If there was any last spec of proudness and energy that the Fraport Skyliners had carried over from the blistering 24 point annihilation of FC Bayern Munich in game two in Frankfurt, it disappeared as quickly as cheese balls did back in the day when Chris Farley was put into a cage having to eat as many as possible in a short time as in the fourth quarter of game three as Bryce Taylor put more salt into the wound hitting 10 points and a bit of alcohol for bad measure as little used ex TV Langen forward Robin Benzing stroked home a last three pointer ending the game 82-64. After the buzzer sounded, the Fraport Skyliners went into the locker room getting some verbal confidence from head coach Gordon Herbert. The team then trudged slowly back onto the court and preceded to do their stretching with one player looking more depressed than the other. Top point guard Justin Cobbs just stood starring as if he had just found out that his home team Los Angeles Dodgesr had suffered through a 21-0 drubbing or a Quantez Robertson even had difficulty finding his usual right words for the defeat. As Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi explaned, the Fraport Skyliners had suffered a vice versa experience as FC Bayern Munich were flattened by 24 points 48 hours earlier and now that what FC Bayern Munich couldn´t do in game two was set upon the shoulders of the 2004 BBL champion Fraport Skyliners who stunk up the Audi Dome losing by 18 points. This time the great big ocean which was as huge as a valley now was as tiny as a fountain as they shot only 2/17 and they were hammered on the boards 40-32 giving up nine offensive rebounds. In game four the question now was would the Frankfurt fans witness a role reversal and see a same kind of game like in game two, or could Frankfurt pull out a nail bitter or would FC Bayern Munich move on winning the series? This time there would be no vice versa as FC Bayern Munich had learned from their game two mistakes and carried on with their strong play from game the game three win in Munich and now overpowered the Fraport Skyliners in the second half with crushing 92-71 victory winning the series 3-1. The physicality of FC Bayern Munich was simply too much as the 2014 champion had not only banged up the Fraport Skyliners on the court with their offense, but also their bodies as a Danilo Barthel had to witness countless times as a Nihad Dejedovic countered one too many elbows in the direction of the Heidelberg native which got head coach Gordon Herbert to explode at the end of the game. “Munich was the better team for 40 minutes today. They got stronger in the second half and really hit their shots in the fourth quarter. We broke down and they didn´t let off”, stressed Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi. Except for game two where FC Bayern stunk up the Fraport area, they were the better and more consistent team in the series and picked up from their strong game three win in Munich and closed out the series in spectacular fashion closing out the last quarter with 32 points. “We came out focused like in game three. I felt we played at a high level for 40 minutes defending and rebounding. We didn´t hit as much at the end of the third and going into the fourth, but we got a lot of offensive rebounds that helped”, stressed FC Bayern Munich guard Heiko Schaffartzik.
It may not have the exact same excitement factor as a meet and greet with Justin Bieber for an overzealous 12 year old girl, an American player returning back home after an arduous nine month season in Europe and returning to his favorite eating spot ready to chow down on his favorite food or an anti FC Bayern Munich football fan enjoying the rapid downfall of the football team in the last 13 minutes in the Champions league semi-final against FC Barcelona, but for most Fraport Skyliner fans returning back to the Beko BBL playoffs after a 4 year absence is surely a very happy and satisfying moment again even if they have to meet up against Germany´s most famous team FC Bayern Munich in a best of five series. There are only two key figures remaining on the Frankfurt team from the bitter five game semi-final loss to Alba Berlin in 2011 with the minister of defense Quantez Robertson and head coach Gordon Herbert. If you look at the current Fraport Skyliner roster and go back to the 2010-2011 seasons the German twin towers Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann were playing in the second Bundesliga for with USC Heidelberg and Science City Jena, the two rookies Justin Cobbbs and Sean Armand were rookies at Minnesota and Iona and role players Jacob Burtsch was just finishing his rookie season with the Phoenix Hagen, Canadian Aaron Doornekamp rookie season in Italy and put back and dunk specialist Mike Morrison was finishing up at George Mason(NCAA). After an unsatisfying finish to the Eurochallenge season where the Fraport Skyliners finished fourth at the final 4 in Turkey, they had their last challenge of the season with the playoffs and had an annoying opponent with FC Bayern Munich and were hoping to steal game one in Munich, but came up a bit short after staying with the FC Bayern Munich powerhouse for 30 minutes, but running out of gas in the fourth quarter as they were unable to match the consistency of their opponent losing game one in Munich 83-72.
If there is one thing that Alba Berlin head coach Sasa Obradovic hasn´t had a lack of in his basketball career, it has been tasting different types of Champagne over the years as a player and coach as he won two league titles in the former Yugoslavia with Crvena Zvezda Beograd and Buducnost Podgorica, in Germany three cups with Rhein Energie Cologne, a Korac cup with Alba Berlin and two European championships and one World championship with Yugoslavia and as a coach he took home a league title with Rhein Energie Cologne and won the 2013 and 2014 BBL cups with Alba Berlin. Even with so many titles under his belt, the 46 Serb continues to have that drive to want more and more. A few weeks ago Alba Berlin and Obradovic were rudely dismissed by the Brose Baskets Bamberg in the cup semi´s in Oldenburg and did it again on the last game day winning in Berlin 78-72. It hasn´t been an easy last few weeks for the ex point guard who is always thinking and looking ahead as he did shortly after the cup loss to Bamberg. Instead of going back to the hotel to grab a bite to eat and do some early video of the loss, he remained in the Oldenburg arena, found a seat between various media representatives and followed the second semi final between Oldenburg and the Telekom Baskets Bonn like a diligent professor. At times it seemed like he would have enjoyed stepping in for one of the head coaches of the respective teams and given his two cents concerning the course of the game. It seemed like the basketball god from above might have given Obradovic the tip that one of these two teams might just be the next playoff opponent for the 8 time Beko BBL champion. Just how much smarter Obradovic could become from the masterful 72-70 Oldenburg win concerning how to shut down a Casper Ware from making impossible off balance shots in the lane, Rickey Paulding nailing another three pointer or annoying the beast Philipp Neumann is unknown, but one thing is for sure, Alba Berlin has only one more title to play for after being denied a third consecutive cup win and won´t be ready to go home for an early summer vacation.