After 2 brutal loses on the last play, three would be a charm for the Fraport Skyliners as they finally pulled out their first victory of the season on the road in Weissenfels last weekend. They didn’t play their best basketball and are still far from it, but getting that first win was extremely vital for their mental health as they welcomed the next opponent with the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig. Despite Braunschweig being 0-4, like the Fraport Skyliners are a better team than their record shows. They also had some tough close losses and were close in many games. This was a must win for the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig as they weren’t just in quick sand, but already sinking deeper and deeper. The Fraport Skyliners were sprouting with self-confidence and wanted to keep their winning streak alive, but witnessed a day where they couldn’t hit the side of the barn as they heaved up enough bricks that could have lasted for a new American style Fire House across the street form the Fraport arena. Frankfurt had a must win situation against Braunschweig as they came with only 2 imports as they had injury woes, but they even managed to be in the game on the last possession, but in the end it was failed execution something that plagued them all day long. ‘We didn’t play a good game. We played good defense allowing only 30 point at the break. We were second guessing too much and weren’t aggressive enough on offense. We were worrying too much about missing shots than winning. We have to play with confidence. There were 3-4 minutes in the game where we allowed 6-7 offensive rebounds. We lost this game today in spurts’, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard JJ Frazier. The Basketball Lowen didn’t play a great game either as their shooting percentages were almost as bad as Frankfurt, but in the last minute they were able to stick together and make a huge play and sink free throws. ‘This was an ugly win. We played great defense. Anytime you allow 59 points in professional basketball, you will have good chances to win. We didn’t execute well on offense, but we got good support from our German players. These guys will become great players as their careers progress’, warned Basketball Lowen Braunschweig guard Braydon Hobbs.
JJ Frazier at the FT line
If the first few minutes were any indication on how the Fraport Skyliners were going to play, I would have predicted a plus 10 win as they led 5-0 quickly With 3 Frazier free throws and a Lorenz Brenneke lay in, but then as if the day suddenly turned dark, the Fraport Skyliners just stopped playing with that high energy they started with. Then the guests went on a seemingly unexplainable 15-0 run as the Fraport Skyliners machine just shut down and watched. Braunschweig got 1 three pointer from Luc Von Slooten, but other than that attacked the rim with authority and were rewarded. Talented Angolian player Jilson Bango scored twice in the paint while Kramer used his quickness and athleticism to score as did ex Bamberg guard Nicolas Tischler. The Skyliners communication on defense was lax in this Braunschweig onslaught and 1-1 defense non existent. The Frankfurt offense did a good job creating shots, but their execution was just horrible. They attacked the paint but were blocked an unacceptable 6 times in the first quarter. It also didn’t help Frankfurt’s cause that they missed open shot after open shot. Frankfurt went more than 5 minutes without a bucket until Joshua Obiesie scored with 3.06 to play. Ex FC Bayern Munich forward Robin Amaize made an incredible reverse lay up as the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig led 17-7 after 10 minutes. Frankfurt shot a pathetic 2/20 from the field while Braunschweig was at 50%. ‘We came out a bit lack luster, but we then got stops on our big run and got out on transition and got easy baskets’, said ex Giessen guard Braydon Hobbs. ‘We just missed shots during their 15-0 run. It was nothing more. It was a shame we couldn’t execute, because we created good shots’, stated JJ Frazier.
David Kramer with the jumper
In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners were able to up their game a bit mainly thanks to the vital spark that Quantez Robertson gave the team. Before Robertson entered Braydon Hobbs nailed a deep three giving Braunschweig the 20-9 lead. This season must be like a nightmare for Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson whose minutes have been shaved in half something he never witnessed in his first 13 seasons. But instead of moping around, the guy stays a true professional and just comes on the floor and does his job. He was aggressive getting to the line twice and also made 2 steals helping Frankfurt get into rhythm. Frankfurt upped their intensity on defense and only allowed a lay in by Kramer and a three by Amaize giving the guests the 30-13 advantage. Frankfurt closed out the second quarter strong with a 9-0 run as Robertson dropped a huge trey and Obiesie scored on a jumper as Von Slooten was in his face to cut the guests lead down to 30-18. Frankfurt also got support from Brenneke who scored in the paint and Obiesie made free throws as Frankfurt trailed only 30-22. ‘Tez is always in the right spot. He knows the game so well and has been in the BBL for a long time. We know that when he is on the court, he will bring us positive energy’, expressed JJ Frazier. ‘Tez got them going with 7 points in 3 minutes. He still has his motor and when his team needs him he steps up. He changed the game’, commented Braydon Hobbs. The Fraport Skyliners continued to shoot miserably at 15% from the field and 1/14 from outside. Braunschweig had solid stat with 42% shooting form the field.
Martinas Geben with the hook shot
The Fraport Skyliners played their best quarter in the third scoring 19 points and cutting the lead down to 40 -38 at one point Both teams found an offensive rhythm quickly as Frankfurt got baskets from Frazier and Lithuanian sniper Laurynas Beliauskas while Braunschwieg got key support from Germans Brandon Tischler and David Kramer (198-SG-1997). After having a first half to forget, ex Bamberg big Martinas Geben finally got on the board after going 0/5 from the field, but Frankfurt still trailed 34-29. Braunschweig could keep a little more ground as Braunschweig guards Kramer and Hobbs scored, but Frankfurt was in comeback mode. Geben had caught fire scoring twice while Frazier also was on hitting a trey and other Lithuanian big Einaras Tubutis made an offensive rebound and put back and suddenly Frankfurt was in striking range trailing only 40-38. But Frankfurt was unable to keep the momentum as Braunschweig closed out the third quarter with a 6-1 run to lead 46-41 after 30 minutes. Bango continued to be a monster in the paint with 2 tip in dunks while Von Slooten made a lay in. The Fraport Skyliners shot better landing at 25% from the field, but still had a horrible three point percentage at 9% with 2/23. Frankfurt had more offensive rebounds and 6 turnovers less, but that didn’t give them the lead. ‘Frankfurt picked up their offense and their physical defense changed the game. But this season the third quarter has been our worst quarter. We have to improve on that’, warned Braydon Hobbs. ‘Confidence played a big role in this quarter for us. We didn’t second guess and just played our game’, stressed JJ Frazier.
Robin Amaize at the FT line
The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig upped their game in the fourth quarter and were more than ready to slam the door shut on the Fraport Skyliners, but Frankfurt didn’t give up, but made one last comeback. Frankfurt came out flat to begin the fourth quarter allowing back to back offensive rebounds and put backs from Jilson Bango as Braunschwieg led 50-41. The athletic African finished the game with a double double of 13/10 and continues to make strides in his game. ‘He is getting better each week and everything is new to him. Coach speaks Spanish with him. He just does his job cleaning off the offensive rebounds and scoring in the paint’, said Braydon Hobbs. Offensive rebounds hurt Frankfurt a lot in the fourth quarter that gave the guests added extra chances that they capitalized on. Braunschweig continued to execute very well getting into the paint as Kramer scored twice. Frankfurt got some key buckets from Geben and Frazier, but the guests still led comfortably 58-45 with crunch-time approaching. But the Fraport Skyliners now began a come back that got them very close. They finally hit three’s as Geben and Lukas Wank scored back to back to trail only 58-51. Frankfurt played their best defense in this phase forcing back to back turnovers which led to a Frazier catch and pop trey from the corner and a Tubutis lay in as Geben supplied the perfect shovel pass as suddenly Frankfurt trailed only 58-56 with 1.01 to play. ‘I’m starting to find my rhythm. I felt great in this game’, said JJ Frazier. After a Frazier miss, Kramer made 2 free throws and the win seemed sealed, but Frazier connected on a pretty trey form the corner as Frankfurt trailed 60-59 with 5,9 seconds to go. Kramer then made 1 of 2 free throws to lead 61-59. But Frankfurt couldn’t capitalize on the last shot as Frazier missed on the drive with contact as no foul was called. ‘We wanted to force a call. They played honest. I drove to the rim and didn’t get the call and missed. You have to live with it’, stressed JJ Frazier. The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig were led by David Kramer with 17 points while Jilson Bango added 13 points while the Fraport Skyliners were led by JJ Frazier with 17 points while Martinas Geben scored 12 points. The Basketball Lowen Braunschwieg shot 38% from the field and 13%from outside and had 46 rebounds and 18 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 29% from the field and 19% from outside and had 42 rebounds and 1 2 turnovers.