After losing their first game to the top Pro B favorite EPG Baskets Koblenz, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors have been perfect since riding a three game winning streak as their defense was red hot in the last two home games allowing an average of only 56 games per game. Squashed between the two massive home wins was an exciting nailbitter 78-77 win on the road against Giessen. Frankfurt wanted to continue their lucky streak and met the Arvato College Wizards Karlsruhe who came into the contest struggling with a 1-3 record. They lost their last three games and were clobbered 102-74 by Orange Academy. For any basketball fan being able to see 40 year old sharp shooter Rouven Roessler for another season is an incredible delight as he has put his name into the German basketball dino’s with guys like Chris Ensminger, Derrick Allen and Rickey Paulding who played for a very long time. Frankfurt had more than two hand full of players that could have been Roessler’s son’s, but the German’s play was still spot on as he poured in 20 points and even had the game winner on his finger tips, but it fell short propelling the Fraport Skyliners Juniors to an insane come from behind 74-72 win over the Arvato College Wizards thanks to a crunch-time 15-0 run. For 35 minutes the Fraport Skyliners Juniors didn’t play their best basketball and played catch up basketball for 25 minutes, but half way through the fourth quarter, Frankfurt went on an amazing run securing the win at the end. One of the hero’s at the end was 8 year man German Konstantin Schubert (200-SF-98) who had a career day netting 23 points and was all smiles after the victory. ‘This was an untypical game for us. We didn’t start off well like in the previous home games. In the fourth quarter Philipp Hadenfeldt gave us energy with big shots. We never stopped fighting and believed that we could win the game. I’m happy to come back off a tough injury and have a night like this I had no idea that I had so many points. My free throws helped tonight’, smiled Neu Isenburg native Konstantin Schubert. The Arvato College Wizards were shocked at the end. Karlsruhe legend Rouven Roessler snuck out of the gym and who could blame him for his team throwing away the game in crunch-time. ‘These type of things happen. That is how the game goes at times. Basketball is a game of runs and they went on one at the end. I have to give credit to Frankfurt. They were down and fought back and played well. We were unable to put together a few baskets at the end, but I’m still proud of how we played’, said Arizona native Richaud Gittens.
In the first quarter no team could get away from the other as there were 7 lead changes. Konstantin Schubert gave Frankfurt the 2-0 lead with a beautiful floater after making his man dizzy with his moves. But the guests quickly showed their inside game which would give Frankfurt head aches all night long going on a 6-2 run. German Vincent Hoffman and Moritz Bar scored baskets. Hoffman had a solid night with 11 points and 7 boards scored twice and Bar executed the pick and roll perfectly with Roessler. Frankfurt fought back getting the 9-7 lead with a trey by ex Gotha center Marco Voeller and a basket from 2017 JBBL finalist Calvin Schaum. Konstantin Schubert was a real work horse keeping Frankfurt strong with offensive rebounds and a few put backs. Karlsruhe got a trey by Gittens who began off the night slowly, but would find his range a lot better as the night continued. Frankfurt did a good job keeping Rouven Roessler from firing and let him be more of a playmaker, but had problems allowing easy baskets inside to the guests. Frankfurt didn’t find their touch from the field shooting only 33%, but were great on the boards with 6 offensive rebounds thanks to Konstantin Schubert who led the charge. ‘The game was pretty even. We knew Roessler wouldn’t penetrate much due to age, but our biggest problem was allowing easy baskets’, stressed Frankfurt NBBL coach Miran Cumurija.
In the second quarter the Arvato College Wizards were able to find a consistent groove on offense and led by as much as 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors made some dents into the lead, but couldn’t get over the hump trailing by 8 points at the break. The guests didn’t waste any time getting their offense going as they sped out on a 10-2 run to lead 27-17. In the run, it was Roessler finally getting his scoring going netting two baskets while ex Weber State (NCAA) standout Richaud Gittens also scored twice. Frankfurt couldn’t get their offense going as they were irritated by the aggressive defense and rapid hands in passing lanes which led to turnovers. On defense Frankfurt had problems with 1-1 defense and just couldn’t annoy Roessler to take more contested shots. Frankfurt fought back going on a 7-2 run to cut Karlsruhe’s lead to 31-26. Frankfurt did a good job taking advantage of mismatches and just attacking inside and getting easy baskets as ex Trier forward Nils Leonhardt scored as did Marco Voeller. Hadenfeldt who was being guarded well at the three point line finally broke free and drilled home a trey. But just as Frankfurt was pressing, the guests came up with big baskets. Ex Heidelberg Pro A player Christoph Rupp nailed a trey. Consecutive stops by Karlsruhe led to a Gittens lay in and Moritz Bar lay in for the 38-30 Karlsruhe half-time advantage. Frankfurt continued to shoot poorly as their only real highlight was their rebounding work having the 23-17 edge with an excellent 10 offensive rebounds. ‘We were beat too easily on 1-1 defense and our intensity was missing. On offense we had too many easy turnovers. We were missing that second scorer to compensate the loss of Felix Hecker. We also didn’t have enough self-confidence in our shots’, stated Miran Cumurija.
In the third quarter the Arvato College Wizards continued to control the game and were able to lead in double digits and led by as much as 14 points as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors just had no steady rhythm at both ends of the court. The guests came out on fire going on a 9-3 run to extend their lead to 47-33. In the run, they got excellent production from Christoph Rupp who hit a three and scored on transition as Roessler provided the touch down pass. Vincent Hennen continued to dominate inside getting an offensive rebound and put back and German big man Christian Okule also scored in the paint. Frankfurt had fits with the Karlsruhe zone and at times played wild attempting unneeded alley op attempts that faltered. Ex Giessen guard Niklas Bilski stopped the run with a three pointer, but Roessler stepped up getting 5 points and the 52-36 lead. Here and there Frankfurt had some good spurts of play inside as Schubert and Voeller scored, but wouldn’t be rewarded on defense as they couldn’t get back to back stops as the guests always had an answer. Especially their much improved intensity on the offensive glass hurt Frankfurt. But in the last few minutes, Frankfurt picked up their game and got over the hump to trail only 59-51 at the break. Konstantin Schubert and Alvin Onyia got some big baskets. On The Konstantin Schubert basket, his brother Bennet made the perfect pass for the assist. ‘It is a crazy feeling being able to play with my brother. He is getting more minutes. That is good to see for the big brother’, added Konstantin Schubert. Frankfurt closed out the third quarter with a bang netting a transition basket from young German Bennet Schubert scoring at the buzzer as he retrieved a spectacular long bounce pass ala Rajon Rondo from Niklas Bilski. ‘We did a good job executing and scoring at will. We had the confidence to break the game open’, expressed Richaud Givens. ‘We knew that Roessler would make shots. We fought, but still gave up too many easy baskets and offensive rebounds’, expressed Konstantin Schubert.
In the fourth quarter the Arvato College Wizards began on a swift 5-0 run to extend their lead to 64-51. In the run they got production from Okolie and Roessler. Konstantin Schubert kept his team at bay with a running hook shot and free throws while Karlsruhe got a key three from Vincent Hoffman. Roessler followed with a classic step back jumper for the 69-56 lead. At that point there seemed to be little hope that suddenly Frankfurt would break out of their funk and the guests would make a 180 degrees turn in the other direction and mercifully throw the game away, but believe it or not it did happen. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors finally performed their own magic going on a very very brutal 15-0 run to retake the lead at 71-69. In the run, it was ex Wurzburg guard Philipp Hadenfeldt that led the charge with two massive three’s and a left handed lay in. Frankfurt also got a key floater from Konstantin Schubert and a vital trey from Leonhardt for the 71-70 advantage. Okolie gave Karlsruhe the lead back 72-71 with less than a minute to go, but Frankfurt grabbed the lead back one more time as Alex Richardson made a lay in and free throw to secure the win. Richardso has made an incredible development in the last year as he is getting BBL minutes. He used his big body to perfection on this crucial bucket. The Arvato College Wizards tried to win the game as Roessler had a good look, but was off balance missing. ‘I have no idea how we managed this come back. We just kept playing. Their zone helped us and we got stops. Our defense got us this win. I was a bit scared at the end when Roessler shot’, stressed Konstantin Schubert with 23 points. Philipp Hadenfeldt added 16 points and Marco Voeller 10 points while the Arvato College Wizards were led by Rouven Roessler with 20 points. Richaud Gittens added 15 points and Christian Okolie and Vincent Hoffman added 11 points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 42% from the field and 30% from outside and had 38 rebounds and 18 turnovers while the Arvato College Wizards shot 45% from the field and 31% from outside and had 33 rebounds and 20 turnovers.