The 2016 Championship: Men's Division 1

Clint Lomax
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News // Division 1 & 2 Playoffs
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June 27, 2016

SB Battle vs Stallions

The gauntlet was thrown down last season in a hard fought victory over Vancouver Metro’s first dynasty in The Stallions. SB Battle road in to the league like the Florida State Seminole rides onto the field with a flaming javelin in his hand!!! With a symbolic pause, the Seminole throws the stick into the ground and stares at his opponents as the flames burn on! This new rivalry is very intense, and I may not be doing it enough justice! For the last two seasons, both teams have traded wins and losses, but the Stallions are 0-1 in championship games vs SB Battle!

Minus a player or two from both sides, it has been a back and forth affair for these two teams during the regular season. For nearly two seasons, each one of their games have been compelling, even the blowouts! Players from either side never take a game off when it comes to seeing each other on the schedule for that week, or even forecasted for a week or two in advance! I am confident that most of the players involved in this new rivalry have this game checked on the calendar without a doubt!

Both teams are playing at such an elite level, that their systematic dismantling of their playoff foes almost looked surgical! In one of the better Division 1 team groupings, both teams stood head and shoulders over the rest! The Stallions miss mark Halfnights from last year’s squad, but were in good hands with the Langara trio of Elliot Mason, Jitt Lochan, and the former MVP Brody Greig! SB Battle went through Division 1 like a hot knife through butter without their leading scorer Clay Crellin. The addition of Joey Haywood and Igor Dutina more than makes up for his absence.

This game would start out with a fast start by SB Battle, facilitated by Joey Haywood and the athletic dynamo Gabriel Diggs! The Stallions sharp shooters Jitt Lochan and Elliot "Layup" Mason were ice cold. Jitt was just off on his first handful of jumpers, and Elliot looked like a "Brick Mason" with some of the shots he was missing! The game was fast paced as we expected, but SB Battle were taking advantage of nearly every possession! SB Battle jumped out to a 19 point lead, before The Stallions had to call a rare timeout to regroup. Out of the timeout, SB Battle became stagnant with their offense and looked to have lost some momentum coming out of the timeout. The Stallions promptly found their rhythm from their driving layups, and their outside shooting made an appearance too! Before you knew it, the Stallions had pulled within single digits, but still trailed at the half.

Like a heavyweight prize fight, the famous football "Oklahoma" drill, or a 5 on 5 "Dodgeball" game in a small closet, this game became very interesting with each possession of the half. While SB Battle maintained a steady lead, the Stallions began to make big gains on that lead. Mason and Lochan woke up from their torrid shooting to open up the game for their captain and founder Roger Shueng, to drive and dissect the SB defense. Roger was able to draw fouls on different players for SB, and with each free throw, the lead would shrink again and again!

As the game grew to a close, defense took over! With the Stallions seemingly scoring from all angles, and SB Battles offense bogging down a bit, we would find ourselves watching each possession with a fine tooth comb. The stallions had brought the lead down to two possessions, and was streaking for a fast break layup. Out of nowhere came the long arm of the law swung through and took the ball off the backboard! "Sherriff" Ransford Brempong started a fast break that would lead to a layup! As the last seconds ran down, the Stallions would hit a step back three from Elliot Mason to cut the lead to 1 point!

The ensuing possession would see a mad scramble for the loose ball off of a SB Battle miss. The Stallions would get the rebound and on the outlet pass, Brody Greig got his feet tangle with the referee and the ball went out of bounds! After long deliberation at the replay center, the ball went back over to SB Battle with 2.5 seconds left on the clock! On the inbounds play, SB Battle looked to get ball in bounds, get foul, and make some free throws. As the play developed, the first option was covered tightly by the Stallions. The 2ndoption came away from the hoop and veered toward the half court line in a half circle pattern. The inbounder felt that the player was open enough to get Joey the ball, and that is just what Brody Greig wanted them to think! With a burst of speed, Greig tapped the ball towards the Stallion’s hoop! As his teammates and everyone else watched a foot race between two of the fastest players in Vancouver Metro, Brody would get to the ball first! With fractions of a second left in the game, and Brody right at the basket, he put the ball up in an attempt to reclaim the title for the Stallions! The ball hit the backboard, and slowly slid off to the left side of the hoop and to the ground! THE LAYUP ATTEMPT WAS NO GOOD!!!!

The entire Richmond Oval erupted in disbelief, anguish, jubilation, and out and out excitement at the end of this title game. Players, fans, and other patrons rushed the floor for various reason, mostly in the raw emotion of seeing one of the best Vancouver Metro Finals in it’s 12 season history!

Congratulations to SB Battle on their Back to Back Titles!

SB Battle 109 – Stallions 108

SB Battle – Joey Haywood 24, Ransford Brempong 22, Gabriel Diggs 20

Stallions – Elliot Mason 36, Jitt Lochan 24, Brody Greig 21

Clint Lomax

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