Last season Maxi Begue already had his chance to breathe some NBBL air as he was placed into nine games, but saw the brunt of the action in the JBBL(U-19 league) where he led the team into the JBBL final 4 in Frankfurt. The NBBL last season was filled with many guards so he could learn from many including the highly talented Isaac Bonga, but with the 18 focused on his career and making the next step in the BBL, the 16 year old who will be turning 17 next year has been shoved into a big role, one he probably wouldn´t have had had Bonga not developed so nicely and was still playing in the NBBL this season. In the last two weeks, Begue has progressed immensely accepting that role of having to take much more responsibility and also coming through with success on the court. Three weeks ago, he had his big breakthrough scoring 30 points in Hagen, but wasn´t rewarded with a win as Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners lost 75-72, but two weeks ago had a big success moment after he showed what he was made of not having a good first half as the club was struggling, but breaking through in the second half and leading his team to a massive comeback and getting the 64-58 win against TSV Bayer o3 Leverkusen as he found his scoring stroke especially at the end as he nailed a big shot from the baseline helping secure the win. It will be interesting and exciting to see where his journey will go this season as his development process continues with every new game. Begue took his 4-2 team and met another 4-2 team with the Metropol Baskets Ruhr on a typical early Sunday afternoon game and did it again being masterful in crunch-time like against Leverkusen two weeks ago helping power his team to the 78-70 victory as he took in the last minutes supplying seven points as he finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. After the contest he seemed a little bashful in having to talk about his game once again. “My first six points today came quickly, but then for along time I didn´t score. In crunch-time I just did my thing which is to score. I did a good job hitting my mid distance shot out of the pick and roll while it was harder during the zone”, stressed Maxi Begue. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners remained unbeaten at home and continued to develop as a team for 40 minutes as well as keeping their nerves intact in crunch-time. “Our strengths today was our defense, team basketball and ball movement. WE rebounded well, but also gave up a lot if offensive rebounds”, reflected Maxi Begue. After the loss a disappointed Till Hornscheidt who was the Metropol Baskets Ruhr top scorer on the loss, but was still content with how his team played. “I think that this was one of our best games this season. Frankfurt was the clear favorite, but we were at eye level with them. It hurt us that Fin Fleute was missing especially under the basket and I feel that he would of given us another option on offense”, stressed 16 year old Metropol Baskets Ruhr point guard.
Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners didn´t get out of the wrong side of the bed like two weeks ago against Leverkusen, but had a much more spirited start as they had the quick 5-2 lead as they got quick production from Germans 18 year old Dennis Machlab with a timely trey and free throws from 17 year old Alvin Oniya. The Metropol Baskets Ruhr also started off solid tying the game at 5-5 as Till Hornscheidt got active on the offensive end nailing atrey and finding Jason-Stevens Isanza for the easy lay up as he would be a thorn in the side of Frankfurt all day long underneath as he did a fine job compensating the loss to Finn Fleute. The game remained a tight affair with Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners taking the elad and keeping it for a while as 17 year old 198cm forward Leon Pullen was aggressive on the offensive glass and hit abucket and made free throws. However the Metropol Baskets Ruhr found out the weak spot of Frankfurt soon as their 1-1 defesne in the paint was lax and they took advantage of it going on a 13-4 run to lead 22-16 after one quarter. They got buckets from 16 year old guard Valentin Bredeck, 17 year old Semih Sehovic and 17 year old Felipe Galvez who all got inside and finished strong. They also got a trey from 18 year old Fabian Behrens. After207 cm German Beat Weichsler came in the game and grabbed an offensive rebound and made a put back for Frankfurt to cut the guests lead to 19-16, it was Till Hornscheidt that exited the floor to the bench after the first quarter after hitting a spectacular unorthodox off balance shot that went in at the buzzer as the Metropol Baskets led 22-16 after one quarter. “WE have been having problems being awake in the first quarter. They were in attack mode right away and it was difficult to contain them 1-1”, stressed Maxi Begue. “We went on a run at the end and they had problems stopping us getting inside”, added Till Hornscheidt. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners were shooting 29% from the field and 25% from outside while the Metropol Baskets Ruhr were shooting 40% from the field and 43% from outside. Both teams ahd 12 rebounds apiece, but Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners had seven turnovers and the guests only 5 turnovers.
The second quarter remained a very close affair as no team could really break away from each other until Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners went on two big runs, but led only 41-39 at halftime. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners started off the second quarter again very focused going on a 8-0 run to dead lock the game at 24-24. In the run, they took a chapter out of the Metropol Baskets Ruhr offensive game by also looking to get to the rim whenever possible as ex TV Langen Guard Niklas Pons, Oniya and 16 year old ex BC Darmstadt forward Risto Vasiljevic all scored in the paint. Pons also put his stamp on the defensive side making a massive block in the run on Fabian Behrens. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners would keep up the pressure and go on another 10-2 run to lead 34-29 Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners continued to dominate in the paint as they got a lot of production from bench player Antonius Douloudis and Vasilijevic and the later steered seven points home. Leon Pullen who had made his Pro B debut the night before in Schwelm also remained aggressive making an offensie rebound and put back for the 34-29 Frankfurt advantage. The contest continued to be a nail bitter as no team could escape and go on ahuge run. IN the last efw minutes Frankfurt was aided by buckets from 18 year old German guard Cem-Turkay Akbayir and ex TG Hanau forward Oliver Babitsch as they led 41-39. “We played a lot better and came back into the game after trailing in the first quarter on better defense and good rebounding”, added Maxi begue. “Frankfurt came out a lot more focused and played the way we did in the first quarter”, added Til Hornscheidt. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners were shooting 40% from the field and 36% from the three point line while the Metropol Baskets Ruhr were shooting 35% from the field and 13% from the three point line. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skylinershad the 28-17 rebound lead, but 12 turnovers while the Metropol Baskets Ruhr had seven turnovers.
The third quarter remained extremely tight as no team could distance itself from the over. Both teams started off a bit slow, but the Metropol Baskets Ruhr got on the board first tying the game at 41-41 as Philipp Von Quenaudon made a tip in off a Luca Gerke miss. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners got on the board as Beat Weichsler scored after getting a perfect dime from Niklas Pons to give Frankfurt the lead back at 43-41. The Metropol Baskets Ruhr came out of half-time with a lot more energy and were more aggressive on the boards which helped them get the lead back as their rebounding work improved. They took the 49-45 lead as they went on a mini 4-0 run as Hornscheidt nailed a step back jumper and 18 year old 195cm forward Marco Coric who started his career with SC Bayer 05 Uerdingen scored on the fast break. Maxi Begue erased the run and lead with two buckets inside to dead lock the game at 49-49. However the Metropol Baskets Ruhr kept the slim 57-54 lead after three quarters. Isanza continued to be a beast in the paint as his powerful 203cm body gave Frankfurt mental fits as he scored three times on offensive rebounds and put backs. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners got vital production from their bench players 16 year old Nicolas Lageman who was a 2017 JBBL semi-finalist and 17 year old 207cm center Beat Weichsler who started his career at Bad Homburg HTG both scored, but Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners still trailed with 10 minutes remaining. “WE came out of half-time knowing that we had to be more aggressive. WE were more aggressive and wer ebounded a lot better”, said Till Hornscheidt. “It doesn´t matter if he starts, comes from the ebnch or is watching, but Nicolas Lagemann is always ready to play. He gave us energy from the bench and Beat Weichsler rebounded and finished well”, stressed Maxi Begue.
In the fourth quarter Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners did a good job on the defensive end denying the Metropol Baskets Ruhr first possessions, but offensively it led only to a basket from Akbayir on a running hook shot and a Pons layin for the 59-58 lead. The Metropol Baskets Ruhr would lead two more times in the game at 59-58 and 61-59 as Isanza and Galvez scored, but then Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners displayed why they are a superb crunch-time team. With Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners down 62-59, they escaped out on a9-0 run to take the commanding 68-62 lead and would never look back. Begue scored the first baskets back to back which sparked the offense as Akbayir and Douloudis followed with baskets. Isanza and HOrnscheidt followed with clutch buckets cutting the elad down to 72-67, but Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners got their own clutch baskets from Vasiljevic and Onyia holding the 74-67 lead. With a minute to go Hornscheidt kept some faith for his team with a deep trey to cut the Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners lead to 74-70, but the home team put a stamp on the win with Onyia and Pullen free throws. “We all stuck together at the end and played together. Every guy gave 100%”, warned Maxi Begue. “We were a bit tired with a slim bench. Begue did a good job with his drives that we couldn´t stop. Frankfurt also defended better and knew our plays and closed the lane better”, added Till Hornscheidt. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners were led by Maxi Begue with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Leon Pullen added 10 points and 14 boards and Risto Vasiljevic added 10 points also. The Metropol Baskets Ruhr were led by Till Hornscheid with 21 pointsand six assists and Felipe Galvez added 11 points. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners shot 42% from the field and 31% from outside while the Metropol Baskets Ruhr shot 33% from the field and 23% from outside. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners won the rebound duel 48-42, but had 22 turnovers while the Metropol Baskets Ruhr coughed up the ball 17 times.