After two very unsatisfying Pro B loses on the road in Giessen and at home against Baunach, the dam finally broke for the Fraport Skyliners Juniors as they exploded against ex head coach Eric Detlev and his young Wurzburg squad exploding for 101 points as Germans Bruno Vrcis and Cosmo Gruehn had career days. The ex FC Bayern Munich guard hit for 30 points while Gruehn netted 28 points and had a personal best of 8 three´s to bolster the offensive attack. Basketball life though didn´t get any easier for Frankfurt as they had a meeting with the mighty FC Bayern Munich who came into the game with a 2-1 record. But as is the case with many organizations, there is always a time for great personal changes and last summer the Bavarian team lost 3 key figures with Bruno Vrcic to Frankfurt, Killian Binapfel to the Telekom Baskets Bonn and Nelson Weidemann to Brose Bamberg. Despite a big void in their experience, the club still has unending potential and is stocked with young talent like Italian freak athlete Sasha Grant or Sierra Leonean beast Mohamad Sillah. It was also the first meeting between Bruno Vrcic and his ex team which had him extremely motivated for a positive effect. Also it is also always a treat to see ex German national team player Demond Greene behind the sidelines as he has been retired since some years as he began his coaching career in 2015. There is always moments in the time outs to reminisce about the good old days when he was flipping the ball to an open Dirk Nowitzki for the open three. On an untypical rather warm Saturday afternoon, one of the last beautiful days of the year, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors found back to their old defensive joy as Bruno Vrcic and Aaron Kayser combined for 29 points leading the club to a huge 68-62 victory in their own living room. Ex FC Bayern Basketball 2 guard Bruno Vrcic exploded for 30 points last weekend in Wurzburg and couldn´t reach that total this time, but his 16 points were golden as he made the big plays and big shots in crunch-time. After the win he reflected on how his team played and was thrilled with how the team made huge strides on the defensive end. “We played well today. Both teams were eye to eye in the first two quarters. We got away from our game in the third quarter and had good and bad phases. We played a lot better defense. We were compacter in the zone and there were less holes than there were in Wurzburg. We did a good job controlling their centers and made them work hard for every shot and we played good help defense”, stressed 2019 NBBL champion Bruno Vrcic. FC Bayern basketball 2 played a hard fought and spirited game, but just couldn´t get their offense going and couldn´t come to terms with the Frankfurt depth. After the tough loss, captain Viktor Frankl-Maus wasn´t pleased with the loss. “I am really proud of the team. We fought really hard despite having injuries and a number of guys not completely healthy that were on the court. We had too many turnovers and let up too many offensive rebounds. Despite the loss, we defended really well”, stressed ex Dragons Rhondorf guard Viktor Frankl-Maus.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors had been without three key players Len Schoormann, Maxi Begue and Nigel Pruitt in the first three games, but against FC Bayern Basketball 2, they had two on board with Pruitt and Schoormann. In the first minutes both teams were unable to find a sound offensive rhythm as bricks and turnovers controlled the game while both teams had upped the defensive intensity which limited minimal points being produced. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors finally got going getting out on a 5-o lead as Vrcic made an offensive rebound and put back and ex St Johns forward Richard Freudenberg nailed a trey which had been made possible after an Aaron Kayser offensive reboud. easyCredit BBL team Fraport Skyliners had had the luxury of not having a game this weekend, so they gave Freudenberg the green light to play. FC Bayern Basketball 2 finally got on the board at the 7,26 minute mark as ex Ehingen German Moritz Noeres scored in the lane. Frankfurt then scored again upping their lead to 7-2 as ex Niners Chemnitz center Aaron Kayser who had entered the game shooting 75% from the field got off too a fast start making a left handed hook shot. FC Bayern Basketball 2 then got some vital support from Frankl-Maus who led the Pro B in assists in 2017 with 7,0 hit a trey and made free throws to dead lock the contest at 7-7. Frankfurt lost their offensive rhythm in the last minutes as the Bavarian team got some key support from new player Dennis Alibegovic who drilled home a trey and after 10 minutes the score looked like an American football score as FC Bayern Basketball 2 led 13-9. “We are two young teams and are prone to making mistakes. Both teams defended very well and forced each other to many turnovers”, stressed 2017 NBBL champion Bruno Vrcic. FC Bayern Basketball 2 shot 33% from the field and 50% from outside and had 12 rebounds and 8 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 17% from the field and 25% from outside and had 10 rebounds and six turnovers.
The second quarter remained a tight affair with little scoring as both teams continued to defend hard and with passion and five lead changes were present. After 20 minutes the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had the slim 34-31 advantage. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors got on the board first in the second quarter as new player Tennessee native Nigel Pruitt who dominated the Regionalliga for two years with Westerstede made his debut and made a steal and ran the fast break like a guard scoring cutting the Munich lead to 13-11.Both clubs now had some solid offensive execution, but FC Bayern Basketball 2 kept the slim lead. FC Bayern Basketball 2 got a nice trey from ex Chemnitz Niner Emmanuel Womalla and 2017 NBBL champion Julius Duh made a lay in while Frankfurt got two lay in´s from Aaron Kayser who continued to feel comfortable dominating the paint area. The German who averaged 4ppg and 3rpg in his first season in the Pro B with Frankfurt has made a fine development in Frankfurt and finished with13 points and 11 rebounds and two blocks and has the respect of his teammate Bruno Vrcic. “Aaron had a super game. He plays very calm and has improved. We like to look for him on the pick and role. At the moment he is playing with so much confidence”, stated Bruno Vrcic. “I feel good after this win. It is good to have my own rhythm again. I have a bigger role this season. I feel a lot more comfortable this season. It simply took a little longer than maybe for other players. I want to keep building on my game”, warned Aaron Kayser. Frankfurt gave up some very bad turnovers which led to easy baskets as Frankl-Maus made a steal and coast to coast drive for the easy lay up and 20-15 FC Bayern Basketball 2 lead. It´s still early in the season, but Frankfurt´s communication wasn´t at it´s best in this game. But Frankfurt then found some daylight and were able to go on a lethal 7-0 run to retake the lead at 22-21. The run was started by a hustle play by energizer German Konstantin Schubert who is in his sixth season with the Frankfurt Pro B team made an offensive rebound and put back. After a FC Bayern Basketball 2 miss, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors produced the most spectacular play of the game as English man Jaz Bains and Richard Freudenberg teamed up with a massive alley-op dunk. “That alley-op worked well. One would have thought after seeing that dunk that they have been playing together for a longer time. He had a dunk last weekend against Munich and today again. He can really dunk”, stressed ex Bamberg center Leon Kratzer. Freudenberg wasn´t done with the stuffing, but then hit a trey as Frankfurt led. Frankfurt was spreading the scoring around as it seemed like every player got their chance. After Freudenberg, it was Jaz Bains chance as he nailed a trey made a lay in for the 27-24 lead. But FC Bayern Basketball 2 remained on Frankfurt´s heels as Noeres connected on a three to tie the game at 27-27. FC Bayern Basketball 2 continued to get valuable support from German Dennis Alibegovic with his second trey of the game to give the lead back to Munich. But Frankfurt grabbed the lead back getting big buckets from the kids Jordan Samare with a two handed dunk and 2018 JBBL MVP Len Schoorman hit a trey for the 34-31 Frankfurt lead at the break. “Both teams defended very well and there were many fouls. Frankfurt had the lead, because FC Bayern Basketball 2 never really found a good rhythm. Frankfurt´s offense wasn´t that great either, but they were playing ok”, added Fraport Skyliner Leon Kratzer. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 40% from the field and shot 21% from the three point line and had 15 boards and 11 turnovers while FC Bayern Basketball 2 shot 43% from the field and 33% from the three point line and had 18 boards and 14 turnovers.
The third quarter experienced many lead changes and two runs and at the end of 30 minutes no team led as the game was dead locked at 48-48. Vrcic got Frankfurt going rapidly with a three pointer upping their lead to 37-31. But like in the first quarter, it was Frankl-Maus who led his team back closer with a trey while Duh scored inside as Frankfurt led only 37-36. Vrcic had no mercy and hammered another trey into the face of his ex team Fc Bayern Munich 2 for the 39-36 advantage. As dangerous as that three seemed, it had absolutely no impact on Bayern Munich 2 as they shot back with their best offensive execution of the game with an annoying 9-3 run to retake the lead 45-39. Frankfurt had defended so well in the game, but had some lapses in this run from which they couldn´t make adjustment on. Bayern Munich 2 did a good job spreading the scoring around as four guys contributed. The run started with a lay in from 2019 NBBL champion Sasha Grant, a trey from Austrian guard Erol Ersek, another three by Frankl-Maus and a steal and coast to coast run and lay in by Womalla. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors had lost their rhythm and couldn´t control the boards in this run. 17 year big talent Sasha Grant finished with only 4 points and 4 rebounds in 23 minutes, but it isn´t always his game that gets the most admiration, but his body. “He has a very big body for his age. He still needs to fine tune his game, but he has the body for the BBL. He is very athletic. I remember his dunk from last years NBBL final game”, stressed ex Baunach center Leon Kratzer. Frankfurt finally calmed down and closed out the third quarter in style fighting back going on a 7-1 run to tie the contest at 46-46. In the run, Kayser continued to be productive at close range scoring, Vrcic nailed another trey and Cosmo Gruehn also scored a trey. Frankfurt had brought immense energy as Vrcic led the team forward while FC Bayern Munich 2 missed open shots. Vrcic continued to play with a high amount of intensity and didn´t shy away from anyone going hard at the hole and scoring for the 48-46 lead. Shortly before the end of the third quarter 17 year old beast Mohammed Sillah who only started playing basketball two years ago reeled in the perfect lob pass from Frankl-Maus for the easy lay in and 48-48 game. “We wanted to play with a lot of motivation and play our game in the third quarter, but didn´t. But we finally found our game I the second part of the quarter. We didn´t force things, but found the open man. The way we ended the quarter gave us the feeling that we could win the game”, stressed Bruno Vrcic. “Frankfurt defended well and hurt us with their penetration and offensive rebounds. We couldn´t make big plays”, added Viktor Frankl-Maus. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 40% from the field and 24% from the parking lot and had 26 rebounds and 17 turnovers while FC Bayern Munich 2 Shot 43% from the field and 29% from the parking lot and had 25 rebounds and 16 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter the game witnessed some more lead changes as it was tight, but in crunch-time the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to execute better and made the big stops to secure the win. Frankfurt had one of their nicer scores to begin the fourth quarter as three year man Cosmo Gruehn muscled down an offensive rebound and went out and then beat his man and drove and fed ex Cologne player Jordan Samare with the massive two handed dunk and 50-48 Frankfurt lead. Both teams would trade leads as FC Bayern Munich 2 countered with an Ersel lay in and three from ex Heidelberg forward Constantin Schmitt while Frankfurt got support from a Schoorman step back jumper and then found back to his old ways of going coast to coast with a lethal hard one handed dunk as the game was dead locked 54-54. Frankfurt used the momentum of the massive Schoorman dunk and went on a 4-0 run as Kayser and Gruehn scored to extend the Frankfurt lead to 58-54. Frankfurt had upped their intensity and great defense led to great offense while Bayern Munich 2 had lost some energy. FC Bayern Munich 2 clawed back getting some free throws from Ersek and Womalla, but Frankfurt still led 58-57. But Frankfurt just was the fresher team and executed perfectly as Vrcic continued to lead the team nailing a jumper and Kayser remained confident and aggressive scoring inside again as Frankfurt led 63-57. “My teammates did a good job finding me. I thought that I moved well and took what the defense gave me”, stressed Aaron Kayser. But FC Bayern Munich 2 just didn´t give up and got free throw from Duh And Grant made a huge bucket inside to cut the Frankfurt lead to 63-60. Frankfurt also had some fortune as they got a few 50/50 balls. After going 0/6 from the free throw line Kayser finally made one for the Frankfurt 64-60 lead with 50 seconds to play. FC Bayern Munich 2 still had a chance, but then it was Kayser making a huge block on Duh sealing the win which led to a Vrcic runner for the 66-60 lead with 21 seconds remaining. “On the block I saw Freudenberg in front of me and the Munich player did a pump fake and waited until he shot and went up and blocked it. I thought that I anticipated it well”, smiled Aaron Kayser. Duh made a lay in with 4 seconds remaining to cut Frankfurt´s lead to 66-62. Gruehn then iced the win with free throws. “Defense was key for our win. They had real problems to score. We really have improved our defense and have to keep it up”, warned Bruno Vrcic. “We defended well, but they hit tough contested shots. They executed well and we had too many turnovers”, added Viktor Frankl-Maus. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Bruno Vrcic with 16 points while Aaron Kayser added 13 points and 11 rebounds. FC Bayern Munich 2 were led by Viktor Frankl-Maus with 14 points while Erol Ersek added 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 40% from the field and 21% from outside and reeled in 38 rebounds and had 19 turnovers while FC Bayern Munich 2 Shot 43% from the field and 27% from outside and reeled in 31 rebounds and had 21 turnovers.