Many Boston Celtic fans will remember the date May 22nd 1988 probably not as much as February 5th, 2017 like New England Patriots fans, but for AJ English senior who had finished his sophomore season at Virginia Union might have caught the legendary playoff game between the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks where Boston won 118-116. Fans witnessed the fourth quarter sniper attack between legends Larry Bird and Dominque Wilkins who combined for 34 points. It was a display of scoring magic and abilities that would never be repeated again between two players in such an important setting, but amazing individual scoring masterpieces have been on the menu currently in the NBA as Isaiah Thomas can soon warrant a patent on fourth quarter magic while guys like Lebron James and Steph Curry do it on a regular basis. These feats do happen in European basketball, but not as frequently, but last weekend it happened in Munich as AJ English´s potent scoring was lost in the aftermath of an embarrassing 95-70 Fraport Skyliners loss. English eclipsed the 20 points of Bird form 1988 and scored all of his teams 22 points in the fourth quarter like a slithering snake waiting to bite every time he got the ball and the only thing missing was having an opponent who also shot out the lights on a regular basis like he did. This shooting performance probably won´t be remembered very long simply because it wasn´t a close game, but English surely won´t forget that he got his first loss in a Fraport Skyliners jersey as he had been perfect 8-0 going into the contest. However, English was able to go into the Champions League playoffs against Pinar Karsiyaka with confidence as he was still perfect in this competition at 4-0 and had scored in double figures in each game averaging 17,3ppg, 4,0rpg and 2,5apg. English was looking to have his slithering snake instincts again for the basket and stayed perfect in the competition and scored in double figures again with 10 points, but this night belonged to a player that isn´t known for his scoring power, but Mike Morrison exploded owning the paint and scored a career high 35 points eclipsing his two other best marks of 28 points in Finland and Cyprus leading the Fraport Skyliners to an important 90-80 win over Pinar Karsiyaka. The big man always plays with a lot of energy, but on this night, he was a man playing against boys in the paint as it was his own domain. After the big win, Morrison was surrounded by a swarm of journalists, but the big man from St Petersburg, Florida handled the hoopla with grace and as always had an eloquent tongue while describing his unexpected burst of scoring. “My teammates did a good job on the pick and roll finding me a lot. I am focused on being consistent and not getting caught up with the highs and the lows”, smiled ex George Mason center Mike Morrison. Morrison finished with 35 points, seven rebounds, three assists and shot at a very high rate at 88% going 15/17. For his teammates of many years like Quantez Robertson, having a big game like this wasn´t surprising. “Mike had a very good week of practice and he is always very motivated to play. Tonight we got him going early and it carried all the way until the end. He got some easy put back dunks and moved well on the blocks to get into good position to score”, added ex Auburn guard Quantez Robertson. For new Skyliner scoring sensation from Iona AJ English seeing the big man own the paint all night long also wasn´t surprising as he has seen in a short time what he can do on the floor. “Mike is more than capable to have nights like this. I think that they were focusing more on our guards, so coach told us to go inside to Mike more. I think that he belongs in the NBA”, smiled AJ English. Even his ex teammates were thinking about him and had to get their two cents worth of jokes in. “Mike was a beast tonight. Aaron Doornekamp called me two minutes after the game was over and asked me if Mike Morrison´s stats were correct”, added Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert.
The Fraport Skyliners will return back to Turkey in two weeks and try to wrap up the playoffs series not allowing Pinar Karsiyaka of scoring more than ten points. The Fraport Skyliners played a solid first half, but had their problems with keeping the Turkish team under wraps as they were able to get too many easy baskets and bitter turnovers also didn´t help their game. However in the second half, they picked up their defense and got more support on the offensive end keeping up their consistency despite Pinar Karsiyaka getting a potent effort from American guard J´ Covan Brown dropping 29 points.