It hasn’t been the greatest of seasons for the Fraport Skyliners as they have been spending time in the lower half of the standings and desperately trying to figure out a way to crawl out, but with loses, they will only sink lower. Just when you thought everything would turnaround with new players Will Cherry and Jamel Mclean, an ugly old occurrence has happened again as the club has been facing the injury bug dilemma. With the weeks of truth now upon the club, they definitely have to get on a roll and start winning games as teams like Chemnitz, Heidelberg and Giessen are the next teams on the menu. But they had to take it one game at a time and first had to deal with the always pesky Syntainics from Weissenfels. After getting pummeled by the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg 95-67 five days ago, things could only get better, but they didn’t. They did have 16 less turnovers than in Ludwigsburg, but everything else stunk as they couldn’t find a rhythm on offense and shot poorly while on defense couldn’t make adjustments after half-time and were torn apart 89-68. ‘We played horrible defense and didn’t shoot well. We had way too many turnovers and allowed them to run. When you do that it becomes very difficult to win’, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Len Schoorman who led all scorers with 22 points. It was a very important game for the Weissenfels team as they wanted to finally end their 6 game losing streak. They all came together and executed very well on offense and their aggressive defense led Frankfurt to untimely turnovers. ‘It is never easy coming off a 6 game losing streak. We had a lot of pressure, but coach believed in us. We played together and as a team. Our offense was good and our defense was there and we talked all game long’, stressed MBC forward Chris Coffey.
Both teams had difficulty finding their rhythm in the early going, but mid way through the first quarter the guests from Weissenfels began to dictate the game and get the lead and would never look back. Ex Braunschweig guard Kostja Mushidi got MBC on the board first with a lay in in traffic and free throw. But the Fraport Skyliners had a mini 6-0 run to take the 6-3 lead as their defense then was bolstered by rookie Matt Haarms who registered 3 blocks in the first 4 minutes, but his third would be costly. He came down on a MBC player and would leave the game with an injury. Frankfurt got baskets from German national player Lukas Wank and ex Wiha Panther Rasheed Moore who tallied a turn around shot. Len Schoormann added free throws. Despite Frankfurt having the slim lead, they had big problems taking care of the ball coughing up the ball 5 times in the first three minutes. One has to wonder where the guests would have had the lead had they been able to capitalize on the Frankfurt turnovers. Soon after they finally got their offense going as they went on a 12-3 run to take the commanding 15-9 lead as they let it rain three’s. Ex Fairmount State (NCAA) guard Jamel Morris connected twice as did Serbian national player Nikola Rebic and Irian national team player Behnam Yakhchali. The ex Rostock guard came off the bench and gave Weissenfels instant energy to keep the momentum up. He also made an assist and lay in. ‘He has played at a high level with the Iranian national team. He doesn’t talk much but is a great leader. He leads by example. He told us to calm down when he came in and play together’, stated Chris Coffey. German Felix Hecker added a trey for Frankfurt, but the Syntainics MBC still led 20-12 after a quarter. ‘We knew how important the game was. We weren’t nervous in the early going. We still haven’t perfected our roles on the defensive end’, stated Len Schoormann (192-PG-02, agency: BeoBasket) MBC were shooting solid at 37% from the field and 50% from outside and had 10 rebounds and 3 turnovers while Frankfurt was shooting 40% from the field and 25% from outside and had 8 rebounds and 7 turnovers.
In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners continued to play catch up basketball and trailed by as much as 17 points as the Syntainics MBC continued to be allowed to play their game and control it. With Will Cherry out, Frankfurt had a serious problem at the playmaker position and was a reason why the offense was so static. Frankfurt also lack those skilled 1-1 players so when the offense is floundering, a guy like Quantez Robertson will take his athleticism and speed to new heights. Tez scored three times as did Len Schoorman once, but they could make no ground as MBC continued to execute on offense as ex Bilbao center Goran Huskic scored as did Yakhchali dropped another trey as MBC led 30-22. Robertson did all he could but wasn’t getting offense support from others. Frankfurt is at their strongest when they can play transition and they weren’t allowed to by MBC. The Syntainics MBC took a timely timeout and then decided the game going on a lethal 14-5 run to go into the break with the commanding 44-27 advantage and would never let Frankfurt get out of trailing by double digits. In the run the guests continued to share the ball beautifully as Morris executed twice with a runner and transition score while Huskic scored as did Rebic on transition. MBC played beautiful inside out while Frankfurt’s game was filled with defensive mistakes that they couldn’t make adjustments to. Frankfurt got two buckets from Jamel Mclean who made his debut. He showed right away why he has played at top levels and with top teams in the last 7 seasons. That experience and routine play of the ex Alba Berlin player was last seen when Johannes Voigtmann played in Frankfurt. ‘We didn’t communicate well on defense and allowed them to get an even bigger lead’, commented Len Schoormann MBC continued to shoot very well over 40% from the field and 50% from outside and had 21 rebounds and 5 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 32% from the field and a miserable 8% from the parking lot and had 20 rebounds and 9 turnovers.
The Syntainics MBC continued to heighten their game in the third quarter and led by as much as 23 points while the Fraport Skyliners continued not to execute at both ends of the court. The guests continued to get a lot of support many players as Mushidi scored 5 points while Huskic got very aggressive scoring three baskets. ‘We don’t talk about his past. He plays smart. We accept him as long as he plays team ball and that is what he has been doing’, stressed Chris Coffey. Huskic got aggressive and scored three baskets in a row as Mclean was tired as he still isn’t quite totally in game shape as MBC led easily 55-34. MBC head coach Igor Jovovic knew how to use his bench and allowed many players to get involved like German Radii Caisin who scored 7 points and gave great support. Ex Skyliner Johannes Richter also scored despite fouling out in 18 minutes of play. Frankfurt just was incapable of making any suitable ground as their 1-1 defense was weak and they allowed way too many easy baskets to the guests. MBC kept the pressure on and never lost focus in the third quarter continuing to have the large 68-45 advantage. ‘We came out into the third quarter as if we were down. We saw the game at 0-0. We kept our energy up. We felt that if we could hit first then they would lay down. We continued to play our game’, said Chris Coffey. ‘We were unable to make adjustments. We had ideas in our heads, but didn’t play the basketball we know how’, expressed Len Schoormann Frankfurt continued to shoot a dismal 38% from the field and 7% from the three point line and had 25 rebounds and 11 turnovers while MBC shot 47% from the field and 40% from the three point line and had 31 rebounds and 8 turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners actually won the fourth quarter 23-21, but no energy or results on defense allowed the guests to sail into the sunset with the big win. The Syntainics MBC began with a quick 11-5 run to extend their lead to 79-50. They were fortified by three three’s from Sergio Kerusch, Rebic, and Mushidi But Frankfurt then found some daylight and relied on the legend and the youth with Quantez Robertson and Len Schoormann to supply the fire power on the Skyliners 18-7 run to cut MBC’s lead down to 84-68. Robertson supplied 6 points as he scored two difficult shots where he used his superb 1-1 skills while Schoorman scored 10 points. His speed gives teams a lot of trouble coupled with his athleticism that allows him to be successful on his drives. He also continues to work on his three pointer that is still a work in progress, but an attribute that he uses a lot more now with confidence than two years ago. ‘When your not winning, it’s tough to talk about your own game. I feel very comfortable. I’m not afraid to take open shots or penetrate. I have to work on cutting down my turnovers’ stated Len Schoormann MBC closed out the game with a 5-0 run as Rebic and Morris made free throws and Huskic scored again inside. ‘They punched us in the fourth quarter and that woke us up. We stuck together and got through it’, added Chris Coffey. ‘The last quarter was positive. Not playing defense for three quarters isn’t good. Our communication, 1-1 and rotations weren’t good’, said Len Schoormann The Syntainics MBC were led by Jamel Morris with 20 points. Goran Huskic added 15 points and Kostja Mushidi had 13 points while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Len Schoorman with 22 points and Quantez Robertson had 14 points. The Syntainics MBC shot 45% from the field and 40% from outside and had 38 rebounds and 10 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 41% from the field and 14% form outside and had 37 rebounds and 18 turnovers.