The Fraport Skyliners organization have stood for excellence for more than 20 years, but in the last few years, the club have taken a tough hit with less success as they have missed the playoffs. After the consistent success of Gordon Herbert, the club changed coaches a bit more regularly with guys like Sebastian Gleim and Diego Ocampo and hope that this season three will be a charm with Dutch giant Geert Hammink. Last season the club was bombarded right off the bat with a string of tough games against top teams, but this season, they play against teams up their ally and will need to win games in the next weeks. In their first try on the road against medi Bayreuth, they had a lot of misfortune as in OT on the last play a slip up by American JJ Frazier cost them the game. They hoped the floor would be drier in the Fraport arena, but they had to take a break with the easier opponents as they had a real barrel of problems with the mighty FC Bayern Munich. The Fraport Skyliners were hoping for some success and possibly some underestimation by the Euroleague team. FC Munich began their season with a high scoring win over always tough ratiopharm Ulm and entered the Skyliners living room wanting to go 2-0 and did needing to halt a late Frankfurt run to win 83-74. FC Bayern Munich played a solid game, but nothing great considering they were only up by 5 points with a few minutes to play, but in the end their skill was enough to get the win against a very pesky Frankfurt club. ‘We played well for 35 minutes. We had a few slip ups, but we got the needed defensive stops at the end, made the important hustle plays and had the good spirit’, stressed German national player Nick Weiler-Babb. The Fraport Skyliners played a solid game and really gave FC Bayern Munich a run for the money in the fourth quarter not lying down and displayed real fighter qualities, but a few plays and shots were missing from getting over the hump. ‘I thought that we played a solid game. We played a lot better defense in the second half. We were aggressive at both ends of the court and wanted to give a good outing for the fans. I felt we fought well and to the end’, stressed Quantez Robertson.
The first quarter was a tight affair as no club was able to get away form the other. Both teams had difficulty finding a rhythm as FC Bayern Munich relied on outside shooting as ex NBA player Paul Zipser connected as did German national player Andreas Obst. FC Bayern Munich was really shaky and Frankfurt was unable to take advantage of it. A big goal of the Fraport Skyliners this season is trying to play as fast as possible and trying to execute before 8 seconds, but Frankfurt was unable to do that against Munich’s aggressive defense that forced 5 turnovers. One player everyone is rooting for is Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson who could be playing his last season and definitely is playing the least in his career. He entered the season with a trendy short haircut, but still very motivated and really got his living room cooking when he fired away nailing a trey for the 13-12 Frankfurt advantage. ‘Hitting that shot felt good. The shot clock was down, but Josh made a great play. But honestly making that shot felt like any other shot’, stated Quantez Robertson. Even if Tez is turning 38 a day before Christmas, you can’t say he is over the hill as so many still believe in his abilities. ‘Tez is still the best 1-1 defender for the Skyliners’, stressed Igor Starcevic. Frankfurt was unable to keep the lead down the stretch as FC Bayern Munich got a massive trey from Serbian national player and 2017 NBA Draft Pick of the New York Knicks Ognjen Jaramaz and a lay in from ex Bamberg forward Augustine Rubit. ‘I thought Frankfurt played pretty well and had energy, but it was against Munich’s second 5 who started the game’, commented Igor Starcevic.
In the second quarter FC Bayern Munich was able to get away from the Fraport Skyliners and began with a lethal 20-4 run to extend their lead to 37-19. In the run, FC Bayern Munich got first class guard support as ex NBA player Cassius Winston (185-PG-1997, college: Michigan St.) steered 8 points with 2 three’s and a breathtaking floater, ex Eastern Kentucky University guard Corey Walden dropped a trey and Jaramaz contributed 4 points. Frankfurt got an easy bucket from young German Joshua Obiesie who was fed by a bullet pass from Tez. One could almost say that his biggest strength besides his defense now is his passing game. ‘I love to pass the ball. I played the point for 4 years before Frankfurt. I’m happy that I can still find open guys’, said Quantez Robertson. In this phase the Fraport Skyliners couldn’t hit the ocean as their three point shooting landed at 3/14 at the break. The Fraport Skyliners misery on the court was on account of countless missed shots and 5 turnovers. Munich also switched a lot which hampered Frankfurt’s offense. The only positive thing was that they showed will to get 5 offensive rebounds, but couldn’t take advantage of it. Frankfurt didn’t totally stink up the second quarter as they closed out the second quarter with a nifty 6-0 run to trail only 37-26 and get the Fraport arena alive again. In the run they got a 25 footer from ex Bamberg big Martinas Geben who has to be kept until the end of the season, a trey by Lithuanian sniper Laurynas Beliauskas and an off balance shot by American JJ Frazier. ‘We were careless with the ball and couldn’t make open shots. Trying to execute in the 8 seconds is always tough. Munich was pressuring us very well on defense’, expressed Quantez Robertson.
FC Bayern Munich really took control of the game in the third quarter as they were able to lead by as much as 25 points and let it rain three’s nailing 6. FC Bayern Munich came out on fire going on a 18-7 run to extend their lead to 55-35. Frankfurt really had no clue how to control the guard play of Winston and Walden as they did an excellent job of picking their spots. In the run, FC Bayern Munich spread the ball around nicely getting two parking lot shots from Walden, and also three’s from Rubit, young German Jason George and sharp shooter Andreas Obst. Frankfurt’s 1-1 defense was unsatisfactory as they were making it a lot too simple for the guests. The Fraport Skyliners continued to fight and as a reward got their offense better into rhythm. They worked harder for good shots and got some added three’s from German Lukas Wank who executed twice as well as Geben and Obiesie to trail 66-49. There was an interesting scene near the end of the third quarter as the ever so eccentric Andrea Trinchieri chewed out Casius Winston after not covering Geben who hit a trey. Once the Italian coach gets going, it can take a while for him to calm down. Winston took it in stride and on the next offensive play hit a three making amends for his defensive lapse. He then made free throws as FC Bayern Munich still had the comfortable lead 68-51. ‘We lost our assignments, didn’t get over screens and weren’t aggressive enough on the pick and roll’, warned Quantez Robertson.
The Fraport Skyliners made one last push in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get totally over the hump after Rubit began giving FC Bayern Munich the 70-51 advantage, the Fraport Skyliners really stepped up their game powering a 15-2 run to trail only 72-66. In the run Frankfurt began to move the ball very well and had good looks and nailed three’s. They received 3 three’s in total as Beliauskas connected twice and Robertson also hit. Frankfurt also got in the paint as Tez’s confidence grew with his three’s in that he scored posting up and using the mismatch to his advantage and Obiesie also scored inside. Frankfurt really fought hard and didn’t shy away from FC Bayern Munich, but really wanted the win at the end. But mediocre 1-1 defense and bad shot selection cost them the game. Whenever FC Bayern Munich needed a bucket, they gave the ball to Cassius Winston who supplied support. Despite Frankfurt getting a key three from Lithuanian Einaras Tubutis, it was Winston that scored inside and made a step back keeping Frankfurt at bay trailing 79-69. ‘He is really crafty with the ball. He made really good decisions. He saw the ball go in a lot and when you see that happen a lot, it makes everything a lot easier’, warned Quantez Robertson. Obiesie who played all of crunch-time as head coach Geert Hammink rewarded good play keeping Frazier on the bench hit a deep three and made free throws to cut Munich’s lead only to 79-74, but that was as close as Frankfurt would get. ‘We played more aggressive defense and talked more, but when we were down by 5, I made 2 bad fouls. We fought hard, but it just wasn’t enough’, added Quantez Robertson. Winston and Jaramaz closed out the game with free throws. ‘We rebounded well at the end and made the needed stops’, stated Nick Weiler-Babb. FC Bayern Munich was led by Cassius Winston with 23 points. Corey Walden added 17 points and Ognjen Jaramaz contributed 12 points while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Joshua Obiesie with 15 points. Lauryas Beliauskas had 13 points and Martinas Geben 11 points. FC Bayern Munich shot 40% form the field and 41% from outside and had 38 rebounds and 13 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 44% from the field and 42% from outside and had 34 rebounds and 15 turnovers.