Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners entered the short Christmas break losing a tough 88-66 contest to undefeated team Porsche Ludwigsburg BBA and returned back to their living room for the second half of the season having to face the same club coached by David Gale and assistant David Mccray who had a long successful BBL career that now has decided to give back to German basketball and guide the youth. In that first game against Ludwigsburg, except for a strong second quarter, the 4-3 Frankfurt team had difficulty scoring as they averaged only 14 points in the other three quarters and were way over their season points allowed average of 69 points. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners had difficulty containing huge German talent Ariel Hukporti who guided the Ludwigsburg team with 24 points and 12 boards. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners did a good job battling under the boards losing the rebound battle 46-44. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners definitely showed signs of good effort, but just couldn´t find a good offensive rhythm against the leagues sixth best defense as they gave up only 61 points per game. With 2020 here, Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners wanted to start off the new year in fine fashion and had revenge on their minds It looked good for one half as Eintracht Frankfurt led 28-20 and had stifled the guests with their defense forcing them to only 17% shooting from the field, but in the second half Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg changed up their game bringing an aggressive press defense and their offense finally started to click and hit shots scoring 29 points in the third quarter paralyzing Frankfurt for the 76-61 victory. After the win 213cm beast Ariel Huckporti reflected on the win. “We weren´t strong in the first half, but in the second half we played as a team. We moved the ball better and hit shots. Our press also worked very well helping us to the win”, stressed U-18 German national player Ariel Huckporti. In basketball a game takes 40 minutes and Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners only played for 20 minutes and paid the price in the second half. “We couldn´t match their energy in the second half and we couldn´t play well against their press break. We weren´t on the same page. Ludwigsburg began to hit shots and we weren´t consistent. I also feel like we were missing some experience”, stated ex TG Hanau forward Calvin Schaum.
Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners jumped on top of Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg right of the jump ball taking a quick 5-1 lead with a Schaum trey and a lay in from ex Cologne JBBL player Jordan Samare. Frankfurt got good rebounding help from allrounder Maxi Begue and played solid defense, but the guests did miss some easy shots. The guests didn´t let Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners walk over them for long as Johannes Patrick the son of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg head coach John Patrick took control displaying a very high intensity hitting a clutch trey and then making an acrobatic lay in giving his team a 7-5 advantage. Now the game lead would change hands a few times as Samare scored a lay in and Johannes Patrick stayed aggressive finishing with his left hand in the paint for the 9-8 lead. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners then got the lead back and wouldn´t relinquish it again until the third quarter. Down the stretch of the first quarter, Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners took total control again finishing with a 11-4 run to lead comfortably 20-12. In the run Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners got a three pointer from Begue and a transition bucket from Risto Vasiljevic and a trey and fade away jumper from Schaum. Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg continued not being able to hit the ocean as their field goal percentage was horrible which Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners took total advantage of. “Frankfurt did a good job getting stops and containing Hukporti in the paint and allowing him to pass the ball more which led to turnovers and easy baskets which opened up the game”, stressed Fraport Skyliners Junior Nigel Pruitt. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners shot 46% from the field and 40% from outside and had 13 rebounds and 7 turnovers while Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg shot 18% from the field and 14% form outside and had 12 rebounds and 5 turnovers.
In the second quarter Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners continued to defend solidly and Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg continued to miss shots. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners began the second quarter with a put back from Calvin Schaum and on the defensive end got a massive block from Samare on 16 year old Giovani Calamita. There were a few minutes where both teams hit nothing. Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg finally got on the board for the first time in the quarter at the 5,43 mark as Lukas Herzog who has 5 BBL games on his resume nailed a huge three pointer. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners then got a lay in from Samare as Begue gave him the prefect no look pass for the 24-16 Frankfurt advantage. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners continued to defend well and kept Huckporti from dominating in the paint he way he would have liked. Huckporti couldn´t be stopped forever as he glistened with a beautiful old school left handed hook shot which was matched by a Begue lay in as Len Schoormann gave him the pretty no look bounce pass for the 26-18 lead. Huckporti had 2 more big moments in the last minutes getting a lay in and then totally stuffing a Schoorman dunk attempt. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners closed out the second quarter with Brummert and Begue free throws and the 28-22 lead. “It was a very physical game and one could see that there were some 1-1 personal battles. The Frankfurt offense slowed down and they held the ball too long getting three second shots”, stressed Nigel Pruitt. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners shot 28% from the field and 17% from the three point line and had 30 rebounds and 13 turnovers while Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg shot 17% from the field and 17% from the three point line and had 24 rebounds and 9 turnovers.
The turning point of the contest happened in the third quarter as Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg changed their game starting an agonizing press which Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners couldn´t handle and their offense finally began to play the way that they know how scoring 29 points and lead 51-45 after 30 minutes. 18 year old 211cm big man Julian Steinfeld of Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners got his team on the board with a hard two handed dunk and 30-22 advantage. But then the tide turned drastically in favor of Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg as they cruised out on a lethal 20-3 run to lead 42-33. In the run Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg finally began to find their three point range getting two trey´s from Herzog, one three from Radii Casin who has 43 Regionalliga games and 19 Pro A games on his resume with Vechta. The guests also scored in the paint getting strong production from 17 year old 207cm modern forward Georg-Christian Cotara who has a game similar to CSKA Moscow center Johannes Voigtmann got a lay in and made a pretty hook shot. 17 year old 192cm Tyreese Blunt also strengthened the run with a smooth step back three pointer. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners stayed with the guests getting buckets from Begue and 17 year old 191cm guard Ben Karbe to cut Ludwigsburg´s lead to 44-39. It looked like Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners were back on track after Samar made a lay in cutting Ludwigsburg´s lead to 44-41, but then a Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners foul and technical foul led to 4 Hukporti free throws. Porcshe BBA Ludwigsburg had the 51-45 advantage after 30 minutes. “We don´t like the slow game so we speeded it up. Herzog carried team with big shots”, added Ariel Huckporti. “We continue to have problems in the third quarter which has been happening a lot this season. They got hot and we couldn´t match their energy or press. They wanted it more than we did”, stressed Calvin Schaum. Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg shot 26% from the field and 32% from the parking lot and had 31 rebounds and 14 turnovers while Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners shot 31% from the field and 11% from the parking lot and had 40 rebounds and 21 turnovers.
Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners had a good start in the fourth but they couldn´t stay consistent allowing Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg on a run from which they couldn´t recover and get over the hump. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners went on a quick 4-0 run getting buckets from Schaum with a lay in and a basket from Erik Brummert. Begue was huge in this phase making a beautiful pass while being tripled and found the big man and then sprinted back on defense stripping Johannes Patrick the ball forcing a turnover. But despite this energy from Begue, Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners gave up a 13-4 run as Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg had the comfortable 64-53 lead and never looked back. In the run the guests silenced Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners rapidly with back to back three´s from Herzog and Johannes Patrick. The Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg defense continue to sizzle getting steals and a transition basket from Johannes Patrick and a tap in from Cotoara and a turn around shot from Herzog. Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners were unable to get over the hump as the guests continued to execute well on offense. The big men Steinfeld and Huckporti exchanged baskets , but Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners still trailed 67-57. Down the stretch Herzog nailed his fifth and later his sixth three pointers and Huckporti put a harsh exclamation point on the win with a brutal left handed dunk that got one or the other ooh´s in the gym. Begue closed out the game with a runner, but Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners moved to 4-4 while Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg went to 9-0. “Frankfurt came back, but we didn´t want to give away the game. We fought, played fast and good defense. We also stayed aggressive on the boards and closed out the game”, expressed Ariel Huckporti. “We didn´t defend the three point line well, but they did hit some tough shots. We helped too much inside and got burned from outside”, added Calvin Schaum. Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg was led by Lukas Herzog with 24 points. Ariel Huckporti added 19 points and Johannes Patrick contributed 14 points while Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners was led by Jordan Samare with 17 points. Calvin Schaum and Maxi Begue added 12 points a piece. Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg shot 33% from the field and 33% from outside and had 41 rebounds and 20 turnovers while Eintracht Frankfurt/Fraport Skyliners shot 34% from the field and 9% from outside and had 47 rebounds and 27 turnovers.