With the Pro B regular season winding down, one can pretty much predict well where the post season journeys of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors and TG s.Oliver Wurzburg teams will take them. Frankfurt has booked a ticket for the playoffs while TG s.Oliver Wurzburg most likely will play in the playdowns to be able to book their ticket for the upcoming Pro B season. One thing that is never as predictable is what lineup the Fraport Skyliners Juniors will go with on account of their BBL license players and injuries having been a huge factor in the success they have had this season. With Isaac Bonga, one never knows will he suit up or not as he has been concentrating more on the easyCredit BBL this season and only played sporadically in the Pro B. Especially on weekends when the BBL team Fraport Skyliners are in action, his chances of playing become less, but this weekend the team was off as they had back to back games within the week. Bonga had played in the last home game victory against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen and had been a vital factor for the success as he took over the game in many phases and finished with a career high 30 points. Fans weren´t disappointed when Bonga arrived in the BCM gym for warm ups and then was present on the court ready for battle again. He didn´t score 30 again like two weeks ago, but this time it was Garai Zeeb again who was the fourth quarter savior as like some weeks ago against KIT Karlsruhe, he had a horrible first half and stepped it up in the second half sparking Frankfurt with 13 points and this time powered home 8 points down the stretch against TG s.Oliver Wurzburg pacing the Fraport Skyliners Juniors to the 75-69 victory.
After the big win after most of the Frankfurt players had retired from their post game stretching and hit the showers, it was the guard terror trio of Bonga, Akodo and Zeeb that were still stretching and the ex Bremerhaven guard Zeeb was content about the play of the team. “We didn´t play with a high intensity on defense in the first quarter. We found our rhythm on offense in the second quarter, but in the third quarter we didn´t run our offense well, gave up too many second chance points and didn´t defend the pick and roll well. In the fourth quarter we played better team defense, played better offense and rebounded well”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Garai Zeeb. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg guard Miles Jackson-Cartwright played out his heart, but couldn´t withstand the brutal Frankfurt offensive machine and described his feelings to the loss. “We played well for 30 minutes. In the fourth quarter, we didn´t execute well, missed shots and had a few turnovers. Frankfurt executed well and when they had open looks, they knocked down their shots. I thought we defended well. Last weekend, we had too many missed assignments and wanted to avoid that against Frankfurt. We shared the ball a lot better than last weekend and converted on transition possessions better”, stressed ex Penn(NCAA) guard Miles Jackson Cartwright.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors had another strong lineup with Isaac Bonga on board again, but were without sharp shooter Alex Fountain and forward Niklas Kiel. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors have had a nasty habit this season of having terrible starts and against TG s.Oliver Wurzburg it was no different. The Frankfurt offense was like a rusty old battle ship that was slowly sinking as they couldn´t execute possession after possession while the guests were slowly working on their lead and quickly led 8-0. In the run TG s.Oliver Wurzburg got vital production from their two Americans Miles Jackson-Cartwright who scored twice in the lane and ex USC(NCAA) forward Garrett Jackson. Frankfurt was playing lax defense not being able to clog the middle yet with their bigs. Frankfurt finally got on the board through 18 year old wonder boy Isaac Bonga as he used his athleticism and quickness to score in the lane on Frankfurt´s 12th possession. However Wurzburg continued their consistent scoring going on a 6-0 run to extend their lead to 14-2 as Jackson-Cartwright who left Penn(NCAA) in 2014 as their 13th all-time leading scorer and seventh all-time best assist man continued to destroy Frankfurt in the paint as he hit a pull up jumper, lay in and made free throws. However in the last few minutes, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors saw some daylight closing out the first quarter with a 9-3 run trailing only 17-11 after 10 minutes. After ex St Johns(NCAA) forward Richard Freudenberg dropped free throws, Frankfurt was sparked by excellent defense that carried their offense. Four year man German Konstantin Schubert had consecutive steals and he set up Jules Akodo each time for easy transition baskets. Ex Ehingen center Tobias Jahn also finished with a left handed hook shot as Frankfurt had finally arrived in the game after their small detour in the first five minutes. “Frankfurt was rushing their offense too much, not communicating on defense and not converting on easy shots. It takes Frankfurt some time to get into rhythm as they don´t practice as much”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robertson. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg was shooting 38% from the field and 0% form outside and had 14 rebounds and 5 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 24% from the field and 0% from outside and they had 8 rebounds and four turnovers.
In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued to crawl back into the game and would get their first lead and hold it at the break. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors had the better start in the second quarter as they rushed out on a 4-0 run to trail only 17-15. The first bucket was a beauty as ex Kronberg guard Felix Hecker got in the passing lane made a steal and fed ex USC Freiburg forward Cosmo Gruehn who found big man Armin Trtovac running the floor like a guard for the nifty transition basket. Zeeb followed with a transition basket scoring his only field goal of the first half. After being stumped by the disciplined Frankfurt defense for four possessions, Wurzburg finally got on the board in the second frame as ex FC Bayern Munich forward Dejan Kovacevic nailed a step back jumper for the 19-15 advantage. Frankfurt then cruised out on a 6-0 run where it wasn´t a Zeeb or Akodo that turned on their microwaves and scoring in bunches mode, but it was Armin Trtovac who got rolling making free throws, a lay in and a pretty hook shot as Frankfurt led 21-19. Frankfurt couldn´t hold the momentum as the guests stole the lead back as Latvian forward Karlis Apsitis hit a trey for the 22-21 lead. Wurzburg got the lead back as ex St Marys(NCAA) forward Garrett Jackson made an offensive rebound and put back for the 25-21 advantage. With TG s.Oliver Wurzburg leading 27-23, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors closed out the second quarter in style going on a 13-3 run to take the 36-30 lead into the break. In the run, they got vital precision shooting from Konstantin Schubert who tested his 17% accuracy from the parking lot and nailed two shots. The German finished with 17 points, two rebounds, four assists and three steals in 26 minutes. His passing was a delight as his timing with Trtovac ws excellent. “I made two open shots and found my rhythm. I had two extra passes to Trtovac. We have been playing together for years and know each other well. On defense, I did miss two box outs against Garrett Jackson”, added Konstantin Schubert. Akodo also hit a trey and Trtovac made a lay in getting the extra pass from Schubert. “Frankfurt was playing very well as a team and moving the ball well. They had a lot more energy and picking up deflection. Trtovac was playing well. I tell him all the time that he can be the best big on the team. As soon as he realizes that then he will be killing inside like John Bryant. You don´t move Bryant and it´s the same with Trtovac. When he realizes how good he is, then he will physically dominate inside”, warned Florida native and Fraport Skyliner Mike Morrison. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 39% from the field and 25% from the three point line and had 21 rebounds and had 8 turnovers while TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were shooting 36% from the field and 11% from the three point line and had gotten 17 rebounds and had coughed up the ball 8 times.
In the third quarter, both teams started getting an even better rhythm on offense as both teams scored more, but no team could get away from the other as the game was tight. Wurzburg regained the lead once, but Frankfurt got it back, but after 30 minutes the game was deadlocked at 56-56. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg had the better start going on a 9-4 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 40-39 lead. The two Wurzburg imports Jackson-Cartwright and Jackson scored as did Kovacevic who mustered four points. Frankfurt had problems executing again as that bad start to a quarter phobia was acting up again. Frankfurt held on to the lead at 46-44 with Bonga and Schubert buckets. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg got the lead back 47-46 with three Apsitis free throws. Frankfurt went on a rapid 7-0 run as Zeeb finally got out of his funk hitting a trey and finishing strong with his left hand while 30 year old veteran Tobias Jahn made a left handed hook shot as Frankfurt led 53-47. Frankfurt was unable to keep their momentum allowing the guests to close out the third quarter with a 9-3 run to tie the game at 56-56. Wurzburg got a three from Kovacevic and Jackson-Cartwright scored five points with a trey and lay in. Felix Hecker supplied outside fire power with a trey. “Both teams had runs. We had problems with our pick and roll defense and couldn´t get out on transition the way we wanted”, stressed Garai Zeeb. “It was a defensive struggle. We had problems getting inside as they clogged the paint area and got out to stop our close outs. We communicated well on defense and rebounded well”, stressed Miles Jackson-Cartwright. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 48% from the field and 31% from the parking lot and had hauled down 28 rebounds and had had 14 turnovers while TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were shooting 43% from the field and 25% from the parking lot and had grabbed 25 rebounds and had coughed up the ball 11 times.
In the fourth quarter, the game remained tight for the first few minutes and then the Fraport Skyliners Juniors showed what their lethal offense is capable of in only a few minutes deciding the game. Isaac Bonga showed his aggressive side scoring the first two Frankfurt baskets with a tip in and floater while Wurzburg countered with Garrett Jackson with a lay in and a Jackson-Cartwright pull up jumper tying the game at 60-60. Garrett Jackson then scored in traffic and made a free throw as Wurzburg led for the last time 63-60. Then at the 6,31 minute mark, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors exploded on a harsh 13-0 run to extend their lead to 73-63 and they would never look back. In the run, Frankfurt got 8 points from Zeeb as he connected on two trey´s and Schubert nailed a three and runner as that was all Frankfurt needed in this offensive rampage. Just like against KIT Karlsruhe, Zeeb turned it up in the fourth quarter and despite Frankfurt being so deep, he chose to step it up once again. “On a strong team like this, I don´t always need to take responsibility, but I have personal goals with how many points I want to score in each game. I didn´t score much in the first half, so focused on taking better shots in the second half. Today I found my teammates first and scored later. I let the game come to me “, warned Garai Zeeb. “Zeeb´s eye Q is very high. The way he shoots the ball, he opens it all up. When he is knocking down shots, he is virtually impossible to stop. We didn´t keep him in front of us and not quick enough on close outs”, warned Miles Jackson-Cartwright. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg did close out the game with a 6-2 run, but it was too little too late. Wurzburg got buckets from Kovacevic and Garret Jackson while Jackson-Cartwright made free throws. Frankfurt received a basket from Akodo. “We made the better decisions in crunch-time. Schubert and I took responsibility. We got confidence on offense which helped our defense as they opted for 1-1 play and we got the rebounds”, added Garai Zeeb. “We didn´t do a good job keeping the guys in front and were to slow on close outs. We weren´t locked in the way we should have been. We got good shots, but just didn´t get the stops we needed”, stressed Miles Jackson-Cartwright. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Konstantin Schubert with 17 points. Garai Zeeb added 15 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Armin Trtovac added 14 points and nine rebounds. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were led by Dejan Kovacevic with 22 points. Miles Jackson-Cartwright produced 21 points and Garrett Jackson had 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 48% from the field and 39% from outside and hauled down 39 rebounds and had 15 turnovers. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg shot 405 from the field and 21% from outside and they secured 34 boards and coughed up the ball 15 times.