COVID-19 has played so much havoc in so many basketball seasons and it hasn´t been any different in the Pro B league. Clubs have had to postpone games because of Corona cases with players that they then had to find ways of being able to reschedule games. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were supposed to have played Bavarian team TSV Oberaching Trpoics back in November, but that game had been postponed and now both teams finally met on a rare Wednesday afternoon. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors arrived in the game with a poor 1-8 record and had only lost 72 hours earlier in a hard fought nail bitter to Dresden 67-62 while the TSV Oberaching Tropics last played on December 28th, 2020 losing to Hanau 77-71. The Bavarian club came to Frankfurt having some injury woes, but also had some young German players on board ready to do battle with the very young Frankfurt side that only have an average age of 19 years. After a very solid first half where the Fraport Skyliners Juniors displayed more disciplined defense, they erupted in the second half for 60 points to totally tear apart the TSV Oberaching Tropics 99-76. It was without a doubt the best performance of the season on both ends of the court and the rebound work was very much improved as well as the team gathered 15 offensive rebounds. “A big reason for the win today was our hustle and we fought for 40 minutes. We played team basketball today and communicated very well on the defensive end. We still made a lot of mistakes, but overall it was a very good performance”, stated Fraport Skyliners Juniors center Noah Kamden. After the loss a disgusted Mario Matic head coach of the TSV Oberaching Tropics was furious about his team´s performance as despite having injuries, he did expect more from his players. “I´m very disappointed. We gave up way too many second chances. In the second half they began to hit shots. We made them strong today. This was simply not a very good game at both ends of the court. We have to be better on Saturday when we face Frankfurt again”, warned Mario Matic.
The TSV Oberaching Tropics were without their big man Moritz Wohlers and Shkelzin Bekteshi while the Fraport Skyliners jUniors were without German forward Konstantin Schubert. German Calvin Schaum got Frankfurt on the board first, but that didn´t last long as the guests got good production from their two bigs Bent Leuchten and Bernhard Benke as the latter made a lay in to tie the score 2-2. Frankfurt then received a huge three pointer from German Alvin Onyia who entered the contest shooting only 25%. The German´s early aggressiveness would pay off as he would bea huge offensive factor for the team on this day. Frankfurt would set the tone and keep the slim lead throughout the first quarter as both teams found an identity on the defensive end and kept the game low. Frankfurt´s offense was still trying to find itself, but showed early on that many players were contributing as ex Nurnberg guard Matthew Meredith scored inside and ex Coburg center Noah Kamden scored. German Maxi Begue also added a 10 footer giving Frankfurt a 12-7 advantage. French player Joris Ortega who moonlights as a photo model hit a huge three over Begue, but Kamden responded right back catching a Jordan Samare airball for the lay in and 14-10 lead. Frankfurt held the lead until the end, but allowed the guests to cut the lead down with two baskets from 17 year old Lithuanian Emilis Butkus who snuck inside twice and caught Frankfurt napping on help defense scoring as Frankfurt had only the 17-14 slim advantage after 10 minutes. “We had a good start which was helped by us setting the tempo and defending well”, said Noah Kamdem. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 32% from the field and 14% from outside and had 13 rebounds and 0 turnovers while TSV Oberaching Tropics shot 33% from the field and 33% from outside and had 13 rebounds and 2 turnovers.
The second quarter was a real dog fight as there were 8 lead changes. Half way through the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to stabilize the lead and go into the break with the 4 point lead. Maxi Begue who has been struggling on offense recently had a better game as he made a pretty turnaround shot, but TSV Oberaching Tropics got key baskets from captain Janosch Koegler and Ortega who used their speed and scored in the paint. Both would do this all afternoon long as this was the only real deficiency with the Frankfurt defense on this day. “Koegler scored four three´s, but the rest all came with lay ins and free throws. He is a very good player. He knows how to play and when he finds space he is hard to stop. We have to be better with our 1-1 defense”, warned Frankfurt head coach Miran Cumurija. Both teams traded leads back and forth as the Bavarian club got a huge trey from ex FC Bayern Munich guard Benjamin Schroeder, a lay in from ex IBAM center Bent Leuchten, a three from ex BBL player Peter Zeis and a lay in from ex Leitershofen center Bernhard Benke. Frankfurt got key baskets from Kamdem who was a beast on the offensive glass, a runner from Alvin Onyia and a three pointer from ex Hanau forward Calvin Schaum, but Frankfurt still trailed 29-28. But Frankfurt then showed a first sign of what their offense is capable of going on a brutal 11-1 run to take the comfortable 39-30 lead. In the run Frankfurt got another trey from Schaum, received two buckets from Onyia who made a pretty pull up jumper and scored on transition and Noah “Mr put back” Kamdem dropped free throws and made a put back after hauling down one of his seven offensive rebounds on the day. Good defense led to easy baskets on transition while on defense there was good communication and keeping the Tropics big men out of the zone. Alvin Onyia finished with 13 points, 6 boards and 5 assists in 18 minutes and showed that he can be a valuable scoring option. “Alvin´s primary job is defense and distributing the ball, but he has a lot of self-confidence and proves that he can carry the team. When he gets room, he can make the lay up and even make the three pointer. You can´t underestimate his three. His shot is improving”, warned Miran Cumurija. Frankfurt couldn´t keep their run going into the break as they allowed a Oberaching 5-0 run to close out the second quarter. Koegler nailed a tough deep trey and then made a great decision and perfect feed to Leuchten who scored at the buzzer as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors led 39-35. “We continued to defend well and just fought harder than they did”, added Noah Kamdem. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 38% from the field and 20% from the three point line and had 23 rebounds and 1 turnover while TSV Oberaching Tropics shot 41% from the field and 36% from the three point line and had 23 rebounds and 6 turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors broke the game wide open in the third quarter exploding for 30 points and allowed only 15 points taking the overwhelming 69-50 lead after 30 minutes. TSV Oberaching actually got going first getting four points from Koegler to cut Frankfurt´s lead to 41-39. Koegler once again beat Frankfurt with his quickness scoring with his left hand. Frankfurt then finally broke out going on a 13-2 run to extend their lead to 54-41. In the run they got three three´s as Calvin Schaum knocked down one, Len Schoorman did and Alvin Onyia hit another one as well. Schoorman also took something from Kamden´s put back game getting an offensive rebound and put back. “It is always good when our defense gives us transition opportunities. We have an advantage with our athleticism. They went to zone and we stayed cool and moved the ball well and got open looks and hit our three pointers. We attacked well, played unselfish and played together”, stated Miran Cumurija. Every once in a while Oberaching would get some points as usually Koegler was the recipient, but overall Frankfurt continued their offensive consistency. Frankfurt would continue to execute at a healthy rate extending their lead to 20 points as they continued their solid inside out game attacking the rim getting baskets from Matthew Meredith and Len Schoormann and a trey from German Jordan Samare. Koegler did it again being involved in a buzzer beater ending quarter this time making the lay in, but Frankfurt had the massive 69-50 advantage. “We went on a nice run and were able to make our three´s. Everything was working for us”, stated Noah Kamdem. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 46% from the field and 32% from the parking lot and had 30 rebounds and 4 turnovers while TSV Oberaching Tropics shot 43% from the field and 31% from the parking lot and had 27 rebounds and 11 turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors defense let up allowing 26 points in the fourth quarter, but the guests couldn´t make up any ground because the home team dropped 30 points to keep up their healthy lead. Koegler continued to give Frankfurt head aches with his scoring nailing two more three´s while for Frankfurt Calvin Schaum finished with 15 points continued to execute hitting a trey and lay in. 17 year old German Benjamin Schroeder who will play in the NCAA next season continued to showcase his athleticism and speed scoring twice in the paint, but the guests couldn´t gain any ground as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors led 78-60. Kamdem´s dominance grew as he scored three buckets including two offensive rebounds and put backs while Koegler drilled home another three pointer and made a massive one handed dunk, but Frankfurt still led 86-66. German Robert Becker finished with 4 steals and made two in a row and also scored while Koegler nailed another trey. Matthew Meredith who was kept fairly quiet in the first three quarters found some offensive momentum down the stretch hitting a three and making a lay in as Frankfurt led 93-74. Len Schoormann who entered the game with 15 BBL games under his belt finished made a lay in in the last minute finished with 20 points and was very significant for the team having played two back to back Pro B games. “He gives us that extra punch. His aggression and athleticism gives the defense problems. I´m happy how well he got integrated which isn´t easy. He helps us a lot and I´m happy he got game practice”, said Miran Cumurija. Frankfurt could have reached the magical 100 points at the end, but Schoormann missed a free throw. “We let up a bit, but overall we closed out the game ok. Everybody came in and gave their best and made plays. Our team paly is always getting better”, stressed Noah Kamdem. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Noah Kamdem with 21 points. Len Schoormann produced 20 points while Clavin Schaum added 15 points and Alvin Onyia had 12 points and Matthew Meredith contributed 11 points while TSV Oberaching Tropics were led by Janosch Koegler with 32 points. Benjamin Schroeder and Joris Ortega added 10 points apiece. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 48% from the field and 31% from outside and had 43 rebounds and 10 turnovers while TSV Oberaching Tropics shot 43% from the field and 36% from outside and had 34 rebounds and 15 turnovers.