It was once again time for a new basketball Champions League encounter between the Fraport Skyliners and Slovenian club Helios Domzale as in the first game the German squad escaped a tough Slovenian side sneaking back to Germany with a 61-56 grind out victory as American point guard Kwame Vaughn led the charge with 27 points and came up big in crunch-time. In the return game, it pitted a Frankfurt team that has been more than disappointing in the BBL and clinging for their lives in the international competition while Helios Domzale need a miracle to advance in this competition and need to go on a big winning streak now. The game was the tale of two guards as it had two guys coming into the contest with something prove with two Americans AJ English and Brandyn Curry. English is a 24 year old 192 cm shooting guard that is a rookie and started the season with Enel Basket Brindisi (Italy-Serie A) playing 8 games and averaging 7.9ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.6apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 38.7%, 3FGP: 25.0%, FT: 75.0%. His first station in Europe didn´t work out the way he planned and he hopes to bring his killer scoring instinct and scoring in bunches ways to his new home with Frankfurt which he displayed in college at Iona in New York and played two seasons with ex Skyliner Sean Armand. Armand had the better three point accuracy than English, but the new Skyliner scored more than Armand did. If one once called Sean “you want buckets here you go Armand then you could name English AJ “you want more buckets here you go” English. The other guard that wanted to finally get that annoying Skyliner monkey off his back was Brandyn Curry who had an 0-5 record against the Fraport Skyliners with two loses with Dutch club Den Bosch, two loses with German club Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and one with Helios Domzale. He was 0-2 in the Fraport arena and still has uneasy memories of the loss in Frankfurt nearly two years ago in an Eurochallenge game where he stroked home 27 points on seven three´s, but had a long bus ride home to Den Bosch chewing on a loss. Both guys entered the game with chips on their shoulders and after 40 minutes, ex Iona standout AJ English came out as the winner as he helped the Fraport Skyliners to a 72-62 victory producing 12 points while Brandyn Curry hit some big shots in the fourth, but once again left the building as the loser for the third time and is 0-6 in his career against the Fraport Skyliners.
“This arena isn´t a good place for me. I still haven´t figured out how to win here. However It is always great to play here and I hope that I can get a dub the next time. We lost the game in the third quarter. Frankfurt got going and we didn´t. Usually it´s the fourth quarter that does us in, but tonight it was the third quarter. We need to learn to play a complete game”, warned ex Harvard(NCAA) guard Brandyn Curry. After the game, AJ English had a hard task of reaching out to every journalist, but he took it in stride and is excited about playing in Frankfurt. “I didn´t feel pressure tonight. Italy was a good opportunity, but Frankfurt is a better one. I just try to play good defense and knock down shots and be ready every night. Sean Armand told me to be myself and let the game come to me. It is a long season and there are always ups and downs. That´s the beauty of basketball”, warned Fraport Skyliner guard AJ English. With the win, the Fraport Skyliners climbed into fifth place and have a playoff place for now, but with 4 games remaining, nothing is secure yet. “This was a much needed win. We controlled our own destiny. We missed easy shots in the first half. We came out strong in the third, but lost a little intensity in the fourth quarter, but our defense kept us in the game and gained intensity and got us the win”, added Fraport Skyliner point guard Kwame Vaughn.