Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners came into the game against IBAM sporting a 0-4 record. They were in striking range in the loses against Ludwigsburg and Bamberg, but had little chance against Urspring and FC Bayern Munich losing by 20 plus points. The biggest problem for the Frankfurt squad is scoring points consistently as they average only 61 per game while on defense are still searching for their identity as they allow 79 per game. Their opponent IBAM came to Frankfurt with a 2-1 record. After opening the season with a tough loss to Urspring, they bounced back with convincing wins against Jena and FC Bayern Munich. On a cool afternoon in late November Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners learned the hard way that a basketball game has 40 minutes as they played very well for 30 minutes, but had a total black out in the fourth quarter allowing a 22-4 run that allowed IBAM to fight back and win 76-66. IBAM didn’t play their best basketball in the first half, but slowly step by step heightened their game and played their best in the fourth quarter when it counted most. ‘We won the game in the second half. We didn’t play with energy in the first half. We cut down on the small mistakes in the second half. We had better stability on defense and executed better on offense. We had very good team spirit and took their strengths away in the second half’, stressed IBAM guard Tin Udovicic (190-PG-2005). Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners head coach Miran Cumurija was down after the loss which was understandable as the team didn’t play bad for long phases, but it was just that horrible fourth quarter that decided the game. ‘I thought that we played well for 3 quarters. But then in the fourth quarter they hit back to back three’s and after that we got shaky not finding the right solutions anymore. We have to do a better job cutting down on our turnovers. We just aren’t ready yet to find the right solutions yet’, stressed Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners head coach Miran Cumurija.
Marvin Esser at the FT line
The first quarter score wise looked more a like a low scoring NFL football game then a basketball game as no team could establish an offensive rhythm. IBAM star Tin Udovicic didn’t even start the game. Spaniard Alexander Moreno who played 23 EBA games for Zaragoza got the first bucket of the game, but Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners got the lead back rapidly with a trey from German guard Julian Haskins. Both teams then traded the lead as IBAM 100 kilo man Philipp Roos made an old school hook shot and athletic Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners player Alexander Lageman scored on the drive and Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners led 5-4. Then 17 year old Croatian U-16 national player Tin Odovicic was inserted and made a pretty step back jumper that reminded one instantly of Luka Doncic as IBAM led 6-5. Both teams were plagued with turnovers and the inability to hit three’s. IBAM then got a step back jumper from Jamie Jaeger as IBAM led 8-5. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners didn’t back down but got a vital three pointer from 18 year old 198cm forward Viktor Malinowsky who made his Pro B debut recently to dead lock the contest at 8-8. Daniel Riedlich and Marvin Esser closed out the first quarter with free throws. ‘Both teams defended well. We had no idea on offense. We ran good plays, but shots weren’t falling’, stressed Tin Udovicic. Both teams had low percentages from the field and were only combined 2/14 shooting from downtown while Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners also had coughed up the ball 7 times.
Alexander Moreno at the FT line
In the second quarter both teams finally found their offensive rhythms, but it was Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners that exploded on offense with 29 points and got the momentum and closed out the game in potent fashion going on a 20-8 run to lead 38-28 at half-time. Esser got Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners on the board first and then Ognyen Cocic and Haskins traded three’s and Jeremy Kolev made a lay in to tie the game at 14-14. Both teams stepped up their intensity and aggressiveness, but still no team could get away from the other. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners then was able to lead 18-14 with free throws form Lagermann and Collin Toelke, but IBAM stood up and escaped out on a 6-0 run to recapture the lead 20-18. In the run IBAM was benefited by another bread and butter shot from Mr mid range Tin Udovicic, but the last 2 buckets were early Christmas presents. Moreno scored both times as on the first one he got an easy lay up on an inbounds pass and on the second made a transition basket after Syllah made the steal on a bad Frankfurt turnover. IBAM was playing heads up basketball while Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners had gotten lazy and too contemplative in their sets. But Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners woke up and played their best phase of the game closing out the second quarter with a positive 20-8 run to lead 38-28. In the run Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners was led and carried by athletic German Alexander Lagerman who supplied 7 points. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners also got key support from the bench from young German Finley Pruever who scored 5 points as well as Hector Izquierdo and Barnabas Bode who scored. IBAM received buckets from Silver Bieling, Daniel Riedlich and Tin Udovicic. ‘We totally got away from our game. We lost our identity on defense and made bad decisions and shots’, added Tin Udovicic. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners upped their shooting at 42% from the field and 33% from outside and had 26 rebounds and 13 turnovers while IBAM shot 32% from the field and 8% from outside and had 19 rebounds and 7 turnovers.
Barnabas Bode from outside
Both teams executed well in the third quarter, but IBAM couldn’t make a dent in Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners offense as the home team still had the comfortable 58-48 advantage after 30 minutes. Lagermann gave Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners a huge boost to begin the second half with a trey and 41-28 lead, but IBAM was never to let down as they slowly raised their game step by step. IBAM put an early scare into Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners game rattling off a nasty 7-0 run to cut into Frankfurt’s lead and trail only 41-35. IBAM executed very well and moved the ball well. Udovicic ran the pick and roll well with Syllah who scored and Kolev nailed a trey and Udovicic a 20 footer. But at this phase Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners still had answers to IBAM runs something they would lack in the fourth quarter. Lagermann and Esser combined for 6 points as Frankfurt suddenly led in double digits again 47-35. Both teams continued to execute well, but IBAM couldn’t make any ground. Both team’s stars Lagermann and Udovicic continued to carry each other’s teams scoring multiple baskets as Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners increased their lead to 55-42. IBAM did a better job on the offensive rebound as Roos made an offensive rebound and put back while Moreno made a jumper and Udovicic a 20 footer, but Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners still led 58-48. IBAM definatley upped their intensity something that would increase even more in the fourth quarter. ‘We got back to doing our basics well and moved the ball better. We also rebounded the ball better and stayed away from dumb fouls’, stated Tin Udovicic. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners continued to shoot well at 43% from the field and 36% from the three point line and had 35 rebounds and 18 turnovers while IBAM shot 35% from the field and 11% from the three point line and had 30 rebounds and 12 turnovers.
Tin Udovicic from down town
The giant turning point of the contest came in the fourth quarter as IBAM went on massive run by which Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners couldn’t recover from. IBAM went into the fourth quarter having shot a pathetic 2/18 from outside, but then bang let it rain 3 three’s from Riedlich, Moreno and Udovicic which totally changed the game as suddenly Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners led only 60-57. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners just totally lost their intensity and began to think more and more about each new IBAM 3 and just let the mental part effect their execution. IBAM was reborn and just 1-2 steps ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners in every phase of the game especially on the boards. The best example was an offensive rebound and put back by Kisma Syllah who was all alone under the basket as no Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliner player was there to contest as the game was deadlocked 60-60. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners lacked effort and fight. Syllah then made the and one free throw for the 61-60 and IBAM would never look back. Silver Bieling then added a trey for the 64-60 advantage. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners got a bit more aggressive getting to the free throw line but couldn’t execute as well getting only free throws from Haskins and Zentgraf to trail 64-62. IBAM then put the final exclamation mark on the win with a 7-0 run to extend their lead to 71-62. In the run IBAM received a clutch basket from Udovicic who came into the game averaging 22,0ppg. He had another solid stat line with 23/6/8/3. ‘I didn’t have a good first half shooting wise. I went into the second half wanting to make better decisions and take better shots as well as putting my team in the best position to win’, expressed Tin Udovicic. Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners made stupid turnovers in the last minutes and IBAM sealed the win with class with free throws by Moreno and Bieling. ‘We showed big time energy in the fourth quarter. We believed that we could win and had the momentum on our side. We rebounded even better, got the loose balls and did transition. We played the total opposite to the first half’, expressed Tin Udovicic. ‘We were too nervous and thought too much. They did a good job taking our entry pass away something they couldn’t in the first half. We took what they gave us in the first half and didn’t do that in the second half’, stated Miran Cumurija. IBAM was led by Tin Udovicic with 23 points while Alexander Moreno had 12 points and Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners was led by Alexander Lagermann with 28 points and Julian Haskins added 10 points. IBAM shot 39% from the field and 22% from outside and had 41 rebounds and 16 turnovers while Eintracht Frankfurt-Fraport Skyliners shot 32% from the field and 32% from outside and had 43 rebounds and 29 turnovers.