For most Beko BBL teams going to the Stechert arena in Bamberg to getting 40 minutes of torturing basketball from the Brose Baskets Bamberg is as difficult as seeing singer Miley Cyrus with her short Justin Bieber cut, Lindsay Lohan going from an aspiring young actress to living in the tabloids with absurb stories like clogging toilets at movie sets, or ex Terminator cute kid Edward Furlong being accused of hitting his girlfriend in a domestic violence attack. Not only is it tough to play in Bamberg, but also in Giessen where the fans can be as hostel as a hungry lion who has just had his super snatched away. Many teams are able to depart the Ost Halle in Giessen with a victory on account of their better talent and decision making in crunch time, but there are seldom teams that have had such an amazing run like the Fraport Skyliners have had recently. The last time that the Frankfurt Skyliners left the living room of mascot Fabius as losers was 121 months ago on December 7th, 2002 as guys like Kai Nurnberger, ex Orlando Magic Mario Kasun and ex German national player Robert Maras were still roaming the floor with the Skyliners. In the last 10 wins for the Fraport Skyliners, it wasn´t always a team effort that got the win, but there were always certain players that stepped up on a big basis creating their own magic getting the team over the hump. Who could forget ex NBA player Desmond Ferguson dropping seven three pointers in a win in 2005 or Alex King having one of his best games as a Skyliner netting 13 points in 2008 or current Skyliner captain Marius Nolte who used his special force last season in Giessen in crunch time to help secure the win with big plays or Skyliner legend Pascal Roller winning a game with 13 seconds to play in 2010 with free throws in a 69-68 win. The Fraport Skyliners were looking for their 11th win in a row in Giessen and were as focused to keep the streak alive as Mr Gangnam style Psy is when he performs, the way Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson motors down the field or how FC Bayern Munich soccer team is playing at the moment to win the triple as they won comfortably 79-59 to move to 16th place in the standings. It was the fourth win in a row for Skyliner captain Marius Nolte who had no real explanation for the domination just looking into the Giessen air. “I always feel good playing here. We have always played interesting games here where there was a lot of fight from both teams. I think possibly the dominance lies in the Giessen air”, smiled Marius Nolte. Skyliner guard Ted Scott had another strong performance netting 16 points with the only thing missing was a holster and pistol, but he was amazed at the rivalry atmosphere in the Osthalle. “I knew coming into the game about this big rivalry and how important the game was. I remember back at West Virginia State that we also had intense games against our rival Alderson. The atmosphere was intense here and with the gym being so small, it felt like fans were on your shoulders. I was impressed how the Giessen fans stuck behind their team”, added Ted Scott. Sometimes math plays a factor, but sometimes it just takes longer for reality to set in. “Giessen-Frankfurt is a very strong rivalry. I remember winning here with Frankfurt and Ludwigsburg. Mathematically the odds keep getting bigger that a team will finally win after so many loses”, commented basketball expert Steven Clauss. After their 11th loss in a row, the odds will be even be bigger next season that they will win again if the team is still in the Beko BBL.
Zach Peacock returned back to Giessen, the stomping ground in his rookie season. Now in his third year as a professional, he had a short road trip of 65 kilometers from Frankfurt and had no nervousness coming into the game, but got going early and never let up finishing the game with 23 points shooting 64% from the field, grabbing nine rebounds and getting two steals. Peacock who recently stated in an interview that he likes to visit pet stores to see piranha live their life in the fish bowl treated his ex team as if they had had them for dinner, but felt that his performance had nothing to do with extra motivation. “I knew how important this game was and I just prepared myself very well for this game which might have showed my extra motivation on the court. I credit my game to my teammates who made it easy for me to score. They set screens and got me the ball. I had the easy part of scoring. Me visiting piranhas at the pet store has nothing to do with what I do on the court, but if you want to describe me having my opponent to eat then go ahead”, joked Zach Peacock. Teammate Ted Scott was impressed again by the strong game of Peacock and knew the worth of this game. “Zach is usually quiet, but he explained this is a big rival and the way he said I knew that he didn´t need to say more. He played a heck of a game, shot well, and controlled the boards”, stressed Ted Scott. The LTi Giessen 46ers had no way of stopping and Peacock and gained another shred of respect from his opponent. “I played against Zach when he played at Georgia tech and I was at Charlotte. He really hurt us with his quickness. He is a big four that plays the five. He was automatic from 15 feet out”, explained North Carolina native Dijuan Harris.
The Fraport Skyliners won their second game out of their last three games and continue to gain more and more self confidence which will be important for another big road game next weekend in Weissenfels. The Fraport Skyliners once again showed that playing hard edged defense is the key to success as they never allowed the LTi Giessen 46ers to get a rhythm and as a result their offense was fueled as they shot very well for most phases of the game. “I think key was that we controlled the boards and Quantez Robertson did a good job on Ryan Brooks. It is obvious that you can´t control both a Brooks and Prowell as he got hot in the second half”, added Fraport Skyliner guard Ted Scott. The hard times keep to continue for the LTi Giessen 46ers as they lost their fifth game out of their last seven games and continue to rot in the Beko BBL cellar. On top of their poor play, the future of the team is uncertain as the team could be history faster than Ted Scott can inhale a Hersey bar. Agents were seen talking with players after the game as some are already looking for a new team. On the court, the LTI Giessen 46ers stayed with the Fraport Skyliners until a 9-2 run at the end and never recovered playing catch up basketball until the end trailing by as much as 27 points. “The Skyliners out hustled, out manned and outplayed us. I don´t think that they really did anything special. They ran their offense and executed and we couldn´t get them out of what they do well. They got us out of our offense and it made us look like we were playing selfish”, expressed Giessen guard Dijuan Harris.
Some interesting things seen before the game in warm ups was Dion Dowell hitting nine three pointers from the corner, but during the game he remained scoreless. Skyliner assistant coach Klaus Perwass had a long chat with Giessen head coach Mathias Fischer, Quantez Robertson and Laquan Prowell had a long chat possibly catching up on the good old days at Auburn(NCAA) where they were teammates and Danilo Barthel and Oskar Fassler also had basketball talk on their minds. When the game finally did start, the fans saw a very energetic game that had six lead changes until the Fraport Skyliners went on a 9-2 run to get momentum in the game. Devin Gibson gave the Fraport Skyliners the lead with a lay in, but the LTi Giessen 46ers took the lead with a Achmadschah Zazai three pointer who is more known for creating havoc with his penetration game. Zach Peacock then got going hitting three of his first four shots as the Fraport Skyliners led 8-5. Prowell then hit a jumper cutting the Frankfurt lead to 8-7. “Both teams were very nervous and weren´t being calm. Both teams were wild and playing quick doesn´t mean one should play wild”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The Fraport Skyliners then closed out the first quarter with a 9-2 run to lead soundly 17-9. The Fraport Skyliners got versatile production form many hands as Super Tez hit a three pointer, Dawan Robinson scored inside, Peacock hit free throws and Gibson made a beautiful lay up over Jasmin Perkovic. “Giessen had nine turnovers which is way too much.. They were very nervous, but playing with a lot of fight. The Skyliners were defending well and very aggressive”, stated Steven Clauss. “Both teams were very nervous. Frankfurt did a good job with much trappings and got easy buckets”, added Dijuan Harris. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 37% from the field and 14% from outside while the LTi Giessen 46ers were shooting 33% from the field and 50% from outside. Frankfurt had the 11-9 rebound edge and four trunovers while Giessen had nine turnovers.
The LTI Giessen 46ers got a huge push from American Dijuan Harris in the first minutes of the second quarter as he did his best Devin Gibson impression by getting two buckets inside with one a give and go with Perkovic as Giessen trailed only 19-13. Harris would leave the game shortly after as he injured his shoulder. Marius Nolte then made a pretty side step past Perkovic with a lay up as Frankfurt led 21-13. Giessen stayed on the back door of the Skyliners getting big points from big men Perkovic and a three pointer from 1996 NCAA finalist with Syracuse Elvir Ovcina trailing only 23-18. However the Fraport Skyliners then broke the game open with a 12-0 run to lead 35-18 which broke the back of Giessen early and they could never recover. Quantez Robertsons cored three consecutive baskets dropping a three pointer, then getting a steal and getting the lay in and then getting an ally-op pass from Ted Scott banking it in off the galss. Scott then nailed a shot from downtown and Peacock scored inside. “Giessen was unable to break the Skyliners rhythm. Frankfurt was playing great help defense and getting in the passing lanes”, added Steven Clauss. The Fraport Skyliners continued to be very consistent on offense as Peacock got to the foul line and Robinson scored inside. German Danilo Barthel had been present, but not as visible, but then all of a sudden he made a flight in the direction of the basket and slammed home a blistering dunk as the Bonn dunk over Patrick Ewing jr became very visible again. Frankfurt led 42-23 and the German was on the minds of all again with his basketball artistry. “The dunk of Danilo was better than my dunk, but I think his dunk against Bonn was still better because he dunked over Ewing there”, smiled Quantez Robertson. “It is amazing how good Danilo is for his age. You always have to expect him to bring something like that in a game”, warned Ted Scott. Ovcina and Peacock then traded baskets as Frankfurt still led 44-25. Zazi then got to the free throw line twice and Ted Scott ended the second quarter with a hard shot form the wing with a tough angle as the Fraport Skyliners led 48-29. “Frankfurt broke open the game with 31 points. Giessen had problems on defense and had 12 less shots than Frankfurt. It is tough to get back into the agme when you have 12 less shots and Frankfurt is hitting well”, added Steven Clauss. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 53% from the field and 27% from the three point line while the LTi Giessen 46ers were shooting 41% from the field and 33% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 18-16 rebound edge. Giessen had 11 turnovers and Frankfurt only five turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners were able to keep their commanding lead in the third quarter as Zach Peacock hit two jumpers as the Fraport Skyliners led 52-30. Giessen then managed a 4-0 run with Brooks free throws and a Prowell lay in over Dion Dowell. Giessen then tried to slow the game down by going to zone, but it didn´t slow up Ted Scott as he hit a three pointer. Giessen then went on a 6-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 57-40. Zazi made a free throw, Brooks who had been very quiet a pull up jumper and Prowell free throws. Even the insertion of little used Andreas Buechert who scored twice in the zone and was a presence inside didn´t help Giessen slow down Frankfurt anymore as Frankfurt ended the third quarter with a 9-2 run as Scott nailed a three pointer, free throw, Gibson jumper and Gibson fed Super Tez with a no look pass that the American slammed home with authority. After three quarters not much changed in the score as the Fraport Skyliners still led easily 68-42. “Giessen continued to shoot very poorly from outside. Brooks was kept in check and Giessen was giving up too many points”, added Steven Clauss. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 54% from the field and 31% from the parking lot while the LTi Giessen 46ers were shooting 36% from the field and 18% from the parking lot. Frankfurt led the rebound duel 30-22, but had 12 turnovers while Giessen had 11 turnovers.
With such a huge lead, The Fraport Skyliners were able to digest four minutes of nos coring and a 8-0 run by the LTi Giessen 46ers to start the fourth quarter cutting the Skyliners lead to 68-50. Prowell got hot hitting two consecutive three pointers and Winthrop(NCAA) alumnist Buechert made a pretty reverse lay up. Scoring was put a bit on the back burner in the last quarter as Giessen was without their American point guard Dijuan Harris and gave more minutes to little used 19 year old German Jonas Weiser. After a Scott three pointer, it was Prowell again that hit his third three pointer of the quarter as Giessen still trailed 71-53. Frankfurt with a big lead just did enough on offense to keep getting points to keep their big lead at ease. American guard Dawan Robinson that was a spark again in his third game made an off balance shot and then a huge dunk as Gibson dove for a lose ball and while on the floor made a blind pass behind his head catching Robinson on the go. “Robinson played like a veteran and had a great feel for the game. He was a big factor in the game. He calmed the game down and when a team has a catalyst like him, he makes every ones job around him easier”, stressed Dijuan Harris. Little used Robin Pflugler also scored and Devin Gibson scored again inside. Brooks was able to score in double figures for the game as he connected on his last shot as the game ended. “We let Frankfurt play their style and not ours. We had a good mood before the game, but everything went wrong in the game. They defended very well and seemed to know all of our plays. They did a good job defending our pick and role”, stressed Andreas Buechert. “We played good defense. We did a good job on their two quick point guards”, added Ted Scott.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Zach peacock with 23 points and nine rebounds. Ted Scott added 16 points as did Dawan Robinson. Quantez Robertson had 10 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. The LTi Giessen 46ers were led by Laquan Prowell with 19 points. Ryan Brooks contributed 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners did a super job on the boards with 40 rebounds which hasn´t been their strong point this season and dominated the points in the paint with 38-28. Just like last season, the key to success is through their defense. After averaging giving up 94 points in the losses to Hagen and Tuebingen, the Fraport Sklyiners are back to their strong defensive play as they have let up only 63 points in the last three games against BBC Bayreuth, FC Bayern Munich and Giessen. “Our biggest strength on defense was the pick and role. We also got big bodies in the lane not letting them get in the lane”, added Zach Peacock. The most interesting quote of the night was from Andreas Buechert who compared the Skyliners style to Phoenix Hagen. “It seems like they changed their style. They played a lot of up and down like street ball”, stressed Andreas Buechert. Dijaun Harris didn´t see the same way as Buechert. Phoenix Hagen just want to score much. The Sklyiners style is that their defense forces many turnovers and that is why they could run a lot”, said Dijuan Harris. The Fraport Skyliners meet MBC January 12th.