The Fraport Skyliners winning ways continue as they are playing very inspired basketball as they had won their last two games over Rasta Vechta and 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen. The last victory over BG Goettingen took a lot of extra effort coming back from plus 10 points down only to be rescued by the clutch play by American Matt Mobley. These were all games that the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup winner had to win as they were teams below them in the standings. The Fraport Skyliners welcomed another team into their living room with the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers a team they also had to beat as they had an ugly 4-18 record coming in. The Hessen rival stepped on the Fraport arena floor having lost four of their last five games including a bitter 92-75 loss at home against the Telekom Baskets Bonn a game they let slip away in the second half. It was a pity for fans that they still weren´t allowed into the arena as two easyCredit BBL oldies Brandon Bowman and Brandon Thomas were in action as you never know when it will be their last time as they have a combined age of 72 years. It was a game of highs and lows for both teams and the only difference in the game were the last few minutes where the Fraport Skyliners made the big plays, executed properly on offense and got the stops. “We are happy that we got the derby win. Our start wasn´t good. We were too passive on offense and didn´t have intensity on defense. We were able to come back with intensity and game quickness. We had some strong mental phases through Len Schoormann, Michael Kessens and Quantez Robertson that helped us get back into the game and with a few more possessions could win the game. We developed some winning mentality in the last games that helped us be calm at the end. John Bryant had his best game of the season. But we were able to make adjustments and bring the points to Frankfurt”, stressed Fraport Skyliners head coach Sebastian Gleim. Every game for the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers now is like a game 7 of the playoffs as they continue to have difficulty closing out games. The club gave another spirited effort, but just couldn´t buckle down on defense in crunch time. “It was one of those games where both teams battled back and forth. It was a game of runs. I felt that we did a good job of getting John Bryant rolling and getting touches in the paint. We did good things on offense, but overall we had too many turnovers. We played hard and shared the ball well”, stressed ex NBA player Diante Garrett.
The Jobstairs Giessen 46ers showed no relapses from last weekends weak second half against the Telekom Baskets Bonn in their offense as they came out red hot as their offense looked like a well oiled machine that was going through the motions in a practice instead of in a game. They began with a lethal 11-3 run as John Bryant was on fire getting 7 points as Giessen hit their first 5 shots in a row. The self confidence of Giessen rose and rose with every made shot while Frankfurt was lethargic on offense and Giessen did a good job not allowing sniper Matt Mobley to get the ball much. Giessen continued pouring on the pressure continuing to execute beautifully going on a 9-3 run to extend their lead to 20-6. Bryant continued getting the ball and scoring as he nailed another trey and also scored in the paint. Bryant finished with 31 points as Frankfurt had no way to slow him down. He hit four three´s and was wide open every time. “We knew that it would be tough to move him. He is just very tough to handle inside and out. We didn´t communicate well on the pick and roll and that is how he got wide open shots. But we did a good job on the others”, smiled Quantez Robertson. Frankfurt was able to slow down Giessen in the last minutes as they closed out the quarter with a 6-0 run to trail 20-12. In the run, Frankfurt got vital support from ex Braunschweig guard Joe Rahon who gets criticized a lot for a lack of offensive punch, but in this run, he took scoring responsibility making two buckets in the lane. “We weren´t aggressive enough on defense and didn´t execute on offense”, stated Quantez Robertson.
The game remained a tight affair in the second quarter as the Fraport Skyliners fought back and gained the lead for the first time, but couldn´t hold the lead as the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers led at the break 35-32. The Fraport Skyliners recovered from their poor first quarter and took off on a 12-2 run to take their first lead of the game 24-22. In the run the Fraport Skyliners got a trey from Matt Mobley, a lay in from ex Schwenningen forward Rasheed Moore and massive 5 points from Len Schoormann. He came in and gave the team instant energy. “Len came in and played aggressive and took full advantage with the minutes he got. He took open shots and pressured the opponents point guard well”, stated Quantez Robertson. Giessen struggled on offense when John Bryant was on the bench. The club had no offensive rhythm and coughed up too many balls. But the game remained a game of runs as Giessen struck back with a 11-3 run to steal the lead back at 33-27. The run was strengthed by ex NBA player Diante Garrett who came out of nowhere and drilled home consecutive three pointers. Giessen also got added help from ex Bradley(NCAA) forward Scottie James who made a forceful one handed dunk and ex Braunschweig guard Brandon Thomas hit a three pointer. Frankfurt rallied at the end getting some quick production from ex Davidson(NCAA) guard Jon Axel Gundmundsson with a three and lay in in traffic to cut the Giessen lead down to 33-32. Giessen closed out the first half with a thunderous one handed dunk by Scottie James who hauled down the offensive rebound and put the exclamation point down for the Giessen 35-32 advantage at the break. “We started off well, but then let up and they took the lead again. Bryant made a lot of shots and allowed other guys to get good looks”, added Quantez Robertson.
The contest continued to be a back and forth tug of war as the Fraport Skyliners buckled down to grab the lead back only to see Giessen control the lead again after 30 minutes. Matt Mobley had only 3 points in the first half and it was obvious that it was only a matter of time before he would start scoring. Ex Murray State(NCAA) guard Jonathan Stark had been held quiet in the first half and helped carry Giessen in the first minutes with a trey and lay in and Scottie James continued to control the paint area making his third dunk of the contest. The Fraport Skyliners got German Michael Kessens more involved as he scored three times in the paint. Matt Mobley also finally started to get going as he found more daylight on offense hitting two three´s as his second allowed Frankfurt to get the lead back at 45-42. The second trey by Mobley was a four point play and Kessens scored his fourth bucket of the quarter as Frankfurt led 48-42. Frankfurt had upped their defense forcing Giessen too bad shots and on offense were led by a two man team of Mobley and Kessens. Giessen never hung their heads as they kept the game a tug of war coming back with a 11-3 run to catch the lead back at 53-51. In the run, Giessen was led by John Bryant who scored 7 points and did good use of the mismatches in the paint allowing him to get easy baskets and on defense he made a block. Giessen also got vital support from their bench as Alen Pjanic scored four points. After Quantez Robertson tied the game at 53-53 with a lay in, it was John Bryant again hanging out at the three point line all alone and dropping a trey. Mobley tied the contest at 58-58 with a trey from the corner, but Pjanic had the last laugh hitting a three for the 61-58 Giessen lead after three quarters. “We didn´t execute enough to keep the lead. We had lost our aggressiveness that we had had to start the third quarter”, expressed Quantez Robertson. “Good teams stay together. After their run, we came back and were able to get the lead back”, said Diante Garrett.
Jobstairs Giessen 46ers manager and German basketball legend Mike Koch wondering where the journey of his team will end
In the fourth quarter the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers did a good job holding the slim lead, but halfway through the quarter, the Fraport Skyliners were able to heighten their offense take the lead and never look back. In the first few minutes both teams watched as John Bryant and Matt Mobley traded baskets as Bryant had five points and Mobley four points, but Giessen still led 66-63. Both clubs continued to execute well as Garrett and Robertson traded baskets as Giessen still led 69-66. Ex Bonn forward Brandon Bowman made a lay in as Giessen kept up the offensive pressure leading 71-66. The Fraport Skyliners then began a 8-0 run to take over the lead again 74-71. In the run they received another clutch basket from Joe Rahon a trey from Mobley and a floater from Gudmundsson. But Giessen didn´t wilt like a flower, but struck back right away as Diante Garrett hit a trey to deadlock the game at 74-74. In a moment like this it would seem that Matt Mobley would be taking every shot, but Quantez Robertson has upped his offensive game in the last weeks and hit a three for the 77-74 lead. He finished with 16 points shooting 43% from the field and tied Skyliner legend Pascal Roller for most games in the organization. “I have been getting up extra shots in practice. I also have been more aggressive attacking the rim. I feel like when I do that it opens it up for me to take jump shots. Tying Pascal means a lot for me. I have been here for a while. I have played many hard fought games and it has been a great ride”, added Quantez Robertson. Garrett then made a huge steal and scored on transition and made a free throw to tie the game at 77-77. But Frankfurt then took total control of the game as Mobley made another incredible difficult three for the 80-77 lead. Bryant would cut the Frankfurt lead down to 80-79 with 46 seconds, but Kessens then slammed the door shut on Giessen with a lay in and 82-79 win. “Our intensity helped us at the end. We strapped down on defense and rebounded well. We boxed out well at the end getting rebounds and stops. I also had a big steal”, stated Quantez Robertson. “We wanted to take the three at the end. I wanted to create something with my moves, but they double teamed me. They made the right play. Bjarne didn´t make the shot, but my teammates and I had the fullest confidence in him making it”, said Diante Garrett. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Matt Mobley with 21 points. Quantez Robertson added 16 points and Michael Kessens had 14 points while the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers were led by John Bryant with 31 points and 9 boards and Diante Garrett added 17 points. The Fraport Skyliners shot 46% from the field and 45% from outside and had 33 rebounds and 15 turnovers while the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers shot 54% from the field and 37% from outside and had 25 rebounds and 18 turnovers.