It had been more than four and a half months since the Fraport Skyliners played their last game in the 2018-2019 season where they lost the ultimate nail bitter 82-81 to their arch nemesis and rival Giessen 46ers, but that calamity was long forgotten as much had changed in that time. Sebastian Gleim moved up form the Pro B to the BBL as coach, new interesting pieces were added to the roster with Lamont Jones, Anthony Hickey, Matt Mcquaid, Adam Waleskowski, and Shaquille Hines to name just a few, but one thing remained the same as Quantez Robertson didn´t go anywhere as he remained and is in his 11th professional season with Frankfurt. After a solid pre season where the club was able to set a foundation for their much anticipated improved defense, they seemed prepared ready to go into the season. The club was struck though with a real blow as they didn´t have a normal regular season game to kick off their season, but a do or die contest against 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen. Over the years, both clubs have had some interesting games like the 2012 buzzer beater by Matt Bauscher in Frankfurt or the victory in Goettingen in 2008 where half the Frankfurt club was sick and an unknown Maksym Shtein surprised everyone carrying his team to the win with 24 points. On a typical nippy and rainy fall afternoon in Frankfurt, the Fraport arena and it´s fans were ready and electrified while the Frankfurt players had a few jitters, which is normal in the first game, but were prepared to go to battle in an intense cup game. Fans witnessed an intense cup battle which had it´s typical runs and in crunch-time, it seemed like the Fraport Skyliners would prevail, but they allowed the 2010 Eurochallenge winner come back and attain the 79-74 victory. After the tough loss, game top scorer and ex MBC guard Lamont Jones who had 28 points in his Frankfurt debut was disappointed in the loss, but was able to take positives out of the loss. “We didn´t do enough today. It was our first game while they already had one under their belt. You could sense their will after losing against Braunschweig. It was tough because we were without Anthony Hickey and I had to play a lot of the one. But I´m still very proud of the guys in that we stayed together and didn´t fall apart”, stressed Lamont Jones. For BG Goettingen it was a huge win, but after the game, BG Goettingen top guard Kyan Anderson was very composed and calm and just enjoying the big moment. “We did good preparation. Coach had us ready. We also did a good job staying with the game plan. A big main point for us was to rebound better after getting killed against Braunschweig. We stuck to our system and it was working. My teammates looked for me and my shot was falling and I remained aggressive”, stressed Kyan Anderson.
4,900 fans came out to support the Fraport Skyliners in their first home game of the season and quickly witnessed a back and forth tug of war as there were eight lead changes in the first quarter and BG Goettingen had the slim 22-19 advantage. BG Goettingen jumped all over Frankfurt in the first minute leading 5-0 as ex Medi Bayreuth guard Kyan Anderson hit a step back jumper and Serbian forward Mihajlo Andric dropped a trey. It didn´t take long for the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup winner Frankfurt to charge back as they went on a 4-0 run as new Skyliner Lamont Jones hit his bread and butter mid distance jumper and Quantez Robertson who is in his 11th season with Frankfurt made an acrobatic lay in. Then the game experienced a back and forth of both teams grabbing the lead and then losing it. Robertson scored again showing his never aging athleticism and Leon Kratzer had his best spurt of the game scoring twice on two handed dunks. BG Goettingen got support from Andric and diminutive 21 year old 178cm guard Bennt Hundt who made an amazing off balance shot and free throws for the 13-12 BG Goettingen advantage. Anderson was the go to guy down the stretch making 7 points and giving BG Goettingen the 19-17 lead. BG Goettingen did a great job getting 4 offensive rebounds which led to extra possessions and baskets. Bennet Hundt closed out the first quarter with free throws and the 22-19 lead for the guests. BG Goettingen shot 40% from the field and 27% from outside and had 6 rebounds and 1 turnover while the Fraport Skyliners shot 58% from the field and 20% from outside and had 7 rebounds and 4 turnovers.
In the second quarter the game remained tight for the first few minutes, but then BG Goettingen was able to get away from Frankfurt and keep the lead until the break. Ex Oldenburg center Dennis Kramer hit a runner for the 25-19 BG Goettingen lead. The Fraport Skyliners had had a dismal begin as promising German center Leon Kratzer who went from averaging 4 points two seasons ago to 9 points last season couldn´t find back to his first quarter start missing a shot and then turning it over, but Frankfurt had that one secret weapon which really isn´t a secret weapon. Frankfurt have often had that player like a Dashaun Wood or Jordan Theodore in the past that could change a game at any time and this season they have Lamont Jones. The American got heated up and dropped two treys and suddenly the game was dead locked at 25-25. But BG Goettingen also have their own version of a Jones with Kyan Anderson as he led his team on a 9-2 run to give them the 34-27 lead. Anderson nailed a trey and made three free throws while Andric who was kept in check for a quarter struck back with a three pointer. Frankfurt got some key buckets from Marco Voeller and ex Alba Berlin guard Akeem Vargas, but BG Goettinegn kept their composure and lead thanks to young point guard Bennet Hundt. His small stature may give him an advantage at first, because teams underestimate him, but with more good games, will become a more known player in the league. He made a left handed lay in after getting a quick bullet pass from Anderson and he made free throws as BG Goettingen led 38-33. Hundt finished with 16 points and 5 dimes and one could see how well he harmonized with Kyan Anderson at this early juncture in the season. “I normally play the one, but with Hundt we have a different dynamic. When you look at him at first, you don´t expect him to produce, but he is a real warrior. He has way more heart than height. He initially takes the attention from me and that allows me to get open looks that I necessarily might not usually get”, warned Kyan Anderson. Jones made another shot in the last minute, but BG Goettingen got a deep trey from ex Gonzaga guard Matis Monninghof as they led 41-36 at half-time. BG Goettingen shot 41% from the field and 38% from the three point line and grabbed 11 rebounds and had 4 assists while the Fraport Skyliners shot 48% from the field and 25% from the three point line and grabbed 17 rebounds and had 9 turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners played their best basketball in the third quarter going on a massive run to retake the lead and ended the quarter with the lead. The Fraport Skyliners came back on the court reborn while BG Goettingen looked sloppy allowing their opponent to go on a lethal 11-0 run to recapture the lead 47-43. Key in the run for the Fraport Skyliners was Lamont Jones again who produced 7 points and was aggressive on transition as good defense led to easy buckets. Frankfurt had stuffed BG Goettingen on 5 consecutive possessions until Kramer scored. Frankfurt had gotten the momentum while BG Goettingen had lost their fine offensive rhythm from the second quarter and also kept the ball away from Andric. The Fraport Skyliners offense was smooth now and the bench also reacted as German Richard Freudenberg hit a pretty trey from the corner and ex Ludwigsburg forward Adam Waleskowski scored in the paint for the 56-49 Frankfurt lead. BG Goettingen´s offense wasn´t flowing the way it did in the first half and only Kyan Anderson was on his game and he kept his team in the game hitting 5 free throws and ex Richmond(NCAA) forward Terry Allen made an offensive rebound and put back, but Frankfurt still had control and the 62-56 lead after 30 minutes. “Their run wasn´t a surprise as it can always happen in the BBL. Jones took over and we had no answers”, stressed Kyan Anderson. “The run helped us get in rhythm. We fought hard in getting the lead back”, added Lamont Jones. BG Goettingen shot 36% from the field and 27% from the parking lot and had 21 rebounds an d 8 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 51% from the field and 24% from the parking lot and had 25 rebounds and 9 turnovers.
The fourth quarter was a real exciting battle where BG Goettingen had the better nerves and executed better to get the victory. The Fraport Skyliners couldn´t duplicate their grand start of the third quarter, but instead watch BG Goettingen tie the game with two three´s from Terry Allen and Anderson. Frankfurt charged back letting some quick steals lead to easy transition baskets. Akeem Vargas is known as a tough hard nosed defender, but on his two steals in a row which led to two easy coast to coast baskets, he was standing in the right place and profited from sloppy BG Goettingen mistakes, but Frankfurt suddenly led again 66-62. But then came the turning point of the game as Andric led BG Goettingen on a 10-2 run to give BG Goettingen the 72-68 lead and they would be in control. Andric had been slowed down at certain junctures of the game, but Frankfurt couldn´t keep him under tabs the whole game. He nailed back to back three´s as well as hitting a jumper while Bennt Hundt hit free throws. “My shots were important, but our defense and rebounding helped us get the win”, warned Mihajlo Andric. Frankfurt hadn´t had much consistent offense from anyone other than Lamont Jones and let him do his thing as he stayed very aggressive and hit two baskets keeping Frankfurt close at 73-72. Jones continued his scoring rage as BG Goettingen couldn´t stop him and he scored again reaching 28 points giving Frankfurt the 74-73 lead with less than a minute to play. Ex Oldenburg guard Dominik Lockhart made free throws as BG Goettingen led 75-74. The Fraport Skyliners had the chance to regain the lead and get the win, but Quantez Robertson was forced to a deep trey which necessarily wasn´t Frankfurt´s most desired option. “We were happy wit giving Robertson that shot at the end. Andric changed the game. He is our best shooter and we gave him open looks. We knew it would be a close game so we picked up our defense at the end”, warned Kyan Anderson. After the Robertson miss, Hundt hit three free throws. Jones then missed a shot and Hundt sealed the win with two more free throws for the win. “This was our first real situation game where it counted. Fatigue caught up with us at the end. Kratzer had fouled out and Jones had to carry us. Their extra chances and three´s hurt us”, explained Adam Waleskowski. BG Goettingen was led by Mihajlo Andric with 21 points and Kyan Anderson had 20 points and Bennt Hundt added 16 points while the Fraport Skyliners were led Lamont Jones with 28 points and Leon Kratzer added 10 points. BG Goettingen shot 38% from the field and 34% from outside and had 33 rebounds and 12 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners 47% from the field and 19% from outside and had 30 rebounds and 12 turnovers.