The basketball players of the Frankfurt Skyliners present themselves against Hamburg like a relegation candidate.
Diego Ocampo raised his eyebrows all the way up, a tiny step back and took a little time before answering. The head coach of the Frankfurt Skyliners was asked after the 64:74 defeat in front of 1400 fans in the ball sports hall against the Hamburg Towers whether he had a problem in the playmaker’s position. Donovan Donaldson, who was brought in as a starter in the point guard position, had ended the game with zero points, only two throws, four assists and four ball losses. His substitute Lukas Wank came up with four points with the same assists-ball loss calculation. Brancou Badio, who was actually brought in as a shooting guard and helps out in the playmaker’s position, took himself out of the game with two unsportsmanlike fouls.
“The problem is losing the ball and how we do it,” said the coach. He doesn’t want to show individual players whether they are playing well or badly. That is not his style. He is paid to look for solutions. That honors him, but internally Ocampo will certainly address things very clearly. “We have to watch the ball and move better off the ball. We didn’t do that until the 35th minute, ”said Ocampo tellingly. In the last five minutes, the Skyliners fought their way back after a 19-point deficit and had the chance to shorten to five points – but they missed two triple attempts. Exactly in this phase Wank and Donaldson sat on the bench and Felix Hecker stood on the floor for them. The 23-year-old played in the third division in Hanau last season. That said everything about the performance of the other players.
After the disastrous performance over long stretches with a total of 26 Frankfurt ball losses, ten of them in the first quarter, when & yourself the Skyliners view their thoughts on whether they can win with this team in the basketball Bundesliga (BBL). As of Sunday evening, they are not. Three league games, three defeats, 18th place in the table and the schedule with games against the clearly stronger teams from Bonn, Munich, Ulm and Bamberg promise trouble.
Donaldson has never proven in a game that he is BBL level. The 25-year-old American, who previously played in Hungary and Macedonia, is the fastest player on the team, but he does not use his speed at all to pull to the basket. Against Braunschweig and Berlin he scored six points each, all seven attempts at three failed. When he won the Cup against Oldenburg, Donaldson was not in the squad because of a cold.
The Skyliners need a player in the central position in basketball who distributes the ball well, has double-digit points, who makes teammates better and who has good ball handling. This also fails with Lukas Wank, who contributed nine points in three league games. Len Schoormann, who actually always played on the one, was put in the shooting guard position by Ocampo because of his weak ball control. He didn’t succeed yesterday either, he only made one point in 22 minutes of play.
Badio, who was supposed to bring the ball forward, like the entire team, couldn’t cope with the Hamburg pressure. Due to the many ball losses and once again an early foul load for individual players, the Skyliners were running behind from the start. “At the moment, after two or three bad actions, we give up too quickly and let our heads hang,” analyzed Ocampo.
In this game, too, he had to do without Brooks DeBischopp, who sustained a strained cruciate ligament four weeks ago. “I am very concerned about him,” said Ocampo. The center feels better, but its healing progress is very, very slow. Even for the 2.05-meter man, the Skyliners may have to think about a subsequent commitment.
The Frankfurters urgently need more quality and experience in the squad. Otherwise there could be a rude awakening in early May. Only with Jugend forscht alone you will not win any games in the BBL.