Ever since the German Fussball Bundesliga opened the door in 1963, one would always see the powerhouse FC Bayern Munich each season in Frankfurt in the Wald stadium and later the Commerzbank arena. There have been many unforgettable games and scenes between FC Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt over the years like the Klaus Augenthaler goal from mid field or the hard fought 1-0 Munich win in the 2006 cup final in Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt is trailing in the 86 game history at 44-22-20. FC Bayern Munich wasn´t in town for soccer but for basketball and seeing the red and white FC Bayern Munich jerseys for the first time in the Fraport arena was something to get used to, but a new basketball FC Bayern Munich era had began as Stefan Hamann was back with his piercing blue ocean eyes, head coach Dirk Bauermann wearing his typical men in back outfit with sunglasses only missing to go as a Jack Nicholson, Demond Greene sporting his standard tough all around play and basketball joker Darius Hall were all back in the arena where they had been in before, but for other teams. Being able to say the magical words FC Bayern Munich and not be referring to a soccer pitch, but to a basketball court was soothing and a premier as the Fraport Skyliners were able to take revenge for their 58-57 loss in Munich earlier in the season with a strong team performance 68-49. Just playing against the mighty FC Bayern Brand was something that players reflected upon without even talking about the outcome of the game. “It is great that FC Bayern Munich is in the Beko BBL. Everyone knows Bayern Munich and its great for the competition. It is cool having a soccer and basketball team. I remember it to well from my playing days in Leverkusen”, stated American Jared Newson. “It was a great feeling playing against this great name where there is so much tradition with the soccer team. It was a great atmosphere and we felt the fans energy”, added Skyliner guard Michael Thompson. “They are FC Bayern Munich rich in tradition like the New York Yankees. Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics or Boston Red Sox. It is always great to win against great competition”, stated Skyliner guard Jimmy Mckinney.
FC Bayern Munich came into the game in seventh place having had a big win against ratiopharm Ulm at home, but had a horrifying 1-9 record on the road. FC Bayern Munich have given up an average of 75 points per game since their win against Frankfurt in November so giving up 68 points on defense was a success, but they were unable to get any consistency on offense as they scored only 49 points and left the Fraport arena floor dejected and searching for answers why it is so difficult to win in foreign ground. “This is the first time in my career as well for other guys on the team that we have lost so much on the road. The bottom line is that we really need to sit down and talk about this to see if it is a mental problem. We have lost some close games as well as bad games on the road. I think if we can get one win on the road, it will help us mentally”, stressed 2006 Beko BBL champion with Cologne Alexsandar Nadjfeji. German national player Robin Benzing had like a home game since he hails from near Darmstadt and was disappointed that the team still hasn´t gotten used to all the hatred that they get on the road. “Frankfurt played harder than we did and we shot horrible. We have to understand finally that every team wants to beat us in their place. I think that we can get over the hump if we get a win”, stressed ex ratiopharm Ulm forward Robin Benzing. The Fraport Skyliners were looking to start a new winning streak at home after their loss in Bremerhaven 72 hours ago, but were looking for their second win at home. Frankfurt had given up an average 79 points in the last four games and only 64 in the 11 games prior to the last four and found their defensive touch again giving up only 49 points. “We played unbelievable defense. Everybody was boxing out and helping out. We were playing with a chip on our shoulder after the unnecessary loss in Bremerhaven. We had played terrible pick and role defense against Giessen and Ludwigsburg, but played good for three quarters against Braunschweig and better against Bremerhaven. The coaching staff worked extremely hard with us last week in practice in preparation for this game”, commented ex Phoenix Hagen forward Jacob Burtschi. “We did a good job on the pick and roll and fighting over screens. We did a pretty good job on Jared Homan as well. We defended great for 40 minutes”, said Michael Thompson.
The Fraport arena was bustling earlier than usual with more fans in the arena as possibly some were hoping to see Uli Hoeness, but he may have been in Freiburg where the soccer team was playing or snug warm in his living room watching the game on tv. The funniest scene prior to the game was 2008 Beko BBL cup winner Darius Hall going to the wrong bench and taking a while to notice that he wasn´t in the right place. Fraport Skyliner mascots Dunking Kong and Skygirl also had a third member present, but it was unclear if it was their kid or a carnival joke. When the game finally did begin, the fans saw a very hard fought game as the score was 4-4 after five minutes. American big man Jared Homan scored inside and hit two free throws and the Skyliners then took out German national player Tim Ohlbrecht who had two fouls and brought ex NBA player Jermareo Davidson hit his bread and butter shot pull up jumper over Homan and Quantez Robertson made a steal and went coast to coast to tie the score at 4-4. Frankfurt then brought Beko BBL rookie Devid Gibson who got to the free throw line twice and scored inside giving Frankfurt their first lead of the game 9-8. After Chevon Troutman made a free throw to tie the game at 9-9, it was St Louis native Jimmy Mckinney who dropped two huge three pointer from downtown to give the Fraport Skyliners the 15-9 lead after one quarter. “Frankfurt got off to a good start controlling the tempo from the start and their rotations were good on defense. Mckinney hit big shots at the end. I would have liked to have seen my ex teammate Tim Ohlbrecht bring more energy and vocal. It seems like FC Bayern Munich has too many voices and too little getting the job done together”, stressed 2006 Beko BBL slam dunk winner Jared Newson. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 33% from the field and 50% from outside while FC Bayern Munich was shooting 13% from the field and 0% from outside. FC Bayern Munich had the 12-10 rebound edge, but three turnovers and Frankfurt had two turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners continued their 6-0 Mckinney run from the end of the first quarter going on a 7-0 run to start the second quarter as Davidson hit a runner and hook shot over Homan. Quantez Robertson then punished the FC Bayern Munich zone with a high rain bow three pointer as the Fraport Skyliners led 22-9. Je Kel Foster stopped the run with a much needed three point bomb, but that didn´t burst of offense didn´t last long as Frankfurt went on a 9-1 run to extend their lead to 31-13. Mckinney hit a three pointer, Devin Gibson made a shot from the corner of the zone after getting his own rebound, Skyliner captain Marius Nolte scored inside and Davidson dunked. The Fraport Skyliners were displaying the kind of heart that a Uli Hoeness would like to see. On the Gibson basket, he scored on a second effort and soon after stole the ball on an inbounds pass out of the hands of Homan. One can only limit a powerhouse offense of FC Bayern Munich as sooner or later they will get their points. The Bavarian club saw some daylight on offense going on a 6-0 run to cut the Skyliners lead to 31-20 as Foster connected on a three pointer and ex Alba Berlin forward Nadjfeji scored from the wing getting fed perfectly from Homan inside as he was being double teamed. Frankfurt continued to do a super job limiting the space inside as FC Bayern Munich couldn´t get their pick and roll offense to flow at all. Down the stretch of the second quarter, FC Bayern Munich was able to capitalize inside as Homan and Nadjfeji scored and Jonathan Wallace hit a jumper as the Fraport Skyliners led 37-27 at halftime. “Gibson gave the team some spark, but that is the role any player should have coming from the bench. Davidson did a good job being an inside presence and finishing around the rim and the Frankfurt defense closed down the lane nicely”, expressed ex Bayer Leverkusen American Jared Newson. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 47% from the field and 56% from the three point line while FC Bayern Munich was shooting 31% from the field and 22% from the three point line. FC Bayern Munich had the 19-15 rebound advantage, but had eight turnovers while Frankfurt had only four turnovers.
In the third quarter, FC Bayern Munich was able to get back into the game, but The Fraport Skyliners never allowed the Bavarian team to get any closer than five points. Jared Newson who was in Germany for a few days on leave from his Finish team took in the Braunschweig-Wurzburg game prior to the Skyliners game and was impressed with the Frankfurt team who he had seen for the first time this season. “Frankfurt is a lot better than their record shows. I would have thought that they were a top 4 team”, stressed Jared Newson. Robin Benzing got FC Bayern Munich started with a one handed hook shot, but Jimmy Mckinney answered with a pull up jumper as Frankfurt still led 39-29. FC Bayern Munich tried to go inside more as Homan scored as FC Bayern Munich trailed only 39-31. Fc Bayern Munich then went on a 9-4 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to only to 43-38. Nadjfeji and Homan scored inside, but Gibson answered with a big three pointer. “FC Bayern Munich should of attacked even more inside considering Davidson had three fouls and didn´t want to foul more”, added Jared Newson. Little used German national player Jan Jagla then hit a three pointer as Frankfurt led only 45-38. However the Fraport Skyliners didn´t let any of the FC Bayern Munich momentum play with their heads as they closed out the third with an important stifling 5-0 run to lead more comfortably again 50-38. Mckinney nailed a three pointer and had Newson smiling. “Jimmy knew I was coming so he had to perform”, added Jared Newson. Robertson hit a big jumper over Wallace as Frankfurt was 10 minutes away from getting their first win in their history over FC Bayern Munich. “Tez reminds me of Wurzburg. They have like six of him. It is always great to have guys like that on the team”, joked Jared Newson. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 42% from the field and 50% from the parking lot while FC Bayern Munich was shooting 32% from the field and 20% from the parking lot. FC Bayern Munich led the rebound battle 29-27, but had 12 turnovers while Frankfurt had seven turnovers only. “FC Bayern Munich started well, but Frankfurt came back an dhit big shots taking the momentum back”, stressed Jared Newson.
Jared Homan got FC Bayern Munich on the score board first in the fourth quarter with a typical pick and roll play with Stefan Hamann, but Davidson countered with his typical pull up jumper over Homan. “It is obviously smarter for Davidson to shoot over Homan than attack him inside”, warned Jared Newson. After Benzing getting two points on a goaltending, it was the Fraport Skyliners who continued to slow down the FC Bayern Munich comeback attempt as Davidson and Burtschi scored as Frankfurt led 56-42. With Davidson in foul trouble, Jared Homan took advantage of the mismatch against Jacob Burtschi as Homan scored inside on the pick and roll with Hamann and got to the free throw line twice as Frankfurt led only 56-46. “Frankfurt was doing a good job defending the perimeter, but were having problems inside on the pick and role”, warned Jared Newson. With three minutes to play, the Fraport Skyliners closed the door on FC Bayern Munich and ultimately tore off the lederhosen going on a 4-0 run to lead 60-46. Mckinney made a jumper and Marius Nolte followed up his offensive rebound with putback. Before Mckinney made the jumper, his eyes met with Newson. “Jimmy said, I got this one and he called it making a big shot”, added Jared Newson. In the last minute, Burtschi and Benzing traded baskets and Nolte and Gibson got to the free throw line. FC Bayern Munich lost their 10th game on the road as the Fraport Skyliners won their fourth game of the season in their living room. “We controlled the game for 40 minutes. They cut down the lead to five points, but broke it open again and it was a great team win”, added Jacob Burtschi. “We didn´t do anything on offense. Frankfurt did a good job slowing down the game and didn´t let us play quick. We were unconcentrated and missed many easy shots that we should of made”, stressed 2005 silver medal winner at the European championships Steffan Hamann.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jimmy Mckinney with 18 points. Jermareo Davidson chipped in with 12 points and five rebounds. The two small guards Devin Gibson and Quantez Robertson had 16 rebounds combined and 11 points a piece. Robertson has been up and down this season, but gave one of his best defensive performances. “I was struggling on defense earlier in the season, but got my form back in last games helping team get extra possessions on offense and defense”, added Quantez Robertson. FC Bayern Munich was led by Jared Homan with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Aleksandar Nadjfeji added 10 points and six rebounds. The Fraport Skyliners shot 41% from the field and 40% from outside while FC Bayern Munich had a black shooting day at 29% from the field and 14% from the parking lot. The team rebounding was locked at 39-39 and Frankfurt did a great job with only nine turnovers. After the bitter loss in Bremerhaven, Michael Thompson stressed the team had st sty together and they did against FC Bayern Munich. “We stayed composed and stayed together when they came back always being aggressive”, added Michael Thompson. For FC Bayern Munich, the goal is to stay focused on defense. “We can´t live form our offense on the road, but get our defense going”, added Aleksandar Nadjfeji. Jacob Burtschi is sure that FC Bayern Munich will get it going sooner or later. “They have many superstars. It is tough that they always have atarget on their chest in every arena that they go to. They are a great team and will figure out how to win on the road”, added Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners go back to work on February 25th in Bayreuth.