Only a few years ago the Niners Chemnitz were in the Pro A trying to move up and any thoughts then that a established team like the Fraport Skyliners could ever lose to them would have been a joke, but how times change. In a span of only 2 years the Niners Chemnitz have become a respected BBL club that have beaten FC Bayern Munich twice in the last two seasons something Frankfurt could only dream of. The Fraport Skyliners are having a season to forget as they were desperately reeling for a win as inconsistency and injuries have plagued them as of late. The Niners arrived in Frankfurt at position 7 having won 5 of their last 6 games under the superb direction of underrated head coach Rodrigo Pastore including having celebrated wins over FC Bayern Munich and Bamberg while the Fraport Skyliners were in 16th place riding a three game losing streak. The Fraport Skyliners played a spirited game where they defended with passion, but couldn´t make the needed stops in overtime as the Niners Chemnitz prevailed 82-78. “It was a tough game. I felt that we competed well with all the ups and downs in the game. We played solid defense the whole game. Sometimes it is 50/50 where it can go either way. We lost control of our offense at the end”, stressed Fraport Skyliners head coach Diego Ocampo. The Niners Chemnitz came out with energy and also were able to overcome the highs and lows of the game and made some adjustments in the second half that paid massive dividends. “It was a very difficult game. They are a very dangerous team beating Ulm and Crailsheim. We knew that we would have our hands full. Second chances is a big strength of them. We couldn´t counter it at the start as they got a lot of offensive rebounds. We only allowed a few offensive rebounds in the third quarter. Key to the win was limiting their second chances. But it could of gone either way”, stressed Niners Chemnitz head coach Rodrigo Pastore.
The Fraport Skyliners had fortune as they had key players Will Cherry and Brancou Badio back while the Niners Chemnitz had had Covid problems, but had most guys back except for German Nelson Weidemann. The first quarter was a back and forth tug of war as no team could escape the other as there were 10 lead changes. Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robertson started off hot with a trey, but would have a dismal shooting day, but on defense he quickly sparked the team with two steals which led to transition buckets from Cherry and Badio. The Niners Chemnitz were fueled by their Lithuanuan sniper Minduagas Susinskas who from a distance looks like Franz Wagner stepped up with 8 points. The club was also aided by baskets from ex Marquette American Trent Locket and ex EWE Baskets guard Franz Massenat. Frankfurt also received timely support from Jamel Mclean and Len Schoormann who supplied big baskets. Having ex NBA player Will Cherry back at the point was very noticeable. “He recognizes situations very well and goes there. When there are break downs, he fixes it. He makes good decisions”, stated Nift Al-Shamal (Iraq-Superleague) guard Jermale Jones. After 10 minutes the Fraport Skyliners had the slim 21-19 edge. Chemnitz shot over 50% and Frankfurt over 40%. It was a pretty even game. Frankfurt played solid defense and rebounded the ball well”, added ex TV Lich guard Jermale Jones.
Both teams stepped up their defense in the second quarter as the contest remained tight as no team could get away form the other as the Fraport Skyliners led 35-32 at the break. After a slow shooting first quarter, Rasheed Moore escaped his funk and made big plays with an offensive rebound and two baskets showing his always aggressiveness around the rim. “Moore put that first quarter behind him. He kept his confidence which helped him step up his game”, stated Jermale Jones. While Frankfurt did a good job doing damage inside, it was Chemnitz that had success with the long ball and simply searched for the easy execution while Frankfurt at times chose the difficult execution which led to missed shots. Chemnitz got big three´s from Wimberg and twice from Susinskas who continued to be a nasty thorn in Frankfurt´s side for the slim 30-28 advantage. Frankfurt fought back and stole the lead back getting to the free throw line getting baskets from Mclean while ex Alba Berlin forward Lorenz Brenneke hit a trey and Schoormann made a floater from the wing.”Chemnitz moved the ball very well and whenever someone was open shot the ball. Frankfurt was more hesitant to shoot. Frankfurt continued to defend very well forcing Chemnitz to tough shots and rebounded the ball well”, said Jermale Jones.
The third quarter continued to be a dog fight as no team could go on a huge run and keep the lead. Ex Virginia(NCAA) forward Darion Atkins who had a stellar 18/12 night began the second half off hot with a tip in, block on Badio and dished out a dime to a Lockett basket that allowed Chemnitz to get the lead back at 36-35. The rapid Chemnitz start didn´t faze the Fraport Skyliners as they upped their intensity as they rattled off a quick 7-0 run to regain the 42-37 lead. Frankfurt did a good job swarming the paint area getting a tip in from rookie Brooks DeBisshop, a Robertson lay in and Moore three pointer. Chemnitz continued to battle back as Frankfurt couldn´t find the right defender to slow down Susinskas who continued to score making a trey, floater and free throws. Frankfurt got the lead back with a Len Schoormann three pointer 48-46. With both teams over the foul limit, they both landed at the free throw line, but Frankfurt led 55-51 after Jamel Mclean made free throws. Frankfurt continued to be slow with their rotations and left Wimberg open twice and he let it fly and punished Frankfurt with a swift blow of two three´s and the 57-55 Niners lead after 30 minutes. Frankfurt was shooting only35% from the field while the Niners Chemnitz were at 46%. Frankfurt continued to control the boards 30-25 and had the 12-4 offensive rebound edge
In the fourth quarter it looked like the Fraport Skyliners might be able to pull it out, but the Niners Chemnitz always had an answer and forced overtime. Susinskas began the fourth quarter with a lay in after getting the back door pass from ex SMU(NCAA) forward Isaiah Miles, but Frankfurt struck back tying the game at 59-59 as Schoormann once again displayed his brutal athleticism going coast to coast for a lay in in traffic. Chemnitz than retrieved the lead back taking advantage of Frankfurt´s weak 1-1 defense as Lockett snuck inside easily for two points and Atkins made an alley op tap in for the 64-59 lead. The concentration of Frankfurt faltered as every so often after a huge offensive play, they would come right back and give up easy points. Basketball is a game of runs and the Fraport Skyliners erupted for a 9-0 run to take the 68-64 lead. In the run they got a Moore bullet three, Robertson free throws, a Lukas Wank runner and Mclean lay in. Big defensive plays sparked their offense. But Chemnitz never gave up getting an Atkins tap in and a 25 footer from the wing from Lockett to dead lock the game at 68-68 as the guests showed their best ball movement of the evening. Atkins then made a turn around shot for the 70-68 Chemnitz lead and with 37 seconds to play, Frankfurt got another clutch basket from Moore. Frankfurt then got a huge stop and had plenty of time to win the game, but Badio missed a dunk attempt when he could of made the easy lay up. “We were lucky we got the stop. We forced a tough shot on Badio. I was scared that he might score”, added Trent Lockett. “Frankfurt should of won the game. They had the easy lay up. Why go for the dunk”, stressed Jermale Jones. Frankfurt had 8 more possessions and 8 more offensive rebounds, but landed in overtime. The overtime period was tight and the Fraport Skyliners had the lead with 46 seconds to go, but couldn´t conserve the lead. With Badio putting up brick after brick, it was Rasheed Moore that became the go to guy. Chemnitz got big baskets form Massenat and Susinskas and Moore made a lay in off a Mclean shovel pass and then nailed a trey for the 78-77 lead. But Frankfurt couldn´t get stops as Wimburg connected on a trey from the corner for the 80-78 lead with 30 seconds to play. Moore then missed and Atkins sealed the victory with free throws. “Every player on the team works hard. We have confidence in each guy to take the big shot. Niklas came up big”, stated Trent Lockett. “Frankfurt made bad decisions in the last 2 minutes. Instead of making easy lay ups, they made it hard for themselves. The defensive rotation was off on that last three by Wimburg”, stressed Jermale Jones. The Niners Chemnitz were led by Minduagas Susinkas with 27 points. Darion Atkins added 18 points and 12 rebounds and Trent Lockett had 13 points while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Rasheed Moore with 17 points while Jamel Mclean and Len Schoormann had 13 points a piece. The Niners Chemnitz shot 46% form the field and 39% from outside and had 40 rebounds and 20 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 35% from the field and 30% from outside and had 42 rebounds and 1 3 turnovers.