With the minutes leading up to the jump ball in game two between the Fraport Skyliners and FC Bayern Munich one could sense a loose atmosphere in the arena among fans and players in the do or die game before the do or die game as it was evident with a loss the 2004 BBL champion Skyliners would have their backs ultimately to the wall and with their key offensive player Johannes Voigtmann out for the season their fortunes didn´t seem to be any better. However almost two hours later all was well in the Fraport arena as the Fraport Skyliners had handed Germany´s most famous name their worst smacking since they entered the Beko BBL in 2010 in BBL play as they were crushed by 24 points and most likely had a worse taste than being swept by 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen. However even if the fans and players could celebrate the last minutes with pride, it was Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi that still had to bear the burden of being challenged mentally and physically as mentally he was involved in heated trash talk with Svetislav Pesic and Heiko Schaffartzik. “Pesic was getting on Doornekamp and I came over and told him to stop and sit down and Schaffartzik then told me to sit down. They better know I have Air Force moves so they better not mess with me”, joked ex Air Force player Jacob Burtschi. And physically during stretching he was blindsided from behind by Los Angeles native Justin Cobbs who had his own way of celebrating as he tackled Burtschi like a boy actually hit the American in an awkward position in that he was stuck with a cramp. Cobbs survived that and the club had little time to really enjoy the big win and were back on the floor 48 hours later in game three in Munich. FC Bayern Munich was focused to make amends for their embarrassing and lackluster performance in Frankfurt and needed a win again not to go back to Frankfurt with their backs to the wall. FC Bayern Munich made a vice versa to their game two performance by crushing the Fraport Skyliners at home 82-64 as they took a 2-1 game lead in the best of five series. FC Bayern Munich came out aggressive and never let up while the Fraport Skyliners had a bad shooting day and once again had difficulty controlling the board. “They kicked our butts and we had to dig ourselves out of a hole the rest of the way and that is tough to do against the defending champions. Munich thought that their name would carry them through game two and tonight they had more energy and just wanted it more than we did. It was a vice versa tonight”, stressed Jacob Burtschi. “Our aggression was very strong tonight, shot the ball well and played tough defense. We finally played up to the quality of our level”, stressed Bryce Taylor. In game two ex Oregon(NCAA) forward Bryce Taylor had a black day scoring with only one field goal which occurred late in the fourth quarter in the 38th minute, but in game three it was like day and night as Frankfurt saw a new side of Taylor, the mad side. ”I was angry tonight. I felt that we didn´t show who we are in game two. We had to step it up and I led by example. There are some games where you hit shots and miss shots, but I always bring the same energy”, Bryce Taylor. “Taylor is a veteran and didn´t have a good game two. He brought much energy with put back dunks and transition dunks and hit big shots. There is a reason why he has been around for such a long time in this league”, added Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi. “Taylor gave Munich a good spark and that is what good players do after a bad game. He got into an easy flow early with three pointers and transition baskets”, stated ex Auburn forward Quantez Robertson.
There was an amazing atmosphere as the game commenced and one knew right away this was playoff time. FC Bayern Munich got on the board quickly as Vasilije Micic caught Frankfurt snoring as he was all open in front of the bucket and Nihad Djedovic dished him the ball of the inbounds pass. The Fraport Skyliners didn´t hesitate long to get on the board themselves as Heidelberg native Danilo Barthel twisted and weaved around John Bryant using his quickness for the 2-2 game The first few minutes was a back and forth where Frankfurt was able to keep up with a few lead changes. California native Bryant made a put back and Jacob Burtschi got Frankfurt their first lead 5-4 with a three pointer. FC Bayern Munich then took the 6-5 lead with Bryce Taylor free three´s and never looked back in the game. Serb Dusko Savanovic then hit a step back jumper for the 8-7 advantage. FC Bayern Munich continued to get into their offensive groove going on a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 15-7. In the run, it was American Taylor who continued to keep the team energy up with an aggressive two hand dunk, a lay in from Bryant as he was fed by big man Savanovic and Taylor found his tough early with a three pointer which he didn´t in game two. FC Bayern Munich had the leverage with the high intensity, were very focused from the jump ball and pushed their defensive intensity and aggressiveness from game two. Frankfurt then went on a mini 4-0 run to scratch their ways back to 15-11 as they got back to back buckets inside as Quantez Robertson made a tip in off an Aaron Doornekamp back door pass and ex George Mason(NCAA) center Mike Morrison made a massive dunk. However the Frankfurt defense wasn´t on the same page as in game two as they just could get consecutive stops or limit easy shots in this phase. In the Munich run as Djedovic dropped a three pointer, Bryant a free throw and ex Bamberg guard Anton Gavel hit a one hand floater as FC Bayern Munich led 21-11. Frankfurt battled back in the last minutes closing out the first quarter with a 7-4 run to trail 25-18. In the run, the Fraport Skyliners got massive support from Sean Armand who came off the bench with a three pointer and free throws and a Barthel runner. FC Bayern Munich got added production from Taylor with a two hand dunk and Micic free throws. “We weren´t making shots, had turnovers and didn´t rebound well which hurt us in our start”, stressed ex Phoenix Hagen forward Jacob Burtschi. FC Bayern Munich was shooting 50% from the field and 40% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 46% from the field and 40% from outside. Munich had the 11-5 rebound edge and had one turnover while Frankfurt had three turnovers.
FC Bayern Munich kept up their high intensity and well- oiled offensive machine as they won the second quarter 21-7. FC Bayern stormed out on a 8-1 run to extend their lead to 33-19 as the 2014 BBL champion got back to back three point shots from ex Alba Berlin guard Heiko Schaffartzik and Anton Gavel and Savaovic caught Frankfurt napping on transition defense making a lay in. After a Barthel lay in where ex Vanderbilt(NCAA) guard Kevin Bright fed him for the back door lay in, it was time for FC Bayern Munich to go on another run of 8-2 to extend their lead to 41-23 as Munich got much support inside with the athletic energy of Taylor as he made a tip in dunk, Djedovic made a lay in after catching a back door pass from Gavel, Bryant made a lay in and then came the pass of the game as Gavel unleased a bullet inside to Djedovic who finished all alone. Cobbs scored the lone Frankfurt points with a pull up jumper. A big difference in both runs was that FC Bayern Munich was hitting tough shots while Frankfurt wasn´t hitting anything. In the last few minutes of the second quarter Frankfurt had difficulty hitting free throws and Djedovic made free throws and went into half time making a buzzer beater trey as FC Bayern Munich had the comfortable 46-25 advantage at half time. “ Munich got easy baskets and transition buckets and we missed many shots”, added Quantez Robertson. FC Bayern Munich was shooting 50% from the field and 50% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 30% from the field and 20% from the three point line. FC Bayern Munich led the rebound battle 26-12 and both teams had five turnovers a piece.
In the third quarter, FC Bayern Munich continued their offensive domination, but had their worst phase of the game as the Fraport Skyliners went on a run and stepped up their defense, but FC Bayern Munich were able to up their lead a bit at the end to a big lead. FC Bayern Munich got off to a quick 5-0 run as Frankfurt coughed up the ball twice on their first two possessions and Munich got a three pointer from Djedovic and lay in for the 51-28 lead. FC Bayern Munich continued to have the comfortable lead as Bryant hit a turnaround jumper and Taylor scored inside. For Frankfurt Armand made free throws and Morrison who was playing extended minutes for the injured Johannes Voigtmann made a jumper just as the shot clock went off as FC Bayern Munich still led huge 56-32. Then came the best span of the Fraport Skyliners as they played their best defense of the game going to a full court press as aggressive defense fueled their offense leading to a timely 10-0 run to cut the FC Bayern Munich lead to 56-41. Frankfurt got to the free throw line with Robertson, Cobbs, and Morrison. Robertson and Cobbs also made field goals inside. In the last few minutes the Fraport Skyliners held their own and were trailing 61-48. FC Bayern Munich did a good job getting Frankfurt into further foul trouble getting to the line with free throws from Gavel and Micic and Robertson scored another bucket inside and Barthel made a scorching dunk cutting into the lane. “We anticipated their passes and got them out of rhythm on offense”, stressed Quantez Robertson. FC Bayern Munich was shooting48% from the field and 50% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners 32% from the field and 14% from the parking lot. FC Bayern Munich was still dominating the boards 34-24 and had 11 turnovers and Frankfurt nine turnovers.
With 30 minutes played the Fraport Skyliners were still in range of FC Bayern Munich trailing by 13 points, but in the fourth quarter FC Bayern Munich were able to wear down the Fraport Skyliners with their physicality and continued consistency on offense. FC Bayern Munich made a statement in the first four minutes to finally close the door on Frankfurt as they went on a 12-6 run to extend their lead to 75-54. It was the Bryce Taylor show who was never really satisfied and now just completely crushed Frankfurt as he scored 10 points of the 12 Munich. Taylor was a one man wrecking crew and just kept hitting shots as he hit a pull up jumper, step back, three pointer, free throws and a lay in. Frankfurt got some good production from Burtschi with a finger tip roll, Robertson lay in and Cobbs pull up jumper, but all in all not enough offense to compete with FC Bayern Munich. Frankfurt then got double production from Danilo Barthel with a strong lay in over Yassin Idbihi and a crushing two handed dunk as Doornekamp found him cutting to the rim as Frankfurt trailed only 75-58, but time was running out for Frankfurt. Frankfurt got some production from Johannes Richter with a lay in and Kevin Bright free throws. After Barthel dropped a one hand floater, it was Robin Benzing that ended the game with a three pointer. “Our biggest strength tonight was our ball movement against their traps. We found the open guys a lot forcing them to close out or take the shots. Our ball movement was simply very quick. We also set the tone with our agression”, warned Bryce Taylor. FC Bayern Munich was led by Bryce Taylor with 23 points and Nihad Djedovic contributed 19 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Danilo Barthel with 17 points. Justin Cobbs chipped in with 13 points and Quantez Robertson contributed 11 points. FC Bayern Munich shot 45% from the field and 42% from outside and the Fraport Skyliners shot 38% from the field and 12% from outside. FC Bayern Munich won the rebound duel 40-32 and had 12 turnovers and 14 turnovers. “We have to come out aggressive in game four, execute, rebound and just play our game”, warned Quantez Robertson. Game four is May 17th in Frankfurt.