Many people that don´t know Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert will call it a miracle while people that know him better in terms of basketball mastery won´t be at all surprised what he has been able to get out of his team in the last week. 11 days ago after the disappointing 85-72 loss which for many wasn´t untypical, the Fraport Skyliners and Philipp Scrubb had a long bus ride home and had a lot of soul searching to do already noticing in that game that they had the game to compete with Germany´s most famous team. A week later the ever so reserved Mr Canada Philip Scrubb had another long bus ride home, but this time he could probably sneak in the one or other smile after hearing a Robertson and Morrison joke, because the Fraport Skyliners were up in the best of five series 2-1. Who would have thought that at the start of the series? Many thought after the game two win in Frankfurt that they would see one last home game at home and then summer vacation would begin. Instead with the help of a furious 29 point third quarter that rescued the 2004 BBL champion from 18 down, they showed extended heart and won in Munich 86-83 with the help of a gigantic Scrubb trey with 18 seconds to go and overall 13 three´s that the club dropped as a shocked FC Bayern Munch were wondering when this nightmare would end? FC Bayern Munich CEO Marko Pesic had another annoying reminder just how dangerous a Philip Scrubb is in crunch-time moments. The Fraport Skyliners returned home with an ace up their sleeve having the momentum and ready for the knock out as FC Bayern Munich now had their backs to the wall and suddenly had to play their best basketball to survive and did crushing the Fraport Skyliners 85-50 forcing a game 5 on Thursday night in Munich.
The Fraport Skyliners didn´t experience a third great game in a row, but instead played a bad game while FC Bayern Munich played the way they should putting together a strong performance for 40 minutes. After the game, a mellow Reggie Redding was relieved about the win and was proud how the club played FC Bayern Munich basketball. “We played a good first half last game and bad second half. We wanted to play two good halves this game and did. We played good for 40 minutes. Sometimes we are static on offense, but today we moved the ball well and were more of a threat. We also defended very well”, stressed ex Alba Berlin forward Reggie Redding. After the loss, Mr Canada Philip Scrubb looked as helpless as teams like Milwaukee, Philadelphia and the Cavs have been having to play the Boston Celtics this post season and tried to reflect on the 35 point loss. “This was a tough loss. There is nothing we can do now, but look ahead to the next game. They had more energy and that set the tone for the rest of the game. They played more aggressive than we did on the ball screens, trapped well and switched well. That put us on our heels”, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Phiip Scrubb.
5000 fans stormed into the Fraport arena to possibly witness one of the biggest upset series wins of the Fraport Skyliners in their history, but instead were greeted by a furious FC Bayern Munich onslaught as they broke out quickly to lead 12-2 under the watchful eyes of FC Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness. One could detect a sense of urgency on the faces of each FC Bayern Munich player as they heightened their intensity and aggressiveness at both ends of the court putting the Fraport Skyliners on their heels right away. The Bavarian team was aided by two three´s from ex NBA player Jared Cunningham who demonstrated his sniper qualities and also got buckets from ex Alba Berlin forward Nihad Djedovic and ex Chalon center Devin Booker as Frankfurt quickly were in need of some major help in the paint as they couldn´t match the opponent´s intensity. The Fraport Skyliners got their first field goal of the game by Scrubb, but that was all he would get as he would never score again. Frankfurt then got going somewhat getting a trey from Finish national player Shawn Huff and a Quantez Robertson tip in to cut the FC Bayern Munich lead to 14-7, but they started a bad trend early of not being able to get consistent stops on the defensive end. FC Bayern Munich was more aggressive on defense allowing little room for Frankfurt to operate and forcing them to tough shots. Djedovic scored another bucket and so did ex Bamberg guard Anton Gavel who came in early after Serbian national player Stefan Jovic was hit with two fouls. Scrubb wasn´t getting good looks so created more and found Sibert on a beautiful kick out pass to cut FC Bayern Munich´s lead to 20-17. Cunningham nailed his third trey of the quarter extending FC Bayern Munich´s lead to 23-17 after 10 minutes. “They came out and played well right away. It didn´t surprise us as they are a good team and capable of scoring quickly. We weren´t prepared and they scored at will”, stressed Philip Scrubb. FC Bayern Munich was shooting 56% from the field and 50% from outside and had 7 rebounds and 0 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 43% from the field and 33% from outside and they had 8 rebounds and 2 turnovers.
The big FC Bayern Munich offensive machine continued to operate at full throttle in the second quarter as they didn´t waste anytime jumping all over the Fraport Skyliners going on a 16-3 run to extend their lead to 39-20. Cunningham and Robertson exchanged three´s at the start, but FC Bayern Munich then really exploded as Redding and ex Giessen 46er Braydon Hobbs scored. The onslaught continued as ex Bamberg beast Maik Zirbes gave scoring in bunches a new name as he scored three consecutive baskets with a 20 footer, tap in and hard one handed dunk. Jovic topped off the run with a running lay up as FC Bayern Munich had totally hurt Frankfurt with their i-1 abilities. FC Bayern Munich was playing their best basketball sharing the ball with joy and spreading the ball around. They also were able to totally dominate in the paint getting easy baskets as Frankfurt couldn´t match their intensity. Most of the run was also completed without starting point guard Stefan Jovic who was on the bench with two fouls. The Fraport Skyliners then found some momentary daylight going on a mini 4-0 run to cut the FC Bayern Munich lead to 41-26. German wonder boy Isaac Bonga was aggressive on the offensive glass registering a tap in and Robertson went coast to coast for a lay in. However the Fraport Skyliners couldn´t sustain their heightened play and relinquished a 6-2 run to trail 47-28 at the break. Ex Fraport Skyliner Danilo Barthel made a huge effort after being blocked twice in a row by Mike Morrison and Bonga scoring inside on the third try and making the free throw. Djedovic then dropped a trey as FC Bayern Munich displayed their finest ball movement of the game. “We had a lack of focus and intensity and didn´t play good 1-1 defense which got us down. We weren´t playing to win, but just hoping that everything would go well. We were hoping good things would happen to us, but they didn´t. You can´t play with an attitude like that against a good team like them”, added Philip Scrubb. FC Bayern Munich was shooting 50% from the field and 40% from the three point line and they had grabbed 20 rebounds and had just 1 turnover while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 37% from the field and 25% from the three point line and they had grabbed 16 rebounds and had 6 turnovers.
In the third quarter everybody in the Fraport arena was hoping for a massive comeback and happy ending, but no one really expected it. In the 2014-2015 season the Fraport Skyliners with Justin Cobbs and co had been down by 18 points in the Eurochallenge deciding game against Russian side Krasnoyarsk and won reaching the final 4, but there would be no fairytale ending on this night, but it would only get worse. There was no counter reaction by the Fraport Skyliners, but the continued dominance by FC Bayern Munich who strolled out on a neck breaking 18-6 run to extend their lead to 65-34. In this run FC Bayern Munich raised the lever not one notch but two playing their best defense of the game as they forced Frankfurt to 8 turnovers and to five in the run. Their stellar defense also sparked their offense as Devin Booker contributed 8 points and was a nasty beast around the bucket. He had a tap in, tip in dunk, free throws and a beautiful fade away jumper that wasn´t an easy shot as it was contested, but when your up by 22 points, the basket suddenly looks as big as the ocean and the self-confidence is at an all-time high. FC Bayern Munich also continued to exploit the Frankfurt inside 1-1 defense as Jovic, Barthel and Redding all scored with ease. FC Bayern Munich continued to be able to play their game in the run while the Fraport Skyliners had the turnover phobia. Of course the turnovers were effected by the strong Munich defense, but Frankfurt also were careless on occasion not taking better care of the ball as they didn´t respect the defense more. FC Bayern Munich also did a fantastic job taking Scrubb and Webster totally out of the game as combined they had only 6 points. “We did a good job not letting them find their rhythm. Jared Cunningham did a good job on Scrubb and our other guards were really aggressive on Webster”, stressed Reggie Redding. The Fraport Skyliners were able to gain a little ground on FC Bayern Munich in the last minutes closing out the third quarter with a 9-5 run. They got key buckets from ex MBC guard Jordan Sibert and ex Nebraska(NCAA) guard Tai Webster, but after 30 minutes Frankfurt was staring at an ugly 70-43 deficit. “We have had a few games this season where we had a good lead and then let up. We talked about that at the break. We wanted to win the third quarter and remained strong”, stressed Reggie Redding. “We tried to come out with more energy, but we lacked focus. We couldn´t get anything going on offense and let our defense suffer”, stressed Philip Scrubb. FC Bayern Munich was shooting 53% from the field and 35% from the parking lot and they hauled down 26 rebounds and had 4 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 37% form the field and 28% from the parking lot and they had hauled down 21 rebounds and had 14 turnovers.
With the game already decided after 30 minutes, Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert gave extended minutes to his young German players as the home team amassed only 7 points and with the win already in sight, FC Bayern Munich shifted down a few gears and scored only 15 points. FC Bayern Munich did a good job closing out the game on a solid note getting a left handed lay in from Gavel who played a solid game being productive from the bench finishing with 8 points and a trey from ex Skyliner Alex King and another hard dunk from Maik Zirbes. Fraport Skyliner head coach Gordon Herbert gave extended minutes to Richard Freudenberg who dropped a trey and Niklas Kiel hauled down an offensive rebound and made the put back. In the last minute Braydon Hobbs scored in bunches scoring the last two baskets connecting on a trey and hitting a runner. “The last quarter was a good experience for the kids. It wasn´t the situation we wanted to be in though. They always paly hard in practice and did tonight as well. Getting any kind of minutes is always good”, added Philip Scrubb. “We played hard until the end and kept our foot on the pedal”, warned Reggie Redding. In 48 hours, the Fraport Skyliners will be battling in game 5 and a ticket to the semi-finals. Even if Frankfurt has only won once in 11 tries in the Audi Dome, they did win there last weekend and that will help the club immensely in terms of where their confidence should be coming off the brutal game 4 loss. “We have to play with more intensity in game 5. We gave up too many rebounds in game 4. We have to be close to winning the rebounds or win it to win and play good defense”, warned Philip Scrubb. FC Bayern Munich was led by Jared Cunningham and Devin Booker with 15 points a piece. Maik Zirbes added 11 points and five boards and Nihad Djedovic contributed 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Quantez Robertson with 12 points. FC Bayern Munich shot 51% from the field and 36% from outside and had 35 rebounds and 6 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 32% form the field and 25% from outside and had 30 rebounds and 19 turnovers.