Stallions - Prince Carino 27, Roger Sheung 19, Jit and Brody both with 12.
TTP - Andre Anthony 18
The Stallions showed their usual speed, but lacked their usual finesse at the rim. Unexpected turnovers allowed TTP to stay within single digits in the first half. Roger Sheung nailed a few 3s to keep the Stallions comfortably in the lead. But Andre Anthony got a pretty massive block to show that TTP was planning to stay in the game.
The Stallions started the 2nd half with an absolutely smothering defense, forcing TTP to take shots they didn’t want (and shouldn’t take). Andre jousted Mark Halfnights as he went to the hoop that could have been called a travel (up & down) on Halfnights, but there was enough body contact to get called on the foul.
Prince & Roger were launching and connecting beyond the 3 with ease, but all eyes were on the most feared competitor in the league, Brody Grieg. Brody is a cold and calculating player with a ridiculously high basketball IQ - he’s the guy that you don’t want to play because he’s going to make you look ridiculous. On offense, Brody runs the floor with such speed, vision and precision that you are easily caught looking like you were taking a nap instead of playing D. On defense, he is always on the hunt to pick off the pass and embarrass you.
It’s no surprise that Stallions finish the regular season undefeated, but with the large points loss TTP slips to 6th and now face Ball So Hard in the first round of playoffs.
Ball So Hard - Gene Wolf and Brandon Hoyem 16 a piece, Devon and Alan with 15 and 14 respectfully.
Sonic Boom - Davor Isic and Max Berkeley both with 18
It was a seemingly simple game for Ball So Hard, but there was a definite edge this match-up. Sonic Boom had Max Barkely back at the point which should have opened up the key for Davor Isic, but without Gabe Gibbs in action Ball So Hard was able to double and triple team the big man.
Ball So Hard had the game well in hand, but they were unusually focal and even got T’ed up in the first half for too much chatter. Didn’t seem personal against Sonic Boom as even their fire was directed at a referee. They took the first half 41-24 and never looked back. In fact, I think they were more intent on practicing their trash talk for playoffs than worried about this win.
Agaveros - Ayhab Farhat 18
The Party - Chris Loretta 12, Zach San Felipe 11
All bets were on The Party to secure the win, but we’ve learned to never count out the Agaveros. It was a feisty and frustrating first quarter with The Party leading 11-5, that their rallying cry was simply “no Ts”!
Agaveros may have lost the first half, but their antagonistic defense won the psychological game by luring The Party into some frustrated shoves. Halftime score of only 20-16 we’d have to wait to see if The Party could keep their cool.
In the 4th Quarter, Chris Loreth stepped up for The Party and used his strength in the paint to stay ahead of the Agaveros. The final 1:30 was full of dramatics as Oscar Salvador nailed a 3 to take their first lead of the game, but The Party quickly stole back the lead. Shaurya Chhikara launched a hail mary of a 3 and nailed it to force the overtime.
The Party used their size to get to the foul line to stay ahead, but Captain Ryan Shams hit from beyond the arc to take the victory, despite a couple of great plays from Agaveros’ Oscar Salvador and Omid Toussi.
Sofa King Good - Alex Koong 32, Will Chiang 20
Talisman - Sly Appiah 25, Jordan Punsalan 15
This game was a reminder of why we hate the 10pm timeslot. Everyone was working hard, but it was sluggish and sloppy. Sly Appiah gave it his all to try and rally his team, but the Talisman could only muster a few good plays and weren’t able string together consecutive attacks. Sofa King Good had the game in hand so they focused on their offensive sets to tune up for their playoff run.
Any time that Talisman made a surge ahead, Will Chiang smiled and put them to bed with a knowing smile.
See you in the playoffs! Hurry back, Clint – I nearly put myself to sleep writing this, let alone those having to read it!