SWAT – Phil Nediaski 22, Gene Wolff 18, Paul W 11, Darren Farsey and Rich Wolff 10 each, Chris Peerless 6
Van Rain – Matt Anza 21, Coleman #12 12, Matt 11, Connor 9, Jeff 9
It was good to see both teams fired up to start the battle for 5th place in the league. In some leagues, this game doesn’t happen. In this league, there is more than enough competitive bravado to go around! Van Rain had a small bench this time around, but they have the opportunity to break out at any time. SWAT would unveil one of the best and long time ballers on Van Rain in Phil Nedsaski! Marred by injury and bad luck, Phil was unable to hit the court much this season. However, whenever he hits the court, he creates problems for every opponent in front of him!
Phil would go off for 20 first half points to out shine the rest of SWAT, who had Gene Wolff score 12 with Richie Wolff and Chris Peerless dropping in 6 apiece. Matt “On Juice Watch” Anza blazed the net for 16 first half points for Van Rain to help them stay within striking distance.
The second half would be more of a grind as both teams ran down on tempo, and turned the game into a grindfest! The slow down game works even better for SWAT, as they would use their strength inside to control the tempo and walk away with the 5th place finish!
Agaveros –Charlie 23, Oscar 16, Pepe 12
Sonic Boom – David 25, Shamz 18, Connor 13, Mike Schmidt 9, Nate Lawrence 6
In the pregame matchup sheet, these two teams looked to be set for a cage match. Both teams had good size, and are never afraid to mix it up. It didn’t bode well that both squads had a few key injuries, and were not at full strength. The one thing that some people didn’t expect from a 3rd place game with just the “qualifying” amount of players available, was COMPETITION!
This game started out as billed with a lot of contact, but had spurts of fast pace mixed into it.
Both teams showed some sloppiness with the ball, but Sonic Boom was able to push the pace of the game, with quick dribble attacks to the gaps and long range three point attempts courtesy of Nate Lawrence for Sonic Boom. Agaveros Pepe and Oscar kept pace with Sonic Boom scoring 16 of their team’s 25 first half points, but Sonic Boom continued to put constant pressure on them throughout the first part of the game. To the point where Sonic Boom made 9 free throws compared to zero for Agaveros.
Sonic Boom looked good come out of halftime with a 10 point lead, but that Is when the track meet started! Agaveros has been uncanny when it comes to figuring out their opponents in the 2nd half, and that is exactly what they did! Almost in a flash, Agaveros went on a 2nd half rampage that caught Sonic Boom flat footed. Abe joined the Agaveros onslaught with 17 2nd half points, and they would streak past Sonic Boom on the way to a potential blowout. Thinking the game was over against Sonic Boom is always a bad mistake. David, Connor, and Shamir would rally to keep the game close in hopes of pulling out the game. In the end, Agaveros had just enough to nip Sonic Boom in the end by 5.
Ball So Hard – Brandon Hoyem 22, Alan Hogan 21, Jack Ho 12, Harry Basra and Devon Carney 12 each
Sofa King Good – Kevin Rasumussen 18, Will Chaing 16, “Mad Man” Eddie Fan 14, Brandon Tait 10
The much anticipated game between long time rivals was finally here! Sofa King Good, the multiple Vancouver Metro Champions, came in as the #2 seed which is highly unusual as they have occupied the #1 seed in several playoff appearances. Harry who is the Captain, Team Lead, and Founder of Ball So Hard, has been at the helm of the ship since day one. Always a contender in Metro League, but has never been able to win the big game to this point. This game would not be a cake walk for the top seeded BSH squad, but they brought the horses to this rodeo!
Like a boxing match, each team took turns ducking in and out of their prospective defenses, trying to find the first hole to exploit in this tilt. Fireworks started early has a few hard bangs produced a double technical on Ball So Hard’s Brandon Hoyem and Brandon Tait of Sofa King Good. Both players were key to each team’s success, but they both almost earned a 2nd double technical with some extra “jawing” after the first techs. This did everything to loosen up the game for scoring highlights. BSH’s leading scorer Adi Baybay looked off, and it was painfully obvious! Adi missed on several outside shots, and even pulled off the KOBE BRYANT TRIFECTA! Three air balls from the three point line in three attempts (Look up the 97 playoffs vs the Utah Jazz)! The world famous “Palmer Zone” was on display, and helped slow the BSH attack. Kevin, Will and Brandon would carry SKG with 32 first half points, but were closely followed by Brandon and Alan Hogan’s 23 combined first half points. SKG would hold a 4 point lead at half, with more fireworks to come in the 2nd half.
The 2nd half would see BSH start to find the range one their jump shooting, including finding holes in the almost impenetrable zone of SKG! It has rarely been seen, but BSH continued to have success with ball movement, and middle attacks with Alan at the high post and Brandon in the low post. This strategy turned into gold for BSH, as they would be able to open up the whole floor and render the zone almost unrecognizable. That did not stop SKG from striking at every opportunity. The constant ball movement and aggressive drives the basket helped keep SKG with a slight lead late in the game. BSH would continue to put pressure on the SKG defense, and the height began to take a toll on them. Extra rebounds and 2nd chance buckets put BSH up by 2 possessions inside of 2 minutes left in the game! Kevin and Eddie Fan had point blank layup attempts at the basket, but was unable to execute. On the other end, BSH scored on both of those missed opportunities to push the lead out to 9 points with under
1 min left in the game. BSH would hang on to win the game, and capture their very first Vancouver Metro League Championship!
Player of the game was two players Brandon and Jack Ho, but should have also included Alan “Former Spiderman” Hogan! Will Chaing, “Mad Man” Eddie Fan, and Kevin Rasumussen were standouts for SKG in the losing effort
* Haides and Flight game cancelled due to excessive injuries.