For many years there had been serious harmony in Freak City when head coaches Chris Fleming and Andrea Trinchieri had been at the helm as the most major scandal then would have been if a Daniel Theis and Elias Harris had gotten in a major fight, but not even that happened as despite major competition at their positions, the two Germans were very good friends. But this year the harmony was put on major hold as that once Bamberg consistency had disappeared quicker than ex NBA player Dorell Wright can fly to the rim as it has been a season to forget. Just some weeks ago, Bamberg wasn´t even in the playoff watch, but suddenly they have risen like an eagle and sit at position 4 as they came to Frankfurt. Only 48 hours ago, they disposed of the EWE Baskets Oldenburg winning their fifth game in a row which is their longest winning streak of the season. On the other hand the Fraport Skyliners haven´t played their best basketball either as they entered the game having lost three of their last four games and had lost their last two games at home against Giessen and FC Bayern Munich. Frankfurt erased their bitter three game losing streak with a solid 81-69 win in Bremerhaven and had no problems generating an offense without their second main scoring option Tai Webster as Phil Scrubb like always stepped up with 19 points and the club got steady contribution from Finish national player Shawn Huff and most importantly from Skyliner lifer Quantez Robertson who finally had his shooting stroke alive as he responded to his poor shooting of 3/15 in his last four games from outside going 6/9 in Bremerhaven getting 18 points. The Fraport Skyliners and Bamberg have had unforgettable duels in Frankfurt since the 2003-2004 season and Frankfurt wanted to gain more leverage in the playoff picture and did by playing an all around spirited game for 40 minutes as they were able to get a super defensive performance and had a red hot Philip Scrubb who produced 33 shooting 63% from the field leading the way. It was the second win in a row for Frankfurt as they stayed at position 8, but have Wurzburg breathing down their backs are slowly getting into playoff form and heightened their self confidence one bit more for the last three games. After the big win, all of the Frankfurt journalists swarmed around Scrubb, but a Jordan Sibert was all lonely and had a big smile on his face after the victory. “This win was big for our playoff hopes. We needed this win and got it. We still have a long way to go though. We gave a good game on both ends of the court and Philip Scrubb carried us. Defense was our key to the win. We did a good job with our rotation and our matchups and just helping each other out all night long”, described ex Dayton(NCAA) guard Jordan Sibert.
After the loss, a lack luster Bamberg team who fell to position 6 in the standings continued to exit the locker room with long faces and the last one to depart was 10 year NBA veteran Dorell Wright who was unhappy about the loss. “Frankfurt is a hungry team and is fighting for the last playoff spot. We expected them to come out hard. Our biggest problem tonight was taking too long to respond. You can´t dig a hole against a good team like Frankfurt. When Frankfurt gets going they are hard to stop. We played better in the second half, but were unable to put together a game for 40 minutes”, stressed 2006 NBA champion with the Miami Heat Dorell Wright.
On a very untypical very hot day at 85 degree´s in late April, 4,650 fans came out to watch and not only were fans in attendance, but as always this season scouts from the NBA as Austin Ainge the director of player personal of the Boston Celtcs was in the stands as was Los Angeles Lakers GM Rob Pelinka who played on 3 Michigan NCAA final 4 teams in the early 90´s and was teammates with legends like Glen Rice, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and Juwan Howard and also as an agent had Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and James Harden as clients was there to observe Isaac Bonga who earlier in the day announced he will enter the 2018 draft and didn´t disappoint as he finished with 8 points, three assists and two assists and had some NBA like athletic plays and had his second solid game in a row after dropping 8 points and giving 8 dimes in the win in Bremerhaven. Even if Pelinka was watching Bonga, he surely must have been able to remember the name Philip Scrubb after his 33 point explosion. In Turkey sniper Scottie Wilbekin is the Turkish Steph Curry while in the German easyCredit BBL one can slowly start to call Scrubb the German Curry. He can shoot out the lights like Curry and is one of the best shooters the BBL has seen in years. After the win the always so humble Scrubb blushed if the Lakers GM might have noticed his play. “I don´t know if he noticed me. I think he was here for Isaac Bonga. I have no idea if I´m on the radar of the Lakers. All I can do is play as well as I can. I definitely felt good today”, smiled ex Carleton guard Philip Scrubb. The Fraport Skyliners showed their extremely aggressive side from the get go as ex Auburn(NCAA) standout Quantez Robertson had two steals, but Bamberg did get the early lead as ex Tuebingen forward Augustine Rubit made free throws and ex USC(NCAA) guard Daniel Hacket buried a trey for the quick Bamberg 5-2 advantage. However it didn´t take the Fraport Skyliners long to find an identity on offense as they burst out on a 7-0 run to take the 9-5 lead. Frankfurt head coach Gordon Herbert had given Isaac Bonga the starting nod after his solid game in Bremerhaven and he had the green light more than usual as he was aggressive off the bat and got the Frankfurt offense going with his playmaking. Bonga set up ex Bonn center Jonas Wolfarth-Botterman with a dunk, Scrubb nailed a trey and the young 18 German wonder boy then sunk free throws. Frankfurt continued to keep their offensive pressure up as Scrubb scored three consecutive lay in´s with one being more prettier than the other. Bamberg was afraid of his three and guarded the shot too much so the Canadian burned the Bamberg defense with his penetration and the help side defense was nonexistent. Bamberg stayed in the game thanks to some baskets from Rubit who dropped a hook shot, free throws to 4 time Italian cup winner Nikolaos Zisis and German national player Maodo Lo hit a buzzer beater as the Fraport Skyliners led 25-17 after 10 minutes.
“Scrubb read the defense very well and got hot and kept it going. Morrison, Wolfarth-Botterman and Robertson did a good job keeping their bigs off the glass”, stressed ex MBC guard Jordan Sibert. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 47% from the field and 25% from outside and gathered 15 rebounds and had 4 turnovers while Brose Bamberg was shooting 33% from the field and 14% from outside and they gathered 5 rebounds and had 3 turnovers.
In the second quarter, the Fraport Skyliners continued to play their aggressive game at both ends of the court and really broke open the game leading by as much as 20 points. Brose Bamberg started off strong in the second frame getting their big man ex Serbian Unicaja Malaga player Dejan Musli more involved as he scored 4 points and ex Ludwigsburg sniper Lucca Staiger dropped a trey to cut Frankfurt´s lead to 29-24. Scrubb then buried a pull up jumper as when the Canadian is totally open, his shot is as valuable as Fort Knox as he will almost always burn you. Staiger followed up with his second three in the row as Frankfurt led 31-27 as Bamberg was quietly closing in. But however instead of Frankfurt falling into a hole, it was Brose Bamberg that totally caved in relinquishing a brutal 20-6 run to go into the break trailing 51-33 as head coach Luca Bianchi must of needed an extra dose of Tylenol headache pills to soothe his Bamberg basketball pain. The Fraport Skyliners got a huge lift from Florida native and ex George Mason(NCAA) center Mike Morrison who got three buckets at close range. He dunked home an alley-op dunk, ran the floor like a guard converting the fast break and made a lay in and free throws for 8 points. Scrubb also answered with 7 points as he nailed another trey and got to the free throw line scoring twice. Bamberg switched to zone, but that was no remedy as they continued giving up easy baskets and at times simply looked like a practice team. The club also continued to have no answer for Scrubb who when he didn´t have a good look, attacked the rim and found his teammates for easy baskets. In the last minute, Frankfurt got added valuable support from the sixth man energizer Jordan Sibert who dropped a trey and then made a steal and went coast to coast for the easy lay in. On the trey, Frankfurt displayed fine team basketball as ex Giessen big man Marco Voeller made a pretty kick out pass to the open Sibert on the left wing. The Fraport Skyliners had the comfortable 51-33 lead at the break. Los Angeles Lakers GM Rob Pelinka headed into the VIP room for a snack and had seen a solid Bonga and red hot Scrubb who was at his best. “Our defense did a good job keeping Bamberg off balance. We continued to take advantage of every mis match and Scrubb continued to keep us going”, added Jordan Sibert. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 59% from the field and 39% from the three point line and had hauled down 23 boards and had 7 turnovers while Brose Bamberg was shooting 31% from the field and 25% from the three point line and hauled down 11 rebounds and had had 6 turnovers.
In the third quarter the Fraport Skyliners kept their double digit lead despite having to contend with a Bamberg 11-2 run which didn´t do to much damage as Frankfurt was able to get it going on offense again. Both teams came out of the break searching for their rhythm, but it didn´t take Scrubb long to find his secret new love the penetration as he scored twice including making a deadly cross over which led to a floater and then converted on a finger tip roll in as the Fraport Skyliners led 55-33. Brose Bamberg then went on a 11-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 57-44. In the run, Bamberg got two trey´s from Lo, a Musli lay in and a Wright trey. On the last three by Wright, it had taken Bamberg two and a half quarters to show their best ball movement of the contest. Frankfurt didn´t defend too bad, but Bamberg finally hit some shots while Frankfurt showed some inconsistency on offense with bad shot selection and getting forced to tough shots. Both teams continued to execute better on offense as Bamberg couldn´t get under double digits as getting over the hump proved to be very difficult. Morrison continued to be very confident and made two more baskets as he finished with 13 points and 9 boards. Bamberg also got vital and very difficult scores from ex NBA player Wright who showed that kind of amazing ruthless one on one skills that you only see in the NBA and he is just at another level than what you experience in the easyCredit BBL. “Wright is a very crafty player and long and likes to create space. We did a good job making it tough for him to score”, added Jordan Sibert. Scrubb took a back seat from scoring as some may have thought after he dropped 25 points at the break that he may end up with 50, but Bamberg did a lot better job in the third quarter making life more difficult for the Canadian. “I just take what the defense gives me. I expected them to change up their defense on me in the second half. If I would have got the same looks like the first half, I may have scored more, but other guys were open so they took the shots”, said Philip Scrubb. But when a Scrubb isn´t scoring, Frankfurt can always give the ball to rookie Tai Webster who took over for Scrubb and continued to make Bamberg look like fools with their 1-1 defense as he scored four times in the lane taking advantage of his quickness getting to the hole. After 30 minutes the Fraport Skyliners had the comfortable 69-54 lead. “We had a mental break down during their 11-2 run on offense and defense. They capitalized on it”, added Jordan Sibert. “We got easy baskets on transition and found our shooters”, added Dorell Wright. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 56% form the field and 25% from the parking lot and had gotten 30 rebounds and had 10 turnovers while Brose Bamberg was shooting 40% form the field and 35% form the parking lot and had gotten 19 rebounds and had 10 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter The Fraport Skyliners did a great job playing tough defense and never allowing Bamberg to get that last deadly run as they never got closer than 11 points. The few times where it looked like Bamberg might really threaten, the Fraport Skyliners had the offensive answer to keep Bamberg at bay. Brose Bamberg started off hot going on a mini 4-0 run as Musli made a tap in and then escaped inside catching Frankfurt on a defensive breakdown as Hackett fired him the ball for the easy dunk as Bamberg trailed only 69-58. However Bamberg couldn´t hold the momentum as Frankfurt always had an answer up their sleeve Bamberg didn´t keep too much of an eye on Webster who dropped a trey as Scrubb dished out one of his 4 assists on the night to extend Frankfurt´s lead to 72-58. Bamberg didn´t give up as they stayed aggressive as Hackett made free throws to cut the Frankfurt lead to 72-60. Scrubb had more difficulty getting shots, but when he did, he continued to knock them down with ease as if he was in his sleep. Hackett followed with a trey, but Bamberg couldn´t make any ground still trailing 75-63 with time winding down. Scrubb and Webster had done the most damage and wouldn´t score again, but it was Bonga who now put on a last minute type of show for the NBA teams. With the Fraport Skyliners not totally home free, he took matters into his own hands and took responsibility as he scored 6 points keeping Bamberg at bay. Bonga made a athletic dazzling spin move that was NBA like and scored on the lay in, hit a jumper and made free throws. Wright did convert on one last trey as he finished with 14 points and 7 boards, but it was all too little too late. “We got big shots from Scrubb and Webster early to hold them and then made the right defensive stops. We did miss shots, but our defense carried us”, stressed Jordan Sibert. “We can´t make excuses even if this was our 62nd game. I have to give Frankfurt credit. They played a great game”, added Dorell Wright. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Philip Scrubb with 33 points. Tai Webster added 14 points and Mike Morrison contributed 13 points. Brose Bamberg was led by Dejan Musli with 16 points while Dorell Wright an Daniel Hackett had 11 points, 9 boards and five assists. The Fraport Skyliners shot 49% from the field and 28% from outside and had 39 rebounds and coughed up the ball 13 times while Brose Bamberg shot 37% from the field and 32% from outside and had 33 rebounds and coughed up the ball 13 times.