Sometimes when a team didn´t start off well, one tends to think that the light at the end of the tunnel will be far when future opponents are called FC Bayern Munich, ratiopharm Ulm, and Brose Bamberg, but in the case of the Fraport Skyliners the tide changed rapidly after they registered a massive cup upset over the EWE Baskets Oldenburg where new player Brankou Badio was the hero in crunch-time displaying a special electricity and athleticism that had even Skyliner legend Quantaz Robertson raving. Before the big three were on the menu, the Fraport Skyliners had a date with the Hamburg Towers who are playing their second easyCredit BBL season and lost their last game against the Fraport Skyliners in their living room. Like Frankfurt Hamburg arrived into the game like with a 0-2 record and were seeking to finally experience a proud moment in the new season. Hamburg actually haven´t played all that bad having played Ludwigsburg tough losing a one point nailbitter and then lost by 8 points to the always pesky Niners Chemnitz. The Fraport Skyliners couldn´t take that momentum from the cup win stinking up their living room with 26 unacceptable turnovers as the Hamburg Towers secured the 74-64 win. After the loss the Skyliner players fled the court quicker than Dashaun Wood could go from one end of the court to the other, so the only one to speak for the club misery was head coach Diego Ocampo who wasn´t a happy camper. “We turned over the ball 26 times and alone 10 times in the first quarter which brought us behind 22-12. We knew that Hamburg would come out aggressive. We weren´t able to adapt to the referees. We didn´t start to play until the 35th minute”, stressed Diego Ocampo. Hamburg won their first game of the season and the players also fled the court after the game quickly, but only because they had to catch a train home. Hamburg didn´t play their greatest game either, but it was enough to defeat the hapless Fraport Skyliners.“We began well and showed the aggressiveness that we needed to show. We are still missing the needed self-confidence in certain moments. I thought our biggest strength was that we stayed together as a team”, stressed Hamburg Towers sport director Marvin Willoughby.
The first few minutes was a back and forth as both teams found their offensive rhythm. Ex Arkansas(NCAA) guard Jabril Durham who came into the game averaging 9,0apg nailed a three pointer. He gave Frankfurt fits all day long as at the end he had registered 8 steals. 221cm Dutch big man Matt Haarms hit some free throws and made a lay in while Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson also was aggressive and scored inside, but Hamburg stayed close getting buckets from big man Maik Kotsar and ex Vechta forward Robin Christen to dead lock the game at 8-8. But then occurred the turning point of the game as Hamburg closed out the first quarter with a 14-4 run to lead 22-12 after one quarter. Frankfurt wasn´t able to bounce back thus playing catch up basketball for the whole afternoon. In the run Hamburg got vital support from Seth Hinrichs who got 2 baskets, Robin Christen, ex Bamberg forward Eddy Edigin and young German Lukas Meissner also scored. Frankfurt was unable to come to terms with the aggressive defense from Hamburg that especially disrupted the Frankfurt guards Donovan Donaldson and Len Schoorman. This led to a turnover fest that resulted in an unbelievable 10 after 10 minutes.
In the second quarter the Hamburg Towers kept up the pressure and lead in double figures as the Fraport Skyliners could get consistent stops and make some ground. Hamburg began to execute really well from outside as ex Liberty(NCAA) standout Caleb Homesley, ex Wichita State(NCAA)guard Zach Brown and Robin Christen twice hit from downtown giving the guests the very comfortable 36-20 advantage. As usual when Frankfurt needs a savior, it is almost always Rasheed Moore who did it last year and continues to do it this season giving the new word scoring in bunches a new meaning. He led his team on a 7-0 run with a trey and free throw while ex Alba Berlin forward Lorenz Brenneke also connected cutting the Hamburg lead down to 36-27. But Hamburg continued to execute well and head coach Pedro Calles who dedicated the win to his friend head coach Martin Schiller who recently had been fired after only a few games in Lithuania did a good job with his bench and got good support from ex Bayreuth guard Lukas Meissner with a three and ex Vechta guard Max DiLeo made a lay in. “I support Martin Schiller because I think that he is one of the best coaches that I know”, stated Pedro Calles. The Fraport Skyliners closed out the second quarter with a bang getting a buzzer beater lay in from Brancou Badio, but Frankfurt still trailed 43-31. A positive note for Frankfurt in comparison to the first quarter was that they only coughed up the ball 3 times in the second frame. Another nice thing to note was that Quantez Robertson tallied his 4000th easyCredit BBL points in the first half.
Nothing changed in the third quarter as the Fraport Skyliners trailed mostly by double digits and just couldn´t make ground on Hamburg. The Fraport Skyliners actually began the second half strong going on a 4-0 run to cut the Hamburg lead down to 43-35 as Badio and German national player Lukas Wank scored. But it was clear to see that Frankfurt lived off 1-1 play and it was difficult to recognize any kind of plays or real team play. Quantez Robertson wanted more than just 4000 points and scored back to back baskets with a lay in and trey cutting Hamburg´s lead down to 47-40. But the Hamburg Towers then totally broke open the game with a 12-2 run to extend their lead to 59-42. On offense they moved the ball well and chose the right decisions as they let it rain three´s. Christen had the hot hand on this day connecting twice and Homesley scored again. Down the stretch, it was Mr “I can score in bunches” Rasheed Moore who made a runner and transition basket. Hamburg got baskets from Christen and Homesley. Matt Haarms closed out the third quarter with a buzzer beater but the Hamburg Towers still led comfortably 65-50.
In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners made one last push to cut the Hamburg lead down to 8 points, but time ran out. Lukas Wank got Frankfurt on the board first, but Hamburg continued to execute well getting baskets from Durham and Kotsar to keep the comfortable 72-53 lead. Frankfurt then had their best stretch going on a 11-0 run to cut Hamburg´s lead down to 72-64. In the run they got great production and support from their young kinds Felix Hecker who was only playing his third easyCredit BBL game had 4 points and Lorenz Brenneke supplied four points. In this good stretch, the Fraport Skyliners were without their two guards Donovan Donaldson and Len Schoormann. It had been a day to forget for both as they combined for 9 turnovers. They combined for 1 point and 6 assists in 45 minutes. The club has a point guard problem, but head coach Diego OCampo was as neutral as a coach can be. “The problem is more our turnovers and how they occur. It is my responsibility and a team problem. I don´t want to point fingers, but give my support. We know that we have a problem and need to find a solution”, warned Diego Ocampo. Durham closed out the game with a lay in for the win. “We were too focused on closing out the game. We got away form playing the kind of basketball we know how”, stated Hamburg Towers guard Max DiLeo concnering the Frankfurt 11-0 run. The Hamburg Towers were led by Robin Christen with 19 points. Caleb Homesley had 14 points and Jabril Durham added 11 points, 11 assists and 8 steals while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Quantez Robertson with 17 points and Lorenz Brenneke added 14 points and 9 boards. The Hamburg Towers shot 39% from the field and 37% from outside and had 36 rebounds and 16 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 42% from the field and 29% from outside and had 37 rebounds and 26 turnovers.