Four days ago Beko BBL team Fraport Skyliners were in a precarious situation at half time in their do or die game against Russian team Enisey Krasnoyarsk in the Eurochallenge quarterfinal as they were down 44-25 and desperately needed a kick in their back side to get their motor going in the second half. Fraport Skyliner head coach Gordon Herbert found the right words in the locker room as his team marched out on the floor in the second half making an amazing comeback giving an NBA like scoring explosion display making 60 points and winning the game 85-80 and getting an invitation to the Eurochallenge Final 4. Like usual Fraport Skyliner Junior players Americans Andrew Bock and Canadian Kyle Fossman were sitting behind the Frankfurt bench taking in the action. In the second quarter one could notice their sceptic faces and they had to witness Frankfurt get hit by three consecutive three pointers by back up point guard Pavel Sergeev of Enisey Krasnoyarsk. However in the second half as Frankfurt was making their stunning come back their demeanor had changed 180 degree´s as they were jumping up and cheering for every new dunk that German twin tower Johannes Voigtmann was powering home and Mike Morrison as their energy infected everyone in the arena. The second half was a great opportunity for Bock and Fossman to let some of that spirit rub off on them, because now it was time for them to perform in a do or die situation as they had to face off against the Rostock Sea Wolves and get revenge for their bitter 97-91 overtime loss in game one in Rostock one week ago. The Fraport Skyliners didn´t let the do or die reality effect their game as they controlled the game for 40 minutes and were able to withstand a last Rostock run and sneak out a 67-65 win. “We came into the game with everything at stake. After our close loss in game one we knew that we could compete with them and just gave our all in a do or die situation. They came out non aggressive like in game one which went to our advantage. I have been in a few do or die games in my career and won most of them and we will win the do or die game on Tuesday in Rostock”, warned Fraport Skyliner guard Jules Akodo. For the Rostock Sea Wolves coming out on the wrong foot has been a common problem this season and struck them again in game one and game two. “We always start slow. We are down 20 points and then it is hard to come back. We spent so much energy trying to come back that we lost at the end despite a good comeback. Frankfurt came into the game with nothing to lose and played for fun and had more fun than we did”, stressed Rostock Seawolves Canadian Yannick Anzuluni.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors entered the game without big men Niklas Kiel and Marius Nolte as well as point guard Armin Musovic and Lennart Okeke, but still had a fine rotation as Beko BBL license players Johannes Richter and Stefan ILzhoefer were in the lineup. Richter rushed to Hagen directly after the game to catch the BBL game with the FRaport Skyliners that started two and half hours later. The Fraport Skyliners raced off to a quick 10-2 lead as the Rostock Sea Wolves still seemed to be a light afternoon sleep. The Fraport Skyliners got their offense rolling quickly as they started to fire away and connect. Canadian Kyle Fossman connected for a trey and pull up jumper while Tim Oldenburg scored inside off the fancy Akodo pass and the English native then nailed a three pointer from the corner. Frankfurt kept their offense at a fine scoring pace as Ilzhoefer scored and Johannes Richter hit a three pointer despite German Tim Vogt testing his 42,9% three point percentage as Frankfurt led 15-9. Rostock still had no consistent rhythm on offense and wilted a bit in the last three minutes allowing the Fraport Skyliners Juniors to end the first quarter strong on a 12-2 run to lead 27-11. The run was dominated by rookie California native Andrew Bock who didn´t want to exert energy in a do or die situation in a comeback the way the Beko BBL team Fraport Skyliners did last Tuesday and took command himself being a one man wrecking crew scoring 10 of the 12 Frankfurt points. He was very aggressive attacking the rim and scoring, drawing fouls and dropping a three pointer. Frankfurt also got a timely bucket from 18 year old Can Akbayir who also gives his services to the NBBL team Eintracht Frankfurt. “When I saw that start by Rostock I was wondering if they just stepped off the bus. Frankfurt started off with a high intensity on offense getting easy shots, getting out on transition and also played well on defense. Frankfurt used the slow Rostock start to their advantage”, warned Hanau head coach Steven Clauss who was watching the game making notes as one of the two teams is the next opponent for Hanau should they advance against Bochum. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 63% from the field and 44% from outside while the Rostock Seawolves were shooting 27% from the field and 25% from outside. Frankfurt had the overwhelming 14-3 rebound edge, but six turnovers while Rostock had four turnovers.
Nothing turned to the advantage of the Rostock Seawolves fortunes in the second quarter as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued to control the game and led by as much as 20 points as that intensity level between both teams continued to be like night and day. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors started off the second quarter on a 6-2 run to extend their lead to 33-13. 31 year old Sven Hellman who is playing his ninth season in Rostock hit a jumper and Stefan Ilzhoefer was involved in all three Frankfurt buckets as he found Oldenburg for the easy bucket in the paint and then scored twice on the fast break once aided by an Akodo pass and then went coast to coast for the easy lay in. The Rostock Sea Wolves then found some daylight as they went on a quick 7-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 35-21. In the run it was 24 year old German Tim Vogt that let his shooting speak hitting a difficult prayer and then making a three pointer while Omaha, Nebraska native Jarrell Crayton made free throws. However the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to keep on the pressure mainly with their consistent outside shooting as Fossman and Richter dropped three pointers again to extend their lead to 41-23. The Rostock Seawolves went into halftime with the momentum going on a 5-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 41-28 as they upped their defensive intensity as 35 year old Jens Hakanowitz made two big blocks which led to his free throws and a David Makert lay in. “Rostock switched to a zone defense and found their rhythm a bit more on offense. Despite their good shooting Frankfurt was doing a good job getting their defensive rebounds. Frankfurt was playing good team basketball and each guy was contributing”, added Hanau head coach Steven Clauss. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 50% from the field and 40% from the three point line while the Rostock Seawolves were shooting 36% from the field and 43% from the three point line. Frankfurt still had the 19-11 rebound edge, but were outrebounded in the second quarter 8-5. Frankfurt had 11 turnovers and Rostock 12.
In the third quarter the Rostock Seawolves continued to be a thorn in the side of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors on defense steadily working on their comeback and at one point trailing only by seven points, but they couldn´t get over the hump to get closer to the deficit. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors jumped out on a 4-2 run as Richter displayed his keen passing touch for a big man finding Oldenburg for the lay in and Akodo hit form the mid range as Frankfurt led 45-30. The Sea Wolves pesky defense began to gnaw at the Frankfurt game as they started to hit less shots giving Rostock the chance to comeback going on a 10-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 47-40. In the run Rostock played terrific team basketball getting support from many different guys. 24 year old Bulgarian Ivo Slavchev connected on a three pointer, Tim Vogt hit a tough shot in traffic, Hakanowitz made an easy lay up getting the shovel pass from Anzuluni and the Canadian then scored himself as the club was displaying unselfish basketball. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors didn´t allow Rostock to get any closer in the last minutes as they got huge support from Canadian Kyle Fossman who dropped two bombs from the parking lot extending the Frankfurt lead to 55-42 and keeping Rostock at bay with their comeback attempt. However Rostock didn´t let this Fossman momentum burner hurt their confidence as they closed out the third quarter with a 7-2 run to remain in the game trailing 57-49. In the run Rostock got production from Yannick Anzuluni who made a pretty lay in while dancing around seemingly everybody in the lane, David Makert who played six Beko BBL games for BG Goettingen connected on a three pointer and Tim Vogt made a finger tip role as the Frankfurt penetration defense was nonexistent. Frankfurt got a finger tip role in from Richter to close out the scoring. “Rostock came out with more energy in the third quarter. We settled more for jumpers and didn´t go inside as much. They went to zone which slowed us down”, added Jules Akodo. “We played with more intensity on defense. Good defense led to good offense. We also scored on the fast break which gave us confidence”, added Yannick Anzuluni. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 51% from the field and 36% from the parking lot while the Rostock Seawolves were shooting 43% from the field and 38% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 27-16 rebound advantage, but 19 turnovers while Rostock had 16 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, the Rostock Seawolves made one more comeback and could of won the game on the last play, but missed forcing a deciding game three in Rostock on Tuesday. The Rostock Wolves started off the fourth quarter with a bang as Vogt continued to supply the hot hand from outside drilling home a three pointer as Rostock continued to get closer to Frankfurt 57-52. However Frankfurt reacted well to this Vogt trey going on a mini 4-0 run and Fossman beat Vogt from the baseline for a lay in and Akodo found Oldenburg inside with the bullet pass and two quick points as Frankfurt led 61-52. However Rostock still had energy in their tank as they cruised out on a 8-2 run to trail Frankfurt only 63-60. In this phase they were aided by David Makert who came into the game shooting 24% from outside, but when it counted nailed two big three pointers. “Makert was clutch. I practice with him each day and that practice paid off today. I wish he would have been on the court at the end”, stressed Yannick Anzuluni. Bock then made free throws and Anzuluni nailed a huge three pointer to cut the Frankfurt lead to 65-63. Ilzhoefer then hit free throws and Slavchev secured an offensive rebound and made the put back, but Frankfurt still led 67-65. After an Anzuluni offensive foul, Bock missed a jumper and Rostock then had a turnover. With 7,7 seconds to play, Frankfurt had possession, but Rostock defended so aggressive that Frankfurt coughed up the ball. Rostock had one more chance, but Slavchev missed a three pointer to end the game. “We let them back into the game not covering their shooters and getting some turnovers. On the last play we had our hands up and did what we could and hoped”, stressed Jules Akodo. “We switched the play at the last second and weren´t in position so we had to improvise. Slavchev had a good look. He is a better shooter than what he showed. He will make that shot usually eight out of ten times”, said Yannick Anzuluni.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Kyle Fossman with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists. Andrew Bock added 16 points, six rebounds and three assists and Tim Oldenburg and Stefan Ilzhoefer supplied 10 points a piece. The Rostock Seawolves were led by Tim Vogt with 18 points. Yannick Anzuluni supplied 12 points and David Makert had 11 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors ended the game shooting 44% from the field and 31% from outside while the Rostock Seawolves shot 38% from the field and 45% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound duel 38-31, but had an unacceptable 24 turnovers while Rostock had 21 turnovers. Both teams will meet one more time to a ticket to the next round on Tuesday in Rostock. “We have to play with a lot of energy and well for 40 minutes. We will have to play our inside out game and not let them get in the paint”, warned Jules Akodo. “Our fans will be pumped in this do or die game. We have to finally come out with much energy right at the start like we did in the second half. Our fans will help us more on Tuesday at home”, warned Yannick Anzuluni.