Gritty Wins for Germany’s EuroChallenge Sides


Telekom Baskets Bonn and Deutsche Bank Skyliners won thrillers over the weekend in Germany's Beko BBL.

The two sides are hoping to be in top form when they start the EuroChallenge Regular Season action next month.

Bonn trailed 78-72 at home against Phoenix Hagen entering the final quarter but roared on by their 5,340-strong crowd, they fought back for a 103-102 victory.

Jacob Jaacks made one of two free-throws with six seconds left to put Bonn in front and they survived at the end when David Bell missed a potential game-winning three-pointer for Hagen.

Chris Ensminger, Bonn's 37-year-old veteran center, made 14 of his 15 attempts at the free-throw line and finished with a game-high 28 points for Bonn.

The home side went to the line often, finishing 36 of 48 (75%).

"The 5,340 spectators, plus the two teams and the referees have seen today what's so great about basketball," said winning coach Michael Koch.

Skyliners' Come-From-Behind Win

Deutsche Bank also went into the fourth quarter at home losing 71-64 but prevailed 94-91.

Braunschweig's failure to box out at the end of the game cost them dear.

With 51 seconds to go and Skyliners trailing by four, Marius Nolte of the Frankfurt club drew a foul and made the first of two free-throws but he missed the second.

However, Deutsche Bank's Quantez Robertson, who only began practicing a couple of days before Saturday's game after recovering from an injury, grabbed the offensive rebound and passed quickly to an open Pascal Roller.

The former Germany playmaker knocked down a three-ball to level the contest at 91-91.

Following a miss by LaMarr Greer with 24 seconds to play, Skyliners held the ball for one shot and DaShaun Wood made the game-winning play by driving past the visiting defense and scoring with a lay-up with just a second remaining.

"It was a very crazy game," Wood said.

"A lot of points were scored, no defense, but we finally won a tough game.

"We had two games like that at Oldenburg and I guess Bamberg where we could have won but let it slip at the end so it's good to win a game that we shouldn't have won."

There was also a large audience at this game with 4,190 screaming fans backing Deutsche Bank.

"I think without the crowd, we wouldn't have won," Wood said.

"That's what the home crowd is for.

"When you're not playing well, they keep cheering and help you get through it."

Gordon Herbert, the Frankfurt coach, agreed with Wood's assessment of the defense.

"They shot the ball real well and made some good plays, but I wasn't real pleased with our defense," he said.

"Our defense at the beginning of the third quarter was horrible. What was a one-point game turned into a 10-point game in three or four minutes.

"We just were not ready to play. But I thought this was Pascal's best game of the year. With Tez back, Robertson also helped coming off the bench."

Roller missed a free-throw that would have pulled Deutsche Bank level in last minute of their decisive fifth game in the play-off finals last season, and Bamberg went on to win by two points.

Despite the miss, Roller remained hugely popular figure not just in Frankfurt but all of Germany.

Before Saturday's game against Braunschweig, he received the award for being the most liked player in the Beko BBL.



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