With the emergence of German wunderkind Isaac Bonga, it can be a passion and exciting task to check his box score after every game to witness how he can fill up the stat sheet like no other as this has been happening in the Pro B since last season and beginning to take off as well in the EasyCredit BBL. However in the last weeks finding the name Bonga in the Fraport Skyliners Juniors weekly game box scores has been absent as he hasn´t been playing anymore, but concentrating fully on his BBL role. Last weekend one had to look twice if the name Jules Akodo was a mistake after the narrow win in Karlsruhe as a stat mishap had already occurred a few weeks earlier as Coburg stat keepers mixed up Can Akbayir for Garai Zeeb who had actually played. Despite Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert proclaiming in pre season that Bonga would play Pro B to continue to help his experience, it seems like the coaching staff has been more than pleased with his early BBL development in this season and have got a replacement for the Pro B with Akodo who is back after playing in Frankfurt in the 2014-2015 season. After playing with the Union Olimpija Ljubljana junior team, The now 21 year old 188cm point guard that likes to drive, but knows how to hit big three´s came to Frankfurt and played 14 pro B games averaging 10.6ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 40.4%, FT: 59.1%, and he played also at Eintracht Frankfurt U19 team (Germany-NBBL). Since he left Frankfurt in 2015, he was able to broaden his basketball horizon in Slovenia with LTH Castings Skofja Loka (Slovenia-Telemach League) playing 27 games averaging 8.6ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.8%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 66.0%, and last season in Spain with San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 12 games averaging 1.6ppg, and also played also at Grupo de Santiago Automocion Burgos (Spain-EBA) playing 26 games averaging 14.9ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.4apg, 2FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 69.2%. In his last game with Frankfurt in 2015 he scored 23 points in a 102-81 playoff loss in Rostock and in his last game in the BCM in Frankfurt mustered only 5 points in a 67-65 win against Rostock. Akodo was back again in an old stomping ground and wanted to put a first dent in the Iserlohn´s perfect season and did aiding a massive fourth quarter comeback finishing off an impressive 30-7 run from halfway through the fourth quarter through overtime combining with Garai Zeeb for 47 points as the annoying guard terror got Frankfurt it´s first home win 93-83 in OT. After the contest Akodo was all smiles and it was refreshing to hear his English accent again. “It is great to be back especially getting our first home win. Our transition defense hurt us a lot in this game, but we never gave up. We began to move the ball better in the fourth quarter and we made a defensive adjustment trapping more which forced Iserlohn to more turnovers. I feel no pressure coming in for Isaac Bonga. I am just doing my job and doing what I know how. I am more experienced, more composed and read the game better than three seasons ago”, warned Jules Akodo. After the bitter loss, Iserlohn American Julian Scott was on the bench trying to piece together why his team couldn´t finish the job. “We had them, but when they started putting more pressure on us at the end, we couldn´t wake up. When we lost Donte Nicholas in the fourth quarter, it really hurt us. He is our best playmaker and we lost a key piece”, stressed ex Leipzig forward Julian Scott.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors got on the board first as Houston Baptist(NCAA) rookie Alex Fountain made a runner as German Lennard Okeke made an offensive rebound and the pass, but that would be their only lead until the OT period. Iserlohn then jumped all over Frankfurt going on a huge 8-0 run as they scored three transition baskets in a row and Julian Scott hit his first three shots as he also supplied a 20 footer. Despite a Zeeb floater, Iserlohn continued to be an offensive menace going on a 9-2 run to extend their lead to 17-6. In the run Iserlohn was powered by ex BBL player Soren Fritze who nailed a trey and also showed his quickness in the paint with a lay in. Scott continued to show his touch scoring on a left handed lay in and 30 year old veteran Nikta Khartchenkov who is playing with his 16th professional team and has played 115 BBL games hit a jumper. However the Fraport Skyliners Juniors began to find their groove and were also due for a run and weaseled their way back into the game closing out the first quarter with a devastating 18-4 run cutting the once huge Iserlohn lead to 24-21. In the run, Frankfurt was led by Jukles Akodo who gave the term scoring in bunches a new meaning as he nailed a trey, finished a pretty finger tip role and scored in traffic. Ex Kronberg guard Felix Hecker also dropped a trey form the corner and three year man Konstantin Shubert scored in the paint. There are always a few Skyliners from the BBL team on hand as Quantez Robertson and Philip Scrubb rarely miss a Pro B game and the latter gave a fine perspective of the first 20 minutes. “Iserlohn hit many open shots and rebounded well while Frankfurt was lacking physicality. Frankfurt finally got stops and they moved the ball better. Akodo started to get going and when your down you need a guy like that can score a lot”, stressed Phiipp Scrubb. Iserlohn was shooting 63% from the field and 33% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 41% from the field and 33% from outside. Both teams had eight rebounds and four turnovers apiece.
In the second quarter Iserlohn would break away again to lead in double digits only to see the Fraport Skyliners Juniors battle back and trail only 42-39 at the break. Iserlohn´s two main scoring threats at that point were Scott and Khartchenkov who helped build the 10 point cushion again as they combined for six points to extend the Iserlohn lead to 33-23. However the Fraport Skyliners Juniors would find little spurts here and there and powered a 4-0 run as the two quick guards Hecker and Zeeb scored in the paint to cut the Iserlohn lead to 33-27. Despite the closeness of the game there was a big difference at that point in the game in terms of both teams offensive flow as Iserlohn had wonderful ball movement while Frankfurt´s seemed erratic and hurried at times. Iserlohn was a lot more aggressive on the boards and were in every passing lane. Frankfurt continued to fight back as the guard terror duo of Akodo and Zeeb continued to supply points when needed cutting Iserlohn´s advantage to only 35-34. Iserlohn kept the slim lead as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors just couldn´t get over the hump as Julian Scott snuck inside for a hard two handed dunk and the guests caught Frankfurt napping again on transition defense as 19 year old 206cm forward Gabriel De Olivera finished a hard dunk as Rueben Dahmen supplied the nifty behind the back pass as Frankfurt led only 40-36. After Scott Free throws, Akodo brought his teammates into the locker room with a bang as he nailed a last second buzzer beater with a few hands in his face as everyone saw nothing but net, but Frankfurt still trailed 42-39 at half-time. “Both teams had pretty good looks, but Iserlohn had the better ball movement and a few offensive rebounds. The Iserlohn zone gave Frankfurt problems also”, added Philip Scrubb. Iserlohn was shooting 53% from the field and 46% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 43% from the field and 29% from the three point line. Iserlohn had the narrow 18-16 rebound edge, but had 11 turnovers while Frankfurt had nine turnovers.
In the third quarter Iserlohn could break away getting their lead back to double digits as their zone continued to stump the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. Frankfurt came out real aggressive at the start getting back to back buckets inside from ex Ehingen center Tobias Jahn as they established themselves inside to trail Iserlohn only 44-43. However Iserlohn broke away going on a 10-2 run to extend their lead to 54-45 as Fritze got aggressive again inside making two pretty spin moves and finishing with authority and making free throws. Donte Nicholas who had been cold needed some positive experience and got to the free throw line twice connecting on all four free throws. However the way BBL team Fraport Skyliners have deadly sniper Philip Scrubb, the Pro B team has Alex Fountain who really is a guy you can´t leave alone because he has a license for drilling home shots and demonstrated it with consecutive trey´s cutting the Iserlohn lead to 54-51. As quickly as Frankfurt had crawled back, Iserlohn quickly crawled away again going on a lethal 9-2 run as Ruben Dahmen nailed a trey and Nicholas finally got his first field goal with a three and then made an amazing acrobatic runner from the baseline between two Skyliners as Iserlohn led 64-53. Iserlohn closed out the third quarter with Fritze free throws and a Joshua Dahmen three pointer for the 70-57 lead after 30 minutes. “Our zone slowed them down because we took away those things that were comfortable for them. I would have liked to have played more zone”, warned Julian Scott. “It was one of those games where many things went wrong. We knew that if we kept fighting that we would get that chance to come back”, added Jules Akodo. Iserlohn was shooting 54% from the field and 50% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 42% from the field and 30% from the parking lot. Iserlohn had the slim 24-23 rebound lead and 12 turnovers while Frankfurt had 15 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, The Fraport Skyliners Juniors would go on another run and totally catch Iserlohn by surprise dragging them into overtime. Both teams traded baskets in the first few minutes as Frankfurt did their job from downtown connecting with Fountain and Zeeb trey´s while Iserlohn scored inside as Scott made a left handed lay in and De Oliveria made a nice spin move around two Skyliners prompting head coach Sebastian Gleim to call a time out. Then came the turning point of the game as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors brewed up a tasty 17-4 run to dead lock the game at 80-80 and force overtime. The guard terror duo of Akodo and Zeeb combined for 12 points apiece while Frankfurt also got needed support inside from Jahn and ex St Johns forward Richard Freudenberg who had a tough first half, but finished strong in the second half. Zeeb hit a beautiful trey over Khartchenkov with 58 second to go to take the game into overtime. “In the fourth quarter we played good offense getting into the right spots getting good shots and we used our advantage inside as well”, stressed Jules Akodo. “We got lax and Frankfurt forced us to crucial turnovers and got easy steals at the top of the key. Our bad turnovers helped them get into rhythm as they fought very hard”, added Julian Scott. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 44% from the field and 34% from outside while Iserlohn was shooting 53% from the field and 40% from outside. Frankfurt had the 32-29 rebound lead and both teams had 19 turnovers apiece.
The overtime period belonged totally to the Fraport Skyliners Juniors as they took control from the start and never looked back going on a 13-3 run to finish off the win and crush Iserlohn´s perfect record. Akodo gave Frankfurt only it´s second lead of the game after their 2-0 lead to start the game with free throws. Scott answered with a two handed stuff. Frankfurt upped their intensity as one could see that they wanted it more as Freudenberg nailed a trey and Akodo sneaked inside for a lay in extending the Frankfurt lead to 88-83. Frankfurt forced Fritze to two turnovers which they capitalized on and then kept the offensive onslaught going as Akodo put a nail on the coffin with another trey for the 91-83 lead. After a Dahmen miss, Freudenberg put a close to the evening with an off balance jumper. “I felt they were a bit tired, but once we had the run we put our foot on their neck and didn´t allow them to come back. Zeeb and I harmonized well and we have good chemistry and it showed”, stressed Jules Akodo. “We were a bit fatigued, but need to get passed it in a situation like that. They made smart decisions and hit big baskets. We needed to find a way to slow down the game, but when they got going, it was too late”, expressed Julian Scott. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Jules Akodo with 24 points while Garai Zeeb suppied 23 points. Alex Fountain added 15 points. Iserlohn was led by Julian Scott with 24 points. Soren Fritze supplied 18 points while Nikita Khartchenkov added 12 points and Donte Nicholas contributed 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 47% from the field and 37% from the three point line while Iserlohn shot 51% from the field and 33% from the three point line. Frankfurt won the rebound duel 36-31 and had 19 turnovers while Iserlohn coughed up the ball 21 times.