The one guy can sink buckets as brutally and cleverly as Russell Westbrook can collect triple doubles against every NBA team as EWE Baskets guard Bryon Allen who is a 25 year old 193cm, 90 kilo guard has demonstrated not only this season in the EasyCredit BBL where he is leading the league in scoring and has scored in double figures in all 11 games in both competitions of BBL and BCL and nailed BG Goettingen for 30 points in the first game, but also in his entire career starting in Upper Marlboro via the Thomas Moore school continuing through George Mason(NCAA) as a junior onward into the pro´s in Kuwait, Italy and the Czech Republic. While the other guy is a 28 year old 206cm 108 kilo center who brings the Fraport Skyliners like no other player that it has ever had in their career as Mike Morrison can get up in the air and throw down the ball so dangerously hard that it has been a wonder that he hasn´t pulled a Darryl Dawkins yet in his four year Frankfurt career. His emotional loud outbursts after massive dunks with his yells can only be topped by a hungry and happy wolf that is perched somewhere on a big rock somewhere in the dark winter woods of the Taunus ready to pounce on it´s next prey. Both have little in common on the court as they play totally different positions, but one thing that they do have in common is having been ex teammates at George Mason(NCAA) from 2010-2012 reaching the CAA semi-finals together twice and having an enormous competitive spirt that was already displayed last season as they battled on the court twice in the Basketball Champions League for the first time as professionals. Both won their respective games against each other at home as in Frankfurt Morrison shone with nine points and six boards in the 74-61 victory while Allen had an uncharacteristic off night scoring only four points while in the 87-72 win in Nymburk, Allen stroked home 18 points while Morrison contributed 10 points and six rebounds. This season the two friends met again as opponents who most likely have friendly wagers set. Both teams have come into the season playing strong good basketball as both teams are near the top of the BBL standings sporting identical 5-2 records, but at the end of the day only one player would leave the court with real winner smiles for a day. Mike Morrison would be that man as he helped contribute to the strong Frankfurt 93-82 victory over the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Allen might have won the points duel 16-5 over his friend, but Morrison had the last laugh getting the win. “We had no bets. It is always great to see him. There is just a lot of love. Every time I face him he gets a little better. I am very proud of him”, stressed ex George Mason center Mike Morrison. After the loss Allen had to tend to his big posse that had supported him at the game, but his respect for his ex teammate was genuine. “We split last season and we will meet again in Oldenburg and maybe in the top 4 or in May. He has got a lot better since school. He can do it all score, rebound, pass and block shots. For me he is one of the best centers in the BBL. It is nice how he has grown from being a pre adult to being a man”, stressed Bryon Allen.
The Fraport Skyliners came into the game with a perfect 3-0 record in their own living room and showed again just how dangerous and consistent they are as they controlled the game for 40 minutes and always had answers for little Oldenburg runs with big shots. The story of the game was BBL rookie Tai Webster of New Zealand who was aggressive from the get go and just totally dominated on the offensive end as he gave one of the single best scoring performances from a Skyliner guard ever as he scored 31 points and hauled down an impressive 11 rebounds and dished out four assists while being a solid asset on the defensive end getting a steal and swatting one ball away. Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert has had a good feeling with point guards in the last years as Jordan Theodore and Justin Cobbs proved and it looks like Webster is slowly finding his groove within the BBL style. The rookie also took some of the huge responsibility that teammate Philip Scrubb usually has on the offensive end as the Canadian was able to concentrate on other phases of his game besides just his scoring. He wasn´t that impressed by the guards performance mainly because he knows what he is capable of. “Tai showed today that he can take over a game. We are confident in his abilities and he did a good job hitting shots. He got more and more confident and when he really starts attacking, he is hard to stop”, stressed ex Carleton(CIS) guard Philip Scrubb. Usually when you hit 57% from the field and 50% from outside, you have good chances to win and despite giving up 83 points, the Fraport Skyliners played a very consistent game. “Usually we have a bad first or second half, but today we played a pretty consistent game. There were a few stretches where we let up, but we got back on track. It was a good win. We can build on this and take our confidence and beat the top teams”, added Philip Scrubb. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg fought hard for 40 minutes and played a good offensive game, but just couldn´t get the needed stops to get over the hump to make the game tighter and more exciting. “We had a slow start. It was tough having to bounce back after being down. They had more energy than us and more time to prepare as we have games in the middle of the week”, added EWE Baskets Oldenburg guard Bryon Allen. “Frankfurt defended like the Los Angeles Lakers when Kobe Bryant was there. They destroyed us”, stressed EWE Baskets Oldenburg center Rasid Mahalbasic.
In front of 4,820 fans the Fraport Skyliners didn´t waste any time jumping all over the EWE Baskets Oldenburg taking the quick 7-2 lead. Ex Alba Berlin center Jonas Wolfarth-Bottermann got going early with his physical play draining a beautiful old school hook shot and Webster followed with a trey and an off balance jumper a she had to go 1-1 with the shot clock down. Wolfarth-Bottermann scored again keeping Frankfurt on track and Oldenburg got all their points from their Austrian national player Rasis Mahalbasic that was doing a good job countering against the physicality of Frankfurt hauling down two offensive rebounds and making put backs. His third bucket was an old school hook shot and Allen made a jumper as suddenly the guests had ripped off a 6-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 9-8. The first quarter was a game of runs as Frankfurt responded with a quick 6-2 run to extend their lead to 15-10. Frankfurt got vital baskets from Wolfarth-Bottermann who dropped a 15 footer and a Scrubb lay in. Despite Frankfurt having the important lead, their ball movement was still a work in progress while Oldenburg´s offensive rhythm wasn´t there as they were relying heavily on Mahalbasic who had eight of the 10 points. The runs kept being produced and Oldenburg showed why they can be such a dangerous offensive team as they struck back in a furry as ex ratiopharm Ulm forward Isaiah Philmore and Allen stroked home back to back three´s giving Oldenburg their first lead 16-15. The last run of the first quarter belonged to Frankfurt who closed out the first 10 minutes with a 8-3 run to lead 23-19. In the run, they got a big three from their identity figure Quantez Robertson, free throws from Scrubb and Richard Freudenberg and an incredible buzzer beater 4 second sprint with the ball from Webster who finished in spectacular fashion. “Having a slim rotation isn´t always bad for a team. The guys then know what their role is and won´t be worried about coming out after one or two mistakes. Oldenburg´s strength is that they know how to score quickly which held them in the game. Frankfurt led on account of their individual class and strong defense led by Robertson and Wohlfarth-Bottermann”, stressed German agent Patrick King. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 47% from the field and 33% from outside while the EWE Baskets Oldenburg were shooting 47% from the field and 33% from outside. Both teams had nine rebounds apiece and Frankfurt had two turnovers and Oldenburg three turnovers.
In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners continued to keep the lead and build on it as the EWE Baskets Oldenburg played catch up basketball a game that they would not conquer. Webster really got going in the second half as his self confidence continued to rise after every bucket as he was unstoppable. He scored nine of the teams first 12 points as Frankfurt was able to extend their lead to 35-24. Webster hit two three´s, made a lay in and free throw. The Frankfurt ball movement improved in the second frame as the extra pass became more instrumental largely duo to the fine playmaking of Scrubb and Isaac Bonga who was playing in front of seven NBA teams who had personal in attendance. Every now and then Oldenburg would have little spurts on offense like a mini 4-0 run as Rickey Paulding hit a pull up jumper and Allen once again snuck inside for an easy lay up to cut the Frankfurt lead to 41-32, but the Fraport Skyliners had an answer each time so Oldenburg couldn´t get any closer than 8-9 points. Scrubb and Finish national player Shawn Huff responded with trey´s to keep Frankfurt ahead comfortably 47-34. After Allen and Scrubb traded buckets, Oldenburg had another spurt of offensive energy as they hit Frankfurt with another mini 4-0 run as Paulding and Allen connected again to cut the Frankfurt lead to 50-41. Webster and ex Telekom Baskets Bonn guard Mickey Mcconnell got their teams the last points of the second quarter as the Fraport Skyliners still led 52-42. “53 points isn´t normal in a system where Herbert plays a strong defense and structured offense. Frankfurt was hitting everything and had good ball movement from Scrubb and Bonga”, added German agent Patrick King. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 56%from the field and 54% from the three point line while the EWE baskets Oldenburg were shooting 52% from the field and 36% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 21-13 rebound edge, but six turnovers while Oldenburg had four turnovers.
In the third quarter both teams continued to score points at ease, but the EWE Baskets Oldenburg continued to make no ground as the Fraport Skyliners kept a comfortable lead between 10-16 points. Wolfarth-Bottermann and Mahalbasic traded buckets to start the second half and Frankfurt then unleashed back to back three´s on transition from Scrubb and Huff extending their lead to 60-46. After an Oldenburg timeout it was time for the Mickey Mcconnell show as he scored six unanswered points, but couldn´t make any ground as Frankfurt got production from Wolfarth-Bottermann who made a layin and hard dunk as Frankfurt led 64-50. Frankfurt was fortunate that they had many strong offensive options besides Webster as Scrubb had his step back jumper on fire and Oldenburg continued to rely on Mcconnell who was a one man scoring machine making another two baskets while in between, Scrubb found Morrison on the rim for a typical massive alley-op slam dunk as Frankfurt still had their nose ahead 70-60. Isaac Bonga then made a big steal and went coast to coast for the nice layin. Scrubb and Webster connected again, but ex MBC guard Frantz Massenat ended the third quarter with a coast to coast layin at the buzzer, but Frankfurt still had the 77-67 advantage. “When teams go on runs, it is important to answer quick and we always did that. We got stops and got on transition. Webster hit big shots and continued to carry the team. We showed how important it is when there is a good balance of guys being able to score”, added Philip Scrubb. “We wanted to get more stops, but they continued to hit shots and we couldn´t get over the hump. They did a good job hitting tough shots”, stressed Bryon Allen. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 60% from the field and 60% from the parking lot while the EWE Baskets Oldenburg were shooting 56% from the field and 38% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 28-19 rebound edge, but 11 turnovers while Oldenburg only had seven turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, catch up basketball continued for the EWE Baskets Oldenburg as they fought and fought, but just couldn´t find a solution on how to limit the Fraport Skyliners producing points. The Fraport Skyliners didn´t ease up on defense, but started off aggressive again stopping Oldenburg´s first five possessions, but only mustered four points on offense with Webster and Scrubb scoring inside extending their lead to 81-67. Then came another little spurt by the EWE Baskets Oldenburg by their two usual American suspects Allen and Paulding who connected on very tough shots cutting the Frankfurt lead to 81-71 as every basket the guests produced was tough as Frankfurt gave up no gifts. Frankfurt then used their extra energy that a week rest will give and closed the door on Oldenburg going on a 9-3 run to extend their lead to 90-74 with a few minutes left in the game. In the run, the Fraport Skyliners were led by Webster who got to the free throw line three times, but managed only four points. Mike Morrison also continued to give stability inside with another massive dunk while Wolfarth-Bottermann stuck to his routine sinking a hook shot. Two very late three´s by German Philmore didn´t help either as it was too little too late as he ended the night helping his stat sheet with nine points in 10 minutes The game could have become more interesting and exciting had Oldenburg hit more of their easy misses inside, but how easy were those misses? They were at close range, but Frankfurt´s physicality had a big part in Frankfurt´s defense making the big stops when they needed it. “When you play good defense for the most part, those easy misses might not really have been so easy to make. Oldenburg wasn´t in good offensive rhythm. We can´t rely on teams to miss shots”, warned Philip Scrubb. “We weren´t tired at the end. We continued to put pressure on them, but just couldn´t get over the hump. The ref´s let them play physical. Frankfurt did a good job protecting their home court, but we will see them again”, warned Bryon Allen. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Tai Webster with 31 points, 11 boards and four assists. Philip Scrubb added 22 points. Jonas Wolfarth-Bottermann contributed 17 points and six rebounds ahile Shawn Huff had 12 points. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were led byMickey Mcconnell with 18 points and eight assists. Bryon Allen added 16 points and Rasid Mahalbasic had 15 points. The Fraport Skyliners shot 57% from the field and 50% from outside while the EWE Baskets Oldenburg shot 48% from the field and 36% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound duel 40-28, but had 15 turnovers while Oldenburg coughed up the ball only nine times.