However Team Basket Munich North responded with their own 5-0 run to trail only 39-37 as 16 year old Oscar Leon Da Silva scored inside off the Justin Hedley shovel pass and Mansur made a runner. Eintracht Frankfurt big man Armin Trtovac then scored against the double team, but Liam Carpenter scored on the penetration as Eintracht Frankfurt led 41-39. Eintracht Frankfurt then again found some offensive daylight while getting consecutive stops going on a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 48-41. In the run it was Akodo and Okeke who scored inside and got points from the free throw line. After a Hedley three pointer, Eintracht Frankfurt closed out the third quarter with a 5-0 run to lead 53-45 after three quarters. Okeke nailed a three pointer and Knothe then blocked Hedley which set up the last peculiar Eintracht Frankfurt play. Musovic took one last shot that was an air ball, but somehow landed in the hands of Akodo who put the ball home. An air ball turned into a mini ally-op. Eintracht Frankfurt was shooting 43% from the field and 27% from the parking lot while Team Basket Munich North was shooting 38% from the field and 29% from the parking lot. Team Basket Munich North had the 28-27 rebound edge, but six turnovers while Eintracht Frankfurt had two turnovers.
In the fourth quarter Eintracht Frankfurt led comfortably in double figures until a last comeback by Team Basket Munich North, but time elapsed halting their come back. Eintracht Frankfurt raised their intensity one more notch as David Scheffels registered a block and Okeke got a steal which led to a Musovic lay in and Trtovac bucket which extended the Eintracht Frankfurt lead to 57-45. Big men Manzur and Mihaljevic traded buckets and then it was Hedley who made a jumper and Wurmseher made free throws as Team basket Munich North trailed only 59-51. Eintracht Frankfurt was able to keep Team Basket Munich North at bay halting another comeback and going on a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 66-53. In the run it was the guards of Musovic and Akodo that led the charge. Musovic hit a clutch three pointer and Akodo scored form the free throw line twice and made a big block on Carpenter. Team Basket Munich North made a last run going on a 10-4 run to cut the Eintracht Frankfurt lead to 70-63. In the run they got timely three pointers from Carpenter and Mansur who led the charge. However Team Basket Munich North ran out of time as there were only 20 seconds to play. Trtovac got the games last points as Eintracht Frankfurt won 72-63. “We penetrated more in the fourth quarter and attacked their bigs and it worked for us. They got a bit tired also. We have to go on the road now, play hard, consistent and get a good game flow”, added Jules Akodo. “We had foul problems in the fourth and that gave us matchup problems. We struggled to score and they closed out the game well. We want to stay with our defensive strategy in game two, move the ball well and get the ball inside. We will have to work on our shooting this week. We played physical and the zone helped to contain them more inside. We will need to stick with that in game two”, warned Liam Carpenter. “We will have to win the rebound battle in game two and play better one on one defense on Manzur. He is a key player and we didn´t do that well on him in game one”, warned Armin Musovic. Eintracht Frankfurt were led by Jules Akodo with 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Armin Musovic added 15 points and six assists. Lennart Okeke contributed 14 points and seven rebounds. Team Basket Munich North were led by Salman Manzur with 20 points. Justin Hedley added 13 points and eight rebounds and Chris Wurmseher had 12 points. Eintracht Frankfurt shot 44% from the field and 29% from outside while Team Basket Munich North shot 36% from the field and 30% from outside. Eintracht Frankfurt won the rebound battle 39-34 and both teams had eight turnovers.