Very few 33-year-old players have spent their entire pro career with one club. Even fewer have moved across an ocean to show so much loyalty. That is the case, however, of Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt guard Quantez Robertson, who was very much the heart and soul of an 88-85 overtime victory against visiting Fiat Turin in Group D.
Robertson arrived to Frankfurt in 2009, straight out of university in his native United States, and has not left since. That makes this his 10th season with the same club – the polar opposite of what many foreign-born players experience. He is the only Skyliner left from their last, winless 7DAYS EuroCup season, back in 2011-12.
Robertson was a big reason that losing streak died on Wednesday. Yes, his numbers were great: 14 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 1 block. But it was his timing and resourcefulness that counted even more. He had 6 of his points as Skyliners overcame an early 2-9 deficit to lead 16-15, prompting his coach, Gordon Herbert, to say afterwards: "Quantez really picked us up with his energy and defense in the first quarter."
When Skyliners got their first double-digit lead, then lost it at the end of the third quarter, Robertson came out in the fourth and nailed a pair of three-pointers to settle his team. Then, in overtime, he made the steal – his fifth – that lead to the go-ahead basket with 90 seconds left, after which his team did not trail again.
Among the smallest men on the floor at 1.88 meters, Robertson matched the top rebounders in the game. He also drop-stepped a bigger man for an early post-up basket. He made one of his steals at the level of the rim when Fiat thought it had a mismatch. And he also rose up to block a shot. All were the kind of plays that make a difference because they show desire and leadership, just like Robertson has been doing for a decade in a city far from home.