ratiopharm ulm all but booked a ticket to the last four of the easyCredit BBL Final Tournament 2020 with a blowout 101-61 victory over FRAPORT SKYLINERS in Game 1 of the Quarter-Finals.

Dylan Osetkowski led the way with 18 points for Ulm, who would need to be beaten by 41 points by Frankfurt in the second game of the Quarter-Finals on Friday to not make the Semi-Finals. Per Günther picked up 15 points, Archie Goodwin had 14 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists, Gavin Schilling scored 13 points with 8 rebounds and Thomas Klepeisz added 10 points in the clear win.

Frankfurt never really could slow down Ulm, giving up 36 points in the first quarter, and have a mammoth effort in order to even hand Ulm their first loss of the tournament. Skyliners were paced by Yorman Polas Bartolo with 10 points.

Derek Willis opened the Quarter-Finals with a three-pointer and Goodwin converted a three-point play for a 10-1 lead. Frankfurt needed almost 3 minutes for their first basket – a Joe Rahon layup – but Ulm continued their strong play with an Andi Obst three, a big dunk and two free throws for Goodwin and a 22-6 advantage. Bartolo stopped the 9-0 run but Osetkowski had a three-point play and Günther drained a three-ball in a 10-3 surge to lead 32-11. The gap was 36-15 after 10 minutes.

Frankfurt were able to score with some regularity early in the second quarter – including a trey from Richard Freudenberg and a three-point play from Gytis Masiulis to keep the gap at 45-25. But Patrick Heckmann and Osetkowski both had and-ones in a 10-0 surge and the gap was 55-25. Matt McQuaid hit a triple at the other end but Frankfurt still trailed 57-30 at the break.

Akeem Vargas drained three three-pointers in the first half of the third quarter to try to keep Skyliners somewhat close at 64-39. Goodwin and Obst for their part also hit from the outside for Ulm, who went on an 18-2 spurt to pull ahead 82-41. And the score was 88-46 after three quarters.

With the game long decided, Frankfurt’s main goal in the fourth was to chip into the deficit looking ahead to Game 2. Ulm moved ahead 94-48 before Skyliners at least gave themselves a good feeling with an 13-0 run including two three-balls from McQuaid to pull within 96-59. Thomas Klepeisz stopped the run with a three-pointer and Frankfurt would not get any closer the rest of the way.

QUOTES: Ulm’s Per Guenther: “Offensively, things went a lot better than we thought. For the first time we saw a pretty soft pick-and-roll defense. The guards hit their shots from that right away, we moved the ball. We have a lot of respect for Frankfurt that’s why we really threw everything we had at them right away. The fact that we were able to score so many points against a team that defines itself with its defense certainly shows what we are capable of when the guys hit their shots and we move the ball. So we are happy.”
(About the chances of not advancing): “There are a couple of sayings that go perfectly with this situation. The first: We want to continue with our identity. When we go on the court, we don’t want to put on a shitty game out there for our feelings looking ahead to the Semi-Finals. Then, we all want to stay healthy. That is really important and if you take your foot off the gas then the probability is higher that you are unconcentrated and step on a foot. I agree, if we come out in the first quarter like today, then we will win the series. But it’s not about just coming into the game and just jogging around a little.

Frankfurt head coach Sebastian Gleim: “Especially the first quarter was not good. There is no excuse for that. The energy must be better. The game plan needed to be executed with more discipline. But we have to remain realistic. We practiced three times live. If that wasn’t the case I would be really angry. We have to remain realistic.”
(About the format and how he wants to approach Game 2): “I am happy that nobody got injured.”


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