Quantez Robertson is playing his 12th professional season and has played many games against many tough opponents, but their hasn´t been a more fierce and competitive opponent as Brose Bamberg in the easyCredit BBL. He has battled against them each season and played playoff games as well. The Cincinnati native who played college ball at Auburn learned about my special Brose Bamberg history test, and he was right up for the challenge as he released a positive laugh. When I asked the Fraport Skyliner living legend if he could guess what his record was against Bamberg, he couldn´t tell me the exact record, but he was right in that he is under 500. He also has had some real playoff gems against Alba Berlin, but playing Bamberg has meant a lot to him. “The rivalry has been good. We have had some really hard fought battles since my rookie season. I remember that in my rookie year, they had a lot of veterans and the years after so did we. It has been a fun rivalry”, stressed Quantez Robertson. One of his biggest wins against Bamberg occurred in the 2011-2012 season where Frankfurt played an amazing defensive game at home winning 76-65 as they witnessed a starting five of Casey Jacobsen, Brian Roberts, Marcus Slaughter, Julius Jenkins and PJ Tucker. This could easily have been not only the best starting five that Robertson has ever faced in Germany, but the best ever in the easyCredit BBL. “That might very well have been the best starting five that I ever faced. But then again my rookie year they also had a great starting five with Goldsberry, Jacobsen, Roberts, Suput and Brown. That starting five was still great even if Goldsberry wasn´t that scorer. I remember that both teams fought really hard, but I also remember the laughing and joking on the floor”, expressed Quantez Robertson. Another huge victory for the Fraport Skyliners was in the 2015-2016 season where they squeaked out an amazing 88-86 win. Despite a scorching 36 points by current Golden State Warrior Brad Wanamaker, Frankfurt won thanks to 23 points by Euroleague player Danilo Barthel and 22 points by Canadian Aaron Doorenkamp. That Bamberg team also had future NBA player Nicolo Melli and a real fierce duo with Daniel Theis and PJ Tucker from the bench. “That Bamberg squad was a tough one. But a reason why we could pull that game out was because we had been together for a second year. Our chemistry was a lot better that second year than the first year where we reached the Eurochallenge Final 4”, remembered Quantez Robertson. You can´t have a Brose Bamberg test without mentioning the bitter 2010 game five final loss 72-70. Almost 11 years later, the American still remembers this contest as if it was yesterday. “Pascal Roller got fouled and missed the free throw. We couldn´t get the offensive rebound. John Goldsberry got the ball and chucked the ball up in the air not letting us get a chance to do anything as time ran out. That loss as a rookie hurt just as much as if it would have happened today”, said Quantez Robertson.
The easyCredit BBL had a two week break because of the national team qualifying games for the Euro 2022. Quantez Robertson took the time to make a trip home to visit family. The American who is good friends with ex Skyliner Mike Morrison almost had extreme difficulty returning back to Germany. “It snowed really bad a few days before I had to return to Germany. I had fun playing with the kids in the snow. It snows once every three or four years in Alabama”, stated Quantez Robertson. He is back in Germany as the Fraport Skyliners prepare for the home stretch and battle for the playoffs. Currently they are in 10th place with a 7-12 record and two wins away from the last playoff spot. The club continues to be up and down and currently are riding a three game losing streak. “We haven´t been consistent on the defensive end. We tend to begin very well, but in the second half let up”, stated Quantez Robertson. But there are also other weak spots in their game that they really need to correct if they want to reach the playoffs this season. “We have been out rebounded in the last games and have to get better and we also have to execute our game plan better”, said Quantez Robertson. Frankfurt next play Brose Bamberg who are in eighth place with a record of 9-12 and beat Frankfurt a few weeks ago in Frankfurt. Frankfurt don´t win often in Freak City and will need a total good effort to come home victorious. “Going to Bamberg is like playing anywhere else especially now without fans. We don´t have to block them out in Bamberg at the moment. We have to play hard and execute like always. We continue to have problems in the second half. We have to learn to be able to put together two good halves of basketball. If we can do that then the outcome will be different from the last games”, expressed Quantez Robertson.
One guy they desperately need back to his explosive and consistent scoring ways is American Matt Mobley. In the last three loses he has scored only 33 points combined in loses while in the three games before that he rattled home 81 points combined all in wins. One thing is for sure his teammates aren´t about to let him stop shooting. This stat shows just how valuable he is to the Frankfurt offense. “Matt is a scorer and hasn´t been shooting the ball well as of late. But we continue to believe that he will shoot well no matter what. I´m very confident that his shot will start to fall again”, warned Quantez Robertson. Another player that has sprouted some fresh air to the court has been young German Bruno Vrcic. He was fit at the start of the season and played, then was injured and now is back again. He had some good BBL games recently hitting his ex team FC Bayern Munich for 7 points and scored 6 points against ratiopharm Ulm. And a few days ago he was top scorer against the Telekom Baskets Bonn with 20 points in a test game. “Bruno is getting more and more comfortable on the court with the more time he is getting. This continues to help him get in better game rhythm. I also think he will continue to get good minutes with more time and opportunities. Good things will happen when he continues to have games like against Bonn”, stated Quantez Robertson. Tez continues to find his game as currently he is averaging 8.6ppg, 4,7rpg, 3,5apg and 1,8spg while shooting a respectable 33% from outside. One thing he stresses always is that he needs to be more aggressive. In the tough loss in Munich, he was 8/8 from the free throw line the most attempts he has had this season. “I think the refs were on my side that day. Key was that I attacked the rim well”, stressed Quantez Robertson. But when he does attack the rim, it sometimes looks flawless and beautiful and other times nasty as he runs into a brick wall. “Sometimes I´m just moving too fast. I need to slow down. When I do that then I will pick my spots better”, warned Quantez Robertson. His defense continues to be his bread and butter as he has gobbled up 13 steals in the last four games. Of course it isn´t just steals that defines his game as he also does the little things that count. “My defense helps us get in the open court. This has not only helped my game but also the teams. It helps the team get a flow and open looks”, added Quantez Robertson.
Now comes the most defining moment of the season. This will make or break the Fraport Skyliners in 20-21. They have five games in March and four of them against teams they can beat. Ofcourse getting a massive win in Bamberg could pave the road for them upping their self-confidence to making a run in March towards the playoffs. Tez and his teammates will board a bus on Saturday afternoon for the two hour bus journey to Bamberg and he will have one thing on his mind during the haul to Bamberg. “I will be thinking that if we can play our hardest and give our all then we will win in Bamberg. We can´t worry about them, but only worry about ourselves”, warned Quantez Robertson. When I asked Tez which Bamberg player that he played against in his 12 year career that he would enjoy to duel most in a one on one game, he took a long pause and couldn´t name one. Of course choosing one guy doing that would be as difficult as guessing how many triple doubles Lebron James has had in his career. Tez has played against so many incredible Bamberg players over the years so deciding wouldn´t be easy. I threw the name Brad Wanamaker into the room. “I believe I could stop him in a one on one game, but not only him but many other guys that I have faced in my career. It has always been fun playing against guys like that”, stressed Quantez Robertson. He will be focused on the bus ride down to Bamberg thinking about the game, but if he does nod away for a bit, then we know that he will be dreaming of his conquest of Brad Wanamaker in a one on one battle.