After beginning 2021 on a positive note winning four of seven games, the Fraport Skyliners fell into a rut again taking a four game losing streak into the game against Rasta Vechta. Now comes a phase again where the Fraport Skyliners who came into the game in 11th place with a record of 7-13 play four games against opponents where three of them they can and have to beat. The last victory was against Rasta Vechta on February 6th and tonight they had the opportunity to find their way back on the winning streak as they faced them again. It has been a terrible season for Rasta Vechta as they are in the easyCredit BBL cellar with a 3-17 record. They started the season on the wrong foot losing their first 11 games, but then built a three game winning streak including beating Brose Bamberg, but currently were clinging to life again having a six games losing streak. They came into Frankfurt and wanted to start a winning streak, but were denied again as they had a horrible third quarter which made them have to play catch up basketball for the rest of the night. They fought hard for 40 minutes, but just couldn´t get over the hump in the fourth quarter losing to the Fraport Skyliners 84-75. “We didn´t have the type of energy tonight the way we had in the last games. The 10-0 run by Frankfurt in the third quarter really hurt us and we were unable to recover from it. We risked a lot at the end, but turnovers hurt us and Frankfurt was able to close out the game”, stressed Rasta Vechta head coach Thomas Paech. The Fraport Skyliners continue to search for consistency for 40 minutes. After a difficult first half, the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup winner stepped up their defense in the third quarter which helped them get into an offensive groove and hold of Rasta Vechta in the fourth quarter. “I thought that we played ok defense in the first half, but they just made tough shots. We buckled down on defense in the second half and moved the ball a lot better which helped us get the win”, stated Fraport Skyliner guard Matt Mobley.
Rasta Vechta was missing some scoring power without American Josh Young who had a shoulder injury, but that didn´t hamper their scoring as they sped out on a rapid 5-0 lead getting a trey from German ex Ehingen guard Tim Hasbargen and a two handed dunk from ex Boston College(NCAA) stand out Dennis Clifford. That basketball is a game of runs is nothing new as the Fraport Skyliners got their offense going going on a 8-2 run to get their first lead of the game at 8-7. In the run Frankfurt received valuable production from German big man Michael Kessens with a lay in, a nice jumper from ex Braunschwieg guard Joe Rahon who supplied some nice fakes and dribbling to get clear of his defender and from Quantez Robertson. Robertson has been up and down as a scorer this season, but he got two easy lay in´s which got his self confidence going quickly. Rasta Vechta got a 20 footer step back from ex Louisville8NCAA) guard Edgar Sosa who has been carrying the team getting two assists on the first two Vechta baskets. But the game continued to take turns as Rasta Vechta would close out the first quarter with a potent 11-7 run to lead 18-15. In the run, the guests did a good job forcing Frankfurt sniper Matt Mobley to take contested shots and didn´t allow American Rasheed Moore many touches. On offense the last place team did a good job sharing the love on offense as German Robin Christen drilled home a trey, ex Bremerhaven forward Will Voorhees hit a trey and former Pro B player Bjoern Rohwer supplied vital 5 points as he cleaned up the paint area. “We weren´t making shots despite getting good looks. That happens sometimes”, commented Matt Mobley. “We moved the ball very well and played good defense”, stated Rasta Vechta forward Jesse Hunt.
Rasta Vechta continued to control the game in the second quarter and led by as much as 8 points, but the Fraport Skyliners stayed on their heels as they cut the advantage down to 42-38 at the break. Quantez Robertson remained aggressive on offense driving to the hoop for two points to cut the Vechta lead down to 18-17, but Rasta Vechta continued to demonstrate quick spurts of decent offense going on a 8-0 run to extend their lead to 26-18. In the run, good ball movement and wise decisions rewarded them with back to back trey´s by American Jordan Barnet who played at Missouri(NCAA) and ex Alba Berlin center Dennis Clifford made a lay in as Barnett made the extra pass. Frankfurt suffered mental lapses on defense, but luckily on offense they got further support from Quantez Robertson who added five more points to cut the Rasta Vechta lead down to 26-23. Rasta Vechta went on a 5-0 run to extend their lead to 30-23 as Voorhes nailed another trey and Bjoern Rohwer continued to be at the right place at the right time making big plays as he caught a Sosa airball between three Skyliners and somehow managed to make the put back. The Fraport Skyliners continued to be able to stay in the game despite still getting no points from Mobley or Moore. Ex FC Bayern Munich guard Bruno Vrcic continues to stay consistent in the minutes he gets as he made 5 points and ex Davidson(NCAA) stand out Jon Axel Gundmundsson contributed 8 points in the last few minutes including notching two three pointers. “I´m happy that Jon used his time well today and made shots. It isn´t important if you start or come from the bench, but how well you use your time on the court”, stressed Frankfurt head coach Sebastian Gleim. Rasta Vechta held the lead getting an open three from Jesse Hunt, a runner with one second on the shot clock from Rohwer and a trey from ex Alba Berlin guard Stefan Peno. Frankfurt had 0 points from Mobley or Moore, but trailed only 42-38. Mobley´s shot wasn´t falling, so he became a facilitator. “Gundmundsson is so important for us. When he plays well, so do we”, stated Matt Mobley. “Gundmundsson is a good player. He hit some three´s and scored on transition. That is what good players will do”, stated Jesse Hunt.
The turning point of the contest came in the third quarter as the Fraport Skyliners broke open the game with a massive run and never looked back as Rasta Vechta were unable to come back. The Fraport Skyliners came out of half-time rejuvenated and slapped Rasta Vechta with a brutal 10-0 run to snag back the lead at 48-42. In the run, Frankfurt was able to stop seven Vechta possessions and on offense were able to execute well. The run was sparked by ex Miami(NCAA) standout Kamari Murphy who made amends for his poor first half where he had three turnovers, two missed lay ups and an airball. He scored three buckets as every time it was Mobley that found him for a lay in, two handed dunk and an alley-oop dunk. Moore and Mobley also finally got on the board for the first time in the game. Frankfurt stepped up their defense being more aggressive and doing a great job pressuring the ball. The higher intensity on defense sparked their offense. But Rasta Vechta finally got some offensive power from Robin Christen who made free throws and drooped a three pointer as suddenly Rasta Vechta was trailing only 48-47. Frankfurt quickly picked up their defense again and closed out the third quarter strong and in fine fashion taking a lethal 11-3 run to lead comfortably again at 59-50. Frankfurt was aided by Rasta Vechta getting their fifth team foul with five plus minutes to play where they received six free throws. Frankfurt also got a two handed dunk from Mobley and a lay in by Bruno Vrcic as he snuck behind the Vechta defense hauling in a touch down pass from Joe Rahon. Bruno Vrcic continues to make good strides in his second season with Frankfurt despite having had injury woes this season. He finished with 13 points in 15 minutes and a lot of praise from Sebastian Gleim. “I felt that this was his best defensive game of the season. He didn´t hesitate taking shots. He shouldn´t think so much. His self-confidence rose throughout the game. He has really improved in the last months”, said Sebastian Gleim. Rast Vechta got a free throw from Peno and a 25 footer from Edgar Sosa. “We locked down on defense getting stops which led to easy baskets. We also got to the free throw line”, expressed Matt Mobley. “Frankfurt came out with more energy. We threw the ball away too much and kept our heads down. That helped them keep the lead”, said Jesse Hunt.
The Fraport Skyliners led by as much as 15 points in the fourth quarter, but Rasta Vechta never backed down coming back and trailing by only five points, but they couldn´t recapture the lead again. The Fraport Skyliners blasted off with a rapid 8-2 run to extend their lead to 67-52. In the run, they got free throws from Michael Kessens, and two three´s from Bruno Vrcic and Matt Mobley. Robin Christen continued to be consistent on offense making a runner off the glass. Frankfurt kept the momentum of the third quarter as their offense was flowing while Rasta Vechta had problems covering the three point line. Rasta Vechta had been exerting a lot of energy in the second half trying to come back, but they still had some gas in their tank as they reeled off a huge 20-10 run to trail only 77-72. Instrumental in the come back was the spirited play of ex Notre Dame College (NCAA2) standout Will Voorhes who was a one man wrecking crew scoring 10 points. He showed his versatile inside out game hitting two three pointers and making a lay in and very beautiful 20 footer fade away jumper from the corner. Rasta Vechta was also aided in the run by Christen and Barnett three pointers and a lay in by Jannes Hundt. Frankfurt kept the lead with scoring with three´s from Gundmundsson and Mobley and another lay in by Quantez Robertson. Frankfurt then stopped the Rasta Vechta momentum closing out the game with a 7-3 run. Frankfurt got a Kessen´s tip in and clutch trey from Gundmundsson which sealed the victory. “We came back getting big shots from Christen and Voorhes. We cut it down to five with a few minutes to play, but they continued to get big shots and we couldn´t close the gap”, stated Jesse Hunt. “They were switching a lot at the end which didn´t allow us to get inside. So we had to do more 1-1 plays. We made the big plays and weathered the storm”, warned Matt Mobley. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jon Axel Gundmundsson with 17 points. Quantez Robertson added 15 points while Matt Mobley had 13 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds while Rasta Vechta was led by Robin Christen with 16 points and Will Voorhes had 15 points. The Fraport Skyliners shot 48% form the field and 47% from outside and had 31 rebounds and 15 turnovers while Rasta Vechta shot 45% from the field and 43% from outside and had 33 rebounds and 19 turnovers.