It took some time, but the Fraport Skyliners Juniors finally celebrated their first victory over the season smothering Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg last weekend after suffering a 3 game losing streak to begin the season. They finally found a defensive identity and played inspired team basketball. They definitely needed to keep their spark and positive attitude as it didn’t get any easier as FC Bayern Munich 2 came to town. It seems like the farm team is getting younger every year as this season have an average age of only 17 years. It is always an incredible experience seeing which big talents they bring to Frankfurt and this time they had Ivan Khartchenkov who already scored 16 points with 15 years and 5 days last season against top team EPG Baskets Koblenz. FC Bayern Munich 2 began the season off slow losing it’s first 2 games, but came to Frankfurt with a lot of self-confidence having defeated Orange Academy and number 1 team Oberaching last weekend. But their winning ways couldn’t continue as they met a tough and prepared Frankfurt squad as the game was pretty even for long phases, but the Fraport Skyliners Juniors took advantage of a tiring Munich squad that was missing 2 key performers with Kalu and Dongmo as Philipp Hadenfeldt (189-PG-1999) put the game out of reach in crunch-time with big baskets and his playmaking was spot on as he dished out 11 assists in the 86-75 victory. It was Frankfurt’s second win in a row putting them at 2-3 while the guests also moved to 2-3. ‘We expected a game like this. Munich played very hard and that is a reason why we couldn’t get away from them. We played against a very physical and aggressive team, but never gave up. Our experience and big shots in crunch-time was the difference’, stated Fraport Skyliner guard Philipp Hadenfeldt. FC Bayern Munich played a solid game, but their 21 turnovers hurt them in different phases of the game, but especially in the fourth quarter as they couldn’t stay with Frankfurt. ‘Congrats to Frankfurt. They played a very good offensive game. We started the game well, but missing 2 key players showed in the fourth quarter as we didn’t have the strength to finish the game’, stated FC Bayern Munich 2 head coach Mihajlo Mitic.
Jordan Samare at the FT line
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were without Alexander Richardson while FC Bayern Munich 2 were without Martin Kalu, Maxwell Dongmo and Alec Agnigbata. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors began the game well going on the rapid 5-2 lead as big men Jordan Samare and Marco Voeller scored. But the guests didn’t waste any time as they got an offensive rhythm going on a 6-0 run to lead 8-5 as 2019 NBBL champions Jeremia Agyepong and beast Mohamed Silla scored as did flashy guard Amar Licina. 16 year old phenom Ivan Khartchenkov wasn’t getting shots, but instead showed his facilitation skills getting a few assists including a pretty shovel pass to Silla. But it didn’t take Khartchenkov long to finally get on the scoreboard as he drilled home a trey for the 13-7 lead. Frankfurt was having it’s ups and downs on offense, but stayed in the game due to Justin Onyejiaka’s athleticism as he scored twice in the paint to trail Munich only 15-13. FC Bayern Munich’s offense was very disciplined and they were sharing the ball well while Frankfurt didn’t have that sound rhythm yet which helped the guests close out the first quarter with a 7-2 run to lead 22-15 after 10 minutes. In the run Munich got added support from Khartchenkov with a jumper, Luxemburg U-20 national player Dan Mantz added a 20 footer and Agyepong a lay in. FC Bayern Munich Shot over 60% from the field and 40% from outside and led the rebound edge 11-5. ‘Munich sparkled with their individual class. Munich hit three’s and got good support from Licina and Skladanowski while Frankfurt’s offense was not up to par’, stated basketball expert Manuel Schust.
Ivan Khartchenkov with the pull up jumper
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors stepped up their offense in the second quarter overpowering the guests with 27 points and heightened their defense using the zone and led 42-38 at the break. Ivan Khartchenkov did start off the second quarter with a trey for the 25-25 advantage, but Frankfurt broke back going on a 6-2 run to trail Munich only 27-24. Frankfurt upped their presence in the zone and did a better job rebounding as Marco Voeller scored twice as did ex Wurzburg forward Nils Leonhardt. On his one bucket, Voeller muscled home 3 offense rebounds and finished with 5 on the night. The three’s weren’t falling so Frankfurt attacked the paint more and were rewarded. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors didn’t let up but continued to play a good zone while getting in passing lanes and forcing turnovers which allowed Frankfurt to get out on transition. This led to a 11-4 Frankfurt run and 35-31 lead. Ex Alba Berlin athletic forward Nolan Adekunle was instrumental in the run scoring 3 baskets while Philipp Hadenfeldt made an acrobatic lay in and Justin Onyejiaka also scored on transition. Frankfurt had done a pretty good job on Silla with the zone, but couldn’t keep up as the Sienna Leon center took charge in the last minutes scoring 3 times in the paint as he was a mis match problem for Frankfurt. But Frankfurt kept the upper hand and led as they got good support from Jordan Samare with 5 points and Alvin Onyia ended the second quarter with a buzzer beater lay in after getting the perfect pass from Hadenfeldt. Both teams shot over 50% from the field and despite Frankfurt rebounding better still trailed FC Bayern Munich 21-19 on the boards. ‘The Frankfurt zone worked well allowing them to play transition as Munich’s game lost pace’, added basketball expert Manuel Schust.
Justin Onyejiaka with the lay in
FC Bayern Munich won the third quarter and retook the lead 61-59. The game remained close as no team continued to be able to get away from the other. The guests got vital support from Montenegro guard Amar Licina who tested his 27% three point shooting percentage scoring back to back three’s while Christian Skladanowski also stepped up with 2 baskets. Frankfurt got baskets from Leonhardt and Samare to keep pace. Hadenfeldt had 11 assists on the night and some more spectacular than the other as he found Leonhardt for the lay in. ‘I saw Nils go to the basket in the corner of my eye. I was near the line and let the ball get away, but somehow saved it and passed it to him. He was the only option and I was lucky no Munich player was there’, commented Philipp Hadenfeldt. The next sweet pass didn’t take long as this time he fed Jordan Samare for the crushing dunk. ‘I saw that the Munich defense came up a bit leaving Jordan all alone. I made the quick pass from behind the three point line which they didn’t react quickly enough’, said Philipp Hadenfeldt. Munich kept the lead with a three pointer from 2019 NBBL champion Luis Wulf, but Frankfurt never gave up and got that instant spark again by Adekunle as he scored a trey and runner and suddenly Frankfurt stole the lead back 53-52. But Frankfurt was unable to keep the lead as FC Bayern Munich continued to execute well on offense and Luis Wulf who has been in the organization since joining the U-10 team scored 5 more points and ex IBAM (NBBBL) player Marco Frank added the needed energy form the bench with 2 baskets. Samare did add a three pointer, but Frankfurt trailed by 2 points after 30 minutes. ‘They did hit more three’s, but we just played our game and stayed with them’, stated Philipp Hadenfeldt. ‘I don’t think that it was their zone that hurt us the most, but it was their aggressiveness which we had no response to’, said Mihajlo Mitic. Both teams shot over 50% from the field, but the guests got stronger again on the boards and had the 33-23 rebound edge while Frankfurt had the 6-13 turnover advantage.
Christian Skladonowski at the FT line
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors went on a scoring spree again in the fourth quarter like they did in the second quarter with 27 points as their defense stepped up while the energy of the guests decreased. The Fraport Skyliners escaped out on a rapid 5-0 run to retake the lead 64-61 as Adekunle dropped another trey and Voeller connected on free throws. But that didn’t faze the guests as they slapped Frankfurt with a 7-0 run to retake the lead 68-64. In the run, they received a Silla lay in and Licina used his Duracell qualities with free throws and a trey. But sometimes one team just takes off and the other just shuts down and that is exactly what happened as Frankfurt went on a brutal 14-2 run to retake the lead 78-70 and decide the game. German Christian Skladanowski was removed and once that happened nothing worked anymore for the guests. He and Silla were rocks in the paint, but with his absence, Frankfurt took advantage as Voeller scored 5 points and Samare made a lay in while Adekunle made free throws for the 73-70 lead. Hadenfeldt then put a lid on the game with consecutive baskets in the paint. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors played with confidence and just took advantage of the guests wanning energy and nonending defensive pressure pushed Munich’s turnovers past 20. Khartchenkov stopped the run with a sweet 20 footer pull up jumper, but Frankfurt wanted more and added a 8-0 run to lead 86-72. In the run Frankfurt got more support from a three pointer from Adekunle and free throws form Onyia and Hadenfeldt. With the game almost over, Ivan Kharchenkov heaved up a last second three pointer from way behind center court making a buzzer beater which sweetened his scoring stats for the game. ‘Nobody thought he could ever make that when he let it go, but once it was up, it looked pretty good. I think that them getting to team fouls early helped us as well as having many offensive options that could score. We played good defense and knew their plays and took away their strengths. It also helped that they were without 2 key players’, said Philipp Hadenfeldt. ‘Skladanowski was out a month and just didn’t have more energy today. They defended aggressively until the end and changed the angles forcing us not to pass well. We had no entry’, stressed Mhajlo Mitic. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Nolan Adekunle with 22 points. Jordan Samare added 19 points while Marco Voeller added 13 points while FC Bayern Munich was led by Ivan Khartchenkov with 16 points while Smar licina had 15 points and Mohamed Silla added 14 points and 12 rebounds. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 49% form the field and 35% form outside and had 32 rebounds and 7 turnovers while FC Bayern Munich shot 53% form the field and 32% from outside and had 41 rebounds and 21 turnovers.