Four months ago, the Fraport Skyliners were about as far away from the Beko BBL playoffs as Jack Black is from having a sensual love scene with Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson at the same time in a movie, Peyton Manning from winning a Super Bowl again with his first NFL team Indianapolis Colts or the New Orleans Saints from regaining any kind of respect again in the next years. Back in early December, Frankfurt fans were wondering if a long winter in the Beko BBL cellar was to happen making early Christmas shopping and wondering if Jon Leuer would leave for the NBA. Now more than four months after the 83-65 win in Hagen and 27 point performance from Jon Leuer, Phoenix Hagen continue to be fighting to stay in the Beko BBL while the Fraport Skyliners continue to make a late season run for the Beko BBL playoffs and showed a powerful display of offense and defense totally dismantling Phoenix Hagen 92-47 holding a Beko BBL team under 50 points for the third time this season. The way the Fraport Skyliners play now then compared to early December is like night and day and that has to do mostly with coach Muli Katzurin, the team as a whole and a player that can play Monopoly with the best of them. “I think a big part of the success in Frankfurt has to do with Jacob Burtschi. He does all the little things that keep a team together and he is the glue guy. The way he plays makes the team get better. It also took some time for the team to mesh and understands the coaches defensive style. “We expected them to be a lot better than four months ago. There defense is a lot better, but that is because they know each other better. Their size and athleticism are the same, but whats different is that the Skyliners are clicking”, expressed ex Duesseldorf Giant Marc Anthony Carter. “I think that my non stop style has helped the team. I don´t have to score as much as in Hagen, but can do other things like rebound and find my teammates”, added ex Phoenix Hagen forward Jacob Burtschi. “Frankfurt play more together now than then making the extra pass and just doing things that good teams have to do”, stated Phoenix Hagen American Adam Constatine.
Marquez Haynes is a 24 year old 191 cm guard from Irving Texas that is playing his first season in the ACB for Gran Canara as is their current leading scorer. He played at Boston College from 2005-2007 before transferring to Texas Arlington (NCAA) where he played from 2008-2010. In his senior year he was the third best scorer in the NCAA averaging (22.6ppg), 4.3rpg, 3.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 40.9%, FT: 74.6%. Last season, he started his professional basketball career for ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-ProA, starting five): 33 games: 14.3ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.9apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 73.1%. Currently he is averaging 12,1ppg, 1,8rpg and 2,4apg. He played at the 2011 European championships for Georgia playing 8 games: 8.0ppg, 1.6rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 53.3%. He reached the NCAA Sweet 16 with Boston College in 2006 and won the French Cup with Chalon. German Hoops spoke with the American before the Eurocup game against the Fraport Skyliners December 20th.
Congrats on the 89-70 win against Blancos de Rueda. What was key for getting this big win?
The key for the win was our rebounding and good shooting. We got off to a hot start shooting and jumped out on them early. It was nice to play with a lead throughout the game.
The team is slowly climbing the ladder back up the ACB standings and are currently at 12th place. What have been the main reasons for the turnaround in the ACB in the last weeks?
The main reasons for the turnaround is that I think we are simply starting to get better. Some teams have perfect chemistry from the get go and we are still searching for ours. We have made some good offensive adjustments also and we are playing faster and with more confidence.
Quantez Robertson is a 24 year old 190 cm guard from Cincinnati Ohio. He is playing his second season in Germany in the BEKO BBL for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners. He played at Auburn from 2005-2009. In his senior year he played 36 games averaging 6.0ppg, 3.9rpg, 3.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 39.4%, 3Pts: 23.6%, FT: 62.3%. He reached the NIT elite 8 with Aubrun in 2009.He is seen as an athletic freak with amazing lateral quickness and long arms and is good enough to play in the NBA based off of his defensive skills alone. Last season, he played 48 games: 6.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.1apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 60.0%. This season in Eurochallenge play he played 6 games averaging 6,7ppg, 4,3rpg, 1,2apg and 1,3spg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
How was your new years eve in Germany?
It was nice. I celebrated with a couple of teammates and we went out to eat.