Ekene Ibekwe

Ekene Ibekwe Leads The Fraport Skyliners Shutting Down Ex Team CEZ Nymburk 74-61 In Champions League

It  was seven months ago that American Eugene Lawrence suffered one of his worst BBL defeats of last season in Frankfurt, but at least the American from Brooklyn, New York who only has to travel 21 miles in the summer to get from his home to Englewood, New Jersey to pick the basketball brain of Champions League opponent Jordan Theodore or to trade secrets about best groomed bald heads and could still boast that his 37 point demolition against Bamberg was worse than the 78-48 loss at the hands of Theodore and the Fraport Skyliners last season. In that game, the Fraport Skyliners shared the ball around nicely while the Telekom Baskets Bonn had a cold shooting day and were totally outplayed and worn down by their stellar defense of last season. Lawrence matched the point total of Theodore with nine points, but dished out only one assist as his playmaking was severely flawed by the aggressive Frankfurt defense. Last season, losing was a habit for Lawrence with the Telekom Baskets Bonn, but this season he returned back to an old stomping ground with CEZ Basketball Nymburk (Czech Republic-NBL) where he won his only two titles in 2012. In the Czech Republic NBL league, he has helped the team register a perfect 10-0 record and their only loss was in Champions league play against Banvit and Theodore last week 75-69. In that loss, Theodore was his usual self-supplying 15 points, six boards and seven assists while Lawrence countered with 11 points. If Lawrence had the audacity to inquire Theodore after the loss some questions about how to beat Frankfurt is unknown, but one thing is for sure, Lawrence returned back to Germany with a massive chip on his shoulder after being swept by the Fraport Skyliners last season and getting creamed in the Fraport arena by 30 big ones. However once again, Lawrence had no fortune in the ex living room of Theodore as a huge second half and comeback by the Fraport Skyliners where they outscored CEZ Nymburk 44-21 helped win their second Champions League game 74-61 moving to 2-2 in group play.

After the loss, Lawrence departed from the locker room sniffling a bit as his cold wasn´t unnoticeable and his mood wasn´t either as he was more than disappointed by how his team collapsed in the second half. “I think that the third quarter killed us. We had too many turnovers and missed layups all game long. On the road, you must always be cautious of everything. We gave Frankfurt the momentum in the third quarter and it carried over until the end. We had a good second quarter, but Frankfurt punched first in the second half and kept coming”, stressed CEZ Nymburk point guard Eugene Lawrence. The Fraport Skyliners totally lost control of the game in the second quarter, but came back in the third quarter turning the game around and finishing strong to earn the win. “Coach Perwas told us at halftime to stay with it. We have worked too hard the last weeks to keep handing games away. Too often we are a good team for 20 minutes, but the other 20 minutes of not being a good team. We were more consistent and wanted it more and it paid off. It was all about better communication on offense and defense and it was the best game of the season where we did that”, explained Fraport Skyliner guard Kwame Vaughn.

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Ekene Ibekwe Slithers Like An Angry Snake Dunking BBC Bayreuth Past The Fraport Skyliners 79-71

A few weeks ago, BBC Bayreuth basketball freaks may have been dreaming of Kevin Durant matching the 50 points of Deron Williams in a beko BBL game, meeting the NBA superstar in the city and holding a you tube moment forever, or examining his athletic moves and then making a fool of themselves trying to copy him, but since Durant never arrived, the basketball life in the Bavarian city that gave the world the musical composer has returned back to normal. However the team has showed that they don’t really need an NBA superstar as the team continues to play super basketball ever since Danny Gibson returned and new coach Marc Van Den Berg took the helm as the team has cut down their points allowed from 83 to 66. The team has sparkled like classic red wine on the court with solid team basketball with versatility at every position and came into the Fraport arena resting at position 11 and Kevin Durant 5007 miles away in Oklahoma leaving his play in a tiny part of their brain as they won their fifth game in their last six games stifling the Fraport Skyliners in their own living room 79-71. After the big win in Hagen last weekend, The Fraport Skyliners had to play catch up basketball in the second half never being able to retake the lead. “We played soft defense and didn´t make the necessary stops when we should of. We have to learn from these mistakes. BBC Bayreuth played very physical and we didn´t. Even when we got close there was something missing. We are good enough to get close, but not good enough to win”, stated Skyliner head coach Muli Katzurin. BBC Bayreuth played a very solid second half always going on small runs and just out playing the Skyliners in every phase of the game. “The key to the win tonight was our aggressiveness on defense. We were able to execute well on offense always finding the open man. We took the game on and not let the game come to us”, stressed BBC Bayreuth player Ekene Ibekwe. What was really impressive was even when Frankfurt came back, BBC Bayreuth was able to stay consistent as a team and play through pressure. “Our coach has preached staying together since he came. We keep fighting no matter what even in times when the opponent is pressuring us”, added BBC Bayreuth point guard Danny Gibson.

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