It’s not always easy being a professional basketball player as most people were still digesting their Christmas pig out session, some easyCredit BBL teams had to get back to work a day after the present day. The Fraport Skyliners had been struggling all season long, but the knot had to burst sooner or later and did against the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg a week ago where sniper Marcus Lewis exploded for 26 points on 10/11 shooting. While the Rostock Seawolves were everybodies darlings in the first weeks as they surprised everyone going 4-0, but then slipped and got squashed having a 5 game losing streak until last weekend, they finally got back on the win streak with a satisfying 82-76 win over Hamburg and then a win in Crailsheim. Both teams had winning streaks, but one team would have to start a new one next week. On an untypical warm Monday night, the Fraport Skyliners played their first ever game against Rostock and continue to show that they can score points as a potent 59 point second half tore apart the guests 101-83. The Fraport Skyliners won their third game of the season and continue to slowly claw themselves up the standings now at position 15. After the second win in a row, German national player Joshua Obiesie was more than content about the play of the team. ‘We really needed this win. Great to get another win after Ludwigsburg. We must be doing something right. We played consistent for 40 minutes and found a rhythm. We work hard every day and we just gave all tonight’, stated Joshua Obiesie. It was a tough loss for Rostock who did an excellent job scooping down 20 offensive rebounds, but one noticed that the organization in the offense was missing as top point guard Jequan Lewis was out. ‘We had a lot of good looks, but overall gave up way too many points. But credit to them. They had a really good shooting day. Our offensive rebounds didn’t translate to baskets. They made us pay and exposed us well on offense’, explained Rostock SeaWolves guard Chris Carter.
Selom Mawugbe at the FT line
The first quarter was a back and forth battle as no team could shed the other as there were 3 lead changes and no team led by more than 6 points. In the first minutes, it was the Selom Mawugbe vs Marcus Lewis show as ex Azusa (NCAA2) big man Mawugbe was aggressive and scored easy baskets in the paint area with 6 points while ex Eastern Kentucky (NCAA) guard Marcus Lewis steered home 7 points as the Fraport Skyliners led 10-9. But Rostock then found some daylight going on a 7-2 run to lead 16-12 as ex Texas State forward Nijal Pearson contributed 7 points and ex Fairfield (NCAA) guard Tyler Nelson made a steal and coast to coast lay in. Frankfurt made silly turnovers which led to extra Rostock possessions while BBL top scorer Derrick Alston Jr played no factor. But on this night, the offense of the Fraport Skyliners wouldn’t be in a rut long. Frankfurt found ways to score and got key buckets from Lewis, two by Obiesie on transition and a trey from Lithuanian guard Laurynas Beliauskas (193-SG-1997) to tie the game at 21-21. Both teams continued to score at ease as Obieise scored again on transition and Nelson made another lay in on the penetration as he punished Frankfurt over and over with his speed. After 10 minutes the score was deadlocked at 25-25. ‘No team played defense and both teams made a lot of shots’, stated Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robertson.
Lukas Wank from outside
The second quarter was a very very tight affair as no team could get away from the other. The Rostock SeaWolves kept the lead, but Frankfurt was always close and even had the brief lead in the last minutes. Rostock did a good job getting 5 stops to begin, but couldn’t really profit from it except getting a Tyler Nelson three pointer to lead 28-25. The Fraport Skyliners finally got on the board at the 6,50 minute mark as Beliauskas made a step back jumper to trail Rostock 28-27. Alston then made his first field goal of the contest at the 5,54 minute mark with a trey as Rostock led 31-27. Frankfurt got baskets from Beliauskas on transition and a 20 footer by American J J Frazier, but the SeaWolves kept the lead getting a lay in by ex ACB player Elias Valtonen and a dunk by Mawugbe. Rostock could of led by 10 points, but Mawugbe had extreme difficulty at the free throw line as after 40 minutes his stat line read 3/12, but Rostock still led 36-31. But Frankfurt kept pouring on the pressure and fighting and struck back with a 8-2 run to retake the lead 39-38. Frankfurt did a great job in the run playing their fast game getting transition buckets from Robertson, Obiesie and Beliauskas. Nelson got Rostock the lead back with a basket, but at half-time, the game was tied at 42-42. The Rostock SeaWolves were unable to take advantage of their height as Frankfurt was playing with only 1 real center Matt Haarms who wasn’t at 100% and when Tez Robertson played center, they could take advantage of the mismatches. ‘We did a good job getting out on transition and pushing the ball quickly after getting rebounds. Everybody was running from position 1-5’, stated Quantez Robertson.
Tyler Nelson from the parking lot
In the third quarter, the Fraport Skyliners played great offensive basketball scoring 29 points, but couldn’t distance themselves much, because the Rostock SeaWolves stayed on their door step scoring 23 points. Frazier began the offensive onslaught with 5 quick points while Mawugbe scored 4 points as Frankfurt led 47-44. Then came the big moment for German national player Lukas Wank who hit three three pointers in a row, but Frankfurt only led 58-53 as Rostock also got production from Alston and Valtonen. The guests then showed that basketball will always be a game of runs as they escaped out on a 7-2 run to tie the game at 60-60. Pearson scored a lay up and ex Northeastern (NCAA) guard Jordan Roland chipped in with 5 points. Frankfurt got a basket from Beliauskas making an off balance shot. Frankfurt did a better job finding a balance between when to shoot from outside and when to attack the paint area. The Fraport Skyliners closed out the third quarter in style going on a 11-5 run to lead 71-65 after 30 minutes. Frankfurt got vital production from Wank who hit his fourth three pointer of the quarter as well as free throws from him and Beliauskas and 3 points from Marcus Lewis. The Frankfurt advantage could have been bigger, but a dumb foul on Nelson gave him 3 free throws that he connected on. ‘We got open looks and found Wank. We also did a good job playing off each other and making the right plays’, stressed Quantez Robertson. ‘Frankfurt executed really well and once you see the ball go in, it makes it a lot easier. Their self-confidence also grew with the points they put up’, said Chris Carter.
JJ Frazier at the FT line
The fluid offense of the Fraport Skyliners and good execution rate continued in the fourth quarter as they slammed the lid shut on the SeaWolves pouring in 30 points to secure the win. The Fraport Skyliners didn’t waste anytime hurrying out on a 11-2 run to extend their lead to 82-67. In the run Frankfurt received two three’s from Beliauskas and one from Obiesie while Frazier made an off balance shot. Everything was going in for Frankfurt and it was obvious that they weren’t going to give the game out of their hands. The Rostock SeaWolves often went for 1-1 play as their usual fine team play was nonexistent. Rostock didn’t give up and kept executing getting 2 three’s from Nelson and one from Pearson, but they couldn’t get defensive stops. Frankfurt got a trey from Lewis and a lay in by Wank to still lead 87-77. Frankfurt then decided the game with three more three’s with 2 from Obiesie and one from Beliauskas to lead very comfortably 96-79. Alston who had a slow start scored 4 more points to up his points total to 15 while Frankfurt got Beliauskas free throws and Obiesie made a last three pointer to eclipse the 100 points. ‘I think I have to serve up donuts for everyone’, smiled Joshua Obiesie. ‘We work very hard every day. We lost 3 close games because we didn’t play consistent. Now we are starting to be more consistent. We are getting to know each other better. We know now that Lewis and 1 can get in the paint and we can find our shooters better. We have a better balance now. At the start we were shooting only three’s and now were attacking more’, warned Joshua Obiesie. ‘We couldn’t get over the hump. Frankfurt was able to make deciding points when it mattered most. We got away form our team play. We also had fatigue’, stated Chris Carter. The Fraport Skyliners had 5 guys in double figures and 3 with 20 or more points. Laurynas Beliauskas had 26 points and 11 rebounds. Joshua Obiesie added 23 points and Lukas wank 20 points while the Rostock SeaWolves were led by Tyler Nelson with 21 points and Selom Mawugbe added 178 points and Derrick Alston Jr 15 points. The Fraport Skyiners shot 53% from the field and 50% from outside and had 36 rebounds and 19 turnovers while the Rostock SeaWolves shot 38% from the field and 26% from outside and had 41 rebounds and 14 turnovers.