After the big cup win over the EWE Baskets Oldenburg, Fraport Skyliners sport manager Marco Voeller was all smiles when some reporters lauded him about his fantastic 27 point explosion in Giessen the night before, and it was hard for him to blush. He countered with a smooth “I can still play”. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors have found their form after a slow start getting blown out my the EPG Baskets Koblenz coming back and winning their next two games at home against Oberaching 93-59 and then clawing out a 78-77 win on the road in Giessen where sniper Felix Hecker won the game on free throws. Frankfurt next met the young and always ambitious and talented FC Bayern Basketball who only had an average 18 years and had a poor 0-3 record. They lost to Orange Academy by 14 points, the EPG Baskets by 11, but then got clobbered by Dresden by 25 points. FC Bayern Munich definitely wanted to uphold the good Munich name and finally get their first victory of the young season. But that had to wait as the Fraport Skyliners juniors gave their best performance of the season ripping apart FC Bayern Basketball 77-53. It was one of those great efforts where everything went right at both ends of the court. After the big win German Konstantin Schubert was all smiles and was in full agreement that this win was a step higher than the last home win against Oberaching. “I´m so proud of how we began the game. It was incredible basketball. I have great respect for Munich who had some very young players 15 and 16 years of age. The first quarter really decided the game. Our preparation was key. We knew the most used plays and sometimes knew exactly where their passes were going to”, stated Konstantin Schubert. For FC Bayern Basketball, it was a game to forget as they had a terrible shooting night, and coughed up the ball a pathetic 24 times. Except for a good stretch in the third quarter, they literally stunk up the BCM gym in Frankfurt “We gave up way too many easy points. We lost the game in the first quarter”, stated 15 year old Russan talent Ivan Khartchenkov.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors started the game with an unbelievable high intensity that FC Bayern Basketball couldn´t match. Their high intensity quickly got their offensive rhythm going which led to sound execution. Frankfurt began with a rapid 4-0 run as ex Hanau guard Felix Hecker scored as did ex Ehingen forward Nils Leonhardt. Munich got some baskets from German Jonas Sauer and Sierra Leon big man Mohammed Sillah, but Frankfurt had this intense groove going on offense which led to a trey by Hecker and another lay in by Leonhardt giving Frankfurt the 9-4 advantage. Frankfurt were anticipating well and getting into passing lanes which led to transition success. The only positive thing the guests were doing was getting offensive rebounds as Sillah made a put back cutting Frankfurt´s lead to 9-6. Even if the game was tight, the teams looked like night and day as Frankfurt then would began an offensive frenzy closing out the first quarter on a 13-0 run to lead very comfortably 22-6. In the run, the Juniors continued to move and share the ball well as ex Wurzburg guard Philipp Hadenfeldt scored in the paint as did Konstantin Schubert and ex Nurnberg guard Matthew Meredith while Felix Hecker dropped his second trey of the first quarter. Frankfurt continued to be a menace on defense bringing that aggressiveness to a new dimension and forcing turnovers. Konstantin Schubert closed out the quarter with a pretty buzzer beater hook shot. “I love bringing the hook shot. I have a good touch and my long arms help me. I´m not stronger than my opponent, but quicker which allows me to use this shot”, stated Konstantin Schubert. The guests shot a poor 18% from the field and 0% from outside, but had the slight 10-9 edge on the boards, but had 6 turnovers while Frankfurt only had 2. “Munich has a lot of very young players. I think that the long bus ride and 0-3 start played a role mentally for their poor start. They had little self-confidence. Munich play very physical and look strong, but they don´t put it together on the court. We played the way that we should at home. We were physical and didn´t give up anything easy”, stated Fraport Skyliners NBBL coach Miran Cumurija.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued their tremendous supremacy in the second quarter playing exceptional defense and going on a 13-5 run to take the incredible 32-11 advantage. Frankfurt got baskets from Hadenfeldt with two and from Schubert as they led 28-8. FC Bayern Basketball had their chances, but just had very little fortune as they couldn´t buy a bucket. They were missing shots that just made you shake your head in disbelief. Philipp Hadenfeldt was a huge factor in the success on this night. His nonstop energy and intensity had Munich running in circles as he was always able to find his teammates and kept the offense on a sound groove. The guests finally received their first field goal at the 6,22 minute mark as 15 year phenom Ivan Khartchenkov made a lay in with amazing quickness that made it look so easy. He had scored 16 points against Koblenz and 17 points against Dresden. He definitely had people turning their heads. “He has a very impressive body for that age. He was a little off the radar in the first half. But teams have to be careful. If you let him play then he is capable of hitting from all over”, said Miran Cumurija. Frankfurt continued to defend with passion that led to easy transition baskets from Konstantin Schubert and Matthew Meredith. Another trey from Hecker gave Frankfurt the commanding 35-11 lead. Frankfurt lost a little focus at the end allowing a 5-2 run to lead 37-16 at the break. Munich got baskets from Khartchenkov and Sebastian Hartman while Hecker hit a runner. Munich continued to be at 0% from down town and couldn´t hit the ocean, but were rebounding well having the 15-11 rebound edge. “Frankfurt was subbing in intelligently bringing in Leon Puellen and Bennet Schubert to give the starters a rest. The biggest plus on defense was just staying in front of their man. When they began to rotate is when they got problems”, stated Miran Cumurija.
The third quarter was FC Bayern Basketball´s best quarter as they won it 20-15 and cut the overwhelming Frankfurt lead down to 13. But Frankfurt recovered half way through and ended the third quarter owning a 17point lead. FC Bayern Basketball came out recharged in the second half going on a quick 9-2 run to cut Frankfurt´s lead to 42-27. In the run the guests got solid support from the 15 year gem Khartchenkov who supplied 5 points as he displayed amazing calmness hitting his spots and connecting. 19 year old Mohammed Sillah who only began playing basketball 4 years ago hit a hook shot and Serbian Aleska Vucetic made a lay in. Munich upped their intensity on defense which made Frankfurt rush too much and produce turnovers. “It is incredible to see how Khartchenkov plays at age 15. He still needs to work on his defense, but offensively he is already a good scorer at the Pro B level”, stated Konstantin Schubert. Frankfurt then began to calm down and execute better again on offense despite Munich doing the same, the guests were unable to cut the deficit under 10 points. Schubert and Marco Voeller who scored twice gave some vital support in the paint keeping the lead at 49-33. After German big man Daniel Helterhoff dropped a 20 footer, Frankfurt got momentum back getting two key back to back baskets from Nils Leonhardt who supplied great energy making a lay in and then instantly making a steal and finishing with a crushing two handed stuff. Konstantin Schubert supplied his third quarter ending buzzer beater with a runner and 55-38 Frankfurt lead. “I never had had two buzzer beaters in a game. I actually wanted to pass the ball, but the clock was down so I decided to make the floater”, smiled Konstantin Schubert. FC Bayern Basketball still hadn´t hit a three, but still had the slight rebound lead 26-24. “We know Munich would come out hard and so did we, but we didn´t. We had to many turnovers, but then we made hustle plays to get back into the game”, commented Konstantin Schubert.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors found back to their game in the fourth quarter winning it 22-15. Frankfurt quickly broke out on a 6-2 run to extend their lead to 61-40. Frankfurt received two baskets from Schubert and Voeller. Frankfurt was playing smart basketball again and elected to go inside taking control of the mis matches. Frankfurt continued to be in command getting baskets from ex Giessen guard Niklas Bilski and Leonhardt for the commanding 65-42 lead. Down the stretch Munich would get some added support from Vucetic who had been quiet for the first three quarters as he connected on a trey and hit a pretty floater. Khartchenkov also got into the action with a lay in as Munich trailed 66-49. Munich was slowly coming back again, but Frankfurt slammed the door shut on them closing out the game with a 11-4 run to win the game. Hadenfeldt continued to be that energizer and offensive force scoring 5 points while Bennet Schubert also connected on free throws. Khartchenkov made one last basket on transition. “It was important that we blocked off that third quarter run and didn´t allow them to come back again. Munich saw then that we weren´t going to let them do it again. We played as a team and the fight was great. It is great how well we started. We have many new guys and a coach, but everything is working”, stated Konstantin Schubert. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Felix Hecker and Philipp Hadenfeldt with 15 points apiece. Konstantin Schubert added 13 points and Nils Leonhardt 12 points while FC Bayern Basketball was led by Ivan Khartchenkov and Mohammed Sillah added 13 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 45% form the field and 15% from outside and had 37 rebounds and 14 turnovers while FC Bayern Basketball shot 38% from the field and 8% from outside and had 38 rebounds and 24 turnovers.