It has been an up and down season for the Fraport Skyliners Juniors as they didn’t have a good start losing their first 3 games, but then recovered beating FC Bayern Munich and Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg. But then the team suffered the same day easyCredit BBL game something that happens every season where they traveled to Oberaching without many of their routine players and had 5 NBBL players on board. The season wasn’t a rosy one either for Frankfurt opponent Orange Academy who like Frankfurt often don’t have their full roster because of BBL commitments. Orange Academy came to Frankfurt with a poor 1-5 record, despite being close at the end in 3 of the 5 loses. On a cool Saturday evening in late November, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors began with a bang with unbelievable aggressive defense and played a consistent game for 40 minutes tearing apart Orange Academy 100-72. After the big win ex Alba Berlin wing player Nolan Adekunle (200-PF-2002) who steered home 29 points in the win was all smiles and summed up the reasons for the win well. ‘We came out with the right aggressiveness and totally surprised them. We played very well against the best rebounding team in the league. We beat them on the fast break and set play and integrated all in the win. It was a team win’, stressed Nolan Adekunle. Orange Academy head coach Baldur Ragnarsson looked speechless after the loss, but still found a way to sum up the embarrassing loss. ‘This was a tough loss for us. We had big problems on the 1-1 defense and pick and roll defense. It was a real struggle for us. They moved the ball really well and shot well. They were simply better for us. You will never win when you have 30 turnovers. We have talented young players, but they need to make the next step on defense and take better care of the ball’, warned Baldur Ragnarsson.
Jordan Samare at the FT line
The first few minutes was a real turnover fest dominated by Orange Academy as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors came out with extreme intensity as Nolan Adekunle and Justin Onyejiaka were a wrecking crew forcing 5 turnovers as Frankfurt took a rapid 6-0 lead in the first 4 minutes. ‘That phase was unbelievable. It was like that in chapters during the game. We were lacking in confidence’, stressed Baldur Ragnarsson. Big man Jordan Samare made a massive dunk and Adekunle made 2 transition buckets. German big man Antonio Dorn finally got Orange Academy on the board with a lay in at the 6,46 minute mark. Despite the guests getting a huge trey from you German Maximillian Langenfeld who recently scored 9 points in a Eurocup game, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors found their offensive rhythm early getting an offensive rebound and put back by Samare, a Adekunle three pointer and lay in by veteran Marco Voeller for the 13-6 Frankfurt advantage. Their quick begin with good defense sparked their offense on transition and then in the set play as their extra pass never let them down. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors didn’t let down and kept up the pressure and closed out the first 10 minutes with a forceful 19-7 run. Frankfurt continued to play smooth inside out basketball as Adekunle, Philipp Hadenfeld and Onyejiaka nailed three’s while Voeller had another lay in, ex Isaac Bonga teammate Alvin Onyia scored on a drive as did ex Wurzburg forward Nils Leonhardt. After 10 minutes, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had the overwhelming 32-13 lead. ‘We had good ball movement, were cutting well and got in the open court. On defense we were very aggressive and got into passing lanes well. Orange Academy were rushing too much’, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot very well at 65% from the field and 57% from outside and had 10 rebounds and 4 turnovers while Orange Academy shot 33% from the field and 25% from outside and had 7 rebounds and 10 turnovers.
Orange Academy sniper Lenny Liedtke from outside
In the second quarter the guests had a good start to get back into the game, but the Fraport Skyliners Juniors got back on track and still led by double digits points at the break. Orange Academy stepped up their intensity and aggressiveness and caught Frankfurt off guard racking up an annoying 11-2 run to cut Frankfurt’s lead down to 34-26. In the run the guests got 2 quick buckets from their 2022 JBBL (U-16) champions Joel Cwick and Eric Reibe as well as 5 points from Danish youth national player Tobias Jenson. Frankfurt lost a little of steam from their first quarter explosion and got too comfortable with their lead while Orange Academy began to believe more in themselves. But the Fraport Skyliners Juniors then found back to their game and soon were able to lead by double digits again. Instruemental in Frankfurt getting back into the game was JBBL (U-16) winner with Alba Berlin Nolan Adekunle who continued to be all over the court. He fed Samare for a basket and then scored another three pointer and scored on transition as Frankfurt led 43-29. Adekunle finished with a Pro B high 29 points. ‘Nolan takes pride in stopping g guys and he makes big shots. When the team needs big baskets, he makes them and he loves to attack the rim’, stated Quantez Robertson. Orange Academy received clutch three’s from Lenny Liedtke and Antonio Dorn, but it wasn’t enough as Frankfurt continued to execute well on offense as Albert Schweitzer tournament winner Hadenfeldt made a pull up jumper and ex Rasta Vechta guard Justin Onyejiaka made a lay in as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors led 48-34 at half time. ‘It was only natural that Orange Academy would make a run. We executed better on both ends but then ran out of gas. Frankfurt got big support from Adekunle and changed the rhythm back to Frankfurt’s side’, stressed ratiopharm Ulm assistant coach Tyrone Mccoy. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were still shooting well at 53% from the field and 42% from the three point line and had 20 rebounds and 12 turnovers while Orange Academy shot 44% from the field and 38% from the three point line and had 14 rebounds and 18 turnovers.
Alvin Onyia drives to the hole
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued to heighten their game in the third quarter and led by more than 20 points. Frankfurt began well continuing to play beautiful team basketball where the extra pass was king as Onyejiaka made a lay in with the sweet back door pass by Marco Voeller and a Samare offensive rebound and put back by Samare for the 52-34 Frankfurt lead. Orange Academy then had a good spurt again going on a 8-2 run to cut Frankfurt’s lead down to 54-42 as Austrian youth national player David Fuchs and Tobias Jenson connected for three’s and Liedtke made a lay in. But Frankfurt never suffered long lapses on offense as they were capable to slap runs right back into the guests faces. Frankfurt responded with a 8-2 run to lead by 21 points again 66-45. In the run, Frankfurt was led by Hadenfeldt trey and lay in’s by Adekunle and Samare. Both teams continued to execute their offenses, but Orange Academy just couldn’t get over the hump. Orange Academy got buckets from Liedtke, and 2 from Dorn while Frankfurt got baskets from Adekunle, a pull up jumper from Hadenfeldt and a trey from Bennet Schubert. ‘We struggled on defense the whole game. We didn’t find ways to execute and just couldn’t take care of the ball’, stressed Baldur Ragnarsson. ‘Coach had a good speech at the break. He expected us to keep being aggressive and be calm’, stated Nolan Adekunle. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 58% from the field and 44% from the parking lot and had 27 rebounds and 16 turnovers while Orange Academy shot 49% from the field and 48% from the parking lot and had 20 rebounds and 24 turnovers.
Austrian youth national player David Fuchs at the FT line
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued to execute their offense and defend solidly while Orange Academy just couldn’t find a way to consistently get defensive stops. Orange Academy got a burst of instant energy by Thomas Guas as he began the fourth quarter with 5 points on a runner and three pointer as Frankfurt led only 75-60. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued to execute well and spread the offensive love around getting a three pointer by Voeller, free throws by Leonhardt and 4 points by Onyejiaka while David Fuchs found some offensive inspiration scoring 6 points, but Orange Academy still trailed 83-65. Frankfurt got a late three pointer by Drago Crnjac, but it was Nolan Adekunle who continued to be in attack mode and sparked his stats with 8 points and 2 three’s. A few years ago, you wouldn’t have seen his outside shot as a strength on the scouting report, but in 2022, he can say it’s a weapon. ‘I’m very confident taking the three now. I have made big steps the last 2 years and especially last summer with the youth national team. I had confidence from my teammates and took three’s. I was the second best shooter at the tournament’, warned Nolan Adekunle. 16 year old huge German talent Joel Cwick also hit a late three pointer and finished with 12 points in 16 minutes and continues to excel at the men’s level. ‘Joel played well today. He always plays hard on defense and takes his chances on offense. He was one of the few positive aspects in the game for us. I was happy with his performance but in the end we need our older guys to step up’, warned Baldur Ragnarsson. With time running down, little used role player Isaac Obanor scored the 100th Frankfurt point on free throws. As always tradition in basketball Germany is for that player who scores the 100 to buy a case for the team or in some cases something else. ‘Isaac owes us donuts. I don’t know what it costs, but it isn’t cheap’, laughed Nolan Adekunle. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors had 5 guys in double figures and were led by Nolan Adekunle with 29 points. Jordan Samare and Juston Onyejiaka added 14 points a piece while Philipp Hadenfeldt added 11 points while orange Academy was led by Joel Cwick and Antonio Dorn with 12 points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 56% from the field and 48% from outside and had 40 rebounds and 20 turnovers while Orange Academy shot 46% from the field and 41% from outside and had 24 rebounds and 30 turnovers.