37 Quinton Hooker Points And A Touch Of Magic Johnson No Look Passes Guide The Syntanics MBC Past The Fraport Skyliners 81-76

Quinton Hooker dropping one of his 6 three´s on the afternoon

The last time the Fraport Skyliners were on the floor in an official easyCredit BBL game it was Easter Sunday as Quantez Robertson was keeping the Easter spirit alive with some Resee´s Peanut Butter Cups. That was three weeks ago as Frankfurt dismantled the Hakro Merlins Crailsheim 92-84. Then instead of battling teams MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and s.Oliver Wurzburg, the Frankfurt players were in quarantine and experiencing boring Zoom conferences and nonstop Netflix movies. They hadn´t practiced in 17 days and only had one team practice before the game against the Syntanics MBC. MBC on the other hand were sporting a 1-2 record since Easter Sunday, but also had beaten tough team Crailsheim and lost a two point heart breaker to the Niners Chemnitz. The Fraport Skyliners came into the contest in tenth place with a record of 11-16 and the playoffs a real long shot while the guests from Weissenfels entered the Fraport arena with a record of 8-22 and in 16th place and were in dire need for a win to help their chances of remaining in the BBL. The game was a fierce battle and the guests had to rely a lot on the output of American point guard Quinton Hooker who exploded for 37 points his second most as a professional after scoring 40 points as a rookie in Poland guiding the Syntanics MBC past The Fraport Skyliners 81-76. With easyCredit BBL top scorer Michal Michalak missing due to COVID, somebody else had to pick up the slack and Hooker did an incredible job scoring 24 more points than his season average and carrying his team from the start to the end. Even if Hooker was a massive part of the success, it was a team effort. “We knew how important this game was. We knew that if we could escape Frankfurt with a win then we would be a step closer to remaining in the BBL. Despite missing three players, we played with a lot of energy. We did a great job believing we could win this game until the end. Even when they took the lead, we were able to come back. We had some incredible individual performances”, stressed Syntanics MBC head coach Silvano Poropat. The Fraport Skyliners played a pretty good game considering they had been away from the court for 17 days and could have won the game at the end, but a turnover and offensive rebound form MBC cost them the game. “I thought we gave overall a good performance considering how long we didn´t practice. We had no rhythm in the first half, but found it in the second half. We needed to give more effort at the end so that we could of won this game”, stated Fraport Skyliner guard Jon Axel Gudmundsson. “It was a total team effort. All played hard and we moved the ball well. We made some big defensive plays at the end that gave us the win”, said MBC guard Quinton Hooker.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviwing Jon Axel Gudmundsson who contributed 12 points in the loss

            The Fraport Skyliners came into the game missing three players due to COVID-19 with Germans Michael Kessens, Bruno Vrcic and Len Schoormann. Despite being shorthanded, the 2016 FIBA Europe cup winner led quickly 6-2. Frankfurt got a nopening trey from ex Braunschweig guard Joe Rahon and Quantez Robertson drilled home a 15 footer from the wing. Quinton Hooker got a lay in rapidly showing just how quickly he can get to the rim and finish. Frankfurt moved the ball better and executed better in the first minutes as ex St Bonaventure(NCAA) guard Matt Mobley nailed a trey and Rahon was aggressive again getting in the lane and making a lay in as Frankfurt led 11-6. But that basketball is a game of runs is no secret as the 2004 FIBA Europe cup winner from Weissenfels went on a 7-0 run to capture their first lead of the contest at 14-13. Hooker started to get busy as he led the charge with 5 points with a three pointer and a pretty finger tip roll lay in. The first quarter would see 5 more lead changes. Frankfurt received key baskets from Gudmundsson, ex Hanau center Marco Voeller and Mobley while MBC got further production from Hooker and ex Western Kentucky University (NCAA) forward Sergio Kerush. Hooker continued to get the green light and produced as he made his second trey of the first quarter for the 22-21 advantage. Rahon then made free throws and ex American Deron Washington who played at Virginia Tech(NCAA) and was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 2008 made a lay in for the 24-23 MBC advantage after 10 minutes. These high scoring quarters continue this season all over the easyCredit BBL and not having those loud fans have affected the scoring. “It gives the away teams a real advantage with no yelling fans. It is hard to keep the momentum at times without fans”, stressed Jon Axel Gudmundsson.

Matt Mobley scoring in traffic

            In the second quarter the Syntanics MBC were able to break away and lead 49-40 at half-time. Hooker continued his hot shooting showing extreme calmness and picking his spots well giving Weissenfels the 29-25 lead with a trey. The Fraport Skyliners stayed on the Syntanics MBC heels hitting them with a 5-0 run to retake the lead at 30-29. Frankfurt did a good job getting to the free throw line getting production from ex Rasta Vechta center Kamari Murphy and Mobley and ex Auburn(NCAA) great Quantez Robertson scored on a coast to coast sprint. But the guests didn´t panic and remained patient and executed on offense as ex Weber State(NCAA) forward Kyndahl Hill dropped a trey and Hooker made another seemingly impossible lay in traffic for the MBC 34-30 advantage which they would hold until the break. Both teams had good ball movement, but the only difference was that MBC executed while Frankfurt didn´t execute at a good rate and made bad decisions. The Syntanics MBC continued to keep the lead as they really didn´t have many scoring options as it was their three Americans with Hooker, Hill and Washington supplying the punch along with German Kerush. Frankfurt stayed with the guests getting vital support from ex wiha Panther forward Rasheed Moore who had a slow start and Rahon cutting the Weissenfels lead to 39-36. The Syntanics MBC then closed out the quarter with a spark of energy going on a 10-4 run to lead 49-40. In the run MBC got another huge three pointer from Hooker and from Kerush and also got a lay in from 36 year old Serbian center Djordje Pantelic who is playing his sixth season with MBC. The veteran made an amazing over the shoulder shot after getting one of the countless no look passes from Hooker who has been showing that Magic Johnson passing style all season long. “My no look passes are a part of my game. I have been labelled as a combo guard, but scoring isn´t the only thing I do, but I also like to find the open man. I have to thank my dad who showed me Magic Johnson early on and those no look passes became an imprint in my game”, warned Quinton Hooker. Kamari Murphy ended the first half with a pretty tip in dunk to give Frankfurt at least a bit of energy going into the second half.

            The third quarter was a tale of two runs as the Fraport Skyliners rallied back to dead lock the game with a run only to see it evaporate with a MBC run which gave them the 6 point advantage after 30 minutes. The Fraport Skyliners came out of the break refocused and hungry and hit the Syntanics MBC with a hard 15-6 run to tie the contest at 55-55. In the run it was Matt Mobley who lit up like a microwave the way ex Detroit Piston Vinnie Johnson did back in the day scorching the guests with 11 points. The American found his touch and range letting it rain with 3 three´s and also made free throws. Frankfurt did a better job keeping Quinton Hooker in check and keyed in better on their main scorers as the guests were too one dimensional and just didn´t have many scoring options. The Frankfurt run didn´t in any way impress the Syntanics MBC as they buckled down harder on defense and heightened their intensity while on offense executed better going on a 9-3 run to lead 64-58 after 3 quarters. In the run the guests got a trey from Washington, a beautiful turn around shot from Hill a lay in by Hooker and a lay in by Kerusch where Hooker once again wheeled and dealed with a fancy no look pass. “We swiched up our defense. We had problems giving Mobley clean looks. But we were able to come back and found a way to score again getting the lead back”, expressed Quinton Hooker. “Mobley was very important for us When he starts to hit shots, he makes the game easier for us. Everybody to believe in themselves letting us go on that run. We continued to give Hooker too many easy looks. Any player can make those kinds of lay in´s in the BBL”, stressed Jon Axel Gudmundsson.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Quinto Hooker after he exploded for 37 points

            As so often in this season the Fraport Skyliners never gave up and played out their hearts until the end, but then like so often this season couldn´t execute on offense and get the needed stops to pull out a crunch-time victory. The game of runs continued as now it was time for the Fraport Skyliners to get back into the game as they struck MBC with a lethal 10-1 run to take the well deserved 68-65 lead. In the run the 2000 BBL cup winner received key three´s from Rasheed Moore and Joe Rahon as well as another basket by Moore and a big two handed Mobley dunk. Frankfurt continued to move the ball well, but now were making better decisions while the Syntanics MBC got stagnant on offense. Frankfurt wasn´t able to hold their sudden momentum and allowed the guests to roll back with a 6-0 run to retake the lead at 71-68. The Syntanics MBC got clutch baskets from Pantelic inside as he used the mismatches and got easy baskets. It was sort of a mystery why the guests hadn´t gone to Pantelic earlier to exploit the mismatches. Hooker also scored again with a difficult left handed lay in. Frankfurt continued to grind away and tied the game at 75-75 getting key buckets from Mobley with a jumper, a trey Gudmundsson and a lay in from Rahon. Mobley then gave Frankfurt it´s last lead with a free throw 76-75. The Syntanics MBC gave the ball to Hooker again who nailed his sixth three pointer and 35th point of the game and the 78-76 MBC lead with 27 seconds to play. “Not only I took control, but also Kyndahl Hill. He also played 40 minutes like me and had an amazing game. He took a lot of pressure off me. I never felt the need to force things today, but I wanted to stay aggressive. That last shot was similar to one I hit earlier. It was fun to watch it go in”, warned Quinton Hooker. “Quinton came up with great answers today. You don´t see performances like his often. You really have to tip your hat to him. At times it felt like he was playing against 10 defenders”, smiled Syntanics MBC head coach Silvano Poropat. Frankfurt had the chance to send the game into OT, but Matt Mobley coughed up the ball. MBC then closed out the game with Hill and Hooker free throws. “The last play was designed for Mobley to get the ball at the free throw line. His defender had two hands on him. No foul was called. He then tried to pass the ball to Murphy, but it´s difficult to get off a good pass when there are two hands on him”, stressed Jon Axel Gudmundsson. Defensive stops won us the game., We got some deflections and a huge offensive rebound”, added Quinton Hooker.  The Syntanics MBC were led by Quinton Hooker with 37 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Kyndahl Hill added 15 points and 10 boards while Sergio Kerush had 14 points and 12 rebounds while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Matt Mobley with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Joe Rahon had 16 points and 9 assists and Jon Axel Gudmundsson had 12 points. The Syntanics MBC shot 48% form the field and 40% from outside and had 33 rebounds and 12 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 42% from the field and 36% from outside and had 37 rebounds and 15 turnovers.



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