After a two week break in the Pro B teams were back in action as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors returned home after losing their last two away games against Orange Academy where they mustered only 58 points while giving up 87 points and in Speyer they were led by 17 year old Len Schoorman´s 30 points a career high and despite scoring 95 points as a team, stunk up the building on defense allowing 101. They met Bavarian team BBC Coburg who have had a roller coaster season as they went on a 4 game losing streak to start the season allowing 81 points per game, but then had a great stretch winning 5 games in a row and cleaned up their defense allowing only 71 points per game. Two weeks ago they had lost at Oberhaching and received a severe blow as their big man Shore Andenekan tore his achilles heal and is out. BBC Coburg had to make adjustment as other guys had to step up and fill the void. That wasn´t easy against Frankfurt that are a team that is deep at every position. On a rare Saturday afternoon while many eager Christmas shoppers were getting their gifts only a few steps away in the Nordwest center mall, two hungry basketball teams were battling to get their sixth win of the season. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors had a good start, but then allowed BBC Coburg to control the game and despite a late comeback against the Bavarian team weren´t rewarded losing 98-86. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors lost their third game in a row and after the loss American forward Nigel Pruitt reflected on the tough loss. “Rebounding was rough for us. We gave up 20 offensive rebounds. Anytime that you do that, it will be hard to win. We had ok ball movement, but at times weren´t moving well from side to side. We had too many lapses on defense”, commented Ex Kenneshaw State forward Nigel Pruitt. BBC Coburg started a new winning streak and were fortified greatly by their immaculate work under the boards where they dominated the glass and also shot very well. After the big road win forward Princeton Onwas who fills the stat sheet like no other was extremely pleased how the team played despite much movement in the roster. We played a lot better than I expected. We had two new guys with Keita from France who only had 1 practice and Kamdem who had 2 practices. They learned 5 plays. We knew that it would be battle under the boards and it would be key for winning. Having Shore Adenekan out hurt us, but we fought harder on the boards and boxed out very well. We played good defense on he down side pick and roll and communicated well”, stressed ex Utah(NCAA) forward Princeton Onwas.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were without Jordan Samare and without Konstantin Schubert and Calvin Schaum who were both injured while Len Schoorman was with the BBL team in Crailsheim while BBC Coburg was without Shore Adenekan and Johannes Krug. Frankfurt came out storming out of the gates going on a quick 7-2 run. Ex Chemnitz big man Aaron Kayser got touches at once and supplied 4 points while ex Freiburg forward Cosmo Gruehn nailed a trey. But BBC Coburg didn´t wait long to make their comeback and achieved their first lead as they went on a 10-4 run to take the 12-11 lead. In the run BBC Coburg started to take total control of the glass getting offensive rebounds and easy baskets. EX BBL player Constantin Ebert was his usual aggressive self running the point and hitting a few step back jumpers, while young 20 year old 206cm German Moritz Bar made a basket as did new player Noah Kamden who had begun the season with Pro A team wiha Panthers Schwenningen. Frankfurt got the lead back getting key baskets form Kayser who scored his 8th point and ex FC Bayern Munich guard Bruno Vrcic as well as a bucket from Maxi Begue who scored 15 points on the day for the 17-13 lead. But BBC Coburg stole back the lead with a 6-0 run to lead 19-17 after one quarter. Onwas led the charge playing with nonstop energy and displaying his fine versatility making an offensive rebound and then making a hard 1 hand dunk on transition at the buzzer. “We knew that they would be physical and we wanted to match that. But the bottom line was that they had more size than we did. We would be under the basket crashing and fighting, but then they would get a tip because they had longer arms. It became draining losing so many rebound battles. On offense we had some good ball movement at times, but then also times were we held the ball too long”, stressed Nigel Pruitt. BBC Coburg shot 42% from the field and 0% from outside and had 12 rebounds and 4 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 42% from the field and 17% from outside and had 10 rebounds and 4 turnovers.
In the second quarter BBC Coburg would slowly get away from the Fraport Skyliners Juniors and control the game and never look back. BBC Coburg began very well going on a quick 7-2 run to extend their lead to 26-19. The Bavarian squad did a super job sharing the ball as ex Breitengussbach guard Sven Lorber scored inside, new French player Tidjan Keita scored on a reverse lay up and Daniel Urbano who had played 12 Pro B games before this season with Wurzburg also scored on a lay up. Frankfurt was lacking physicality and intensity on defense and couldn´t match up on 1-1 defense. Frankfurt fought back going on a mini 4-0 run as Begue hit a runner and Kayser made a turn around shot to trail BBC Bayreuth only 26-23. BBC Bayreuth was getting the ball inside almost at every instance which gave Frankfurt big problems. BBC Coburg´s offense continued to work in harmony and they kept shooting at a sound rate while Frankfurt wasn´t. BBC Coburg went on another run of 11-4 to extend their lead to 37-27. After not attempting the long ball in the first quarter, they began finding their range in the second quarter as Ebert and captain Chris Wolf who has played 50 Regionalliga games nailed three´s. When they weren´t hitting trey´s, they continued to dominate on the offensive glass as Lorber and Onwas grabbed offensive rebounds and made easy put backs. Frankfurt got some offensive production from Kayser and Vrcic, but BBC Coburg continued to hit three´s as ex Breitebgussbach guard Timo Dippold nailed a trey as did Sven Lorber for the 47-33 lead. Onwas also continued to be a menace on offense scoring while spinning from the baseline. Alvin Onyia scored the last basket, but the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were starring at a huge 51-35 deficit. “We broke down defensively and were beat a lot off the dribble. We were never able to adjust. We opted not to change our defense and they went on a run. They began to hit more shots which opened up the game”, stressed Nigel Pruitt. BBC Coburg shot 53% from the field and 67% from the three point line and had 22 rebounds(13 off) and 6 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 46% from the field and 10% from the three point line and had 12 rebounds(6 off) and had 8 turnovers.
In the third quarter BBC Coburg continued to control the game and were able to lead by as much as 24 points, but the Fraport Skyliners Juniors weren´t down and out yet going on a huge run to cut the lead down to 12 points. BBC Coburg began quickly going on a 9-1 run to extend their lead to 60-37.BBC Coburg continued to shoot very well from outside as Dippold executed twice from the parking lot and Chris Wolf also scored inside. Frankfurt would find these offensive spurts, but they were short lived, because BBC Coburg would always find offensive answers. Frankfurt went on a 8-3 run as. Begue scored with his strength the drive and Pruitt connected on two three pointers to cut the Coburg lead to 63-45. Pruitt finished with 12 points in 13 minutes and one had to wonder why he received so little minutes while being so efficient. “My mentality each game is to do my job. If I´m open I take the shot. I either hit or miss. My team counts on me to make the shots. My shots came with the flow of the game. I didn´t force any”, stressed Nigel Pruitt. BBC Coburg just had too many offensive weapons as Ebert scored on a lay in and a trey to put the Bavarian´s club lead to 69-50. BBC Coburg also used every opportunity possible to get more easy points on transition as Wolf scored as did Keita who played NBA Summer League with the Toronto Raptors in 2017 made a hard two handed dunk getting the no look pass from Ebert as the guests led 74-50. It really didn´t seem as if the Fraport Skyliners Juniors would get anything going on this day, but they did. They closed out the third quarter hot going on a 13-1 run to trail BBC Coburg only 75-63. They finally got consistent three point shooting as Vrcic hit two and NBBL player Risto Vasiljevic also scored. Vasiljevic is one of the key role players for the Frankfurt NBBL team and was added as Len Schoorman was absent Frankfurt also got key help from Canadian Jazz Bains who stepped up his defense and made a steal lay up for the easy transition bucket. Vrcic also made a basket in the last seconds to preserve the huge Frankfurt comeback. “They hit tough shots in their run. They found the right guys. They lived and died by the three. They either go in or they don´t. We still did a good job battling and staying together”, stressed Princeton Onwas. “We made the game faster. After we got the rebound we attacked more attacking the rim or kicking the ball out. We also became more physical when we got bumped we bumped back. We fought harder on the glass than they did and capitalized on their misses”, stated Nigel Pruitt. BBC Coburg shot 52% from the field and 47% from the parking lot and had 27 rebounds(15 off) and 8 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 53% from the field and 37% from the parking lot and had 20 rebounds(7 off) and 12 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued to battle and were able to cut the BBC Coburg lead down to 5 points, but couldn´t get the necessary stops in crunch-time as well as coughed up the ball too much in crucial situations. The 10-1 run from the third quarter carried over into the fourth quarter as Frankfurt went on a lethal 8-0 run to shave down the BBC Coburg´s lead to 76-71. In the run Frankfurt got a huge bucket from 33 year old 204cm big man Tobias Jahn who proved that he isn´t old enough to get an offensive rebound and make the put back. Jazz Bains scored again as did Maxi Begue who went coast to coast for the runner. Bains and Wolf then traded three´s, but BBC Coburg still led 82-74. Onwas continued to be a menace as he stole a bad pass from Bains under the Frankfurt basket and made the two handed dunk. A short time later he made a big three for the 88-79 Coburg advantage. When Ebert made another trey for the Coburg 93-79 lead the game was over as their 9-3 lead with a minute and a half to go put a dagger in their hearts. Onwas then made one more beautiful play for the highlight reel. He had twice made the ESPN Top 10 list in college and in this game made a bullet pass to Wolf for the easy lay in and the 95-81 lead as the game was already decided. “I pride myself on being versatile. They played trap on me well, but I had my head up and was able to find him. He did a good job catching it and making the basket”, stressed Princeton Onwas. 18 year old Nico Wenzl who made his BBL debut against Ludwigsburg hit a trey as did Cosmo Gruehn too end the game. “They went zone and changed our rhythm. We hit big shots and made stops and made big plays”, stressed Princeton Onwas. “Our zone helped us early in the fourth quarter. That Wolf three that got the bounce was a back breaker. That broke the game”, added Princeton Onwas. BBC Coburg was led by Princeton Onwas with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Constantin Ebert and Sven Lorber contributed with 16 points a piece while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Bruno Vrcic with 20 points. Maci Begue added 15 points while Nigel Pruitt and Aaron Kayser had 12 points a piece. BBC Coburg shot 48% from the field and 44% from outside and had 39 rebounds and 12 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 50% form the field and 39% from outside and had 29 rebounds and 15 turnovers.