In the last years whenever the Frankfurt Skyliners visited the scenic city Ludwigsburg to tangle with their Beko BBL team, it was near the end of the season, flowers blooming, cafs starting to bustle, the soccer Bundesliga title race getting heated up, mini dresses popping up more and more on the street and Quantez Robertson still having enough energy unleashing his explosive flight to the basket with no signs of fatigue at the end of the season. However in the 2012-2013 season, the Fraport Skyliners had an early date with the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg with the dog days of summer having ended, the NFL just underway, the MLB ready for a perfect October finish, ex Beko BBL players Chris Copeland, Brian Roberts and Stephen Dennis preparing for NBA training camps and the Fraport Skyliners clashing on the most important German holiday the Unification day on October third. No game is a cat walk in the Beko BBL as the league continues to get more and more competitive in the last years, but having such an early date in Ludwigsburg was a bit unusual considering how the Beko BBL game plan had been set up the last years, but the excitement of the start of the season blocked any memory for Quantez Robertson about having played there at the end of the season the last years. I doesnt matter when we play them at the start or end of season. This was just another game and our first of the season. The only thing that I will remember from this game is that we just played bad, stressed Quantez Robertson. The 28 point performance by ex NBA player Roger Powell seemed like a century away and long forgotten form the last game win of the season in the 2010-2011 season as the Fraport Skyliners had lost the last two games in a row.
The Fraport Skyliners wanted to get on the right track right in the first game as they were drawn with a tough schedule with seven of the first ten games on the road, but had little fortune in Ludwigsburg getting outplayed for 40 minutes by the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg losing 74-56. It was one of those games where nothing went right and everything went right for the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg. After a 14-0 run in the second quarter, the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg were able to extend their lead to 20 plus points and never looked back stifling the Fraport Skyliners with an aggressive defense never letting them find their rhythm. The Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg played solid offense, but it was their defense which was lauded most by head coach Steven Key. I am most proud about our focus and concentration on defense. We didnt allow them any easy buckets at the start. We noticed early that they had no dominant player in the post and concentrated on giving them the pick and pop more. We did a great job on never letting them get in their comfort zone, stressed Steven Key. After the game seeing the long faces of the Fraport Skyliners told the story of a game that went totally wrong for the 2004 Beko BBL champion. A loss like that is even harder to digest when you played ok defense, but couldnt muster any kind of rhythm on offense. Nothing worked for us on offense. We had no spacing and didnt play inside enough. Playing against the switch it looked like it was the first time we had ever played against it. We didnt use the mismatches well and werent able to defend the way we did against Wurzburg, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Konstantin Klein.
With the jump ball only moments away, one could sense the excitement of the new Beko BBL season growing and growing within the last hour before the start of the game. One could see Lurchi riding around the court on his scooter maybe dreaming of the 2012 Beko BBL allstar game where he had all his mascot buddies in his living room for basketball chowder, Zach Peacocok who had flown in from Atlanta a day earlier and still having jet lag was hitting jumper after jumper in warm ups as if he had been on the team for ages and an abundance of Lucca Staiger jerseys were seen being worn by middle aged women. The Fraport Skyliners were without American Devin Gibson who had a knee problem and Ivan Elliot was back in the line up for the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg after missing most of the pre season with an injury. The Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg didnt waste anytime showing the Fraport Skyliners quickly what they were capable of doing on offense as they raced out on a 9-2 lead. They drilled three three pointers in a row from ex Skyliner Max Weber, Joshua Jackson and ex Iowa State guard Lucca Staiger. Johnathon Jones was the only bright spot for the Fraport Sklyiners early on as he scored twice in the lane, but the fierce fire power of the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg kept firing away at Frankfurt as they kept hitting shots after shots as if they had been practicing on these rims 24 hours a day. Kammron Taylor (188-G-84, agency: Edge Sports, college: Wisconsin) who is playing in his ninth country nailed a three pointer and versatile Max Weber another jumper as Frankfurt trailed 13-5. The last thing that any one expects Quantez Robertson to do is score much, but in this game he had to take on the offensive load and produced. Robertson hit a three pointer cutting the Ludwigsburg lead to 13-8. However no matter what Frankfurt did to stay close to Ludwigsburg, the home team kept hitting on all cylinders as Taylor hit two more jumpers and John Turek made a jumper as Frankfurt trailed 20-11. The Fraport Sklyiner closed out the first quarter strong with a 5-2 run to trail 22-16 after one quarter. The two PRO B players Danilo Barthel and Konstantin Klein shined. Barthel gave the perfect example of a mal nourished work horse battling down low getting two offensive rebounds and hammering home the ball on the third try and Klein nailed a three pointer. They hit so well in the first quarter that we quickly got depressed. Tez quickly got three fouls which hurt us on defense. We were able to come back at the end of the first quarter to stay in game, stressed Skyliner captain Marius Nolte. The Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg were shootin