The last time the Fraport Skyliners played a home game in the Fraport arena with fans was almost 19 months ago. Back then you had Skyliners running up and down the floor with Lamont Jones, Shaquille Hines and Daniel Schmidt while the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg still had a raw BBL player with Jaleen Smith who was continuing to grow as a player as well as potent players like Marcos Knight and Nick Weiler-Babb. Now at the start of two seasons later one thing never changes. Quantez Robertson is still here playing his 13th season and not seeming to slow down. COVID changed everything in the world and not playing in front of fans was a difficult task for every one. Finally the loud atmosphere was back again everywhere This season´s roster is a very interesting one firstly with new Spanish head coach Diego Ocampo as well as many new players like Donovan Donaldson, Matt Haarms and Brooks DeBischop and many questions marks. As usual the club has suffered the injury bug. Good for them that they would meet the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig as they are one of the weaker teams this season. A victory off the bat was vital, because the club would meet some real tough teams in the next weeks and didn´t want to be in the hole right away. The Fraport Skyliners were in control in the first half even if they could never shake the guests, but in the second half the tide changed as Braunschweig stepped up their defensive intensity and found a way to execute better offensively winning 89-76 despite a great day from Quantez Robertson scoring a career high 29 points. “We had a lack of execution when we needed it most in the fourth quarter and we also gave up too many second chance points and turnovers which helped them get the win”, stressed ex Auburn(NCAA) guard Quantez Robertson. The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig got a massive win on the road and most importantly give them a good chance to win the head to head points against Frankfurt for t5eh season winning by 13 points. “We started slow, because we were a bit nervous. It was the first BBL game for some guys. But in the second half we started to run and play better defense. We also hit timely shots and played more aggressive defense. The only problem we had was trying to stop Quantez Robertson”, stressed Czech Republic national player Ondrej Sehnal.
The first quarter was a tight affair as no team could escape each other as the Fraport Skyliners led 21-20 after 10 minutes. Both teams found their offensive rhythm, but couldn´t find an identity on the defensive end. Frankfurt got some early energy from 221 cm Dutch giant rookie Matt Haarms who did a good job establishing position and then letting his arms and shot do the rest. Branschweig got massive early production from ex Georgia Southern University(NCAA) guard Tookie Brown who scored three buckets showing his classy mid range game and penetration. With the contest dead locked at 8-8, Frankfurt coach Diego Ocampo inserted ex wiha Panther Rasheed Moore who as usual gave the team instant support with a jumper and trey for the 13-10 advantage. Frankfurt would get the lead back just before the end of the first quarter. At the 3,27 minute mark, new Skyliner Senegal guard Brancou Badio who last played with FC Barcelona was inserted and saved his best for last as he made a crushing one handed dunk as he sprinted from center court and showed his brutal athleticism that almost knocked Quantez Robertson off his chair on the bench. “His dunk was a bit surprising, because I didn´t see it coming. He attacked the rim and I was sipping some water on the bench and almost choked after that dunk”, laughed Quantez Robertson. Both teams were shooting at a very high clip going into the second quarter.
The second quarter didn´t begin as smoothly for both clubs as the first few minutes brought an ugly turnover party as both teams coughed it up at a high rate. It seemed like a sequel could be happening to the Pro B game of the night before between the Fraport Skyliners Juniors and TSV Oberaching Tropics where both teams produced an incredible 51 turnovers combined. The Fraport Skyliners recovered from the mishaps better as they snuck out on a 11-2 run to give themselves their biggest lead of the game at 32-22. In the run it was Badio who continued to shine. He made a lay in and his concentration and confidence made it look like he had been with Frankfurt for a longer time and not just three days. Frankfurt also got massive support from their leader and league identity figure Quantez Robertson who nailed two three´s and also contributed a steal and went coast to coast for the lay in. Frankfurt was flourishing on offense, but had serious lapses on defense allowing the guests to go on little spurts. Braunschweig got support from Sehnal, ex MBC center Benedikt Turudic and ex FC Bayern Munich German Robin Amaize to cut Frankfurt´s lead down to 33-30. Down the stretch Badio continued to be that reliable scorer that Frankfurt so desperately need making a floater and 20 footer. At the end of 40 minutes he had produced 14/4/4 stats and impressed his teammates like Quantez Robertson even if he did have 5 turnovers, his first game was refreshing. “He was very poised and was very aggressive. He shot the ball well and played good defense. He will be a very good addition for us”, stated Quantez Robertson. Despite leading 38-30, Frankfurt got careless at the end allowing a 5-0 Braunschweig run to lead only 38-35. “We executed better did a better job getting rebounds and getting out on the fast break”, said Quantez Robertson.
In the third quarter the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig came out refocused and took control of the game, but still couldn´t shake the Fraport Skyliners allowing them to hang around and always be in striking range. Braunschweig got vital production from their guard duo of ex ratiopharm Ulm guard David Kramer and Sehnal as they made big baskets, but Frankfurt stayed on their door step getting key buckets from ex Alba Berlin big man Lorenz Brenneke, Robertson and Rasheed Moore to tie the game at 47-47. Braunschwieg executed better playing more team basketball and pressured the Frankfurt guards more efficiently. The gusts continued to keep the slim lead getting further important scores from Brown and Owen Klassen, but Frankfurt stayed with them cutting the lead to 52-51 as Quantez Robertson was alert getting out quickly on transition and beating the Braunschweig transition defense. Klassen got two more baskets, but Frankfurt always had an answeras Donovan Donaldson scored a lay in and free throws to tie the game at 59-59. But the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig still had something up their sleeve as Robin Amaize made a catch and pop jumper as time expired in the third quarter giving Braunschweig the 61-59 advantage. Both teams shot over 50% from the field, but Frankfurt had the rebound edge 29-21, but had an unacceptable 16 turnovers. “Coach told us at half-time that we weren´t playing Braunschwieg basketball. We came out running more and played more aggressive defense. As we hit our shots more, the more confidence we got”, said Ondrej Sehnal. “Braunschweig played more aggressive defense and executed better. They simply wanted it more than us. They pressured us well and we had bad turnovers”, expressed Quantez Robertson.
In the fourth quarter the Basketball Lowen took total control and despite a furious offensive explosion by Quantez Roberson, the Fraport Skyliners couldn´t get over the hump. Braunschwieg didn´t waste anytime racing out on a 7-0 run to take their biggest lead of the game 68-59. In the run they got baskets from Peterka, Sehnal and Turudic. Braunschweig had incredible intensity while Frankfurt couldn´t muster anything in their set offense. The point guard play was below average and they had no real center input on this day which hampered their production. But sometimes things can move so rapidly when you fire away as Rasheed Moore and Quantez Robertson did guiding a lightening blitz form the parking lot and suddenly Frankfurt trailed only 68-65. But Braunschweig always had answers scoring twice quickly as Klassen and Amaize countered to give Braunschweig the 72-65 lead. But then came the big time of Quantez Robertson as he nailed three consecutive three´s, but Frankfurt still was unable to make ground still trailing 77-74. “I came out aggressive and just tried to help my team”, stated Quantez Robertson. It seemed like Frankfurt might have the momentum now, but they didn´t because they couldn´t get stops. After Klassen and Haarms traded baskets, it was Sehnal that put an early stamp on the game with a three giving the guests the 84-76 win. “I started sloppy, but came better into the game in the third quarter with my defense and then started hitting shots”, said Ondrej Sehnal. Braunschweig then put the nail on the coffin securing three offensive rebounds in two possessions while getting two stops. A Brown lay in and Peterka trey closed out the game. “We changed up our defense after the three Robertson three´s and that was key for the win”, expressed Ondrej Sehnal. “Second chance points hurt us in the pre season and did again today at the end. We also couldn´t get the defensive rebounds at the end”, expressed Quantez Robertson. The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig were led by Martin Peterka with 16 points. David Kraemer and Ondrej Sehnal added 14 points a piece and Owen Klassen, Tookie Brown and Robin Amaize had 13 points a piece while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Quantez Robertson with 29 points. Brancou Badio added 14 points and Rasheed Moore had 13 points. The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig shot 55% from the field and 50% from outside and had 33 rebounds and 15 turnovers Fraport Skyliners shot 49% from the field and 38% from outside and had 33 rebounds and 21 turnovers.