Frankfurt were without BBL license players Max Merz, Niklas Kiel, Mahir Agva and Stefan Ilzhoefer who were in Ludwigsburg playing BBL, but showed they didn't need them on this night. Both teams came out roaring displaying their three point accuracy as Garai Zeeb nailed home two trey's and ex BG Karlsruhe center Adrian Lind also connected. But Nordlingen held on to the momentum as Lind scored again inside and Smith scored his first bucket and was on his way to his 23rd game in a row in a Nordlingen jersey where he scored in double figures as the guests led 8-6. The game became a back and forth affair as each team went on little runs to trade back leads. 20 year old German role player Jamine Knothe who had worked himself into a starting rotation hit a trey which was followed by a bomb from outside from Alaska Native Travis Thompson and Frankfurt led 12-8. Then Nordlingen found some daylight again on offense reeling off a 9-0 run to retake the lead 17-12 as young German Robin Seeberger nailed a trey,Terence Smith broke the defense and scored inside and made free throws. And 20 year old German Eddy Edigin who played the last three years with FC Bayern Munich 2 scored in the zone. Frankfurt closed out the first quarter in fine fashion demonstrating a 5-0 run as Thompson connected for his second three and German Tim Oldenburg scored inside retrieving the no look pass from Isaac Bonga
as the game was tied 17-17 after one quarter. 'Both teams shot very well, but Frankfurt had too many turnovers and just were making bad decisions', stated Fraport Skyliner U-16 coach Igor Starcevic. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 40% from the field and 56% from outside while the Giants Nordlingen were shooting 46% from the field and 33% from outside. Frankfurt had the 11-6 rebound edge, but seven turnovers while Nordlingen had five turnovers.
In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors broke free a bit and also got solid production from their bench from guys like birthday boy Cosmo Gruehn, Lenny Okeke, and Rilwan Bakare. The heart and soul of the Nordlingen Giants German Fabian Bruetting opened up the second quarter with a deep trey for the 20-17 lead, but then it was all Frankfurt as they escaped out on a brutal 12-2 run to grab back the lead 29-22. In the run, Frankfurt was fortified by three's by Gruehn and Okeke as well as lay ins from Bonga and back to back ones from Chicago native Rilwan Bakare. In this phase, Nordlingen had some careless turnovers which led Frankfurt to some easy baskets. Nordlingen didn't have much offense and only got support from Smith who kept his team in the game with a tough turnaround shot and a trey to cut the Frankfurt lead to 31-27. However Fraport Skyliners Juniors head coach Eric Detlev continued to use his bench wisely and continued to get great support as German Konstantin Schubert scored in traffic and then Thompson nailed a three pointer for the 35-29 advantage. Ex Nebraska (NCAA) forward Adrien Coleman was a pest as he stayed aggressive in the paint and scored twice cutting the Frankfurt lead to 37-32. The last bucket of the first half featured the hook up between Isaac Bonga
that whistled a fierce back door bounce pass that couldn't have been placed more perfect right to the money which Thompson collected easily and finished for the Frankfurt 39-32 lead at the break. 'Frankfurt spread out the scoring nicely and did a better job on Smith. Frankfurt continued to defend very good boxing out very well. Frankfurt could have led by as much as 10 points, but two costly turnovers led to direct points for Nordlingen. Bonga was playing great. He wasn't scoring, but he showed with his overall play why he is a real team player', added Igor Starcevic. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 50% from the field and 47% from the three point line while the Giants Nordlingen were shooting 39% from the field and 27% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the overwhelming 25-11 rebound edge, but had 12 turnovers while Nordlingen had only seven turnovers.
In the third quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors slowly broke away and would never look back coasting home to victory. Zeeb started off the third quarter connecting on his first trey of four that he would direct into the hoop as Frankfurt led 42-32. Nordlingen would show flashes of good offense, but their consistency was lacking, but a 5-0 run with baskets from Lind and Smith cut the Frankfurt lead down to 42-36. However Frankfurt's offense is a well oiled offensive machine and struck Nordlingen for a 9-2 run to extend their lofty lead to 51-38. In the key Frankfurt run, the club was led by four different players as Bakare continued to be active inside scoring, Zeeb continued his splash shooting, then fed Bonga on the break for an easy basket and Gruehn hit a left handed hook shot. Smith did all he could nailing a trey to keep his team from totally getting left in the dust, but Zeeb was simply unstoppable as he hit his third three of the quarter giving Frankfurt the 54-41 advantage. The Frankfurt offense was fluid, there was good ball movement and the stellar guard play of Zeeb and Bonga was the difference. Then Smith and Zeeb traded three's again and the Frankfurt German was having another great game and has done a good job this season mentally staying sharp and not getting lost in the numbers game and wilting under pressure needing to score every night. 'I am one of the newest guys of the BBL license players. I still have to get better. My role here with the Pro B team is not needing to score every night, but leading the offense and getting my teammates in good position to score and make all happy. But tonight was a different situation. Thompson wasn't totally physically fit and Bonga had been sick, so tonight my role was too step up. On this night I was required to score. I feel like I can have these games every night, but it depends what my role is on that give night. This performance didn't surprise me, but I expect myself to be able to have these nights when I am called to do so', warned Garai Zeeb. Frankfurt continued to pour on the offense closing out the third quarter with a Schubert hook shot and Oldenburg 20 footer as Frankfurt led 61-44. 'We knew they would throw a zone at us. So we stayed patient and had better structure than in the first half and executed well on offense', stated Garai Zeeb. 'When a guy is hot, then we tend to keep giving him the ball. Zeeb was hot so we gave him the ball', added Isaac Bonga
. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 53% from the field and 52% from the three point line while the Giants Nordlingen were shooting 38% from the field and 37% from the three point line. Frankfurt dominated the boards 36-16, but had 15 turnovers while Nordlingen had 10 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued to execute their offense well and held off the Giants Nordlingen without problems as they got fatigued. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors got on the board first as they performed the pick and pop to perfection as Thompson found Oldenburg open for the 20 footer as Frankfurt led 63-44. Nordlingen then found some precision execution going on a 6-0 run as Lind made free throws, Edigin scored inside again and Smith who finished with a season high 9 steals went coast to coast for the basket cutting the Frankfurt lead to 63-50. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors then closed the door with one cool swipe breaking out on a 14-0 run to lead 77-50. In the run, they kept displaying fine inside out basketball as Bonga and Okeke nailed three's while Bakare and Armin Trtovac scored in the paint. With two minutes, all eyes were focused on Isaac Bonga
and if he would get his triple double. He had seven points and needed a trey which isn't his speciality, but when it counted he came through getting free and getting the perfect kick out pass from Zeeb giving Frankfurt the 77-54 lead. Okeke and Lind ended the contest trading three's. 'We ended the game well. It helps if you can keep that killer instinct until the end. We kept up our aggressiveness and intensity until the end', added Isaac Bonga
. 'We ran out of gas in the second half. We were shorthanded with injuries and sicknesses this week. If Frankfurt shoots the way they did tonight in the playoffs then they could go far in the playoffs. It's all about matchups', warned Terence Smith. 'Nordlingen gave up mentally in the fourth quarter. I told the guys when we were up by 13 that we have to beat them by 20-30 points, We wanted them to let us play our game until the end', stressed Garai Zeeb. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Garai Zeeb with 22 points. Travis Thompson, Rilwan Bakare and Isaac Bonga
chipped in with 10 points apiece. The Giants Nordlingen were led by Terence Smith with 22 points while Adrian Lind added 14 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 53% from the field and 54% from outside while the Giants Nordlingen shot 36% from the field and 26% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebounding duel 46-24, but coughed up the ball 20 times while Nordlingen had 14 turnovers.