In the last years the Fraport Skyliners have had some little side notes in the basketball news in Germany like whenever they beat one of the top teams in their living room in the spectacular Fraport arena, or a Jacob Burtschi registering an amazing 36 points against his ex team the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven on 10 three pointers where he wasn´t shooting into an ocean, but was in the ocean and shooting with such ease as if he was in the water just letting the ball fall in. However at the moment the club is the talk of the league as their 12 game winning streak has slowly grown over the last month with their impressive wins in the German league and Fiba Europe Cup and people are finally taking notice. Their current stellar play coupled with the league registering this great feat brings back memories to 2010 and 2011 when the team was like this winning, winning and winning as they reached the final and semi-finals and to no coincidence the head coach both times was Gordon Herbert. However the only difference now to then was that now they have built a club record 12 wins in a row and want to keep building on it. The club Is playing with such an enormous self confidence that one would think that they have a patent on this feeling as it has so far in no way had a negative effect on the players. The team is so focused and so calm after wins and one feels that they aren´t cocky, but have a healthy self confidence that doesn´t hinder them on the court or mentally. Sometimes when a team is perfect in a group competition, they might lose focus or slack off, but the Fraport Skyliners are as far from that feeling as Leo Messi is ever is to not being nominated to the Argentine national team as the club has that amazing desire that has no obstacles in the way as they are together going down a one way street. “We feel that we still have so much to prove especially me. I played my first three seasons in Europe for losing teams and now to be winning so much, this is everything for me. I am always excited to play every game as I have never had a run like this. We are always happy and it is an unbelievable feeling. We want to show people in every game that we have the best coaches, players, offense and defense. We just want to show that we are the best team”, warned Jordan Theodore. After another win last weekend this time against Braunschweig, the Fraport Skyliners traveled to Portugal to play their last group game in Europe Cup play against FC Porto and wanted to close out the group with a 6-0 record. FC Porto remembered their 89-81 loss in Germany and were until now the first team in international play to be a thorn against the Frankfurt defense. The club didn´t let the comfortable outside temperatures of 18c get in their heads as being a vacation trip, but they knew it was business as usual and after a scoring onslaught and temporary hibernation in the second half escaped FC Porto 67-58 winning their club record 13th game in a row and finishing their Europe Cup group with a prefect 6-0 record. “It was a tough game tonight. We came out really aggressive in the first quarter. We jumped out to an early lead. Then we got comfortable. Had a lot of bad turnovers that let them back in the game. We went down 2 points in the 4th quarter and then that’s when we knew it was time to turn it up. We kept them scoreless for the last 4 minutes of the game. We trusted our defense and came out with the tough win on the road”, stressed Fraport Skyliners guard Jordan Theodore.
The Fraport Skyliners came out in Porto revving up their offense at an instant going out on a 14-2 run and serving up an incredible ball movement that had FC Porto trying to find ways to combat it, but just saw bucket after bucket being scored. One of the big catalysts early was Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp who figured in the first seven points finding Florida native Mike Morrison twice for easy buckets inside and then nailing a trey as Frankfurt led 7-0. The scoring onslaught continued as Frankfurt was so focused and one could sense early that they wanted to go undefeated in the group. Morrison continued to eat up the paint registering two massive dunks as he got feeds from ex Seton hall guard Jordan Theodore and German national player Johannes Voigtmann and Doornekamp also made a big throw downs. FC Porto could get nothing going on offense as Frankfurt was playing a very aggressive defense not allowing for much spacing and every shot seemed contested. On the offensive end Frankfurt continued to execute with ease as Morrison made another dunk as Voigtmann made a touchdown pass intercepted by Quantez Robertson at the free thow line and he fed the big man for the bucket. Voigtmann nailed his bread and butter 20 footer that hangs in the air like a kite at times. 2010 Eurochallenge winner with BG Goettingen John Little made free throws and ex Bamberg center Johannes Richter made a reverse layup. FC Porto made only two field goals in the first 10 minutes with a Nick Washburn jumper who hails from Mahomet, Illinois and Miguel Queiroz turn around shot. After 10 minutes the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 69% from the field and 33% from outside while FC Porto was shooting 12% from the field and 0% from outside. Frankfurt had the 9-6 rebound edge, but three turnovers while FC Porto had two turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners continued to have a big lead, but let up a bit in the last three minutes as FC Porto was able to come back and go into halftime down only by six points. FC Porto actually got off to a pretty good start getting confidence as they executed on some plays as ex Vanderbilt(NCAA) guard Brad Tinsley connected on a three pointer after being hidden in the first quarter, ex Zaragoza center Alberto Fonet used a mismatch against Doornekamp nailing an old school hook shot and ex Lafayette(NCAA) guard Seth Hinrichs who played some position four there also used a mismatch and scored inside and Jose Silva spun inside beautifully for the lay in as Frankfurt led only 28-17. Frankfurt´s offense continued to move and they continued to like to get the ball inside and find the cutters as the club got production from guards Konstantin Klein and Jordan Theodore and Johannes Voigtmann made a big two hand dunk as he was fed by Doornekamp as Frankfurt led 30-17. Frankfurt now got sloppy letting FC Porto close out the second quarter on a 13-6 run to trail only 36-30 at the break. FC Porto did a good job getting the ball inside, getting extra possessions via extra offensive rebounds, but couldn´t hit free throws well as Miguel Queiroz missed four free throws. The club got another bucket from Washburn as he made a tough turn around shot that was contested, Ferran Venturá hit a pull up jumper and new FC Porto shooting star Pedro Bastos nailed a three pointer. Tinsley closed out the second quarter with free throws. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 52% from the field and 14% from the three point line while FC Porto was hooting 28% from the field and 13% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 16-14 rebound advantage, but seven turnovers while FC Porto had five turnovers.
In the third quarter the Fraport Skyliners started to go into a slow brutal hibernation, but FC Porto couldn´t capitalize the way they wanted to as they couldn´t execute on a consistent level on offense. In the first few minutes, the Fraport Skyliners couldn´t muster much on offense and the only player that could contribute some offense was Jordan Theodore who got in the lane twice and finished with lay ins as his knack of changing speeds had FC Porto guessing wrong. Theodore then made a quick inbounds pass which Robertson put home and Frankfurt was up 42-32. Voigtmann got back to back baskets as he finished off transition with an alley-oop dunk fed perfectly by Little and then made a crushing dunk as Morrison found the big man. FC Porto tried to stay at bay as Washburn made a three point bank shot and Spanish/American Arnette Hallman nailed a three pointer off a broken play, but Frankfurt led 48-38. After Klein free throws, FC Porto closed out the third quarter with a much needed 8-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 52-46. In the run the always dangerous and shifty Bastos hit a three pointer, Queiroz snuck inside with a reverse lay up and Klein fouled Bastos with 0,4 seconds to play behind the three point line and he nailed all three free throws. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 51% from the field and 10% from the parking lot while FC Porto was shooting 28% from the field and 21% from the parking lot. Frankfurt continued to have the rebound edge at 24-22, but had 14 turnovers while FC Porto had 12 turnovers.
Basketball is a game of runs and in the fourth quarter FC Porto had their last game hurrah taking the momentum of the 8-2 run at the end of the third quarter and going on a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter and taking their first lead of the game at 53-52. In the run FC Porto stepped up their defense as all of a sudden the Fraport Skyliners had less room to wheel and deal on offense and made terrible turnovers. Guys like Little and Voigtmann coughed up the ball and Hallman picked off two passes and before the 2004 Beko BBL champion knew what hit them, they had been stopped on their first six possessions. On offense FC Porto got giant production from Silva who made a lay in in traffic and a three pointer to get his team the lead. Hallman then made a free throw for the 54-52 lead. However Frankfurt then abruptly woke up and closed out the game with a 15-4 run with many garbage free throws, but as usual in the last weeks in crunch time got the needed execution done and stops. FC Porto didn´t make the best decisions on offense as Frankfurt wobbled on to victory. Doornekamp was instrumental making two shots for the 60-56 lead. Little then made a free throw and Theodore the last six to seal the ugly win. FC Porto gave it´s all, but the game ended a few minutes earlier for them as they just didn´t seem to have that extra energy which Frankfurt continues to have in crunch time.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jordan Theodore with 20 points. Johannes Voigtmann chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds. Aaron Dornekamp and Mike Morrison had 10 points a piece. FC Porto was led by Pedro Bastos with 11 points. Jose Da Silva added nine points and Arnette Hallman and Miguel Queiroz ahd eights points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners shot 49% from the field and 9% from outside while FC Porto shot 28% from the field and 17% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound duel 30-28, but had an unacceptable 21 turnovers while FC Porto had 15 turnovers. “The one thing we take from this game is never give up. They went up two points and we could’ve folded but we didn’t. We regrouped and turned up the defense. Things will happen in a game where you might turn the ball over and you might not shoot well but the one thing we can control is our defense! We pride ourselves on being a really great defensive team and we showed that down the stretch”, warned Jordan Theodore.