The NBBL season keeps moving along and while Alba Berlin is making their presence known in the north, it is Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners that are dominating in the south just blowing everything away that dares to get in the way like a snow blower does earasing unwanted snow on a frozen football field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners have simply been incredible bringing a lethal 6-0 record into the game averaging a potent 88 points on offense and standing like a non-destructable wall on defense allowing only 51 points per game. The club has been led by top NBBL player Len Schoorman who continues to impress everyone and plays like a man among boys. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners met the RheinStars Cologne who had only a 3-3 record, but seemed to have found themselves in the previous weeks having won three of their last four contests and as of late had played their best basketball of the season as they took apart BG Goettingen 85-53 and wiped away the Baskets Juniors 67-36. The team from the Dome city came to Frankfurt with a lot of self confidence from their last wins, but had to contend with one of the top teams in the NBBL with Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners and played their hearts out, but had a extremely bad shooting day and couldn´t find a consistent rhythm against Frankfurt´s nasty press defense. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners played an all-around solid game at both ends of the court powered by the athletic game of Len Schoormann who hit for 26 points. “We played well against their three two zone, drew fouls and got out on transition a lot. We played very good defense in the first half giving up only 25 points, but weren´t as good in the second half. We weren´t as good on the pick and roll and left their shooters open”, stressed German Len Schoormann. It wasn´t a great start for the RheinStars and the day didn´t get any better when half way through the first quarter, they lost their top scorer Thomas Fankhauser who was hit in the face and broke his nose and had to go to the hospital. The club never recovered from that blow despite Germans Joshua Burgunder and Christ Theodor stepping up as best as they could. “We didn´t come to terms with their press. We practiced it all week, but we couldn´t do anything against it in the game. Losing Fankhauser might have affected us also, but I liked how we stayed aggressive until the end”, added Joshua Burgunder.
It took both teams a little while to get goingas shots were flying, but not going in. Frankfurt forward Leon Pullen finallygot his team on the board with a long trey. The Rheinstars eventually tied thegame with a Julius Weseman jumper who had played the day before in the Pro Bloss. The game was definitely too unspectacular for the minds of EintrachtFrankfurt-Fraport Skyliners, so it was no surprise when 2018 JBBL player of theyear Len Schoormann slowly got going nailing back to back trey´s as EintrachtFrankfurt-Fraport Skyliners led 9-3. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skylinersoffense slowly got going as they got a transition bucket from Pullen and exRheinStars center Jordan Samare who averaged 18ppg and 10rpg last season made alay in after getting the dime form Schoormann. Eintracht Frankfurt-FraportSkyliners had a sound rhythm on offense, had their press defense giving Cologneheadaches and practiced transition basketball. Eintracht Frankfurt-FraportSkyliners aggressive press defense continued to give the RheinStars hugeproblems as they couldn´t get good shots in their set plays, but often coughedup the ball in their own end. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners didn´talways execute on offense, but with their excellent press defense got extraoffensive possessions which they would take advantage of at times. Down thestretch Samare hit a jumper, Schoorman made free throws and a dunk and captainAlvin Onyia made a steal and coast to coast lay in as EintrachtFrankfurt-Fraport Skyliners led very comfortably 21-8 after one quarter.Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners shot 40% from the field and 25% fromoutside and had 13 rebounds and 2 turnovers while the RheinStars shot a pathetic13% form the field and were 0% from outside and had 11 rebounds and 5turnovers.
In the second quarter Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners continued to score well while the RheinStars also were able to execute better on the offensive end, but couldn´t get stops on defense or find a suitable successful solution for Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners overwhelming press defense. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners were a rock on defense and stopped the RheinStars first three possessions while Schoormann led the charge for Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners as he made a steal, free throws and found Samare on the fast break making a pretty off balance swing pass as they led 27-8. The RheinStars then found some daylight and got more aggressive and went on a 13-4 run to cut the Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners lead to 31-21. In the run, it was German Joshua Burgunder who took responsibility at both ends of the court leading the RheinStars back into the game. Burgunder made a steal, two buckets and found the big man 216cm Edward Zacharias for a lay in off his lob pass. “I took responsibility when Fankhauser was out. But this was something I was going to do anyway even if he had still been in the game”, smiled Joshua Burgunder. The RheinStars also got good production from Christ Theodore who made a jumper after he got an offensive rebound and made free throws. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners lost a little concentration and focus in this phase, but it is only a matter of time before their offense started clicking again. Schoorman was aggressive from the first minute and was often open on the wing as rarely did an opponent challenge him so when he got free, he fired away. He hit two three´s in a row extending the Frankfurt lead to 39-21. “If I´m open and get the ball, then I shoot right away. I never hesitate”, warned Len Schoorman. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners continued to keep the pressure on after the two bomb´s by Schoorman heading into the break with a 11-4 run to lead 48-25 at half-time. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners did a good job staying aggressive and getting to the free throw line as Schoorman and Begue nailed free throws. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners also did a good job using their bench and getting everyone involved. 18 year old 198cm 105 kilogram power forward Goran Lojpur who began his career in Duesseldorf got into the paint twice getting buckets. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners shot 42% from the field and 25% from the three point line and got 24 rebounds and had 8 turnovers while the RheinStars shot 26% from the field and were still at =5 from the three point line and got 20 rebounds and had 14 turnovers.
The Third quarter was the best quarter of thegame for the RheinStars as they won it 14-12, but their good first 7 minutesdidn´t pay dividends as after 30 minutes they still trailed by 19 points. Inthe RheinStars run, the club got massive support from Christ Theodore andJoshua Burgunder who continued to lead and run the team. Theodore started therun with a massive one hand dunk as Harissis Batsis saw him cutting to the hoopand made the perfect dish. Soon after Theodore made a steal and coast to coastlay in and the much improved RheinStars continued and Burgunder made a stealand lay in cutting the Frankfurt lead to 50-32. Eintracht Frankfurt-FraportSkyliners got a few points on free throws, but time continued to elapse andthey still hadn´t made a field goal. After the fourth stop against Frankfurt,Weseman made an off balance jumper. Theodore then blocked Samare and beforeeveryone knew what was happening, Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners hadbeen blanked on 7 consecutive offensive possessions. The RheinStars had themomentum while Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners were reeling for some kindof good moment, but didn´t get it. Burgunder then made free throws and a bucketon the fast break and Cologne trailed only 50-37. Eintracht Frankfurt-FraportSkyliners finally made their first field goal of the third quarter at the 2,47minute mark. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners finally hammered the ballinside and Leon Pullen got a basket and on the next possession scored again asEintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners extended their lead to 54-37. EintrachtFrankfurt-Fraport Skyliners continued to keep their offense rolling and closedout the third quarter with a 6-2 run to lead 60-39. In the run EintrachtFrankfurt-Fraport Skyliners got buckets from Schoorman and from 16 year oldGerman Friedrich Fischbach. “We weren´t aggressive on defense. We felt toocomfortable with the lead and let them back into the game. Our guards weren´taggressive. Our good offense comes from good defense, but we weren´t defendingwell”, stressed Len Schoorman. “We became more aggressive and wanted to showthem we can play. We also did a better job controlling the boards”, stressedJoshua Burgunder. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners shot 39% from the fieldand 20% from the parking lot and had 33 rebounds and 15 turnovers while theRheinStars shot 20% from the field and were still at 0% from the parking lotand had 32 rebounds and 21 turnovers.
The RheinStars had their best offensive quarter of the game scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter, but couldn´t make much ground as they gave up 17 points to Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners. Theodore and Onyia traded buckets to start off the fourth frame. Then came a beautiful alley-op between Schoorman and Maxi Begue for the tip in. After Schoorman had been the offensive go to guy in the first three quarters, he took a back seat to his teammates and found his teammates more in the last quarter. He finished with 26 points and dwelled on his development in the Pro B and NBBL. “It took some time to find my game in the Pro B. But now I have arrived and have more confidecet. I´m not afraid to shoot and make mistakes. It also took me a while to get back into rhythm in the NBBL. I have found myself in the team again and playing a lot better”, warned Len Schoormann. Begue took over more of a scoring role hitting a jumper while Burgunder continued his hot scoring day dropping a trey cutting the Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners lead to 68-44. Maxi Begue then made a steal and went 2 on 1 with Schoormann towards the hoop and he had the choice of finishing or possibly finding His teammate for the alley-op dunk. Instead he opted to finish and made a thunderous one handed dunk for the 70-47 Frankfurt lead. “I didn´t think that he was going to give me the ball. He saw his defender and wanted to challenge him, but he didn´t so he finished with the dunk”, added Len Schoormann. The game was long decided so Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners coasted home and allowed the RheinStars on a game ending 13-6 run. In the run the RheinStars got buckets from Zacharias, Theodore and another trey from Burgunder while Frankfurt got a trey from little used Vincent Diertrich and a lay in form Onyia. “Both teams were tired on defense. We weren´t as aggressive on offense, but we still stayed calm on offense. Despite making some mental mistakes, we remained calm on offense”, warned Len Schoormann. “We got tired. They shot well all game long and we couldn´t stop their transition. Frankfurt is a strong team and surely a favorite to reach the Top 4, but I think if you stay concentrated you can stay with them”, added Joshua Burgunder. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners were led by Len Schoormann with 26 points. Maxi Begue was real close to a triple double adding 13 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assistsa nd 3 steals. The RheinStars were led by Joshua Burgunder with 23 points and Christ Theodre added 20 points. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners shot 39% form the field and 20% from outside and hauled down 44 rebounds and had 20 turnovers while the RheinStars shot 32% from the field and 13% from outside and hauled down 40 rebounds and had 26 turnovers.