The Fraport Skyliners are momentarily going through a tough stretch where they have five games in a two week period. They began their February run with a huge victory at home against the Telekom Baskets Bonn, but 48 hours later were unable to pull out a win in Ulm as they were unable to make the big plays in crunch-time. They returned back last weekend with a great performance in Vechta winning easily 96-72 where they shot over 50% form the field and from the parking lot and only coughed up the ball a strong six times. They returned home to meet Brose Bamberg who are playing a superb Basketball Champions League and in the easyCredit BBL had the exact same record as the Fraport Skyliners at 7-9. Brose Bamberg has been up and down in 2021 bringing a 3-3 record to Frankfurt and it looked like they would go home with a loss after a poor first half, but in the second half the Bavarian team buckled down and showed their total offensive arsenal outscoring Frankfurt 54-28 and wining 86-76. Bamberg got serious production from Devon Hall, Michele Vitali and David Kravish who combined for 66 points as Frankfurt had absolutely no answer how to slow them down. “We were soft in the first half and had way too many turnovers. We started to get more aggressive on defense in the second half. Once you begin to play better defense and rebound better, you get more confidence which helped to get our offense going”, stressed Bamberg guard Devon Hall. The Fraport Skyliners once again showed why they are a team of night and day qualities. After a solid first half where they led by 16 points at the break, they returned back in the second half and stunk up the house letting Brose Bamberg play their game. “We got outscored by 54 points in the second half. Something like that can´t happen. We played well in the first half, but in the second half had no energy and couldn´t control our game. We had bad communication and gave them confidence. They got way too many offensive rebounds and we had no flow our ball movement on offense”, stressed Fraport Skyliner center Michael Kessens.
The first quarter remained a tight battle as no team was able to break free from the other. There were five lead changes and both clubs were able to find a quick offensive rhythm. After two games where Rasheed Moore scored less, he found his touch again against Bamberg and scored the games first basket. Ex NBA player Devon Hall then gave Bamberg it´s first lead with a three pointer that saw nothing but net. Frankfurt gained the lead back as Moore continued being a one man wrecking scoring on transition and then drilling a trey making his first three shots. Frankfurt had the 9-6 advantage as they did a good job getting the ball inside and keeping Hall off the ball. Frankfurt continued to hold the lead as they did a great job putting ex Vechta center Michael Kessens into great scoring position as he completed a hard two handed dunk and lay in and ex Auburn(NCAA) great Quantez Robertson scored on transition as Frankfurt led 15-12. Kessens was very present in the first quarter. Kessens finished with a strong game with 16 points and 6 boards and shot 63%, but after the loss he had nothing good to say about his game as he was slowed down well in the second half. “I played with little energy in the second half and little aggressiveness. I also didn´t play the pick and roll well”, stressed Michael Kessens. Basketball always remains a game of runs as Brose Bamberg found some day light and sped out on a 7-0 run to grab the lead back at 19-15. In the run the Bavarian club got excellent production from ex Banco di Sardegna Sassari (Serie A) three point specialist Michele Vitali as he scored, a floater by diminutive ex BG Goettingen guard Bennet Hundt and a lay in by ex California(NCAA) center David Kravish who retrieved a no look feed by Hundt. Hundt did a good job in this phase leading the Bamberg offense with his playmaking. Bamberg upped their defensive pressure which led to good offense. Frankfurt got the lead back getting another three pointer from Rasheed Moore and a floater by ex Davidson(NCAA) guard Jon Axel Gundmundsson for the 20-19 lead. But Frankfurt wasn´t able to keep the lead as ex George Mason(NCAA) center Shevon Thompson gave Bamberg some energy with a lay in and tip in dunk for the Bamberg 24-21 lead after 10 minutes.
The Fraport Skyliners upped their intensity and aggressiveness at both ends of the court in the second quarter scoring 27 points and allowing only 8 points to totally break open the game. The Fraport Skyliners came out with a bang going on a 10-0 run to get the lead back at 31-24. In the run Frankfurt continued to get Michael Kessens involved as he scored 6 points with two lay ins and free throws. Gundmundsson also added 4 points with a lay in and free throws. With Hundt on the bench, the Bamberg offense suffered and on defense they were unable to keep Kessens in check. Frankfurt showed that their offense could produce points without the usual Matt Mobley points who still hadn´t scored, but was active in the playmaking. Bamberg finally got their first field goal at the 6,27 minute mark as Kravish got free and scored inside to cut Frankfurt´s lead to 31-26. But that didn´t faze Frankfurt as they continued to execute well on offense and get stops closing out the second quarter with a brutal 17-6 run. There is only so much time that one can keep Mobley scoreless and it was only obvious that he would get going sooner or later. In the run Mobley began scoring in bunches with 6 points including a trey. Frankfurt then got baskets from Quantez Robertson and a hook shot from Kessens and Mobley then used his speed to his advantage with a finger tip lay as Frankfurt led 43-30. Bamberg got some buckets from Vitali and Hall, but just couldn´t muster a healthy offensive rhythm. Moore ended the second quarter with a turn around shot and free throw as the Fraport Skyliners led 48-32 at the break. “We did everything well. We had good ball movement, played good defense, got rebounds and got transition baskets”, stated Michael Kessens. “We had tons of turnovers including me. I dribbled a ball off my foot. We got outrebounded and couldn´t clean up the boards”, added Devon Hall.
In the third quarter the tide of the game changed as Brose Bamberg heightened their game as they buckled down on defense allowing only 8 points and cut into the comfortable Frankfurt lead trailing only 56-50 after 30 minutes. Brose Bamberg came out of half-time recharged and slapped Frankfurt with a hard 13-4 run to trail only 52-45. In the run the Basketball Champions League team received strong production from ex Virginia(NCAA) guard Devon Hall who scored 9 points. He showed his basketball class with an immaculate inside out game He outclassed Matt Mobley on two occasions nailing a jumper over him and then getting by him on a lay in. He also drilled home a trey showing his scoring in bunches qualities. “I became more sure with the ball and just took care of the ball better”, stressed Devon Hall. He ended the game with 6 turnovers the most for him in a game this season most which were produced in the first half. Frankfurt´s biggest weakness was not executing their offense calmly as they were sloppy making bad decisions and being to hectic in their sets. In the last minutes, Hall banged home another trey as he made it look so easy with his smooth way while Rasheed Moore made a runner. Gundmundsson and Kravish closed out the third quarter with free throws. “Stops and rebounds were key for us. Frankfurt miscommunicated on defense and we took advantage of it”, stressed Devon Hall. “
In the fourth quarter Brose Bamberg continued chipping away at the Frankfurt lead and eventually gained the lead back and then wouldn´t give it up again coasting home with the win. Brose Bamberg continued to execute well on offense going on a rapid 9-4 run to trail Frankfurt only 60-59. Bamberg got huge production from German Christian Sengfelder who played at Boise State and finished with 13 points and 9 boards including 4 offensive rebounds was instrumental in the run and later being very active in the paint. In this run he got two baskets while Kravish got free throws and Hall scored again. “Sengfelder got huge offensive rebounds and he finishes so well. We trust him to crash the offensive boards”, stated Devon Hall. Mobley kept Bamberg at bay momentarily with a trey, but Bamberg was simply too aggressive and had too many weapons. Vitali got hot giving Bamberg the lead back with his own version of scoring in bunches with 4 free throws and a trey. Sengfelder also added an offensive rebound and put back for the 69-65 Bamberg advantage. Frankfurt had lost total control on the boards. Frankfurt tried to shorten the lead with Moore and Mobley points, but they couldn´t get stops as Kravish scored and Vitali hit another massive trey for the 76-69 Bamberg lead. “Vitali is a hell of a player. He made huge plays. We have total trust in his shooting”, stressed Devon Hall. Frankfurt couldn´t get closer as Bamberg just continued to execute well on offense. Another Kravish bucket and fade away jumper from Vitali gave Bamberg the 81-71 lead with a few minutes to play. A Gundmundsson free throw and Robertson basket gave Frankfurt a little hope trailing 80-74, but they were running out of time with only 34 seconds to play. Vitali then put the stamp on the win with a trey and a Frankfurt turnover led to a Kravish hook shot basket for the 86-74 lead. Moore closed out the game with free throws. “We were more aggressive and physical on defense and rebounded well”, added Devon Hall. “The flagrant foul hurt us which led to 5 Bamberg points. We were never able to react to that. They hit big shots until the end”, stressed Michael Kessens. Brose Bamberg was led by Michele Vitali with 23 points. David Kravish added 22 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks while Devon Hall scored 20 points while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Rasheed Moore with 22 points. Matt Mobley added 17 points and Michael Kessens 16 points. Brose Bamberg shot 56& from the field and 30% from outside and had 37 rebounds and 20 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 43% from the field and 27% from outside and had 29 rebounds and 12 turnovers.