If there was any last spec of proudness and energy that the Fraport Skyliners had carried over from the blistering 24 point annihilation of FC Bayern Munich in game two in Frankfurt, it disappeared as quickly as cheese balls did back in the day when Chris Farley was put into a cage having to eat as many as possible in a short time as in the fourth quarter of game three as Bryce Taylor put more salt into the wound hitting 10 points and a bit of alcohol for bad measure as little used ex TV Langen forward Robin Benzing stroked home a last three pointer ending the game 82-64. After the buzzer sounded, the Fraport Skyliners went into the locker room getting some verbal confidence from head coach Gordon Herbert. The team then trudged slowly back onto the court and preceded to do their stretching with one player looking more depressed than the other. Top point guard Justin Cobbs just stood starring as if he had just found out that his home team Los Angeles Dodgesr had suffered through a 21-0 drubbing or a Quantez Robertson even had difficulty finding his usual right words for the defeat. As Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi explaned, the Fraport Skyliners had suffered a vice versa experience as FC Bayern Munich were flattened by 24 points 48 hours earlier and now that what FC Bayern Munich couldn´t do in game two was set upon the shoulders of the 2004 BBL champion Fraport Skyliners who stunk up the Audi Dome losing by 18 points. This time the great big ocean which was as huge as a valley now was as tiny as a fountain as they shot only 2/17 and they were hammered on the boards 40-32 giving up nine offensive rebounds. In game four the question now was would the Frankfurt fans witness a role reversal and see a same kind of game like in game two, or could Frankfurt pull out a nail bitter or would FC Bayern Munich move on winning the series? This time there would be no vice versa as FC Bayern Munich had learned from their game two mistakes and carried on with their strong play from game the game three win in Munich and now overpowered the Fraport Skyliners in the second half with crushing 92-71 victory winning the series 3-1. The physicality of FC Bayern Munich was simply too much as the 2014 champion had not only banged up the Fraport Skyliners on the court with their offense, but also their bodies as a Danilo Barthel had to witness countless times as a Nihad Dejedovic countered one too many elbows in the direction of the Heidelberg native which got head coach Gordon Herbert to explode at the end of the game. “Munich was the better team for 40 minutes today. They got stronger in the second half and really hit their shots in the fourth quarter. We broke down and they didn´t let off”, stressed Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi. Except for game two where FC Bayern stunk up the Fraport area, they were the better and more consistent team in the series and picked up from their strong game three win in Munich and closed out the series in spectacular fashion closing out the last quarter with 32 points. “We came out focused like in game three. I felt we played at a high level for 40 minutes defending and rebounding. We didn´t hit as much at the end of the third and going into the fourth, but we got a lot of offensive rebounds that helped”, stressed FC Bayern Munich guard Heiko Schaffartzik.
The Fraport Skyliners do or die game interested 4,720 fans to show up on a late Sunday afternoon and saw a quick start by the home team as they scrambled out to a 6-2 lead. EX California(NCAA) guard Justin Cobbs got Frankfurt going with his typical pull up jumper as he was as alone as a fisherman on Lake Michigan, Florida native Mike Morrison then got fed perfectly inside by Quantez Robertson for the lay in and then it was Cobbs again nailing a pull up jumper as he showed his strength of being able to pick his spots as his confidence was high in the first few minutes. FC Bayern Munich was able to tie the score with a Jan Jagla offensive rebound and put back and ex ratiopharm Ulm center John Bryant converted on free throws to tie the score at 6-6. The Fraport Skyliners then took the 8-6 lead with a Danilo Barthel tap in and the team would lead except for a short period until the end of the first quarter even if FC Bayern Munich was on their heels. Jagla gave FC Bayern Munich the 9-8 advantage as Frankfurt´s Achilles heel in this series remained giving up offensive rebounds as the German made a put back. Canadian Aaron Doornekamp then made a lay in and fed Morrison for a massive two hand dunk as Frankfurt extended their lead to 13-9. Morrison was controlling the paint on one end as Vladimir Stimac was on the other end scoring six points in a row with two lay ins and two free throws giving FC Bayern Munich the 15-14 lead. Cobbs ended the first quarter with a bold jumper over the much taller Dusko Savanovic as Frankfurt led 16-15 after ten minutes. “It seemed like no team could find a good rhythm. It was more a fight than a basketball game. Munich missed many free throws which can always hurt you at the end. I remember we missed going to the NCAA tournament on a buzzer beater loss with Stony Brook and we missed way to many free throws in that game which hurt”; stressed Stony Brook(NCAA) German Roland Nyama. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 44% from the field and 0% from outside while FC Bayern Munich was shooting36% from the field and 0% from outside. Munich had the 10-8 rebound edge and both teams had three turnovers a piece.
The second quarter remained a battle as there were four lead changes, but the Fraport Skyliners had to indulge a last minute 6-0 FC Bayern Munich run to go into half time trailing 38-32. It went back and forth bang, bang, bang with three lead changes in the first two minutes. Bryant gave FC Bayern Munich the lead back with a quick catch and turn bank shot that eluded two Skyliners, but Frankfurt struck back with a spectacular ally-op dunk from Morrison as Robertson found him all alone up top as Frankfurt led 18-17. Heiko Schaffartzik then made a free throw tying the game at 18-18. Frankfurt then found some real daylight on offense going on a 7-0 run to extend their lead to 25-18 as Robertson played give and go with Brooklyn native Sean Armand for the lay in, Armand hit a slick three pointer on the transition and Morrison made his second dunk of the quarter. However as is so much the case in basketball one team´s gears can be shut off as quickly as a Quantez Robertson can get up and down the court as FC Bayern Munich shifted gears and went on a staggering 14-0 run to regain the lead 32-25. In the run the game changer was Serb Nihad Djedovic who scored 9 of Munich´s 14 points with two three pointers, a lay in and free throw. Bryant and ex Bamberg guard Anton Gavel also scored. Bryant showed his underrated passing ability from the post as he found the wide open Djedovic who always has an ocean when he is so alone. Frankfurt finally stopped the Munich run and struck back themselves going on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 32-32 and now the game seemed to be at the same level again. Frankfurt in the run got free throw help from Cobbs and Doornekamp and got the third dunk from Morrison and Armand fed the big man for the basket. Armand tied the game at 32-32 with a lay in. FC Bayern Munich closed out the second quarter strong as they continued to be a massive presence inside as Stimac scored after Savanovic made a difficult pass in traffic, Savanovic made free throws and Bryce Taylor made a transition three pointer buzzer beater as FC Munich led 38-32. “In that big run Munich changed to zone and forced Frankfurt to take bad shots. Frankfurt made a comeback, but Munich finished strong with 6-0 run showing that are capable at any time to make run after run”, added Roland Nyama. FC Bayern Munich was shooting 40% from the field and 30% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 39% from the field and 9% from the three point line. FC Bayern Munich had the 22-20 rebound edge and both teams had five rebounds a piece.
In the third quarter, despite constant battle from the Fraport Skyliners, FC Bayern Munich was able to slowly break away as the short rotation of the home team started to take a toll on their energy as the guests led 60-50 after 30 minutes. The Fraport Skyliners got off on a bang going on a convincing 6-0 run as ex Braunschweig forward Aaron Doornekamp connected on back to back three pointers knotting the game at 38-38. FC Bayern Munich countered quickly going on a 4-0 run as Savanovic kept tormenting Frankfurt inside most of the series with a lay in and Bryce Taylor was unbelievably cheeky hitting a jumper over the taller Doornekamp as FC Bayern Munich recaptured the lead 42-38. Gavel and Burtschi then made back to back three pointers as FC Bayern Munich held the narrow 45-43 advantage. FC Bayern then again went on a masterful run of 15-7 which most likely was the first bruise into the Frankfurt self confidence and energy tank as this seemed to be a game that wouldn´t see a miraculous comeback like in so many games previously. In the run it was game MVP Stimac who continued to be a severe menace for Frankfurt as he controlled the boards like no other and did the job with Bryant on the bench. He scored the first two points on the run as he got a tough pass from Djedovic in traffic and then a shovel pass from Gavel for easy points. Benzing and Djedovic hammered home free throws and Taylor continued to nail in your face jumpers as his next victim was Armand as FC Bayern Munich led 56-43. Frankfurt had problems making free throws while FC Bayern Munich continued to work on extending their lead as Micic hit a step back jumper and Stimac made a tip in off a Schaffartzik miss. Cobbs made a step back, but FC Bayern Munich led 60-50 and was 10 minutes away from having a date with Alba Berlin in the semi- finals. Defense and defensive rebounding was our strength in the third quarter. We did a good job stopping the Robertson penetration and we managed to control Morrison better”, stressed FC Bayern Munich forward Vladimir Stimac. FC Bayern Munich was shooting 44% from the field and 33% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 37% from the field and 28% from the parking lot. FC Bayern Munich controlled the boards 31-27 and had five turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners had seven turnovers.
That FC Bayern Munich are an offensive powerhouse is no secret, but to expect them to score 32 points in the last quarter and make a good win look like an easy win after 40 minutes wasn´t what one would have expected, but the guests really added extra hot salt into the Fraport Skyliners come back. With a ten point lead, there was still a chance for the Fraport Skyliners going into the fourth quarter, but FC Bayern Munich quickly doubled the ten point lead which sealed the series for the Bavarian team. FC Bayern Munich went on a 13-4 run to lead 73-54 as Stimac continued to on fire and also capitalized on the fatigue of Frankfurt making two lay ins one with no help defense present and the other on transition. FC Bayern Munich also made tough shots as Djedovic connected on a step back shot and the club used their versatility as they were able to spread the floor letting Bryant make a three pointer and Taylor used his energy making a two handed dunk on transition. Cobbs had a pretty strong fourth quarter hitting from the mid- range or inside, but FC Bayern Munich just continued to be consistent as they got production from their whole line up while Frankfurt had no more energy to defend like they did in the first half. Savanovic nailed a three pointer, Bryant fought for points inside and Taylor hit another jumper as FC Bayern Munich led 83-62. With three minutes to play the game was decided now. Frankfurt got some more production with an Armand three pointer and Robertson lay in. In the last minute FC Bayern Munich had no mercy as they continued to pour it on on offense against the German kids of Kevin Bright, Stefan Ilzhoefer, Max Merz and Johannes Richter as ex TV Langen forward Robin Benzing hit three buckets to help his stat line as he finished with nine points in 10 minutes. Benzing did everything in the last minutes dropping a trey, making a tip in and steal and coast to coast lay in which ended the game at 92-71. “Our rotation was too little and it is hard matching the power with a team like Munich for 40 minutes. We gave up too many offensive rebounds and easy baskets. We played well defensively in the first half, but didn´t shoot well in the second half and they hit tough three pointers”, added Konstantin Klein. “Frankfurt was a good team, but we had more experience that was crucial for us to win this game. Our physicality was key also for getting this win. Hats off to Frankfurt as they were the toughest team that I have played against in a playoff series”, stressed Vladimir Stimac.
FC Bayern Munich was led by Vladimir Stimac with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Nihad Dejedovic added17 points. Bryce Taylor added 17 points and John Bryant 11 points, eight rebounds and three assists. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Justin Cobbs with 20 points. Aaron Doornekamp chipped in with 11 points and Mike Morrison, Sean Armand and Quantez Robertson had 10 points a piece. FC Bayern Munich shot 49% from the field and 42% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners shot 39% from the field and 32% from outside and had ten turnovers while FC Bayern Munich had seven turnovers. FC Bayern Munich led the paints in the point 38-26 and second chance points 16-12. FC Bayern Munich now face Alba Berlin as this should be the most intensive series of the semi-finals. “This should be a good series especially with so many ex Alba Berlin players. The home court could be a deciding factor, but we have to play hard and win on the road”, warned Anton Gavel. The Fraport Skyliners reached their goal of making the playoffs and gave the fans much joy of reaching the Eurochallenge final four. “We can be very proud of our season of making the playoffs and the Eurochallenge final four despite having so many injuries. We were never fully complete, but still beat big teams at home. I would have liked to have all been healthy and gone farther in the playoffs, but all in all it was a great season”, stressed Konstantin Klein.