Stallions – Jit Locham and Mark Halfnights 19 each, Prince Carino 14
SKG – Alex Koong 16, Max Newman 11, Will Chaing 10
Battle of the Titans!
The title speaks for itself! The best way to start out Season 14 of Vancouver Metro is to have the two teams that combine for 6-7 titles in the league! The Stallions were off last season to recoup for the spring season. Sofa King Good was hit by key injuries, vacations, and an Engagement (Congrats JJ)!
This game may have looked like a mismatch on paper, due to the overwhelming height differential The Stallions had over Sofa King Good. Yet, Sofa King Good has played at an elite level vs every single team they have faced since they came into the league!
As I expected, the game took off like a track meet! Both teams are known to have high scoring, and both teams have topped the 100 mark several times in the league! The Stallions would take advantage of their size advantage immediately with the help of Jit Locham and Mark Halfnight! Dustin and Luis Ayala helped on the boards and in transition scoring, while the captain and founder of The Stallions Roger Sheung facilitated for the team. The single game record holder for most threes in a game and most threes made in a half Prince Carino, came back this season to see if he could increase that record past 11…and in hopes to win a championship!
Sofa King stayed in the game with opportunistic hustle plays and accurate outside shooting led by Will Chaing and Alex Koong. Max Neuman was a good free agent pick up for SKG, as he battled his old teammate Jit in the post and on defense. The Stallions would be too much on this day, and would pull away for the victory. “Mad Man” Eddie Fan had flashes of greatness, and a few blunders for the Shaqtin A Fool reel.
Overall, a great first game to kick off the season!
TPP – Matt Anza 19, Andre Anthony 12
Agaveros – Corey W 17, Oscar Salvador 14
TPP (formerly Van Rain) came in with supreme confidence after flashes of greatness last season, only to come up short in a few close games. They would go up against the upstart Agaveros team who finished in 3rd place last season. Good showing for a new team in the league.
TTP had a full squad and looked ready to go, while Agaveros had a few key injuries that would keep them from displaying their full front line strength. They would still have more than enough firepower to make this game dynamite!
When I say TTP came out hot, I mean they came out flaming! Matt Anza led the charge with a few early bricks, but made up for it with his high energy plays! Matt would have a game high 19 points on three made threes in the 2nd half. While Oscar and Corey W would keep Agaveros in the game vs a feisty TTP squad. Oscar and Matt hit on 4 and 3 three pointers, respectively. One of the main differences in the game was Andre Anthony’s relentless offensive attack on the Agaveros defense. Andre would hit on 9 free throws while keeping the Agaveros in foul trouble. Agaveros had a quick boost after a controversial technical foul after a Rob B massive block on TTP! He would follow that up with a massive two hand dunk off of the inbound steal! In the end, Agaveros had a few new piece to the team that had a difficult time jelling, while TTP started off the season with a solid victory.
BSH – Alan Hogan 26, Brandon Hoyem 22
Flight – Trey #5 - 15, Jermaine #11 - 12
The rivalry would continue between these two teams even after goes way back…literally! No matter what the talent level is for either team, the grudge match is real!
It was good to see Flight with good numbers after several seasons of bad luck injuries. Flight made it to the championship game a few years ago, but has been hit with key injuries ever since. Ball So Hard also was on the slow grind to the top for several seasons. Close but just out of their grasp, the championship trophy continued to elude them….until last season!
Coming in as the champs, BSH showed their calm and professionalism before the game. Knowing how much to warmup and stretch out, and knowing when to hit the game like an explosion!
The battle started as expected, with each team bombing from deep with a lot of contact on every play! While Trey and Chris T anchored the interior scoring, RJ Base would knock down a number of three pointers for Flight. BSH played like the champs they are with an almost unstoppable inside game. Brandon Hoyem and Alan “Either Hand” Hogan absolutely exploited the interior defense of Flight! Hogan and Hoyem combined for 48 of BSH’s 83 points! It was almost “surgical” at times, as BSH would run away with this game in the end.
Even with Flights added numbers, they still lacked the overall height they needed to make this a competitive game.
YM – Tony Lau 21, Jack Ho 18, Austin #5 13
The Party – Anthony Sohal 39, Zach Sanfelipe 7
The Party is back! Former Lemon Party, The Party came back and added a solid free agent in Anthony Sohal! However, in even bigger news…YM was in the building! Former Metro league champs were back on the court after a brief hiatus from the league. The familiar faces were back, but they added a few star faces to the roster. Jermaine “Fresh” Foster made is comeback to the league last night, and he would accompany by “journeyman” Jack Ho! Jack helped Ball So Hard to their first Metro league title last season, but pulled a Lebron James and came back to YM to win them another title!
As the game started, I began to remember the hard luck and close calls that The Party has had in its Metro League career. They have had a few teams that were on the cusp of success, but in one way or another fate would smack them down to earth. This game started out good for The Party, as they would attack YM immediately. A few driving layups by Sohal would “Start the Party”, but YM would be right behind them. YM’s famous team attack was on display in this game, as they would attack The Party at every point in the half-court offense. Sohal would be a handful for YM as he helped The Party to a 13 point halftime lead!
That lead would be hard to overcome for most teams in the league, but if any team could overcome it, that team would be YM. Just like clockwork, YM would methodically chip away at the lead until they took over the game late in the 2nd half. Tony Lau went absolutely “Enfuego” going on a 13-4 run vs The Party by himself! YM would take a 5 point lead late in the half, only to have it cut to 2 on a Sohal “Lebron James banked 3 pointer vs The Washington Wizards”. With The Party having the ball to tie or win the game, it was going down to the wire. YM would play good lock down defense on the perimeter forcing a miss on the go ahead three by Sohal, but The Party would get another chance to tie the game on a 3 pointer late. YM was able to defend that last attempt well to squeeze out a 4 point win.
Sonic - Gabe Gibbs 14, Karinga Wells 10, Davor Isic 9
Talisman – Elvin #46 - 12, Pat #00-10 points
Mike Schmidt is a renaissance man when it comes to fielding competitive teams, with about 50 different moving parts! Sonic Boom again was close to getting to the championship game again last year, but had some unexpected absences on his team roster that hampered his chances. Again this year, Sonic Boom reloaded and brought in another bumper crop of talent! Anchored by Shari, Adidas Karinga, and Gabe “G2 Training” Gibbs, Sonic Boom once again put themselves as contenders for the league title!
Talisman is a new team in the league, and were new to the talent level in the league. With that said, they handled themselves well against one of the most tenured teams we have in Metro league. Both team jockeyed for the lead in the first half, and Sonic Boom would wrestle away a 3 point lead.
The second half would be the same grind, as both teams went to work on each other. Sly, moose, Elvin, and Pat did well to continue their attack on Sonic Boom, but the transition and inside/out play of Gabe
Gibbs and Jeff were the difference in this game. Gibbs and Jeff (who was sporting a bright Dennis Rodman hairdo to match counteract his bright green tights) were athletic and exciting, as Sonic Boom would start the season off right with an opening day win.
Guys are obviously pumped about the start of a new season as they lingered around the courts to check out the new rosters and were on the courts until almost 11pm fine tuning their skills. There are a lot more great matchups yet to come this season!