After the bitter 72-64 loss at home against 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen the Fraport Skyliners sneaked back into the locker room as the only thing missing was hiding themselves with huge super market paper bags as they had given the name stinking up the room a new definition. Last season the week of preparation would have felt like a nasty eternity having to wait so long, but not this year as the Fraport Skyliners can rebound quickly after a loss and take revenge during the week in international competition. A week ago they had escaped Vechta with a win, but didn´t get the win in a pretty fashion and made amends with a huge win in Lithuania getting by Rytas Vilnius. This week the Fraport Skyliners were home again for Eurocup action after having been on the road the last two weeks in Malaga and Vilnius and were searching for their third win in the competition. They met top Montenegran team Mornar Bar who currently have a 8-2 record in their home league and were founded in 1974 and are a four time cup finalist and won the cup in 2004 and are defending league champs in their country league. Quantez Robertson also was looking forward to the contest as he met his ex teammate 30 year old Antabia Waller from Auburn(NCAA) who was a junior when Tez was a senior in 2008-2009. The Fraport Skyliners came into the game with a 2-1 record while Mornar Bar rode into the Fraport arena with a 1-2 record, but had defeated Italian squad Turin who had been without legendary coach Larry Brown who had traveled back to the stats to seek medical attention. The Fraport Skyliners rebounded very well from their poor loss on the weekend to 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen finding their groove and Brady Heslip In the zone early destroying KK Mornar Bar 95-78 moving to 3-1 in Eurocup play. They scored 63 points in the first half, but cooled down in the second half scoring only 27 points, but nobody cared as most of the damage had been done in the first half. Things got a little heated in the post game press conference as KK Mornar Bar head coach Mihailo Pavicevic criticized the Fraport Skyliners organization for not having court time in the days leading up to the match. Frankfurt head coach Gordon Herbert didn´t take the criticism well as he defended his organization and
disapproved of the manner of which the opponent handled themselves. It is also not the way the Fraport Skyliners handle themselves as they are a respected organization tha tconduct themselves in a professional manner. That was the only heated exchanges that night as the Frankfurt players themselves were calm and happy with the turnaround of the play. “The reason for the win was defense, defense, defense. We played together, communicated better and switched better. We took away their game plan which was getting on them off the screens and didn´t give them open looks. On offense we shared the ball and hit open shots”, stressed Jason Clark. The KK Mornar Bay players exited one by one with their heads sunk and seemed a bit shocked by their sad showing. “They hit three´s all night long. Heslip got them going and it went on. It was a very good shooting night for them”, commented ex Seton Hall guard Khadeen Carrington.
A little under 1000 fans came out to see the Fraport Skyliners battle KK Mornar Bar and saw them have a 180 degree change from the BG Goettingen loss as they had a different defensive mindset from the get go serving up more intensity and already disturbing the guards not allowing their set play to flow. It wasn´t Heslip that started to heat up right away, but it was big man Jonas Wolfarth-Bottermann who got in the zone early getting three buckets in a row with a tip in, hook shot and a hammering stuff. Fraport Skyliner lifer Quantez Robertson added a trey and the home team had the quick 9-3 advantage. Before the Montenegran team had totally understood what had happened, it suddenly was 18-8 as Frankfurt nailed three three´s in a row with a deuce from Heslip and a trey from ex Alba Berlin guard Akeem Vargas. The Frankfurt scoring machine continued to operate as Heslip dropped two more and Frankfurt led 24-10. “Brady is our sniper. He can literally hit from anywhere on the court. It was good to see him get on track again”, stressed ex Georgetown guard Jason Clark. Frankfurt did a great job getting everyone involved and spreading the ball around. Trae Bell-Haynes who continues to grow in his rookie season and get more comfortable of finding his spots when penetrating scored as did ex NBA player Erik Murphy out of Florida State. Frankfurt continued to score at ease as Robertson made another trey to extend Frankfurt´s lead to 31-11. Then Antabia Waller hit a tough trey from the corner that had Robertson´s hands in his face and saw nothing but net. Both guys were serving up friendly trash talk all night long. “It was fun talking trash with Antabia tonight. We went back and forth. When he nailed that shot from the corner, I told him on the way down that I would block his next one”, smiled Quantez Robertson. “This was the first time I played against him in Europe. He is a good friend of mine. We had fun trash talking. He may be 33, but is still the same Tez. He hasn´t lost a step and has the same athleticism. The reason he is so successful and still has the same level is because of his work ethic. He works hard each day”, said ex Auburn(NCAA) stand out Antabia Waller. Carrington and Waller who came off the bench hit shots in the last minute, but Robertson hit his third three of the first quarter and the Fraport Skyliners had an unbelievable 36-19 lead. “I don´t ever remembering having 36 points in one quarter with one team in my career. Our defensive intensity was key and we moved the ball well”, stressed Jason Clark. Frankfurt shone with their astronomical shooting percentages shooting 71% from the two point area and 80% from outside while Mornar Bar was too bad themselves shooting 40% from the two point area and 71% from outside. Their seven turnovers to Frankfurt´s one turnover told another story.
In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliner´s lethal offense continued to do as they pleased scoring 30 points and having 63 at the break. KK Mornar Bar played better offensively, but their defense let them down all game long not matching Frankfurt´s intensity and not getting out on the perimeter. KK Mornar Bar got some early offense getting two trey´s from Carrington and Waller, but Frankfurt countered with another Heslip trey who finished with 18 points in 21 minutes. He didn´t score anymore in the second half, but that´s when the opponent didn´t give him anymore space to operate. “I had a different kind of motivation. With me moving forward, I´m happy I came out more aggressive. In the second half, I was guarded better so I found my teammates more. The most important thing is that we win games. I will be happy each week if we win the game”, added Canadian Brady Heslip. KK Mornar Bar got support from another Carrington three and ex Wisconsin(NCAA) guard Bronson Koenig split the defense nicely and scored as Frankfurt led 47-31. Halfway through the second quarter ex St Johns(NCAA) German Richard Freudenberg got inserted and did the most of his minutes scoring seven points. He nailed a trey, but also scored in the paint area. He finished with 10 points, two boards and two assists in 18 minutes and continues to play well as he has a certain procedure that he credits his success to at the moment. “I am always ready to play for the first team. I played well in the Pro B game last weekend and continue to get into the game through my energy playing defense and rebounding. It is continuing to work for me”, smiled Richard Freudenberg. “He was huge for us. He brought energy. He is a young talent that is so smart and can score the ball and is big on the boards”, added Jason Clark. Frankfurt continued to keep up the pressure on offense and defense and hit some more three´s as Vargas and Heslip connected heightening the Frankfurt lead to 57-31. The ball movement at times was the best in this young season and brought back memories to the 2016-2017 season where Frankfurt had that lethal ball movement where every guy was unselfish. The guests got consistent production from 29 year old 213cm Serbian center Uros Lucovic who was active at both ends of the floor finished with three blocks and down the stretch of the second quarter hit four free throws. Bell-Haynes scored the last bucket in traffic as the Fraport Skyliners led 63-39 at half-time. “our ball movement was great. We wanted to get everyone involved. It looked good when we did it”, stressed Jason Clark.
The Fraport Skyliners offense slowed down a bit in the third quarter, but that is expected after your shooting 80%. What didn´t slow down was their defensive intensity and consistency that didn´t allow KK Mornar Bar to get a good rhythm on offense that could have got them in striking distance. The Fraport Skyliners also continued to share the ball well and get other guys involved like Erik Murphy. Frankfurt also played more transition basketball allowing them to get easy baskets off their aggressive defense. On one play Quantez Robertson made a steal fed Vargas who found a streaking Murphy for the two hand dunk and 67-42 Frankfurt lead. Finish national player Shawn Huff followed with a three pointer and Wolfarth-Bottermann made a thunderous two hand jam on transition extending Frankfurt´s lead to 72-44. The three point accuracy continued for Frankfurt as Clark and Murphy made two bringing Frankfurt total after 30 minutes to 15 only five shy of the Eurocup record as Frankfurt led 78-50. Lukovic continued to be a dangerous beast in the paint making two dunks. Frankfurt made another transition basket as Robertson finished with the dunk as Frankfurt led 80-54 after three quarters. “They started to hit more shots. It is hard to hit all game long. We let up a bit on offense, but our defense remained consistent”, stressed Jason Clark. KK Mornar Bar shot well at 47% from the two point area and 47% from the three point line, but Frankfurt was just hot shooting 80% form the two point area and 53% from the three point area while keeping their turnovers down at 8 and the opponent had coughed up the ball 14 times.
The game was already decided, but KK Mornar Bar went on a little run, but Frankfurt got offensive support keeping their lead high. KK Mornar Bar started the fourth quarter with 9-3 run to cut Frankfurt´s lead down to 83-63. In the run the guests got big shots from Waller and Koenig. Frankfurt were feeling a bit content and not as focused on the offensive end not getting the best shots allowing the guests to get a little closer, but not by much. KK Mornar Bar got more support from their americans Carrington and Koenig with baskets, but Frankfurt got some timely baskets from Clark, Bell-Haynes and Wolfarth-Bottermann keeping the lead very comfortable at 92-70. With three minutes to go fans were internally looking for Frankfurt to reach the 100 point mark. It looked good quite rapidly as Huff and Clark hit back to back three´s to extend Frankfurt´s lead to 98-70. Clark who has been up and down all season long had another solid game scoring 13 points getting 5 boards, dishing out three assist and getting 2 steals. “I wasn´t nervous coming in. Coach has been on me. I knew that I had to play harder. I knew that I had to be more consistent and play harder on defense which sparked my offense. Once your in the flow it really helps”, smiled Jason Clark. Frankfurt had three more possessions at the end, but were denied getting to the 100 points. “We continued to play with the intensity that we had in the first half. We continued to share the ball well and hit shots”, stressed Jason Clark. The Fraport Skyliners had six players in double figures as Brady Heslip led all scorers with 18 points. Jonas Wolfarh-Bottermann added 16 points. Jason Clark ahd 13 points and Trae Bell-Haynes contributed 11 points as did Quantez Robertson who also had 8 assists. KK Mornar Bar was led by Nemanja Vranjes with 15 points. Uros Lukovic added 14 points and Antabia Waller had 12 points. The Fraport Skyliners shot 65% form the two point area and 53% form outside and had 29 boards and 11 turnovers while KK Mornar Bar shot 50% form the two point area and 33% from outside and had 29 boards and 16 turnovers.