The Fraport Skyliners Come Back Comes Up Short 84-79 As Kyle Weems Powers Nanterre To Eurochallenge Final

Sometimes everything can look so bleak for a basketball team as the Fraport Skyliners witnessed almost six months ago as they came into the Eurochallenge season sporting a miserable 1-6 record in the Beko BBL and it didn´t get any better as they started off the international club tournament with a lack luster 94-59 loss in Belgium against Aalstar, then beat a weak Danish team Bakken Bears and then had some real misfortune losing against Boras as Adama Darboe nailed a buzzer beater in the second home in Russelheim as their real living room Fraport arena was booked for another event. However then Justin Cobbs arrived and the rest is history. Frankfurt then reeled off five straight wins and reached the quarterfinals with a double overtime win against Russian team Avtodor. In the quarterfinals, Frankfurt survived getting by Russian team Enisey in a do or die game as the club made one of their greatest comebacks in history coming down 19 points and winning 85-80. There were many highlights besides that amazing victory like the break out game of German Johannes Richter who led Frankfurt past Bakken as he allowed no honey for the Bears or the exciting 94-92 win in Den Bosch as Justin Cobbs and Brandyn Curry had a point guard battle of the finest. All in all Frankfurt had a superb 11-4 record in the Eurochallenge and were rewarded with a ticket to the final 4 in Turkey. With all the great memories of the past six months put into an extra memory bank in their heads, the Fraport Skyliners now had 80 minutes to play their best basketball ever starting with the first 40 minutes against 2013 French champion Nanterre and tried to make another comeback translate into a win like the way they did against Enisey and FC Bayern Munich this season, but came up a bit short at the end losing 83-79 as they had little resistance for the French team sharp shooters and ex Beko BBL American players Kyle Weems and Jamal Shuler who combined for a masterful 43 points. The Fraport Skyliners went into the game with a massive height advantage, but knew that they had to contend with the dangerous three point shooting of Nanterre and quickly were put into a hole as Arkansas native Mykal Riley and ex teammate of ex Fraport Skyliner Jermario Davidson at Alabama(NCAA) nailed two three pointers for the quick 6-0 lead. Nanterre kept nailing three pointers as rapidly as Quantez Robertson can get down the floor on the fast break as the ex Beko BBL players Weems and Jamal Shuler hit two three pointers for the 14-4 lead. Frankfurt had massive problems getting into a rhythm on offense as it seemed like the bad weather there left a bad side effect on their game plan or simply they got off the wrong side of the bed. Nanterre was halting the Frankfurt pick and roll and Justin Cobbs got off to a slow start shooting. Even when Frankfurt got some needed production from Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi in the form of a trey or Johannes Voigtmann two handed dunk fed from Cobbs, Nanterre kept firing away and connecting from all angles as Weems hit a catch and pop and ex TBB Trier forward Shuler another three pointer for the 19-9 advantage that he just threw in at a speed where FC Bayern Munich guard Anton Gavel would have chuckle at. Frankfurt got some needed production down the stretch from Brooklyn native Sean Armand with a jumper to cut the Nanterre lead to 23-13. After a Jaiteh tip in, Frankfurt closed out the first quarter strong as ex Iona guard Sean Armand hit a three and Florida native Mike Morrison made a tip in as Nanterre led 27-18 after one quarter. After one quarter Nanterre was shooting a crazy 69% from the field and 66% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 46% from the field and 40% from outside. Both teams had six rebounds a piece and Frankfurt five turnovers and Nanterre three turnovers. In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners continued to pick and claw at the Nanterre lead and tie the game at 34-34 only to allow a 11-0 Nanterre run to go into halftime with the comfortable 45-37 lead. The Fraport Skyliners started off the second quarter with a bang going on a 5-0 run to cut the Nanterre lead to 27-23 as Morrison scored inside and Armand dropped a three pointer. However whenever Frankfurt threatened to get closer, Nanterre had a response as Phoenix native point guard TJ Campbell who played at Portland(NCAA) made a tip in and three pointer to extend the Nanterre lead to 32-23. This didn´t faze Frankfurt at all as there was more flow and confidence in their offense as they went on a lightening 11-2 run to even the game at 34-34. Frankfurt was making better use of the obvious height advantage and banging the ball inside as Morrison got two easy buckets and also improved their three point accuracy with Armand and Burtschi three pointers. However Nanterre had this incredible way of stepping up then when it seemed like they may be wilting throwing a nasty 11-2 run into the face of Frankfurt and taking the 45-36 lead at halftime. In the run they were supported by another clutch three pointer from Campbell as well as a jumper from 36 year old French veteran Joseph Gomis who played at the 2006 World championships in Japan and 2007 European championships in Spain getting a jumper. They also got timely free throws from Laurence Ekperigin and Shuler as well as a runner rom the ex TBB Trier player. Voigtmann closed out the second quarter canning free throws. After 20 minutes Nanterre was shooting 58% from the field and 60% form the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 44% from the field and 30% from the three point line. Nanterre had the 17-14 rebound edge and both teams had eight turnovers a piece. In the third quarter the fight within the Fraport Skyliners remained fierce, but Nanterre continued to execute well, but lost a little focus at the end letting the German 2004 league champion go out on a 11-3 run to cut the Nanterre lead to 64-61. Ex Phoenix Hagen forward Jacob Burtschi started off the third quarter with a big three pointer, but Kansas native and ex Missouri State(NCAA) star Kyle Weems returned the answer with a brutal runner and three pointer extending the Nanterre lead to 50-40 as he still dreams of the NBA after having played NBA Summer League in 2012 and 2013. Frankfurt got some production from Voigtmann with a lay in and Armand tap in sneaking to get his own rebound, but Nanterre still had that controlled offense where hitting shots on a consistent rate was on the menu as Shuler and Campbell dropped three pointers and Weems made a hard dunk with authority coming in from the wing and taking the feed from Campbell as Nanterre led 58-48. Nanterre continued to be the more clever team on offense, but Frankfurt the better oiled come back team as they never gave up and closed out the third quarter strong going on a 13-6 run to cut the Nanterre lead to 64-61 after 30 minutes. In the run, Nanterre kept some distance with huge three pointers from Campbell and Judith, but Frankfurt capitalized on their chances on offense getting two big trey´s from Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp and from Quantez Robertson. Nanterre was shooting 55% from the field and 61% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 44% from the field and 41% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 24-20 rebound edge, but 11 turnovers while Nanterre had only nine turnovers. The fourth quarter was an intense battle as Frankfurt got it´s first lead of the contest and in all there were six lead changes, but at the end Nanterre showed that they were the better team keeping the nerves and hitting big shots. Cobbs started the fourth quarter with a big three pointer over 208cm big man Jaiteh to tie the score at 64-64. Frankfurt was defending a lot better being aggressive and giving Nanterre less easy looks, but couldn´t capitalize on offense with scoring as they also had a lull. Weems then hit an open three pointer as he waited until Danilo Barthel flew by him to give Nanterre the 67-64 lead. Frankfurt then went on a 5-0 run to earn themselves their first lead as Cobbs made a jumper and Burtschi connected on a three pointer as Frankfurt led 69-67. It then went back and forth for a while as both teams swapped lead changes as Weems nailed another three pointer for the Nanterre 70-69 lead. Voigtmann responded with a tip in as Frankfurt led 71-70. Jaiteh then made a lay in and free throw for the 73-71 Nanterre advantage. A Voigtmann free throw and Cobbs free throw gave Frankfurt the lead back at 74-73. Frankfurt had no resistance or answer how to slow down Weems as he continued hitting shots at an incredible rate as if he had been watching that Steph Curry 77 three pointers in a row video or his shot from last night that brought Golden State into OT with New Orleans to give the French side the 76-74 lead. Morrison hit clutch three pointers to even the score at 76-76. Then came the turning point of the game as Weems nailed his sixth and last crushing three of the night over Burtschi for the 79-76 lead. Cobbs then coughed up the ball which led to a Jaiteh dunk giving Nanterre the 81-76 lead and sealing the win. Judith and Armand closed out the game with a dunk and three pointer. Nanterre was led by Kyle Weems with 25 points. Jamal Shuler chipped in with 18 points and TJ Campbell contributed 15 points. The FRaport Skyliners were led by Sean Armand with 17 points. Johannes Voigtmann added 16 points, Mike Morrison 14 points and eight rebounds and Jacob Burtschi 12 points. Nanterre finished the game shooting 54% from the field and 63% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners shot 42% from the field and 40% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound battle 36-27, but had 14 turnovers while Nanterre had 12 turnovers. Nanterre awaits the winner between Energia of Romania and TS Medical Park of Turkey.

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