Just a month ago the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were as far away from the Pro B playoffs as the Minnesota Timberwolves are at the moment, but with added inspired and improved play in the last weeks, the club is inching closer and closer to the promised land. A big win on the road and back to back last second home wins against Hanau and Speyer have brought them closer. But they had their hands full as they welcomed current number one team BBC Coburg who had a 14-5 record and were still unbeaten in 2021 with a 8 game winning streak. In the first meeting in Coburg in November, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were mauled 93-58 as the Bavarian squad nailed 10 three pointers and dominated the boards 36-21 and carved out an incredible 14 offensive rebounds. In the return date in Frankfurt, BBC Coburg controlled the game for three quarters, but allowed a furious fourth quarter comeback by the Fraport Skyliners Juniors, but held on at the end thanks to two very acrobatic lay ins by the German guard duo of Constantin Ebert and Elias Baggette. After the last second victory, 207cm big man Leon Bulic was all smiles after they were able to pull out the win on the road. “I thought that we played a super game. We executed the game plan the way we wanted to. We played a good first half playing well together getting many assists and making shots. We had some problems stopping their transition in the second quarter, but came back strong in the third quarter to lead by 20 points. In the fourth quarter we had problems controlling Len Schoormann and they began hitting more shots and we got nervous. We had luck with the last two shots, but we deserved the win. We have to learn to keep our let downs better in check”, stressed BBC Coburg center Leon Bulic. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors met a hot shooting club and had problems slowing down their penetration, but they never gave up and fought until the end, but just couldn´t get stops. “We didn´t start well, but fought the whole game which we have shown the last weeks. We were able to get the lead back, but just couldn´t get stops when we needed them”, added Fraport Skyliner Junior Philipp Hadenfeldt.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were without Germans Konstantin Schubert and Leon Pullen while BBC Bayreuth were without Germans Chris Wolf and Moritz Plescher and Croatian Mateo Seric. The first few minutes were tight as there were four lead changes, but BBC Coburg then soon sped away and would explode with 30 plus points to have the overwhelming lead. German Len Schoormann found his touch in the Pro B in the last month and after scoring 28 points in Erfurt last weekend on 6/8 shooting from the parking lot, he didn´t waste anytime keeping his hot streak alive as he scored Frankfurt´s first seven points. BBC Coburg got early production from Baggette and Leon Bulic who used his height and strength for an easy bucket inside trailing 7-6 to Frankfurt. But BBC Coburg then unraveled their total offensive power going on a lethal 18-4 run to grab the 24-11 advantage. In the run BBC Coburg did a fine job displaying solid inside out basketball getting some clutch three´s from ex Breitengussbach guard Sven Lorber and ex BBL player Constantin Ebert while controlling the paint as German Daniel Urbano wrecked havoc in the zone scoring three baskets. Bulic and Baggette added buckets on lay in´s. Frankfurt´s defense had totally collapsed as their communication was non existent and they had no remedy to slow down the speedy Elias Baggette who was driving and creating and just controlling the Coburg offense with ease. Frankfurt´s offense sputtered as they made too hasty decisions and had no calmness in their sets. BBC Coburg had no mercy and just continued to pour on the offense as they closed out the first quarter with a 11-2 run to lead easily 33-15. In the run, BBC Coburg continued to get great offensive production from Urbano who scored two more times and German Johannes Mavridis gave vital support from the bench with a three pointer. “They hit their shots very well and we had no communication on defense. These things happen from time to time”, stressed Philipp Hadenfeldt. BBC Coburg shot 75% from the field and 75% from outside and had 6 rebounds and 2 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 38% from the field and 17% from outside and had 4 rebounds and 6 turnovers.
BBC Coburg continued to control the game and led by as much as 16 points in the second quarter, but couldn´t hold it as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to cut it down to as much as 10 points, but trailed by 13 points at the break. In the last two last second wins at home against Hanau and Speyer, Frankfurt was able to get the majority of the 50/50 balls, but against BBC Coburg the tables would be turned. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors came out refocused in the second quarter going on a rapid 4-0 run to cut the BBC Coburg lead to 33-19. The first field goal took 4 attempts until German Jordan Samare made a tip in and ex Rostock center Noah Kamdem made a lay in as Frankfurt was aggressive inside and attacked the offensive glass. But BBC Coburg finally got on the board as Elias Baggette who is great at picking his spots made a laid back step back jumper and Mavridis made another three pointer as he stayed true to his 55% three point percentage which he had entering the game. Frankfurt got a huge trey from ex Nurnberg guard Matthew Meredith and free throws from Alvin Onyia, but BBC Coburg still led 40-24. Here and there Frankfurt had their moments taking little runs going on a 7-0 run to cut BBC Coburg´s lead down to 40-31. Frankfurt calmed down on offense making good decisions as Hadenfeldt hit a 20 footer and Kamdem nailed a 25 footer while Len Schoormann was back making a big steal and going coast to coast for the dunk. Frankfurt upped their defensive pressure and were rewarded with easy baskets. But Frankfurt weren´t able to make any ground on BBC Coburg as the guests let it rain three´s again as Urbano hit two trey´s and Bulic also stepped out and saw nothing but net. Schoormann hit back to back baskets and Jordan Samare also scored in the paint, but BBC Coburg led 49-37. In the last few minutes, Len Schoormann remained very aggressive getting to the free throw line and Noah Kamdem made a pretty fake and move to score a lay in, but BBC Coburg continued to have their dazzling point guard Elias Baggette who controlled the paint with his speed and great ball handling making a lay in and floater as BBC Coburg led 53-42 at half-time. “They hit very tough shots. It is really tough to see that happen when your defending well”, said Philipp Hadenfeldt. BBC Coburg shot 66% from the field and 58% from the three point line and had 9 rebounds and 6 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 50% from the field and 20% from the three point line and had 14 rebounds and 9 turnovers.
BBC Coburg continued to control the contest in the third quarter keeping a double digit lead and led by as much as 20 points and led 74-59 after 30 minutes. BBC Coburg came out of half-time recharged and went on a quick 9-2 run to extend their lead to 62-44. In the run, they got key production from Leon Bulic who dominated the paint area with a lay in and two handed dunk while Ebert made a jumper and Sven Lorber who has played 86 Regionalliga games dropped a trey. BBC Coburg continued to run their sets and execute while Frankfurt continued to have defensive lapses and were too sloppy on offense coughing up the ball too often. BBC Coburg continued to have a well oiled offense, but it also helped that they had enough guys who also know how to execute on one on one. Baggette continued to do what he wanted scoring back to back baskets. On one play he tip toed by a defender and then scored and he also hit a 20 footer for the overwhelming 66-46 lead. “Baggette has made a good development. He has gotten stronger mentally and physically. He reads the game well and has a great IQ. His quickness is so important for his game and he is very good against the switches”, stated Leon Bulic. It wasn´t only Schoormann who held Frankfurt in the game, but also Noah Kamdem who took responsibility and scored two baskets to cut the BBC Coburg lead down to 66-50. Both teams traded baskets until the end as Hadenfeldt and Ebert scored jumpers as Frankfurt trailed 68-52. Samare continued to be active and execute scoring twice inside while BBC Coburg got easy baskets in the paint from Bulic and Urbano. Hadenfeldt let a last spark fly in the last seconds hitting a clutch trey as BBC Coburg led 74-59. “We had a good run and got some fast break baskets. Ebert led us and Urbano had some big rebounds”, added Leon Bulic. “We had too many turnovers and gave them too many second chances. But we never gave up and fought back”, said Philipp Hadenfeldt. BBC Coburg shot 67% from the field and 53% from the parking lot and had 15 rebounds and 11 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 49% from the field and 23% from the parking lot and had 20 rebounds and 15 turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors big moment came in the fourth quarter where they exploded for 29 points and made a massive come back that wasn´t rewarded at the end. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors began to chip away at the huge BBC Coburg lead and stormed out on a 22-7 run to dead lock the contest at 81-81. BBC Coburg had the better start getting baskets from Bulic and Ebert, but Frankfurt then exploded going on a 19-2 run. The run began with a Schoormann floater who´s self-confidence was sky high finished with 26 points and 5 assists and continues to rule the Pro B in the last weeks. “He has understood that he can be successful with his athleticism in the Pro B. His self confidence also has grown which is a big advantage for him”, stated Philipp Hadenfeldt. Frankfurt then got a huge spark from German Alvin Onyia who had been quiet in the first three quarters offensively, but struck back in the run with a tap in on the offensive glass and a trey testing his 28% three point percentage as Frankfurt trailed only 79-71. Frankfurt also was helped by BBC Coburg who had 5 team fouls early. Frankfurt profited from that getting free throws from Schoormann, Begue and Hadenfeldt. Defensive stopper Maxi Begue who had been quiet offensively broke open scoring twice inside to tie the game at 81-81. Leon Bulic then stopped the run scoring a clutch three for the 84-81 BBC Coburg lead. Frankfurt continued to be scrappy and got a runner from Schoormann in traffic and then Begue made a massive steal and fed Jordan Samare on transition for the mega two handed stuff as Frankfurt suddenly led again 85-84 with only 1,14 minutes to play. “We didn´t make any real adjustments on defense. We got more 50/50 balls and rebounded better which led to transition baskets. We just wanted it more than them”, stressed Philipp Hadenfeldt. “Frankurt had to win and gave their all. Frankfurt was more aggressive on defense and the Frankfurt bigs got easy baskets”, stated Leon Bulic. It seemed like the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had the total momentum, but then came the crazy turning point. Ebert and Baggette slammed the door shut on Frankfurt with two acrobatic circus shots. Ebert as usual did a good job using his body making a tough shot while Baggette was seemingly on the floor already as he somehow made an insane shot. “Baggette´s shot was wild. Ebert also can make those shots. They saved us and decided the game”, stated Leon Bulic. “Both shots were tough shots. If one didn´t go in we win. But that is what happens when you have won 8 games in a row, the confidence is always high and they make those kind of shots”, stressed Philipp Hadenfeldt. BBC Coburg were led by Daniel Urbano with 23 points. Leon Bulic added 19 points while Elias Baggette had 18 points and 8 assists and Constantin Ebert had 15 points and 7 assists while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Len Schoormann with 26 points. Jordan Samare and Noah Kamdem added 14 points apiece. BBC Coburg shot 59% form the field and 53% from outside and had 21 rebounds and 17 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 53% from the field and 26% from outside and had 30 rebounds and 18 turnovers.