How much more of this basketball misery can the Fraport Skyliners organization take with the consistent losing the last two months? The fate of the Fraport Skyliners lies in their own hands and with the Syntanics MBC. With 6 games to play, the Fraport Skyliners still aren’t officially in the Pro A, but with four less wins than MBC to stay in the league and six games remaining, every new loss sends a new dagger into the vulnerable and delicate heart of the organization. Since January 28th the team had lost 11 of 12 games and in this stage pretty much sealed their fate for next season. The question was when would the Fraport Skyliners finally begin their miracle winning streak? It didn’t get any easier against number one team Telekom Baskets Bonn who have celebrated their own Cinderella season. A win against this incredible team would have been the perfect start, but as usual they couldn’t handle the lethal offense of the Telekom Baskets Bonn and especially against Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Jovantae Hawkins were totally powerless allowing them to combine for 62 points. ‘We played well today. We had some guys out and other guys stepped up. We connected on all cylinders. We had some defensive problems in the first half and in the fourth quarter, but picked it up. Our offense is our DNA. We play fast paced in the half court. We are a versatile team and play good inside out which is hard to defend’, warned ex Crailsheim guard Javontae Hawkins (196-G-1993, college: Fordham). The Fraport Skyliners gave a spirited effort as usual, but just couldn’t find a way to get a grip on the Bonn offense which shell shocked them for 40 minutes. ‘We didn’t get enough stops and gave up way too many open looks today. We didn’t defend the way we should of. When you let them shoot 70% from the two and three, then it’s very tough to beat them’, stressed ex Auburn (NCAA) guard Quantez Robertson.
The first quarter was a back and forth affair as there were seven lead changes and at the end of 10 minutes the Fraport Skyliners had the slim 24-23 advantage. The Telekom Baskets Bonn caught the Fraport Skyliners on the wrong side of the bed and exploded on a 13-4 run. Bonn showed their full offensive arsenal led by ex Arizona (NCAA) guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright. It seemed like before ex Alba Berlin center Jamel Mclean could even get totally situated on the bench, the guests had already scored 10 points. In the offensive carnage, Jackson-Cartwright scored twice and every basket was tough which every cm of his 176 frame had to be used. Ex Houston (NCAA) forward Justin Gorham got the guests in parking lot mood draining the teams first trey while ex BC Rytas Vilnius sniper Salius Kulvietis also got hot scoring twice from outside. Frankfurt countered with a Rasheed Moore runner and Len Schoormann back door lay in getting set up nicely from ex NBA player Will Cherry. But basketball displayed again that the game likes to showcase runs as Frankfurt battled taking the 16-15 advantage due to the luxury of a 12-2 run. In the run, the Fraport Skyliners took advantage of Bonn relaxing a bit and stepping up their defense and getting stops and easy buckets. Key in the run was ex Alba Berlin lefty Lorenz Brenneke who contributed 6 points and was the classic finisher inside twice. Frankfurt attacked the paint area getting a basket form Quantez Robertson and two from Moore who also added a massive two handed stuff. From then on there would be six lead changes as no team could escape the other. Bonn continued to let it fly as great role player Skyler Bowlin connected on a three pointer as did Gorham. Frankfurt got valuable aid from Robertson with a three pointer, lay in from Polish national player Marcel Ponitka and three free throws from Mclean. After 10 minutes, the Fraport Skyliners had the slim 24-23 lead. ‘We put more pressure on ball and connected on good looks. We also took advantage of getting on transition and getting easy baskets’, stated Quantez Robertson.
In the second quarter, the Fraport Skyliners were able to keep the game close, but mid way through came the turning point as the Telekom Baskets Bonn blasted off on a 11-0 run and would never look back. The guests continued to show their smooth offense scoring 37 points and was led by Parker Jackson-Cartwright who dazzled everyone over and over with his undeniable quickness and incredible finishing abilities. He hit a seemingly impossible three pointer from the corner and also added a easy lay in where he showed his lightening speed. ‘He is definitely quicker than Dashaun Wood. If we worried too much about the screen and turned our head, he was gone. He made shot after shot and never stopped’, commented Quantez Robertson. American Javontae Hawkins who learned his craft at Fordham (NCAA) also got going adding five points early. Frankfurt got valuable baskets from Mclean, a three from Brancou Badio and a lay in on transition by Marcel Ponitka as Frankfurt had the slim 38-35 advantage. But then came the turning point as the Telekom Baskets Bonn erupted on a 11-0 run to lead 49-38. In the run, the guests continued to get non stop production from future easyCredit BBL MVP Jackson-Cartwright as he steered hot shooting with a trey and 20 footer while Kulvietis made another three pointer and ex Skyliner Michael Kessens scored inside twice as Bonn really understood how to show their inside out game at it’s best. Frankfurt retaliated getting a groove on offense again, but couldn’t make any ground as Bonn also kept reacting to Frankfurt’s punches with their own blows. Frankfurt’s best player on this dismal afternoon was Rasheed Moore who found his touch nailing two three pointers and Badio and German national player Lukas Wank also scored inside. The Telekom Baskets Bonn continued to let it rain three’s as Hawkins and Bowlin connected while Jackson-Cartwright also made a lay in. At the break the Telekom Baskets Bonn had the comfortable 60-50 lead. ‘We got beat too easy and didn’t keep a good eye on their shooters. We did a good job keeping them from the free throw line, but we still gave up to many second chance points’, added Quantez Robertson.
The Telekom Baskets Bonn really opened up the game in the third quarter with an incredible scoring frenzy with 32 points while staying true to their defensive principles and holding the Fraport Skyliners to 17 points and nine less than in the second quarter and led by as much as 23 points. Frankfurt came out awake getting a rapid trey from Rasheed Moore, but then went into hibernation allowing Bonn to get out on a 9-0 run and extend their lead to 69-53. In the run, the guests were led by Javontae Hawkins who used his athleticism inside for an easy bucket and also added a thunderous dunk in the lane. Jackson-Cartwright supplied a runner and Kulvietis added another three pointer showing what a true Lithuanian sniper is. Jackson-Cartwright was the skipper of the boat as the offense was like a clock work while the Fraport Skyliners just seemed to be going through the motions and were lacking real intensity. Frankfurt continued to trail and would get baskets here and there from Robertson, Brenneke and Moor inside, but just couldn’t get over the hump as the Bonn execution rate was magnificent. Bonn continued to attack inside getting easy buckets from Jackson-Cartwright, Kessens and Kulvietis. Hawkins also buried the first of two totally ridiculous three pointers giving Bonn the 79-63 lead. ‘I was out for a year and a half. I credit my success to hard work. I worked very hard on my craft which allows me to show my versatility. Coach trusts me to take those type of shots because of the work I put in’, warned Javontae Hawkins. The guests never let up and continued to put on extreme pressure on offense closing out the third quarter with a 13-4 run to lead 92-69. Hawkins carried Bonn in the run supplying 8 points including his second crazy shot of the quarter. Kessens also added a hard dunk and Jackson-Cartwright another lay in as his speed crippled everyone in Frankfurt’s defense. ‘Coach didn’t say much at half-time. He just trusted us to figure it out. The only concern was defense and not to get stagnant on offense. We played more team basketball and made the extra passes, found the mismatches and found the bigs inside’, stated Javontae Hawkins. ‘We didn’t execute on defense or on offense which allowed them to have the big lead’, said Quantez Robertson.
In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners finally stepped it up and played their game scoring 29 points, but the 20 points allowed didn’t help them get over the hump. The Telekom Baskets Bonn did the first damage going on a 10-4 run to extend their lead to 102-71. In the run they got back to back three’s from Jackson-Cartwright and Hawkins and two shots inside by Kessens. Kessens scored the team’s 100th point with a pretty hook shot as not even 32 minutes had been played yet. The game was over or was it. Frankfurt had nothing to lose and closed out the game with a furious offensive onslaught with a 25-10 run. Had they began the run a bit earlier and not allowed a few three’s, they may have won. But at the end of the day, speculation has been something that has been done with this year’s club all season long. Bonn got a little sloppy on offense as Frankfurt got steal after steal and after 40 minutes they had 13 in total. Lukas Wank added 8 points including two three’s while Cherry added 5 points and Quantez Robertson a trey. Bonn got added support from Justin Gorham who had a solid game with 12 points adding 5 points and Hawkins made a lay in as he had his career best with 31 points. ‘He made a lot of tough shots, but also had open looks. When he gets going that’s what guys like him are capable of doing’, stated Quantez Robertson. Jackson-Cartwright also added a step back equalizing 31 points. ‘Parker is clearly the MVP. If I had 100 votes, he would get 100 votes. He adjusted so well to coaches system. I’m so proud of him. Sky is the limit for him. We became undisciplined in the fourth quarter. But that is normal for teams having big leads. We couldn’t keep our foot on the gas pedal’, stated Javontae Hawkins. ‘We played more aggressive and got more fast break points. We rebounded better and our helpers helped more’, added Quantez Robertson. The Telekom Baskets Bonn had 5 players in double figures. Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Javontae Hawkins added 31 points apiece. Saulius Kulvietis added 16 points and Michael Kessens 14 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Rasheed Moore with 22 points while Jamel Mclean added 15 points and Lukas wank had 12 points. The Telekom Baskets Bonn shot 66% from the field and 60% from outside and had 28 rebounds and 16 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 57% from the field and 37% from outside and had 19 rebounds and 13 turnovers.