Four and a half months ago, the 2017-2018 NBBL season commenced with the best young German players and also from other countries going head to head to capture the best record possible, and now on the last game day of the regular season some teams are smiling and getting excited for the playoffs while other teams are looking to have successful playdown games. For Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners they have had a good push to the playoffs having won four of their last five games while Team Bonn/Rhondorf after a terrible begin to the season where they lost their first four games have played a lot better basketball in the last weeks having won five of their last seven games. In the first meeting of the season, Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners won on the road against team Bonn/Rhondorf 76-65. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners did have their difficulty keeping the Team Bonn/Rhondorf away from the glass losing the rebound battle 41-28, but it was their aggressive defense that carried them for 40 minutes to the win. They forced Team Bonn/Rhondorf to an outrageous 30 turnovers and had 16 extra possessions which was instrumental in helping Frankfurt get the victory. Both teams met on Sunday afternoon in Frankfurt at Basketball City Mainhaiten and fans saw a tight first quarter, but Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners broke away in the second quarter and never looked back riding into the playoffs with an easy 82-54 win against Team Bonn/Rhondorf. After the game a content 15 year old German Len Schoormann who was top scorer in the game with 17 points and once again displayed his versatility with scoring, passing, rebounding, making steals and sheer athleticism was beaming with joy and was thrilled with the performance of the team. All 11 players of Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners scored and left the floor as happy winners. “That was our best game of the season. Our defense was really good. Our strong defense got our offense rolling. Coach really had us motivated and played good team offense and defense. When we are all communicating is when we play as a team. When we aren´t communicating is when we play more 1-1. Our ball movement was very good and everybody felt comfortable having the ball in their hands”, stressed Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners guard Len Schoormann. Team Bonn/Rhondorf played a solid first quarter, but then couldn´t get adjusted to the pesky Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners press defense and couldn´t stop their penetration. After the game a pooped Jona Thiel was disappointed with the effort of his club. “We lost our consistency from the first quarter. We just weren´t mentally there from the second quarter until the end. We had a game plan for their press defense, but mentally couldn´t cope with it. We usually play man, but played zone against their athleticism, but we didn´t defend well and they shot well against our zone. Their athleticism and deny defense was too much for us”, added Team Bonn/Rhondorf center Jona Thiel.
A few notable basketball figures were on hand to catch the NBBL action with ex Ludwigsburg head coach Steven Key and Fraport Skyliners Garai Zeeb, Isaac Bonga, Jules Akodo and Richard Freudenberg took in the game trying to forget the bitter loss in Goettingen only 18 hours earlier. The first quarter was a very tight affair as nobody could break away from each other. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners did get out on the quick 4-0 lead getting production from 18 year old German Dennis Machlab and 15 year old Len Schoormann who made the first of a few dunks on the afternoon. However Team Bonn/Rhondorf finally got on the board on their fourth possession getting a lay in from 17 year old 200cm center Allen Oniya and a timely trey from 19 year old 175cm German Silas Engel as Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners trailed 6-5. That basketball is a game of runs is also true in the NBBL as Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners demonstrated how effective their offense can be as they attacked the zone taking the 10-5 advantage and were successful with a lay in from 18 year old 207cm center beat Weichsler who started his career in Bad Homburg, a lay in on transition from Schoorman and a lay in from 17 year old Maxi Begue who was a 2017 JBBL finalist with Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners kept the lead getting a clutch trey from 2017 JBBL finalist Nicolas Lagermann, but Team Bonn also continued to execute getting a lay in from Greek 19 year old 200cm forward Phillipes Georgantzsas and a trey from team leading scorer Marc Klesper as they trailed 14-11. Georgantzsas continued to give the needed energy from the bench scoring again on transition getting fed from Klepser again as Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners led only 14-13. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners would end the first quarter keeping the narrow 16-15 lead. “Both teams came out playing hard and were feeling each other out. Bonn was playing pretty good defense denying Frankfurt the ball and disrupting their offense”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Jules Akodo. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners was shooting 38% from the field and 13% from outside and had 14 rebounds and 8 turnovers while Team Bonn/Rhondorf was shooting 31% from the field and 25% from outside and had 9 rebounds and six turnovers.
In the second quarter Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners broke away from Team Bonn/Rhondorf and would never look back. The three´s weren´t falling for Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners in the first quarter, but in the second quarter they slowly did as they came out on a 10-1 run to extend their lead to 26-16. In the run, Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners got back to back three´s from Begue and 17 year old 180cm guard Alvin Oniya who had played 32 minutes the night before in the Pro B playoff win in Bochum and Weichsler nailed free throws. Team Bonn/Rhondorf didn´t let that Frankfurt burst of energy disrupt them as they received back to back buckets from 18 year old 190cm guard Nianoa Schmidt on transition and a Engel basket in the paint cutting the Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners lead to 26-20. The game turned into a game of runs and as the Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners ball movement improved so did the open looks opportunities as they went on another run this time 10-0 to extend their lead to 35-20. Schoormann continued to be an offensive menace connecting twice and ex TV Langen guard Niklas Pons also scored. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners now were in total offensive rhythm and had confidence from downtown and also had less problems against the Team Bonn/Rhondorf deny defense. Team Bonn/Rhondorf did get some glimpses of offense with another trey from Engel and a offensive rebound and put back from Jona Thiel, but they just couldn´t match the depth of Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners. 192 cm guard Lagerman continued to give Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners immense offensive input and energy from the bench as he scored Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners last 7 points of the second quarter with a steal and coast to coast sprint finishing with a fancy two handed dunk, hit a trey and nailed a runner as the buzzer sounded. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners led comfortably 43-25 at halftime. “Frankfurt had a better feel on offense, had better ball movement and the three was falling better. Lagerman brought a lot of energy from the bench and Frankfurt also kept the pressure up risking more and getting more transition baskets”, stated Jules Akodo. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners was shooting 48% from the field and 41% from the three point line and had grabbed 19 rebounds and had 13 turnovers while Team Bonn/Rhondorf was shooting 23% from the field and 27% from the three point line and they had grabbed 16 rebounds and coughed up the ball 14 times.
In the third quarter Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners continued to control the game with ease executing well on offense and annoying Team Bonn/Rhondorf with their ruthless press defense. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners halted the first four posessions of Team Bonn/Rhondorf, and capitalized with seven points as Weichsler hit free throws, Begue dropped another trey and Machlab got an offensive rebound and made the put back to extend Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners lead to 50-25. Despite the big lead Team Bonn/Rhondorf slipped in an unexpected 11-5 run as Georgantzsas gave the guests instant offense as his energy continued to spark them as he poured home nine points in the lane ending with a slick reverse lay up. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners continued to have the big lead as they got production from many different faces as 2017 JBBL finalist Calvin Schaum scored, Fabian Bender who is as unselfish as a youth player can be hit an open three, Pons helped inside with an offensive rebound and put back and made a free throw as Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners led 58-36. Schoormann who was filling the stat sheet up with ease also had no problems making enjoyable unforgettable highlights as he connected with Oniya on an alley-op dunk. Oniya just laid up the ball and Schoorman tapped it in for the safe two points. “We spoke before the game and Oniya said I´ll look for you back door and it worked”, smiled Len Schoormann. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners led 60-40 after 30 minutes and were in no danger of losing the game. “We continued to hit shots and all were happy getting the ball. Our press also continued to work. When we get that first steal, we want to come back the next time and get another with the press. We get more energy”, warned Len Schoormann. “We were down 20 at the half and it was tough for us mentally. The Frankfurt press continued to hurt us as well as their athleticism”, stressed Jona Thiel. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners shot 44% from the field and 36% from the parking lot and had secured 36 rebounds and had 18 turnovers while Team Bonn/Rhondorf were shooting 48% from the field and 13% from the parking lot and had secured 33 boards and had coughed up the ball 21 times.
In the fourth quarter Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners continued to be consistent on offense as they kept sharing the ball and led by as much as 28 points. In the first few minutes, they continued to control the paint and attacked the zone with pride getting easy buckets from Schoormann who had good anticipation fighting off an offensive rebound and making the put back. Oniya also used his quickness and first step to score inside as the guests one on one defense was plagued by their fatigue slowly starting to become reality. Risto Vasiljevic also scored in the paint. Oniya continued to be present on offense hitting another trey as Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners led 70-46. Then it was time for 15 year old Schoormann to display his explosiveness and amazing athleticism for another unforgettable highlight as he came from behind the three point line making a nice cross over and flying to the hole ending with a thunderous dunk as Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners led 72-46. “My last step tells me if I will finish or kick the ball out. I had enough space to make the dunk”, smiled Len Schoormann. With the game already decided both teams continued to score as Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners outscored Team Bonn/Rhondorf 10-8. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners got some important insurance baskets from Weichsler, Begue and Lagerman while Team Bonn/Rhondorf got some baskets from Klesper and Engel. “We continued to play our game. We got a bit tired and the game got slower. We lost a little rhythm on offense, but we had a big enough lead”, added Len Schoormann. “We never gave up, but we were down by too much and just couldn´t come back”, stressed Jona Thiel. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners was led by Len Schoormann with 17 points, three rebounds, five assists and three steals. Nicolas Lagerman added 12 points and Beat Weichsler had a double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and Maxi Begue added 10 points. Team Bonn/Rhondorf were led by Phillppos Georgantzas had 14 points and Jona Thiel added 12 points and 17 rebounds while Silas Engel produced 10 points. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners shot 47% from the field and 32% from outside and had 46 rebounds and 21 turnovers while Team Bonn/Rhondorf shot 32% from the field and 20% from outside and had 41 rebounds and 25 turnovers.