Almost six months ago, the Weisenhorn Youngsters were battling in a do or die playoff game against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors, but on this night three pointers were flying around the BCM gym with accuracy as if the recipients of adding to their three point scoring stat could have been guys like Ray Allen or Reggie Miller something which would have been a dream for the fans, but in reality on this night, the farm team of BBL team Fraport Skyliners didn´t need these legends or any others as they had fine shooting specimens with Canadian Travis Thompson and Lithuanian Tomas Dimsa who added the most damage and at the end of the game the club had dropped 17 trey´s. The 109-93 loss sent Weissenhorn home for the summer, but many of the BBL license players still had their season prolonged with their success in the playoffs where they reached the final. Weissenhorn fought very hard and never gave up, but the Fraport Skyliners Juniors just had one of those games where everything they released found the netting as if it had been released into the ocean as the ease at which they were going in was apparent. German U-20 national player David Kramer did all he could dropping 28 points in the loss and probably didn´t forget this crazy game so easily either. Kramer returned back to an old point stomping ground, but he didn´t leave the building as a winner last season losing twice and now finally wanted to get that monkey off his back and depart as a winner. Both the Fraport Skyliners Juniors and Weissenhorn Youngsters entered the game with 1-1 records whereas Frankfurt belonged to the top defensive teams in the league, while Weissenhorn was averaging 80 points on offense and belonged to the top half of best rebounding teams. Weissenhorn was looking for revenge from last season while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had many of their veterans from last season and biggest German talent since Dennis Schroeder so expectations were high for both sides. However Weissenhorn had their noses in front all game long and always had to succumb to Frankfurt comebacks, but their hard edged rebounding and timely shots in the fourth quarter helped them win 75-65. After the win, an exhausted David Kramer was laying on his back and must have been reliving some of his past misfortune in this adorable gym, but when he got up, he was all smiles as he had finally won there. He finally had his three is a charm as he had had misfortune the last two years in Frankfurt. “I always like coming and playing in the BCM, because I know that there will be exciting games here. After they kicked us out of the NBBL two years ago and last season out of the Pro B playoffs, we finally got revenge here. Frankfurt always has quality teams and for us to get this win today will give us a lot of self confidence for the next games”, warned Weissenhorn guard David Kramer. Nobody could question the fighting qualities of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors, but they had many phases where they lacked concentration and were torn apart under the boards. “A big problem for us so far this season has been not being able to all practice together as a team. The systems are the same, but we just need to practice more and we will get better. Rebounding was our biggest problem today and that is something where each player has to work on”, stressed ex Ehingen center Mahir Agva. “We controlled the game and were able to play our game. We rebounded very well and played good defense. We did have some lucky breaks, but that belongs to the game”, added David Kramer.
Despite the Fraport Skyliners Juniors getting the early lead on an Agva lay in, Weissenhorn stormed back and rattled off seven unanswered points to take the 7-2 lead. In the 7-0 run, Weissenhorn got vital production from 19 year old Hungarian talent Marcel Pongo who nailed a trey, 213cm center Bjoern Rohwer made easy picking on an offensive rebound with a put back and Kramer scored inside as they took advantage of some Frankfurt turnovers. However basketball is a game of runs and the Fraport Skyliners Juniors found some daylight going on a 6-0 run to recapture the lead 8-7 as they also demonstrated their strong play inside getting three consecutive buckets from German Konstantin Shubert, Agva connected on a running hook shot and 16 year old German phenomenon Isaac Bonga also scored inside using his quickness and athleticism. Weissenhorn countered with a mini 4-0 run as Kramer nailed a 20 footer and ex BBL player Nils Mittman hit an off balance shot for the 11-8 advantage. Bonga tested his 0/5 three point accuracy in his first two Pro B games and connected his first Pro B trey to tie the game at 11-11. Down the stretch, it was Agva who gave his first example of how to score in bunches as he scored twice and he perfected the pick and roll with Garai Zeeb as Frankfurt led 17-15 after one quarter. “It was an even game. Agva looked very good and kept Frankfurt in the game”, added Fraport Skyliners forward Shavon Shields. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 57% from the field and 25% from outside while Weissenhorn was shooting 47% from the field and 14% from outside. Weissenhorn had the slight 9-8 rebound edge, but five turnovers while Frankfurt had four turnovers.
In the second quarter, Weissenhorn was able to take slight control of the game as the play of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors suffered when Mahir Agva was on the bench as there seemed to be way too much space in the zone, but Frankfurt fought and stayed on the heels of their opponent. Weissenhorn had a few runs in the second quarter, and their first was a 6-0 run as they took back the lead 21-17. In the run. Weissenhorn was bolstered by the play of Rohwer who´s big body was already 80% of the rent for scoring success as he made a lay in, American rookie Devon Baulkman who learned the basketball trade at Tennessee(NCAA) played his first professional game and stole the ball from Bonga at center court and glided home for the easy bucket and Pongo scored on transition. Bongo erased that last error with a trey and Garai Zeeb made three free throws to dead lock the game at 23-23. Then it was Weissenhorn again taking advantage of Frankfurt displaying a lack of concentration and going on another 6-0 run as Rohwer, Pongo and Kramer all scored in the paint as the Frankfurt 1-1 defense was nonexistent. Frankfurt got big buckets from Lennart Okeke who nailed a trey with a second on the shot clock and a 20 footer to keep Frankfurt close at 32-28. However Weissenhorn just continued to hurt Frankfurt inside as there was no big Agva to clog the lane as Lukas Rosenbohm scored and the 194cm lightening rod Pongo scored inside again for the fourth time in the game as Frankfurt had absolutely no remedy how to keep him under wraps as Weissenhorn extended their lead to 36-28. “Pongo is a great scorer. He is a very good point guard that makes good decisions. He still needs to be more consistent, but he is learning. I challenge him every day in practice and am very aggressive on him and give him details about the game. He can become a BBL player one day”, warned Devon Baulkman. Agva came back in and Frankfurt closed out the second quarter with a Stefan Ilzhoefer and Agva lay in´s, but Weissenhorn led 38-32 at the break. “Frankfurt had too many turnovers and couldn´t get consistent stops. Agva was important as he is a post presence that opens up a lot when he is on the floor. When he wasn´t on the court, they struggled”, stated Shavon Shields. Weissenhorn was shooting 56% from the field and 11% from the three point line while Frankfurt was shooting 45% from the field and 27% from the three point line. Weissenhorn had gained the big 20-12 rebound edge, but had nine turnovers while Frankfurt had only eight turnovers.
In the third quarter, Weissenhorn held the lead, but could never totally shake the Fraport Skyliners Juniors as they showed their fighting qualities and never trailed by more than ten points. After Bonga started of the second half netting one free throw, it was Weissenhorn that went on a 5-0 run getting buckets from Rohwer and a three from Kramer getting their biggest lead of the game 43-33. Then it was time for the Mahir Agva show as he performed another good deed of scoring in bunches as he netted three buckets in a row cutting the Weissenhorn lead to 43-39. Only 24 hours earlier, the German had performed a masterpiece in Berlin, helping the Frankfurt BBL team shock Alba Berlin 77-70, contributing 13 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 19 minutes. After the loss against Weissenhorn, he explained the benefits of playing Pro B. “I just love playing with the other young Germans in the Pro B. It is a different atmosphere, but I know so many of these guys since many years. The advantage for playing Pro B is that I can work on my game like my mid range and just take shots and make them which gives me confidence for the BBL. In the third quarter, I wanted to take responsibility so I scored some back to back baskets”, stated Mahir Agva. However Weissenhorn continued to get easy buckets inside form their big men Rohwer and Til Pape as Frankfurt had an inside deficit trailing 49-44. Kramer then nailed a three pointer for the 52-46 advantage. Frankfurt got a Bonga lay in and Ilzhoefer free throws, but Weissenhorn continued to play consistent offense getting production from their bench as well as Pape made a jumper and German Bernhard Benke made an offensive rebound and put back for the 56-50 Weissenhorn lead after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors hit some big shots, but Weissenhorn hit bigger ones derailing the comeback chances of their opponent. Agva came back into the game with 7.15 remaining and Frankfurt trailing 59-53. Agva made two mid distance jumpers to cut the Weissenhorn lead to 62-57. But Weissenhorn saved their best for last as they hit their three´s with high accuracy and just mauled Frankfurt on the boards adding on to their 19 offensive rebounds in the game and keeping play after play alive as they were rewarded with their effort down low. Twice Garai Zeeb hit big three pointers to keep Frankfurt alive and only down 67-63, but Weissenhorn always responded as Baulkman nailed a trey for the Weissenhorn 70-63 advantage. After Zeeb made free throws, Weissenhorn closed out the game with a 5-0 run as Nils Mittman cut Frankfurt in the heart with a three pointer and Baulkman made free throws for the 75-65 win. Weissenhorn shut down the Frankfurt pick and roll in the last few minutes as they kept Agva far away from the paint which resulted in a turnover and an air ball. “The three´s of Balkman and Mittman broke the neck of Frankfurt. We rebounded very well at the end and also got the needed stops. We had a lot of respect for Agva, but we did a good job stopping their pick and roll”, stressed David Kramer. “We gave up too many offensive rebounds and the three pointer to Mittmann hurt us. I like to play inside, but they stopped our pick and roll”, said Mahir Agva. Weissenhorn was led by David Kramer with 15 points while Marcell Pongo, Devon Baulkman and Bjoern Rohwer added 12 points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Mahir Agva with 24 points. Garai Zeeb had 16 points and Isaac Bonga produced 13 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Weissenhorn shot 46% form the field and 30% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot40% from the field and 30% from the parking lot. Weissenhorn won the rebound battle 44-33 and had 13 turnovers while Frankfurt had 12 turnovers.