Philip Jenkins (188-G-1990, college: Life) is a 31 year old 188cm guard from Goose Creek South Catrlina that is playing his second season with VFL Bensheim. He had previous experience in Germany playing three years with TS 1856 Frankfurt-Griesheim. He played at various school’s in the States with Francis Marion University (NCAA2), Cleveland State Community College, Clinton Community College and Life University. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the 86-65 loss in Limburg
VFL Bensheim came into Limburg having won five of their last eight games. What had changed in the last two months after a bad start?
We had three coaches. Our better communication has been the biggest factor. That has given us a totally different atmosphere.
What is the most challenging thing playing a mid week game in the Regionalliga?
This was the second time we played on a Wed and was also our second loss. Most guys have jobs, but we can’t use that as an excuse. We knew this season that with Covid we would have many make up games and had to adjust accordingly.
You missed your first three shots and then made a lay in. Is your drive something that you can rely 100% on?
Yes I can always rely on my drive, but I’m more of a shooter actually. But I like to drive and get my teammates involved.
Limburg had the big 30-12 lead after 10 minutes. What was giving Bensheim the biggest problems?
We started off slow. We were sucking more inside and leaving their three open. It was picking your poison.
Bensheim had big problems with the Limburg zone. You couldn’t take advantage of open looks.
Yes we couldn’t knock them down. The game would have been a lot closer if we had been able to do that. Our defense also wasn’t good. It was one of those Wednesdays.
How vital has Eric Curth been for success. Limburg contained him well in the first, but he erupted for 13 points in the second quarter.
He is very important for us. He is one of our top if not our top player. Most of his buckets come in the one on one plays. He is really skilled. Once he gets going. We are very dangerous.
Bensheim played a lot better winning the second quarter 26-15. What adjustments did you make besides taking away their three?
We locked in on their three pointers and defended their post feeds well. We shaded on to shooters and there was less stunting on the drives.
At half-time coach took you aside. What did he tell you?
He just calmed me down. When we are down a lot, it is hard for me to watch. He helped me mentally. I was hungry to return to the game. Coach and I have a good chemistry.
Limburg really broke open the game in the third quarter going on a 15-4 run. Bensheim didn’t seem awake at both ends of the court?
Our third quarter is always our weakest. It was one of those Wednesdays again. We came out sluggish. Each guy has to give 100%.
Limburg players were always calling you shooter when you had the ball. How does it feel having that respect from a team?
That’s normal for me. Last game I had six three’s and today none. When that is happening, I try to get my team involved.
Yann Gorehlich gave the team a big spark at the end with a basket. How big is his game for the team success?
He is our best three point shooter. He is streaky, but when he gets going he can make a big impact for us. He doesn’t play so much, because of his defense. Our coach stresses defense, so if a guy isn’t playing defense then he won’t play. But he is a real knock down shooter.
In the fourth quarter Limburg guard Matej Kljaic was disqualified with a tussle with Richard Maurer. How did you see the play?
I was right there. Both were wrestling for the ball and in the process both of their hands were tangled up. Once they were on the ground, both tried to get up. The Limburg player’s knee was in Richard’s face. He got a scratch around his eye.
That foul didn’t hurt Limburg, but sparked them. Why couldn’t Bensheim take advantage of it?
We made a turnover right away which really sparked the crowd. They reacted and lifted the atmosphere in the gym. That lit a spark for Limburg and after that they controlled the game until the end.
Your playing your first Regionalliga season in Germany. How have you seen the development of your game?
My defense has gotten better. I talk to a lot of coaches and they keep saying that it’s my defense that needs to get better. Everybody knows I can score, so I have made my defense my strong point.
There are so many great Americans in the Regionalliga like Jeremy Ingram or John Murry averaging 30 points per game. Does it bother you that you aren’t putting up those kinds of numbers?
I can score the ball, but I’m in Bensheim to do everything and not just score. I’m not asked to score 30 points even though I could. We have enough guys that can score and are capable to win without me having to put on a show.
What separates you from reaching the Pro B? I’m sure the Pro B is your next goal?
My goal is the Pro B, Pro A. I’m just trying to move up and get an opportunity. I’m confident I can move up. I have to keep grinding to reach the next level. If I don’t I will still be knocking on the door.
How much of a joy is it to play against Mr Regionalliga Ricky Easterling. Are you aware he is the greatest Regionalliga player to ever play in Germany?
I didn’t know that. I have been in Germany for five years. This season was the first time I played against him and that was the first time that I heard of him. He is a very good player. We play them again after losing the first game. I’m looking for revenge.
Who has bene the toughest player that you have played against this season?
My best friend out here Jeremy Ingram of Manheim. We hang out almost every weekend. We have been on vacation in Spain. We work out together a lot.
Last weekend Regionalliga player Jonathan Braeger scored 100 points. He got a lot of hate because he played against 5 players and after half-time against only 3 guys and no defense. What is your take on that?
I heard it is a very shaky story.
Thanks Philipp for the chat.
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