FRAPORT SKYLINERS took a major steps towards the Quarter-Finals playoffs of the easyCredit BBL Final Tournament 2020 by knocking off RASTA Vechta 63-59 for their first win of the event.

Yorman Polas Bartolo led the way for Frankfurt with 16 points and 9 rebounds while Quantez Robertson collected 12 points and 5 rebounds as the team improved to 1-2 in Group B. Joe Rahon chipped in 5 points, 4 rebounds and 10 assists for Frankfurt, who were without Lamont Jones.

Vechta dropped to 0-2 despite Trevis Simpson picking up 19 points and Jaroslaw Zyskowski chipping in 18 points.

Richard Freudenberg drained an early three for Frankfurt but Simpson matched that with a four-point play and another three-pointer and Philipp Herkenhoff also scored as Vechta put together a 15-7 lead. Bartolo responded with seven straight points and Frankfurt trailed just 17-15 after 10 minutes.

Ish Wainwright drained a three-ball as Vechta opened the second quarter with a 5-0 run and a 22-15 lead. But the Vechta offense could not score against Frankfurt, who went on a 12-2 surge to pull ahead 27-24. In the later stages of the second quarter, Frankfurt head coach Sebastian Gleim was ejected after multiple technical fouls. Simpson had two baskets at the other end and Vechta were up 34-31 at the break.

The game turned into a serious defensive battle in the third quarter with both teams only picking up one basket in the first 5 minutes with Frankfurt eventually getting triples from Bartolo and Robertson to take a 39-36 lead. Zykowski and Simpson both hit three-balls to push Vechta back ahead 44-43 but Skyliners were up 45-44 after 30 minutes.

Maxi DiLeo drained a three-ball as Vechta scored the first seven points of the final quarter for a 51-45 margin. Frankfurt didn’t scored in the first 4 minutes of the fourth but Freudenberg knocked down a long ball and then Akeem Vargas and Robertson went back-to-back from long range followed by a basket from Gytis Masiulis and Skyliners led 60-56 inside the 2-minute mark. Zyskowski punched back with a three-ball to cut the gap to one point but then committed an offensive foul with 32 seconds. Masilius iced the game with a three-point play with 11 seconds to play for a 63-59 lead. Simpson was charged with an offensive foul of his own on the ensuing in-bounds play to decide the game.

QUOTES: Frankfurt assistant coach Klaus Perwas: “I wouldn’t say relieved. I am happy that we won a game and increased the chances of advancing. I think it would have been bitter if we would have lost today and then would have had a do-or-die game against Bamberg. It was important that we win the game today.”
“We need someone who can carry us in important times at the end of games, especially when the energy is lacking. But on the other hand we saw our strength today, that we always defend very very well. And that can also be a strength. But of course it would be nice if we had someone who could score it in the end.
(About ejection of HC Sebastian Gleim): “The first technical was against the bench because they stood up. The second was against him and then the referee sent him off. Sometimes those kinds of situations can help, sometimes not. The referees made their calls.”

Vechta’s Max DiLeo: “It’s really unfortunate. I don’t think it comes down to the offensive fouls in the end. I think there’s a lot more than went into it. Defense, all around. Let some offensive rebounds go. And one of the last possessions we had a lack of communication on defense that led to an and-one. It’s a lot of little things. The offensive fouls, that happens. That’s hard work by the other team. We gotta try to limit those turnovers. But at the same time we gotta try to be aggressive.”


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