Costly Turnovers And Dwayne Russell Big Shots Doom The Fraport Skyliners As The EWE Baskets Oldenburg Prevail 77-70 in Frankfurt

Times come and go and who knows in one year when the Fraport Skyliners face off against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg, the game could be a game with 10 players minus legends Rickey Paulding and Quantez Robertson. Who will forget the last 2 games between the 2 legends last season, but this season the game began without them as Paulding wasn’t there because he is retired and Quantez Robertson unfortunately has turned into a role player coming from the bench. It was very strange not seeing the energy game and winner smile of Rickey Paulding, but on the other hand the Fraport Skyliners had other worries. After possibly the worst first half in their history last weekend against the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig, the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup winner desperately needed a blast off type reaction. The team had begun at 1-4 and were on a quick roller coaster ride down, but had to shift gears and get back up the mountain. But that was easier said than done as the EWE Baskets Oldenburg came to town. The team began solid at 3-2 under the guidance of new head coach Pedro Calles, but still had much potential. They didn’t play their best basketball, but when crunch-time came, they hit the big shots and gladly took on the turnover gifts that the Fraport Skyliners gave them as they pulled out a hard fought 77-70 win. After the big win ex Giessen 46er Alen Pjanic was all smiles as his team had won their fourth game. It wasn’t a pretty game for the guests, but a win is a win something the Fraport Skyliners can’t buy anywhere. ‘We had the game under control, but then allowed them to come back into the game. We wanted to give them more contested shots, but they got some open ones where they executed. We did a good job stopping them inside in the second half. But I feel like we played too slow. We should of played faster’, stated Alen Pjanic. Every new loss for the Fraport Skyliners has to hurt so much, because they have been in every game and in 4 games there was only a combined point total of 8 points. It was another tough loss for Frankfurt as it continues to put them deeper into the hole and harder to crawl out of. ‘I thought we ganged rebound well and our help defense was also better and we shared the ball well. But when it counted most in the fourth quarter we had too many turnovers at the wrong time with live balls that they made easy scores. We were too careless with the ball’, stated Quantez Robertson.

Jordan Samare at the FT line

The Fraport Skyliners didn’t have a good start into the game as they quickly lost their forward Einaras Tubutis after 28 seconds and couldn’t muster much offense as the guests jumped out to the 11-5 lead getting to the free line and getting baskets from ex Western Washington (NCAA) guard Trey Drechsel, ex Hagen center Owen Klassen who was massive on defense with 5 blocks and free throws from new German national player Max DiLeo. Frankfurt got support from captain Lukas Wank who contributed 5 points, but then picked up 3 quick fouls. The guests continued to put a lot of pressure on Frankfurt and kept the lead as ex Crailsheim guard Dewayne Russell (180-PG-1994, college: GCU) hit a 20 footer and made free throws. But the Fraport Skyliners got some energy in the last minute getting a lay in from ex Wurzburg guard Joshua Obiesie and a lay in from Martinas Geben who had been denied the ball well by the EWE Baskets. Frankfurt’s offense had gotten better with a few three’s as the guests hadn’t hit a trey and were only at 29% from the field. Both teams had 10 rebounds, but Frankfurt had an unacceptable 7 turnovers. ‘I feel like we were too physical and got out of position. That led to our bad start. It also didn’t help us that we lost Tubutis at the start’, stated Quantez Robertson.

Dewayne Russell with the pull up jumper

The second quarter was a tight affair as no team could get away from each other. The Fraport Skyliners actually got the lead, but soon lost it again as the guests controlled the game until the break. Frankfurt began very well as they got consecutive three’s from German Jordan Samare and American JJ Frazier. But they couldn’t go on a bigger run, because they couldn’t get stops. Canadian big man Owen Klassen scored back to back baskets including a pretty hook shot and harmonized beautifully with American Tanner Leissner. Rusell and Quantez Robertson then traded baskets as Frankfurt led again 24-22. But that lead was short lived as Klassen was on a rampage scoring again with a massive 2 handed dunk. The guests had their offense moving well and got a bucket from ex Monmouth guard Max DiLeo who was fed a behind the back pass from Russell and Leissner remained aggressive and made a tip in as Oldenburg led 28-24. Dewayne Russell was a key figure in this phase as his playmaking and hustle plays caried his team. He made a hustle play that resulted in a trey by 2021 NCAA champion with Baylor Macio Teague for the 31-25 advantage. The guests were working hard inside getting rebounds while Frankfurt’s offense was stoic. Owen Klassen didn’t only have scoring rebounding and blocking on his menu, but also showed he can dish making a nice back door pass to Leissner for the 35-28 Oldenburg lead. But Frankfurt didn’t fade away but stayed in the game getting two baskets from Lithuanian sniper Laurynas Beliauskas and a huge three by Obiesie to cut the guests lead to 35-33. But even in good phases on offense, they couldn’t get stops. The EWE Baskets strolled into half-time with a 8-3 run to lead 43-36 after 20 minutes. Teague remained aggressive hitting a runner and trey and Klassen scored in the paint while Frankfurt got a three pointer from Frazier. ‘They played good pick and roll. They found guys in the middle and drove well and we were always a step behind’, added Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners shot better than the EWE Baskets Oldenburg over 40% while Oldenburg shot 29% from the parking lot. Oldenburg continued to have the 20-18 rebound edge while Frankfurt had 10 turnovers.

Jordan Samare for 3

In the third quarter The EWE Baskets Oldenburg continued to control the game and led in double figures after 30 minutes. The guests displayed fine inside out basketball as they began to get production inside as Leissner and Klassen continued to be a wrecking tandem. Leissner scored twice and on the second bucket got a behind the back feed from Klassen for the 47-38 lead. Then the team let it rain three’s as Drechsel hit back to back to back three’s for the 56-42 advantage. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg also upped their defensive intensity getting key blocks and forcing Frankfurt to turnovers. Leissner then added a trey for the 59-44 advantage as he was so open that it felt like the nearest defender was on the Main river near the arena. The offenses of both teams was like day and night as their was variety and real sharing of the ball with the guests while Frankfurt’s offense was slow and predictable. But as was so often the case in the game, Frankfurt had positive lapses. They finished the third quarter with a 6-2 run to trail 61-50. In the run Frankfurt received key transition baskets from Obiesie and Quantez Robertson who also swiped his 707 steal in the EasyCredit BBL. Pjanic closed out the third quarter with a lay in. ‘We had wrong rotations and weren’t talking. We continued not to take care of the ball and Russell continued to find guys for easy baskets’, expressed Quantez Robertson. Both teams shot solidly and were around 40% from the field and outside while Oldenburg still had the edge on the boards while Frankfurt had 13 turnovers.

MaCio Teague from down town

In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners played catch up ball and tied the score with 3,48 to play, but then couldn’t execute in crunch-time and coughed up the ball too much. The Fraport Skyliners came out on fire totally shocking the Ewe Baskets Oldenburg racking up a lethal 11-0 run to dead lock the contest at 61-61. In the run they got 2 huge three’s from Beliauskas and Samare and a pretty left handed hook shot from 221cm center Matt Haarms and a 2 handed dunk from Obiesie. Samare finished with 10 points in 25 minutes and got extended minutes because of the injury to Lorenz Brenneke and really stepped up. ‘Even though he had played the night before in the Pro B, he played hard and aggressive and did what was asked of him. He hit open shots something that we expect from him’, stated Quantez Robertson. The early 4 point play from Beliauskas really carried Frankfurt with which Oldenburg had no answer for. Now the game was a real tight affair as both teams traded baskets. Frankfurt was carried by JJ Frazier as he made some huge shots including a tip in and trey while Oldenburg got free throws and a pull up jumper by Russell to tie the game at 68-68. ‘We had good stops and shared and moved the ball well that resulted in us making open shots’, said Quantez Robertson. ‘The 4 point play gave them energy. They got the momentum on their side. We also felt the energy of the fans who were also in the game’, said Alen Pjanic. But the Fraport Skyliners folded under pressure allowing a 9-2 run to the guests ending the game. Two costly Frankfurt turnovers led to a Russell pull up jumper and Teague three pointer. Geben did hit a 15 footer, but Frankfurt then coughed up the ball again that led to a Drechsel lay in. Russell ended the game with free throws. ‘Our will got us to the win. We knew that if we could play our concept, then they would have no chance. We also got key defensive rebounds at the end’, stressed Alen Pjanic. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were led by Dewayne Russell with 18 points. Trey Drechsel added 15 points while MaCio Teague and Owen Klassen chipped in with 13 points a piece while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Laurynas Beliauskas with 16 points. JJ Frazier added 14 points and Joshua Obiesie contributed 11 points. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg shot 43% from the field and 38% from outside and had 44 rebounds and 14 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 39% from the field and 36% from outside and had 36 rebounds and 15 turnovers.


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