Brady Heslip Recovers From His 48 Seconds Of Hell Powering The Fraport Skyliners Past Rytas Vilnius 65-63

On the weekends Quantez Robertson plays againsttop guards in the easyCredit BBL and this season during the week he playsagainst the top guards in the international competition Eurocup and in the pastweek the ex Auburn(NCAA) standout had a few meetings which players he oncedueled against in the BBL in his illustrious 10 year career. Only a week ago,he battled ex NBA player Brian Roberts who lasted five years in the big show NBAand had a positive 7-4 record against the Cincinnati native and won a titleover him in his rookie season. This week the freak athlete didn´t have one but potentiallytwo top guards who he had faced with DJ Seeley and Chris Kramer. He faced DJSeeley only once and that was in his rookie season when he was balling with medi Bayreuth and the ex Cal-Fullerton guard came away with the hard fought 72-64 win in Frankfurt. With Kramer it was a totally different story as he played against the ex Purdue guard from 2011-2017 12 times and had a negative 5-7 record against him. They had some unforgettable battles as five of the 12 games ended by only a two point difference. Not only did Quantez Robertson wantto come out on top again, but also his team Fraport Skyliners who have beenstinking up the easyCredit BBL the last weeks having lost four of their lastfive games. They had a huge motivation to win again especially in the Eurocupwhere a win would have brought them to the next round. Quantez Robertson onlyhad to face Seeley as Kramer didn´t make the trip and helped lead his team to ahard fought 65-63 victory reaching the next round. Robertson finished with 12points and 9 boards including mixing it up in the paint securing 6 offensiverebounds and always loves the challenges of facing the top guards. “It isalways fun battling talented guys. Playing against a Roberts and Seeley showswhere my defense is at. It also shows that I can score with them going bucketfor bucket”, smiled ex Auburn(NCAA) star Quantez Robertson. The FraportSkyliners played a poor first half, but played a lot better in the second halfand Canadian sniper Brady Heslip recovered from his 48 seconds of hell and crawledout of his hole in the fourth powering the Fraport Skyliners to the tough win.After the win an exhausted Jason Clark who played 24 minutes and had logged thefourth most minutes on the team reflected on the grind out win. “It was a verytough win. We were getting beat bad in the first half, but we never gave upfighting. We wanted to make a statement in the second half. Everybody wanted towin. We were more aggressive on defense and had more pressure on the ball whichhelped us take them out of their offense”, stressed ex Georgetown guard JasonClark. The Lithuanian team Rytas Vilnius played a solid game, but couldn´t keeptheir consistency at both ends of the court in the second half. “I thought thatwe played a good game. We had very good moments and some bad moments. We just couldn´t pull out the win at the end. We played good defense and executed aswell as we could on offense”, stressed ex Cal-Fullerton(NCAA) guard DJ Seeley.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and assistant coach Uvis Helmanis who played in the BBL with Bamberg 15 years ago

Rytas Vilnius found their rhythm first on offense while the Fraport Skyliners had problems sharing the ball and had to rely on Quantez Robertson keeping them in the game with his one on one offensive input. Ex Vermont(NCAA) guard Trae Bell-Haynes who has been known to pass up open three´s didn´t hesitate in the first minute nailing a trey. However Rytas Vilnius got going at once moving the ball and finding their shooters. Ex Neptunas Klaipeda (LKL) guard Mindaugas Girdziunas nailed a jumper and young 21 year old 206cm Lithuanian Martynas Echodas scored in the paint and hit a 15 footer as Frankfurt trailed quickly 7-3. The Frankfurt offense was sputtering so they relied on their athleticism and 1-1 abilities as Robertson and Clark dropped shots as Frankfurt trailed only 9-7. Rytas Vilnius had the advantage that Frankfurt had reached the five team foul limit and they just banged the ball inside and got to the free throw line easily. Robertson and Clark continued to be aggressive and when the offensive set didn´t work and the shot clock was down, they had to come up big and did nailing shots to keep the game close. After 10 minutes the 16-13 score looked like a low scoring football game. “Both teams were playing good defense, but we weren´t getting any good shots. Tez came up big and kept us in the game, but that is what he is supposed to do”, warned Fraport Skyliner Jason Clark. Rytas Vilnius shot 50% from the two point range and 33% from outside and had 6 rebounds and 3 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 50% from the two point range and 16% from outside and had 10 rebounds and 4 turnovers.

In the second quarter the contest became realugly for the Fraport Skyliners, but they recovered well and were able to shavedown the big lead of Rytas Vilnius. Frankfurt head coach Gordon Herbert hasseen many ugly things on the court, but what he witnessed in the first 48seconds didn´t warrant him being in a bad 2 hour movie, but moreover was likehe had been locked in and the key to the door had been thrown out. Brady Hesliphas had some bad shooting nights in his career, but who doesn´t, but what hefabricated in the first 48 seconds must have been his worst display of takingcare of the ball in his life. On three consecutive possessions, he lost theball which resulted in three instant buckets by Rytas Vilnius as 26 year old197cm Lithuanian small forward Arnas Butkevicius who played the last 5 seasonswith Neptunas Klaipeda and is a 4 time Lithuanianfinalist made two steals that resulted in a lay in and two hand stuff. 26 yearold 204cm Lithuanian Eimantas Bendzius who played the last three season in theSpanish ACB with Rio Natura Monbus Obradoiro CAB made the other steal and layin as Rytas Vilnius led 22-13 with 9.12 to play in the second quarter. Thesethree instant buckets powered the Lithuanian side to continue their run and get8 more straight points as 32 year old 185cm Croatian guard Rok Stipcevic whobegan his career with KK Zadar and played 6 years in Italy nailed a trey,Benzdius drilled home a trey and ex Bayreuth guard DJ Seeley made a lay in asFrankfurt was in a huge hole down 30-13 and head coach Gordon Herbert fuming. Rytas Vilnius was giving 180% on the defensive end covering the three point line well and stopping the penetration.However Basketball remains a game of runs and Frankfurt finally escaped theirscoreless funk and poured on a 9-0 run and suddenly trailed only 30-22.Frankfurt was powered by a Erik Murphy hook shot, a trey and lay in on transitionby Bell-Haynes and a tip in by new Skyliner Leon Kratzer who was signed a dayearlier by Frankfurt. After the big win he sounded like a little kid who hadjust raided a toy store and stole all the toys. “Coach Herbert gave me 3 playsto learn and the guidelines on defense. It was so much fun to play and help theteam win. I came here to help the team on defense and develop further and getbetter”, warned Leon Kratzer. Despite a Clark basket and Robertson free throws,Rytas Vilnius still led at halftime 35-26. “We didn´t play aggressive onoffense and they stepped up their defense”, stressed Jason Clark. Rytas Vilniusshot 47% from the two point area and 60% from the three point line and had 11rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 53% from the twopoint range and 18% from the three point line and had 18 rebounds and 12turnovers

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing DJ Seeley who dropped 9 points in the loss

The Fraport Skyliners upped their game in the third quarter as suddenly Rytas Vilnius no longer was controlling the game anymore as it became an even affair after 30 minutes. Ex ratiopharm Ulm forward Dominique Sutton got the guests on the board first with a lay in, but that didn´t impress the Fraport Skyliners as they came back on the court changed and started to defend like they know how and also started to execute better on offense which led to a lightening 8-1 run cutting the deficit down to 38-34. In the run, the Fraport Skyliners got vital support from Jason Clark who continued to show that he is that type of player that will produce when you have to relying on his strong one on one skills as he got two buckets. Ex Chicago Bull Erik Murphy had some fortune getting the lay in after Frankfurt had been blocked twice and ex Ludwigsburg forward Shawn Huff scored on a shovel shot. As is often the case the stellar defense led to good offense as Frankfurt´s confidence continued to grow in their comeback attempt. Rytas Vilnius kept the lead thanks to a Seeley three that was helped by a Sutton offensive rebound and a lay in by Butkevicius. However the Fraport Skyliners kept grinding away and continued to pressure the guests as their aggressiveness was carrying their game as they went out on a 8-2 to regain the lead back at 44-43 and the first time again in the game since they led 3-0. The run was started by a three by Murphy and ended with a Clark bomb. In between it was Trae Bell-Haynes that scored inside twice. “We felt the need to carry the team. Trae and I compliment each other well. We get to the basket well and play together well”, warned Jason Clark. Bell-Haynes  menacing and dangerous penetration to the hoop continues to remind one more and more of how 2011 BBL MVP Dashaun Wood played as this style is at times unstoppable. Echodas gave the guests the lead back with an offensive rebound and put back, but after 30 minutes the game was dead locked at 47-47. “We didn´t really change anything on the game plan, but just played more aggressive. We shared the ball well and got out on transition more”, expressed Jason Clark. “They knocked down shots and changed up their pick and roll as they switched better”, added DJ Seeley. Rytas Vilnius shot 44% from the two point area and 33% from the parking lot and had 19 rebounds and 11 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 53% from the two point area and 30% from the parking lot and had 27 rebounds and 15 turnovers.

In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners saw the resurgence of Canadian sniper Brady Heslip who helped power the Fraport Skyliners back into the lead, but Rytas Vilnius never gave up, but remained on their heels all the way to the last possession where they could of forced overtime or won the game on a three, but were denied. Brady Heslip had been quiet on the bench for two quarters and must have been playing endless mind games in his head, but head coach Gordon Herbert let him come back into the game in the fourth quarter. He hadn´t had bad shooting percent ages, but moreover wanted to make amends for his three coughed up balls at the start of the second quarter. He put the 48 seconds of hell into the back of mind quickly hitting a trey at the 8,47 mark of the fourth quarter and soon followed that with a pretty reverse lay up as he saw day light and showed that he isn´t one dimensional and at times will score on the penetration. “Being on the bench was frustrating. I knew that when I got back in that I had to be the player that I know I can be. I came in and played with freedom. I have played this game long enough and know I have to get back in having confidence”, warned Brady Heslip. “I have had down times in my career and know what Brady was going through. He hadn´t been shooting the ball that well, but we always have confidence in his shot. We know when he shoots that it will go in”, stressed Jason Clark. This furious 5-0 Heslip run sparked the Fraport Skyliners as they had the momentum and confidence which carried their game at both ends of the court. A Robertson lay up and another Heslip trey gave Frankfurt their biggest lead of the contest at 57-49. The aggressive Frankfurt defense kept the guests clueless as they were getting no open or good shots and when they tried to go inside ran into a wall and forced up tough shots. Rytas Vilnius never gave up and hit big shots from Bendzius and Girdziunas, but Frankfurt always had a big answer as Murphy hit a huge three and ex Ludwigsburg forward Shawn Huff  made an offensive rebound and put back as Frankfurt led 62-57 with less than 2 minutes to play. Rytas Vilnius still had energy and got two massive three´s from Bendzius dead locking the game at 63-63. The Fraport Skyliners had possession with 23 seconds to play. BBL rookie Trae Bell-Haynes played like a seasoned veteran taking much time from the clock and did what he does best penetrating to the hole and drawing a foul with 3 seconds to play and he nailed both for the 65-63 lead. Rytas Vilnius had one last try, but missed the easy lay up. “Sticking with our game was key at the end. Even if we didn´t hit every shot, we remained aggressive on defense and got stops”, warned Jason Clark. “Heslip and Murphy made big shots. It could have gone either way at the end”, added DJ Seeley. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jason Clark and Trae Bell-Haynes with 14 points a piece while Quantez Robertson added 12 points and Erik Murphy contributed 10 points. Rytas Vilnius was led by Eimantas Benzius with 14 points and Mindaugas Girdziunas had 13 points. The Fraport Skyliners shot 50% from the two point range and 33% from outside and had 36 rebounds and 19 turnovers while Rytas Vilnius shot 44% from the two point range and 30% from outside and had 27 rebounds and 16 turnovers.

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