19 hours after the incredible comeback win in Weissenfells for the Fraport Skyliners, Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson wasn´t getting an extra needed nap on a Saturday afternoon, but as always was the Fraport Skyliners Juniors sixth man supporting the young players against the Ebeecke White Wings Hanau in the stands as he has been doing for years. Ok so it didn´t look as bad for the Juniors at halftime down by 7 points as it was for the Fraport Skyliners in Weissenfels after three quarters where they were down by 14 points. Robertson has performed many amazing things over the years on the court and is allowed to be tired after 40 minutes, but in the stands in the BCM, he looked exhausted as his eyes looked the way they must have been when he had done all nighters at Auburn in 2009 in his senior year. Tez has the unbelievable ability to play games on his phone, but at the same time follow the game as well. He had two tips for the Fraport Skyliners Juniors responding with getting defensive rebounds and taking care of the ball. I wonder how he would have responded had someone predicted what would happen in the third quarter as the Frankfurt side offensive game exploded like never before. I can remember them making nice runs over the years, but nothing like their 33-9 third quarter onslaught. It was exactly the same amount of points that Quantez Robertson and his mates had incredibly displayed the night before. Robertson is a freak athlete and has amazing abilities on the court, but could he have had something to do with the 33 point invasion by the Skyliners farm team Juniors? Maybe Tez has added talents that nobody knows about? Can Quantez Robertson Transport basketball magic just with his sheer presence? “Tez doesn´t only have that special spark on the court but can ignite it also being in the crowd and watching a game. Perhaps his good karma being there rubbed off on the Juniors”, laughed Fraport Skyliner Adam Waleskowski.
I reach Adam Waleskowski on a Sunday afternoon as he was back in his apartment resting after a strenuous morning of team building where Laser Tag was on the menu. He was watching his ex club Ludwigsburg play and when I mentioned that his ex coach John Patrick seemed to get the right roster this season, the ex Florida State native was quick to comment with a chuckle “They haven´t played any of the difficult teams yet”. But Fraport Skyliner basketball was on my mind The up and down play of the Frapor Skyliners in the last weeks haven´t been easy to digest and when you look at their record of 3-4 there is nothing to really be proud of, but when you peek a glance at the BBL standings they momentarily rest in 10th position one win away from a playoff spot. Ok so the season is still young, but things could be a lot worse. For the first 30 minutes in Weissenfels last Friday, Basketball life didn´t look particularly good for the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup winner as they were playing catch up basketball. “We were just hanging around for the first three quarters and just couldn´t get closer than 9-10 points”, explained ex BG Goettingen forward Adam Waleskowski. But then came the fourth quarter, 10 minutes that changed the whole outcome of the game. Frankfurt scored 33 points and gave up only 13 points. It was one of the best quarters in the club history of the Skyliners, but the American also remembered another great comeback that he witnessed back in the day at Florida State. “We played against North Carolina that had many future NBA players like Sean May, Raymond Felton, Jawad Williams and Rashad Mccants. We were down by 24 points at the half and came back to tie the game and then win it in overtime”, said ex Ludwigsburg forward Adam waleskowski. The American looks back fondly at the fourth quarter in Weissenfels. “Coach Gleim told us that we had nothing to lose and give all we had. We then started to hit shots and MBC turned dead cold”, stated Adam Waleskowski. The American was hesitant at first to agree that the fourth quarter was the team´s best quarter of the season, but then did agree. “I think so in the sense that we overcame the way we had played in the first three quarters. We all came together and made shots and played strong defense. We got stops and rebounds when we needed to. Mcquaid hit big shots, Shaq hit a huge shot and Tez made that dunk over Jackson for the exclamation points”, added Adam Waleskowski.
The big winner of the game was ex Michigan State guard Matt Mcquaid who had seen hardly any action and came on to the floor in the fourth quarter and netted three trey´s in a row. Waleskowski has been giving tips to the young American this season with his tough situation of getting little minutes, but this time it was team leader Lamont Jones that gave him the quick pep talk. “Matt came in cold. Mo talked to him. Coach Gleim compares him to Bayreuth´s guard Bryce Alford. That dude is always shooting the ball. Coach just told him to keep letting the ball fly. He got the needed confidence after hitting the first one. After that each time he let it fly, you could feel that it would go in everytime”, stressed Adam Waleskowski. This great spark of instant offense that Mcquaid gave Frankfurt could very well have been his long awaited breakthrough game. “After this performance I think coach will have more confidence to give Matt more minutes. It will be huge if he has the confidence to shoot the ball more. I think that Matt can be a BBL player that averages 10-12 points per game. He is a tall guard that can also rebound. I think it will only benefit the team if he gets more minutes. He will take pressure off guys like Jones and Tez and give us a new dynamic”, added Adam Waleskowski. Another player who had another normal day at the office was ex Iona(NCAA) guard Lamont Jones who had 27 points on 9/13 shooting. He has been carrying the team all season long in good and bad times, but can´t it be dangerous when the team relies on him too much? “Relying on him to much can backfire if he plays to much and gets worn down. He did a good job in Weissenfels carrying us. Then in the fourth quarter everyone found their rhythm. Coach relies on his leadership and creating abilities. Coach is confident that he can handle his role”, added Adam Waleskowski. Another player that continues to be consistent and find better into his role is German Richard Freudenberg. The expectations have been huge on the ex St Johns(NCAA) player since he arrived in 2017 and now in his third season, it looks like he will finally be that player that so many have been waiting for. “He was struggling at first with foul trouble, but he finished strong. It is great to see him overcome adversary in the game and step up and hit big shots. Games like this will help his self confidence and let him become the player that everybody has been waiting for”, stressed Adam Waleskowski.
One player that will be so vital for the success of the club is American Anthony Hickey. He looked good before the season started, but a nasty injury kept him out He recently returned, but his road back has been slow. Coach Gleim gave him only 6,32 minutes in Weissenfels and wasn´t a factor. “It is a process to come back from an injury. He is still looking to find his rhythm. The team chemistry has changed since his injury so he is still trying to figure out how to play with the team now. I think that it was a good coaching decision with the minutes that he had. Letting the guys that are gelling now to get the majority of the minutes. He has to continue to get incorporated back into his role as leader and point guard. Some of our plays changed and he has to learn now when to push the ball, when to slow it down and when to attack at the end of the shot clock. The process will work, but it will take some time”, warned Adam Waleskowski. A big weakness for the club continues to be their inconsistency. When will the team finally play well for 40 minutes? “We are still finding our roles and learning to play with each other. We are gelling more and more and beginning to understand our roles better. Now we need to play to win games”, warned Adam Waleskowski. The schedule doesn´t get any easier as the potent Bamberg team visit Frankfurt in two weeks and this weekend Sebastian Gleim and co travel to Wurzburg. The Bavarian club is always a tough team to play especially with their always dangerous guard terror. “Wurzburg has a lot of good guards. We played them in pre-season and they shot out the lights. We have to be ready for them. I expect more of a faster paced game. We have to work on limiting our mistakes in practice this week. We have shown this year that we can play great and bad in spurts. We have to limit the ups and downs. We are on the right path with our tough wins and having learning experiences”, warned Adam Waleskowsi. So after the monumental win in Weissenfels where the Fraport Skyliners exploded for 33 points in the fourth quarter to seal the win, the question is was this win the season changer for the Fraport Skyliners? “The win was a momentum booster. We showed that despite not playing our best, we were on the road and had the willingness to continue to fight back and stick together. This was a great confidence builder for the young players showing that if you bring a big effort that you can compete against anyone”, warned Adam Waleskowski. It will be interesting to see just how much of that Weissenfels energy will be present in Wurzburg. One thing is for sure Quantez Robertson will be on the court and possibly transport that basketball magic for a third time.