It is always a special pleasure when Fans are able to see former teammates battling against their ex team again. This season the EWE Baskets Oldenburg have two ex Frankfurt Skyliners on their roster with Germans Konrad Wysocki and Dominic Bahinese De Mello who combined played seven seasons and 260 games. De Mello played from 2005-2011 and was primarly known as a shooter and didn´t always have an easy time under head coach Murat Didin, but seemed to forever escape his basketball shell in Frankfurt under Gordon Herbert. Konrad Wysocki played at Ivy league school Princeton getting Ivy league rookie of the year in 2001 and when wearing spectacles could be seen as a young Russell Crowe from the movie A Beautiful Mind and could always hold his own in a conversation about architecture. In his only season in Frankfurt in 2008-2009, he played under Murat Didin who wanted him to play more the position four even though he has his advantages at the position three. That season was n´t the best experience for him as he averaged only 6,0ppg, 4,3rpg, 1,4apg and shot only 29,3% from downtown. The nicest memory of the ex ratiopharm Ulm player was prior to him coming to Frankfurt when he was allowed to guard NBA superstar Lebron James at the 2008 Olympic games in Bejing. Wysocki then departed Frankfurt in 2009 and went a bit further east to Poland where he played three seasons for PGE Turow and played Eurocup and hit very prosperous the lats two seasons at 41% from the parking lot. Wysocki wasn´t able to play, because he was suffering from a charley horse injury, but spent some time before the game saying hello to friends that had made the trip form Frankfurt. De Mello was looking to break the 1-1 record form last season where he helped crush Frankfurt in the home opener on the road, but then lost at home near the end of the season. De Mello was as focused to beta his old team as OJ Mayo of the Dallas Mavericks has been being on of the better players so far, Rick Adelman of the Timberlakes keeping a competitive team there despite nagging in juries or Damien Lillard showing he has been a solid rookie for the Portland Trailblazers so far and the young German was able to help the EWE Baskets Oldenburg grind out a tough 63-61 win. “I was excited to play against my former team and see many friends especially seeing Klaus Perwass and Quantez Robertson was nice. It is always special to play against Frankfurt stressed Dominic Bahiense De Mello. De Mello also is thrilled to be reacquainted again with Wysocki. “He is a good friend of mine. We understand each other very much. He plays the kind of style I play. He does so much for the team and has become such a good player and developed in his time in Poland”, added Dominic Bahiense De Mello. “Wysocki learned very well at Princeton. I always know that I can find him cutting to the basket. He is a leader and always fights until falling down”, said EWE Baskets Oldenburg center Jannik Freese. Purdue almunist Chris Kramer that got the deciding steal and hoop to win the game just uttered a huge smile when talking about the German boys. “De Mello is a clown and always joking around. He was struggling a bit rushing his shot this season, but when he is open and has his feet set, then he is one of the best shooters that I have ever been around. Fis hilarious. He is a Princeton boy and sometimes he makes comments that you would never expect from him. He is a huge asset to the team and very versatile. He is one of the bets offensive rebounders that I have ever seen. He is like a magnate getting those rebounds”, warned ex s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg guard Chris Kramer.
The Fraport Skyliners came into the game in 14th place coming off a bitter 59-55 home loss against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg and once again were not rewarded with their strong defense losing a 63-61 heartbreaker where they had the game in their hands, but lost it at the end with two crucial mistakes. The Fraport Skyliners fall to 17th place and seem to be a lot better 17th ranked team then their record shows, but a loss is a loss no matter how well you play. “We are a bit mad and down at the end of this game. We knew that we could of won the game. We simply didn´t execute at the end of the game”, stressed Fraport Skyliner American Quantez Robertson. Despite losing there continues to be bright spots with the team play. “The Skyliners held Oldenburg to 63 points which is a huge accomplishment. They can build on this and need to continue to play aggressive”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg came into the game reeling off a 69-62 loss in Trier and wanted to continue to put an end to their up and down play in the Beko BBL after their continued strong play in the Eurochallenge where they are perfect at 5-0. It doesn´t really get any more exciting than this. This was a very intense game on defense and you have to respect Frankfurt for their performance. They put so much pressure in the passing lanes and we were never able to get rolling and get away, because we didn´t hit our shots. At the end it was small things that decided this game and I am happy that we were able to pull out the win”, stressed ex Sklyiner Dominic bahiense De Mello.
The injury woes continued for the Fraport Skyliners as they were without top scoorer Ted Scott once again as well as captain Marius Nolte. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg jumped on the Fraport Skyliners quickly taking a 6-1 lead as De Mello scored on a lay up with his left hand, Adam Chubb got that extra pass from Ronald Burrell and Rickey Paulding hit a pull up jumper. The Fraport Skyliners didn´t let this quick explosion rattle their feathers as they stormed back on a 6-2 run and trailed only 8-7. Young German Danilo Barthel got some early self confidence making in an ally-op pass from Johnathan Jones and then scored inside again as did Quantez Robertson. This back and fourth offense was about as much as the fans would get until the fourth quarter as defense would play the major role in this game. Oldenburg stayed in front despite the Fraport Skyliners tying the game at 9-9 through Zack Peacock and at 11-11 through a Johannes Vogtman lay in. 2008 Beko BBL champion with Alba Berlin Julius Jenkins hit a floater which he would do again in crunch time and Quantez Robertson replied with a three pointer, but the Fraport Skyliners still were behind 17-16 after one quarter. “The game was very open. Both teams were defending very aggressive leading with the Fraport Skyliners shooting very weak”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were shooting 50% from the field and 0% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 33% from the field and 33% from outside. Frankfurt had the 10-8 rebound edge and both teams had two turnovers a piece.
The EWE Baskets Oldenburg got off to a quick start despite Dion Dowell making a block on the first play and then forcing 2007 Beko BBL cup winner with Cologne Ronald Burrell to a turnover. Oldenburg went on a 8-2 run to lead 25-18. Chubb used his height advantage over Zach peacock nailing a fade away and hit free throws. Julius Jenkins nailed the teams only three pointer of the game. This was a very strong phase of Oldenburg defending as the Fraport Skyliners continued to struggle in their offensive sets as the shot clock was down in many plays forcing low percentage shots. However the Fraport Skyliners knew that in order to stay in the game they would have to put up their defense a few notches and they did letting their defense spark their offense. After a Dowell catch and pop, Devin Gibson made a steal which led to a Zach Peacock fade away jumper and mini 4-0 run as Oldenburg led only 26-22. After Kramer and Peacock traded free throws, it was time for another mini 4-0 run by the Fraport Skyliners as Quantez Robertson made a tip in and then on the very next play, a fierce full court press forced another turnover as Barthel came up with the steal and Konstantin Klein made the lay in as all of a sudden a Skyliner 25-18 disadvantage turned into a 28-28 ball game. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were able to close out the second quarter with free throws from Robin Smeulders and Ronald Burrell to lead 31-28. “The game continued to a defensive battle. Frankfurt increased their aggressive play in the second quarter, but still had problems on offense. Oldenburg pressured so well and the kick wasn´t there, because the shooters were covered keeping the shooting percentage down”, expressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were shooting 42% from the field and 20% from the tree point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 31% from the field and 17% from the three point line. Oldenburg had the rebound advantage at 19-14, but 11 turnovers while Frankfurt only ahd six turnovers.
The third quarter continued to have little scoring output from both teams as defense was continuing to rule the game. The Fraport Skyliners continued to stay on the heel of Oldenburg as Zach Peacock made a lay in to cut the Oldenburg lead to 33-32, but Ronaly Burrell hit a mid distance jumper to put the Oldenburg lead at 35-32. Ronald Burrell was doing a super job keeping Dowell away from the taking the three point line so somebody else had to step up and it was Robertson testing his 27% three point percentage hitting the three pointer knotting the game at 35-35. Jones then gave Frankfurt their first lead of the game dropping an open three pointer for the 38-35 lead. Frankfurt was finally rewarded for their stellar defense. However Oldenburg roared back going on a mini 4-0 run to retake the lead 39-38. Rickey Paulding caught Frankfurt napping scoring on the fast break and Adam Chubb hit two free throws. Peacock tied the score at 39-39 with a free throw, but Jannik Freese then made two free throws for the 41-39 lead. Peacock then tied the score again with a lay in 41-41. DE Mello closed out the third quarter with a bucket as Oldenburg led 43-41. “The Skyliners won the third quarter. They dictated the game as they gave Oldenburg no chance to get away. Both teams continued to defend very hard as neither team had any rhythm on offense”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were shooting 37% from the field and 14% from the parking lot and the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 31% from the field and 25% from the parking lot. Oldenburg had the rebound edge 30-21, but 17 turnovers while Frankfurt had only eight turnovers.
Both teams really saved their best for last as there would be 10 lead changes and the game was decided in the last minute. The Fraport Skyliners raced out on a 5-0 run to retake the lead 46-43 as Quantez Robertson made a spectacular reverse lay up and Johnathan Jones connected on a bomb form downtown. Julius Jenkins then was fouled in the corner behind the three point line and connected on two of three free throws. Burrell then hit a free throw as Oldenburg led 47-46. Peacock then reacted like a beast hauling down an offensive rebound and registering the put back and 48-47 Frankfurt lead. It continued to go back and forth as Burrell snuck inside and got a lay in as Oldenburg led 49-48. Frankfurt then tied the score at 52-52 with a heads up play by Dowell who gobbled up the Voigtmann air ball and lay it in. Gibson who had had drawn fouls all night long, but not hit on a regular basis on the penetration snuck into the zone made a hesitation step and turn around shot as Frankfurt led 55-52. Now it was Oldenburgs turn again to retake the lead going on a mini 4-0 run to lead 56-55. Kramer scored in traffic and Dru Joyce who had been quiet all night long in the scoring department made his only bucket of the game finding a hole as no one picked him up. Gibson then made free throws giving Frankfurt the lead back 57-56, which was quickly erased by Mr money ball Jenkins who quickly found the open space and got inside and made the floater as Oldenburg led again 58-57. Frankfurt then retook the lead 61-58 as Gibson showed no nerves at the free throw line making four free throws in crunch time after having problems recently and Dowell made a huge bucket as Frankfurt led 61-58 with less than a minute to play. Oldenburg countered with two quick points with Robin Smeulders cutting the Frankfurt lead to 61-60. With time running out, the Fraport Skyliners had their destiny in their own hands as Oldenburg has to foul, but the unexpected came as Chris Kramer came between a Tez inbounds pass to Gibson scoring an easy break away hoop and Oldenburg 62-61 lead as Oldenburg would never trail again. “That was my fault. I have to make a better inbounds pass”, stated Quantez Robertson. “It was my mistake. I should of came quicker to the ball”, added Devin Gibson. Chris Kramer who was named to the defensive team three years in a row in his conference at Purdue showed why he is a big time defensive player even if his steal wasn´t as spectacular as his shot from his knees against Arizona in 2007. “That steal wasn´t as spectacular as that, but is was big. We needed a big play and the pass wasn´t strong and I got in the passing lane and got the basket”, added Chris Kramer. “Kramer never gives up. He plays until he falls down”, stressed Jannik Freese. Frankfurt had one more chance with 4 seconds to play on an inbounds play, but Oldenburg denied well as Frankfurt got the ball to young German Johannes Voigtman that lost the ball in the corner and turned the ball over. “It was obvious that I wasn´t the first option, but Oldenburg did a good job on our players and I was unlucky losing the ball on the dribble off my foot”, expressed Johannes Voigtmann. Jenkins made one more free throw sealing the win for the EWE Baskets Oldenburg 63-61. “We had good looks at end and executed ok. I think that if we would have made more of our open shots then we would of won”, added Quantez Robertson. “This was one of those games where one play can decide it. This was a huge win for us and this is what can capitulate a team and keep us moving forward”, warned Chris Kramer.
The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were led by Adam Chubb with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Ronald Burrell added 11 points and six boards and Julius Jenkins 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Zach peacock with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists. Quantez Robertson added 14 points. The FRaport Skyliners continue to struggle on offense as they can´t find a rhythm and shot only 34% from the field and 24% from outside. Their defense continues to be their bright spot as they limited Oldenburg to only one three pointer and forced them to 21 turnovers. “Our defense was very aggressive tonight. We did a good job not letting them get into their plays and limiting their hot players Jenkins and Paulding and not letting them get a rhythm early”, stressed Quantez Robertson. “Frankfurt defended very aggressive hedge hard on ball screens and making us make the extra pass. We missed many shots. We can work on many things. We have to get back to scoring 75-80 points”, added Chris Kramer. “Frankfurt scrambled very much and it wasn´t easy against their baseline trap”, warned Jannik Freese. The Fraport Skyliners will be back at the office next weekend against Phoenix Hagen and will need to defend hard again as Phoenix Hagen can put points up on the board as fast as Julius Jenkins can get hot and stop their run and gun game.