With the regular season slowly winding down, NBBL team were looking to put in extra energy in the stretch run of the season as teams were jockeying for playoff spots. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners had had a solid season with a record of 10-2, but they couldn´t follow up their strong 8-0 2018 campaign in 2019 as they were 2-2 while the Metropol Baskets Ruhr have had a surprising strong season at 9-2 and came to Frankfurt wanting revenge after their 75-67 loss at home to the hands of Frankfurt. Both teams fought hard, but in the end Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners shot a tad better from the field and they easily won the rebounding battle which was key for them escaping the road with a victory. Despite being without their top player 16 year Len Schoorman, Frankfurt got vital support from their starting five receiving double figures ins scoring from all five players as Leon Pullen led the way with 19 points while Jordan Samare and Risto Vasiljevic added 13 points a piece. Maxi Begue added 12 points and 12 boards while the Metropol Baskets Ruhr were led by Alexander Winck with 21 points. On a very warm Sunday afternoon Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners welcomed the guests and played a strong game for 40 minutes displaying their consistent defense and were able to brush off an annoying third quarter run by the guests and win their 11th game 81-57. After the big win 2019 ANGT player and U-16 national player Len Schoormann was doing his normal post game stretching routine and lauded the overall play of the team at both ends of the court, but also added the not so fine points of the game. “We had really good ball movement today and were always talking on defense. We also rebounded the ball very well. What wasn´t so good today were the many turnovers and loose balls that we couldn´t get”, said Len Schoormann. The Metropol Baskets Ruhr were fighting for that first position in the standings and gave a spirited effort, but just couldn´t handle the Frankfurt defense that limited them on offense while on defense, they had good spurts, but overall couldn´t handle the Frankfurt solid inside out game. “I thought that we played good team basketball, but we had a very bad shooting day. We defended better in the second half with better on man defense and had better ball movement. But this result showed that Frankfurt is a stronger team”, stressed 18 year old point guard Valentin Bredeck.
Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners were without their starting center Jordan Samare who had calf problems and sat out the game while the Metropol Baskets Ruhr were without two of their veterans with their top player 19 year old forward Alexander Winck and 18 year old Philip Von Quenaudon. The first few minutes were very even as both teams were feeling each other out and the guests had two leads. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners got the ball inside early and got German forward Leon Puellen involved as he scored twice. The Metropol Baskets´s Ruhr top scorer Felip Galvez-Bratz was on the bench and 18 year old 198cm forward Nils Peters who is called Kobe from his teammates because of his present mid range game took over responsibility and scored 6 points in the early going. The guests had the 4-2 and 6-4 lead, but Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners had an early offensive rhythm on offense and got the lead back on a Schoormann trey and Maxi Begue dunk and they would never look back leading 9-6. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners had their defense standing strong early and were able to disrupt the guests and forced them too bad shots while they raced out on a 10-0 run to extend their lead to 19-8. In the run Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners continued to give Leon Puellen the ball and he responded by registering 6 points while Schoormann hit free throws and made a nifty floater. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners shared the ball well while on defense were communicating well and closing down the lane well while the three point shooting disease of the Metropol Baskets Ruhr was ongoing. In the last few minutes, Peters continued his scoring spree scoring twice while Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners got solid scoring punch from their bench from 18 year old forward Goran Lojpur that added two baskets including a nifty old school looking running hook shot and Frankfurt led 25-14. “We had a good start. Our goal was it to get the ball inside against their zone. Puellen had a good start”, added Len Schoormann. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners shot 59% form the field and 20% from outside and had 12 rebounds and 3 turnovers while the Metropo Baskets Ruhr shot 35% from the field and 0% from outside and had 5 rebounds and 2 turnovers.
Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners continued to keep their lead in the second quarter as their potent defense kept the Metropol Baskets Ruhr on edge. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners had a good start to the second quarter getting 4 defensive stops which led to a 5-0 run on offense to extend their lead to 30-14. In the run Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners got good production from 16 year old 204cm center Alexander Szymczyk who was only playing his second NBBL game gaining an offensive rebound and put back while Maxi Begue hit a one handed shot and captain Alvin Onyia hit a free throw. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners weren´t playing their best basketball, but were able to keep a comfortable lead, because of their stable defense and pathetic Metropol Baskets Ruhr outside shooting from downtown. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners were getting some turnovers which the Metropol Baskets Ruhr took advantage of with buckets from Peters and 18 year old 186cm point guard Luka Gerke, but Frankfurt still led 34-20. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners didn´t have the even bigger lead simply because of their numerous turnovers that they were producing. The Metropol Baskets Ruhr got good play at both ends of the court from 18 year old 196cm power forward Semih Sehovic who produced 3 blocks in the game and down the stretch made free throws and a turn around shot. However they didn´t have an answer for Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners sniper Risto Vasiljevic who hit BG Goettingen a few weeks ago for 26 points including 6 three´s did his magic again nailing two bombs and giving Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners the very comfortable 42-24 advantage at the break as the guests had shot 0/15 from outside as their parking lot shooting disease was at an all-time high. “Frankfurt was playing great and were playing good defense getting in the passing lanes. They were playing with high intensity and creating many turnovers”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Junior Dennis Mavin. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners shot 50% form the field and 20% from the three point line and grabbed 25 rebounds and had 11 turnovers while the Metropol Baskets Ruhr shot 29% from the field and 0% from the three point line and grabbed 15 rebounds and had 8 turnovers.
The Metropol Baskets Ruhr had been waiting all game long for their shinning moment with that big run and got it in the third quarter as they shaved down a 23 point lead to 8 points. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners actually had the better start again going on a quick 5-0 run to give them their biggest lead of the contest 47-24. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners had their offensive rhythm working quickly as Puellen scored inside with ease again and Begue dropped a trey. Then came the best phase of the game for the Metropol Baskets Ruhr as they escaped out on a fierce 17-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead down to 49-41. When they needed the three point ball most, they finally got it as Galvez-Bratz and Peters started the onslaught with back to back three´s. The Metropol Baskets Ruhr played their best defense in this quarter forcing Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners to 9 turnovers while finally finding consistency on offense. Peters was a one man scoring machine and scored four more baskets as Frankfurt was unable to slow him down. In the run Peters connected for 11 points. The guests kept up the offensive pressure as Gerke made a steal and went coast to coast for the easy lay in as Frankfurt led 51-43. After not getting any offensive execution that must have felt like an eternity, Len Schoormann finally freed Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners from their offensive woes going on a 5-0 with a trey and hard one handed dunk after stealing the ball at center court and gliding to the rim for the basket as the home team led 56-43. Neusel and Vasiljevic traded three´s in the last minute, but Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners still led in double digits 60-48. “We weren´t fatigued, but just not mentally there during their run. We didn´t concentrate and didn´t play good defense”, added Len Schoormann. “We played good press defense and got in the passing lanes well. On offense we were using a new play that worked well. We switched up our offense a lot keeping them off track and finally hit our three´s”, stressed Valentin Bredeck. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners shot 46% from the field and 27% from the parking lot and hauled down 36 rebounds and had 20 turnovers while the Metropol Baskets Ruhr shot 37% from the field and 14% from the parking lot and hauled down 22 rebounds and had 14 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter the Metropol Baskets Ruhr had one last gasp of energy early and cut the Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners lead down to 9 points, but they wouldn´t get any closer as the home team closed out the game in fine fashion not coughing up the ball once. A Neusel free throw and Gerke lay in cut the Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners lead down to 60-51 and gave the guests some light at the end of the tunnel, but Frankfurt then rudely slammed the door in their faces stepping up their play at both ends of the court. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners closed out the game with a lethal 21-6 run. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners continued to bang the ball inside and Puellen continued to be aggressive and score at ease. He would add 8 points in the run and the club also got added support from Schoormann who added 5 points and Vasiljevic continued to have the hot hand nailing a trey and also scoring off a steal and sprinting coast to coast for the easy lay in. The last five minutes looked very routine for Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners as they were able to play their game while the guests fell back into their rut of the first half. Vasiljevic closed out the game with a game ending trey, but it was Len Schoormann that made one last spectacular play shortly before the last trey making a hard one hand dunk. The night before Hamidou Diallo of the Oklahoma Thunder was able to excite fans by winning the 2019 NBA slam dunk contest by dunking over Shaq and then hanging on the rim and ripping his shirt and showing the Superman logo. Who needs a Diallo in Frankfurt when one has a Schoormann? “I like Diallo a lot. He is very athletic. I didn´t see his dunks yet from the contest. My dunk was a normal one. We need to have a very big lead for me to make a special dunk”, smiled Len Schoorman. “Missing two players showed today. We weren´t consistent today and Frankfurt showed that they were stronger”, added Valentin Bredeck. “We made a run at the end and played like we did in the first quarter. Both teams were tired in the fourth, but we were calmer against their press and more concentrated”, added Len Schoormann. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners were led by Leon Puellen with 21 points. Len Schoormann added 17 points and Risto Vasiljevic 16 points while the Metropol Baskets Ruhr were led by Nils Peters with 23 points. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners shot 45% form the field and 24% from outside and got 48 rebounds and had 20 turnovers while the Metropol Baskets Ruhr shot 33% from the field and 11% from outside and got 35 rebounds and had 19 turnovers.