It had been almost six months since the Fraport Skyliners Junior last graced the BCM floor in Frankfurt as they had problems with Alba Berlin´s farm team Lok Bernau getting swept and thus ending their season. It was a long summer, but it was finally time again for the young team to battle again on their home court. Some things had changed as Germans Armin Trtovac and Garai Zeeb had departed as well as Swedish athletic beast Elijah Clarance who was loaned to Dutch team Den Bosch. Head coach Sebastian Gleim also had made the next jump to head coach BBL club Fraport Skyliners. However there were many familiar faces still around like big German talents Len Schoormann and Maxi Begue as well as the elder gentleman Tobias Jahn. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were home for their first game in their living room and met the Baunach Young Pikes who had played a dismal Pro A season and landed in the Pro B. Both teams suffered tough loses in their openers to Giessen and Speyer and were reeling for some kind of successful experience to get their season on track. It was a battle of young Germans as both teams had an average team age of 19 and the guests boasted four players from the 2019 NBBL final team of Breitengussbach with the Tischler twins, Elias Baggette and Moritz Plescher. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were severely weakened as their two Germans Len Schoormann and Maxi Begue were out as was American Nigel Pruitt while Baunach also had the injury woes as Nicolas Wolf, Kai Brunke and Daniel Keppler were also out. It was one of those games where the Baunach Young Pikes were always leading and the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were uncapable of getting over the hump being frustrated losing 77-67. “Losing Nico Wolf was tough for us. We wanted to come together and did. We defended well for the first three quarters. We always had good answers for Frankfurt. It was a good win for our guys”, stated Baunach head coach Mario Dugandzig. Jaz Bains from England made his professional basketball debut for Frankfurt and is confident that the team will turn it around. “We have a nice young team. Our chemistry is off a bit, but when we continue to play more together, it will get better. We need to pick up our defense. It will come. We didn´t do a good job keeping the game close at the start. If we can do that then we will be able to keep the game close and have have a better chance of them making more mistakes”, stressed guard Jaz Baines. “We did a good job minimizing our mistakes on offense and defense. We followed coaches game plan and defended solid even when we weren´t scoring so much on offense. We shared the ball and always had the momentum”, expressed ex s.Oliver Wurzburg guard Marvin Heckel.
Baunach had a very physical team and Frankfurt wanted to get their big man going early with Aaron Kayser who made a nice tip in dunk and made a left handed lay in to cut the Banach lead to 5-4. Baunach had began to shoot well getting a trey from Heckel and a jumper from 2019 NBBL finalist Moritz Plescher. Baunach kept the lead thanks to their athleticism and quickness as they took advantage of the penetration as 2019 NBBL finalists Elias Baggete and Brandon Tischler scored for the 13-8 advantage. Frankfurt was not only having problems stopping the Baunach penetration, but also couldn´t match the Baunach intensity on the glass. Jaz Bains made his first professional basket with a running hook shot as he was perfectly fed by ex Ehingen German Tobias Jahn to cut the Baunach lead to 13-11. However the Baunach Young Pikes closed out the first quarter with a 8-0 run to lead 21-11 and they would never look back. In the run, the Bavarian club got solid support from Marvin Heckel who couldn´t do any wrong on this night as he scored six points including a jumper, lay in and free throws. Baggete scored the last Baunach basket as they continued to take advantage of the cracks in the zone. “Frankfurt didn´t do a good job getting into their sets and Baunach played good transition basketball”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Leon Kratzer. The Baunach Young Pikes shot 73% from the field and 100% from outside and had 12 rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 29% from the field and 0% from outside and had 4 rebounds and 1 turnover.
The Baunach Young Pikes continued to control the game in the second quarter and led by as much as 15 points. Baunach had a nice offensive rhythm and quickly got early baskets from ex Ludwigsburg forward Mateo Seric and Marvin Heckel while Frankfurt also was experiencing inconsistency from the free throw line as Baunach led 25-13. Frankfurt had problems with the Baunach on ball pressure and couldn´t hit the ocean while not having that much needed go to guy. Basketball wouldn´t be basketball with out a run and the Fraport Skyliners Juniors finally had one as ex FC Bayern Munich guard Bruno got going nailing a trey and made a lay in while Jaz Bains also connected from outside cutting the Baunach lead down to 27-21. Even if Frankfurt got some offense going, the Baunach Young Pikes always had the right answer to combat their runs. Baunach closed out the second quarter with a lethal 10-3 run to have the 37-24 advantage at the break. Frankfurt was inconsistent and couldn´t prevent the guests from getting easy buckets on transition. In the run, the Baunach Young Pikes got key transition baskets from Moritz Plescher and Brandon Tischler and Swedish big man Felix Edwardson who played 75 Pro A games with Baunach nailed a three pointer. “Frankfurt wasn´t getting into their sets well and weren´t moving the ball well- They also were unable to find the mis matches and weren´t aggressive on the boards”, stressed ex Auburn(NCAA) standout Quantez Robertson. The Baunach Young Pikes shot 48% from the field and 33% from the three point line and grabbed 24 rebounds and had 10 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 33% from the field and 22%from the three point line and grabbed 11 rebounds and had 6 turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors played their best three minutes of basketball of the game at the start of the third quarter as they raced out on a 9-2 run to cut Baunach´s lead down to 39-33. In the run the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by 19 year old 197cm guard Bruno Vrcic who added 5 points and made a nice assist for a Cosmo Gruehn lay in. ex Chemnitz center Aaron Kayser also played heads up catching an air ball and making the lay in to cut the Baunach lead to 39-33. Baunach was very sloppy in this phase not taking good care of the ball. Frankfurt stepped up their defense and Vrcic got going again. But every time where Frankfurt made a run, Baunach could counter it going on a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 46-35. Baunach got big time production from young 19 year old big man Leon Bulic hit a trey and scored in the paint while Baggette found his way to the hole again using his quickness to his advantage. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors found some day light in the last minutes and closed out the third quarter with a 8-4 run as once again Bruno Vrcic carried the team netting five points. The Baunach Young Pikes still had the comfortable 50-43 advantage after 30 minutes. “We did a good job never letting them get into an offensive rhythm. We were able to stop their momentum with time outs or defensive stops”, added Marvin Heckel. “We had a good start, but they always hit big shots when they needed to”, stressed Jaz Bains. The Baunach Young Pikes shot 43% from the field and 29% from the parking lot and hauled down 34 rebounds and had 16 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 38% from the field and 29% from the parking lot and hauled down 20 rebounds and had 11 turnovers.
The Baunach Young Pikes began the fourth quarter with a bang with a 8-2 run to extend their lead to 58-45 and they would never look back. In the run, Baunach received hot shooting from Plescher and Seric who nailed three´s and Baggette once again made the paint area his very own playground as he split the defense and made an easy lay up. Baggette did a superior job leading the offensive charge as the Baunach Young Pikes offense was like a well oiled ship. Despite a Konstantin Schubert basket, Baunach continued to light up the score board as Brandon Tischler and Marvin Heckel dropped three pointers for the 65-49 advantage. But the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had one last gasp of energy as they went out on a 8-0 run to cut Baunach´s lead down to 65-57. It was typical of Frankfurt on this evening as they lived off offensive spurts the whole game, but couldn´t find more consistency over longer stretches of the game. In the run, Frankfurt got a turn around shot from Aaron Kayser, a lay in by Kontstantin Schubert and another trey by Vrcic. The Baunach Young Pikes stayed calm and just continued to execute well their offensive sets as Brandon Tischler and Mateo Seric scored giving Baunach the 69-59 lead. In the last few minutes Marvin Heckel closed the door on Frankfurt with 7 points while Frankfurt just couldn´t get over the hump which was the problem all night long. “We hit our three pointers well and that is when they broke”, stressed Marvin Heckel. The Baunach Young Pikes were led by Marvin Heckel with 23 points. Mateo Seric added 12 points and Brandon Tischler and Elias Baggette contributed 10 points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Bruno Vrcic with 21 points. Aaron Kayser produced 14 points and Konstantin Schubert added 11 points. The Baunach Young Pikes shot 50% from the field and 44% from outside and had 39 rebounds and 19 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 39% from the field and 32% from outside and had 26 rebounds and 13 turnovers.