The best news that the Fraport Skyliners got in the week leading up to the game against the Walter Tigers Tuebingen was that German national player Johannes Voigtmann would not have to get operated on his knee, but the exact time period when the big man could be in uniform was not available or known. However that good news which really wasn´t any news since the Fraport Skyliners still had a walking wounded list as long as the sudden expectations put on the shoulders of Steffen Effenberg the once German national soccer player who has been brought in to Paderborn to save their sinking sink as the Frankfurt team had to go against a strong and healthy Tuebingen team with a slim rotation. Not only did head coach Gordon Herbert have to fight against his million of inner thoughts asking him “Why me” about the ongoing injury bug, but also the question why the basketball god had to scold and torture the team two times in a row losing on the last possession in Oldenburg and last weekend at home against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. The game was robbed in Oldenburg through a bad call while the loss against Wurzburg came on a last second air ball from John Little who was as open on the wing as Steph Curry is when he is awaiting the ball and next splash to surface. The Fraport Skyliners could easily be 3-0 going into the game instead of 1-2, but basketball isn´t always fair as Gordon Herbert has experienced the last years. Bad luck can happen one time or maybe even two times in a row, but a third time? The Fraport Skyliners met the Walter Tigers Tuebingen in their second home game of the season carrying a 4-1 record against them in the last five games and didn´t let the Tigers cage them and have them for supper, but left the floor after 40 minutes with a top team effort letting Tuebingen crawl back on to the bus somewhat embarrassed with a 92-64 victory. The Fraport Skyliners got support from everyone from Quantez Robertson steering all his 14 points in the first half, stellar play from Aaron Doornekamp and John Little with 16 points a piece, the first BBL points of Niklas Kiel and a three from 17 year old Gari Zeeb in garbage time and leader Jordan Theodore unleashing some pretty Beko BBL showtime in the fourth quarter courtesy of the athletic presence of Lituanian Tomas Dimsa and balancing his scoring and playmaking perfectly. “This was a great team win. Each player contributed in some way. We played with high energy, shared the ball and played good defense. We took two tough loses in a row by a combined score of 4 points and we learned that to be successful we have to play good defense for 40 minutes. We all pulled together tonight and had no real lulls on offense”, stressed New York native Jordan Theodore. Shortly after the siren sounded the first word that Tuebingen head coach Igor Perovic uttered in the catacombs of the Fraport arena after looking at the stat sheet was 64, the amount of points his team scored, but he also knew that the Frankfurt win was well deserved. “Frankfurt played excellent and played with more power. They executed well on offense and hardly missed. We had problems to create and Frankfurt was more physical, better organized and supplied more pressure”, added Tuebingen head coach Igor Perovic. “We had a good week of practice and got better on defense giving up only 64 points. When we play good defense and hit shots then we always have good chances to win”, warned Florida native Mike Morrison. “This was not a good game for us. Credit Frankfurt because they are a great team. They took us out of our offense and forced us to too many turnovers which limited our shots and we didn´t get enough transition points”, said Sugar land Texas, native Jesse Sanders.
4,660 fans came into the Fraport Skyliners arena on Saturday and quickly got into the mood of good basketball as the Fraport Skyliners went into the game with a bang taking the quick 9-0 lead. The upbeat start came about because Frankfurt defended aggressively from the start which led to stops and turnovers and instant points. A Quantez Robertson steal and good defense from Doornekamp and Little led to quick buckets as Doornekamp and Robertson scored fast break buckets, Theodore made free throws and Little quickly erased any thoughts about any air balls on this night as he saw nothing but net as Frankfurt led 9-0. Tuebingen finally got on the score board on their seventh possession as almost five minutes had gone by. But as is the case so often Tuebingen then really got going going on a 10-5 run to trail only 14-10. Tuebingen started to hit shots as they got production from ex Kansas State guard Nick Russell with a three pointer and jumper, a three from ex Ohio State guard William Buford and a lay in from talented German Mahir Agva. Frankfurt kept the lead 22-14 after one quarter despite a one handed dunk from Buford and Sanders lay in. Robertson closed out the first quarter with a clutch trey. The s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg were off on the weekend and guard Cameron Long decided to make the trip to Frankfurt to watch buddy Mike Morrison play and was impressed by Frankfurt, but not surprised since he had narrowly helped beat them a week earlier. “Frankfurt right away pushed the ball and got an easy fast break bucket. At the start Frankfurt just took Tuebingen out of their offense. Tuebingen came back making a run which always happens in the game. Frankfurt kept the lead because they kept pushing the ball and took advantage of the mismatches as they used their quickness”, expressed ex ratiopharm Ulm guard Cameron Long. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 50% from the field and 60% from outside while the Walter Tigers Tuebingen were shooting 40% from the field and 33% from outside. Frankfurt had the 9-6 rebound edge and three turnovers while Tuebingen had five turnovers.
In the second quarter the Walter Tigers Tuebingen were able to cut the Frankfurt lead to three points, but in the last four minutes gave up a 15-3 run as the Fraport Skyliners led 50-33. Dimsa and German Bogdan Radosavljevic traded buckets, but Frankfurt still led 24-16. Tuebingen then raced out on a 5-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 24-21 as Garlon Green who has the distinction of being the little brother of NBA player Gerald Green made huge shots taking advantage of the mis match against Tez. However just as Tuebingen was clawing closer, it was Mr reliable Little who nailed another three pointer as Frankfurt led 28-21. However Tuebingen never took their foot off the gas pedal as they got close again going on a 9-4 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 32-30. Radosavljevic and Green scored baskets and then Perovic brought in dinosaur Aleksandar Nadjfeji who turns 39 in November and if he keeps playing a few more years could add his two sons of 18 and 15 as a trio and he can still play as he made a lay in and dropped a three pointer as the only thing showing his age is his little bald spot on the back of his head. However as quickly as Tuebingen was back in business, it was Frankfurt that was able to quickly distance themselves again closing out the second quarter with a 12-3 run to lead 50-33. In the big Frankfurt run, it was the three ball that carried the home team as Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp nailed two, Dimsa one and Robertson one. In this phase it was Robertson who was playing point guard and he did a great job leading the offense while Theodore was taking a breather. Robertson used to just be that freak athlete, but he has really improved his three point shot especially when he can´t get in the lane he will just step back and nail the shot. “I really have worked on my shot the last two summers. This gives a new dimension to my game which opens up the drive for me. I don´t feel any pressure when I am playing the point. It is just my turn to step up and take care of business”, warned ex Auburn forward Quantez Robertson. “Green and Nadjfeji made shots and turned the game around. Robertson took on responsibility and hit three pointers. When he is playing the point he has to make more decisions which lets him make more three´s. Frankfurt scouts so well that not only did they know how to defend us well last week, but tonight against Tuebingen it was the same story. Tuebingen didn´t know how to react”, warned s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg guard Cameron Long. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 57% from the field and 69% from the three point line while the Walter Tigers Tuebingen were shooting 50% from the field and 43% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 15-11 rebound edge and six turnovers while Tuebingen had nine turnovers.
The game was as good as decided by halftime as the Walter Tigers Tuebingen couldn´t get closer than 12 points in the third quarter. Mike Morrison got very active at the start of the third quarter as he made two back to back two handed dunks getting fed by Doornekamp and Theodore. However Tuebingen got back to back three pointers from Vladimir Mihailovic and Russell as Frankfurt suddenly only led 54-42. However Frankfurt simply had too many weapons that were on on this night even if Tuebingen hit jumpers but not at the consistent rate as Frankfurt. Frankfurt got two consecutive buckets from Theodore and a Doornekamp lay in as they led 62-46. Theodore finished scratching double double stats with nine points and nine assists and was content with his early season development. “I can be a threat on offense and defense. I am learning each game. The BBL is more physical than the French league. I am feeling good and always getting better. I won´t be taking a step back”, warned Jordan Theodore. Frankfurt continued to stay strong on offense and getting enough stops to keep Tuebingen back going on a 11-6 run to lead 73-50. In the run Frankfurt got free throws from Dimsa, two big jumpers from Dimsa and a pretty Johannes Richter lay in where every fan in the arena and on tV could exactly feel how the German with clenched teeth muscled home the ball for two points. Tuebingen got a Buford jumper and two baskets from Agva including one on a nifty spin move. “We gave up too many points at the start and we called a time out. Then we came back got tougher on defense and talked more”, added Jordan Theodore. “Frankfurt was consistent and we kept fighting, but had given up too much of a big chunk in the first half”, added Jesse Sanders. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 61% from the field and 65% from the parking lot while the Walter Tigers Tuebingen were shooting 53% from the field and 45% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 20-15 rebound advantage and nine turnovers while Tuebingen had 13 turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners kept up their dominance winning the fourth quarter 19-14 and just closed out the game in fine fashion letting the German kids Niklas Kiel and Garai Zeeb get some minutes. But even if the Fraport Skyliners led by as much as 32 points, it wasn´t boring as Jordan Theodore unleashed some Beko BBL showtime dishing two ally oop scores to Tomas Dimsa. On the first it was more soft with a tip in, but the second pass was a mini dunk by the Lithuanian. For Theodore it is just part of the game that it isn´t always serious, but also fun for the players and fans. “I know Tomas is a good athlete and can jump and I have given him some looks in practice. Running and transition is my game and fans want to see entertainment as well”, stated ex Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore. Quanetz Robertson was his usual jovial and funny way and was in no way jealous that he wasn´t part of the Theodore Beko BBL Showtime plays. “Jordan made good plays and I am sure if it was me then he would of found me as well”, smiled Quantez Robertson. Then it was time for Niklas Kiel to get his first Beko BBL points nailing a three pointer and later hit two free throws. “I felt good today and it was nice to hear the cheers of the fans. I don´t want to think too much about this game, but just keep playing like this. I am happy that I got confidence from the coach”, added Paderborn native Niklas Kiel. Tuebingen then saw some day light going on a 7-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 82-57 as they got baskets from Russell from down town and four free throws from Green. In the last few minutes both teams scored a few more times including three pointers from Buford and Little and 17 year old German Garai Zeeb closed out the game with a three pointer. “It is never easy to total focus when your up by 30. We got great support from the young guys. Max, Niklas and Garai can all play and really compete against us in practice. They really are helping the team”, added Jordan Theodore.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Aaron Dornekamp, John Little and Tomas Dimsa with 16 points apiece. Quantez Robertson had 14 points and six assists while Mike Morrison added 10 points and six rebounds. The Walter Tigers Tuebingen were led by Garlon Green and William Buford with 12 points a piece and Nick Russell had 11 points and Mahir Agva had 10 points and six rebounds. The Fraport Skyliners shot 59% from the field and 64% from outside while the Walter TIgers Tuebingen were shooting 49% from the field and 47% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound duel 28-20 and had 15 turnovers while Tuebingen had 20.