Both Two Fifty Crew and Fire Squad were new additions to the Metro League so nobody knew what to expect, that being said, we were not disappointed. Right from the get-go this was a back and forth game with both squads lighting it up from beyond the arc. Luka Petkovic for Two fifty Squad started the opening frame going 3 for 3 from beyond the arch. Although it was apparent that both of these squad were newly formed, we are excited for the future and the history that both these team will create at Metro as the makings are definitely there for a future rivalry!
Key standout Zach Usherwood had a quite night although he showed flashes of greatness. Unfortunately, two missed open dunks and a bit of trouble hitting from the field, left Zach with only 12 points. Two Fifty Crew lead most of the way through the game until midway in the second half when Gene Wolff decided to turn it on hitting six threes and ultimately putting the game away 80 - 76.
Fire Squad - Gene Wolff 36, Raitis Putins 17, Avon Szigeti 11
Two Fifty Crew - Luka Petkovic 25, Conor Power 12, Zach Usherwood 11
Great to see two returning teams go head to head in the season opener! BSH came out looking like they never missed a beat after winning third in the spring season. BSH also coming back with fresh custom made Toronto Huskies themed jerseys, they looked good, they felt good and they played good!
Alan “Spidey” hogan was his usual high-energy self, diving for loose balls and running the lane hard on every fast break. Veteran Adi Baybay for BSH looked not a day over 19 as he started the break, pushed the pace and was an energizer bunny all game long.
BSH lead wire to wire over SKG, although in no way was this a run away game. Thanks to the hot hand of Alex Kung, who hit three 3’s by the conclusion of the first half and continued to score all though the second. SKG was able go shot for shot with BSH until the very end. Unfortunately for them, some untimely fouls and a few missed free throws ultimately lead to a BSH victory, 51 - 48
BSH - Alan Hogan 16, Brandon #15 10
SKG - Alex Kung 19, Kanwar 13
There was no championship parade for the returning champions from the spring season, although everybody knew when the Stallions decided to roll in for their 9 o'clock matchup. Agaveros, on the other hand had made a key pickup in Damen Bell-Holter and came out with a renewed energy.
Stallions, however would not be phased as captain Roger Sheung pushed the pace, hitting pull up jump shots from all over the floor without a conscience. Agaveros were able to go shot for shot with the Stallions the entire second half, lead by Oscar salvador with his blue collar work ethic and Damen Bell-Holter’s nice touch from beyond the arch. The score, 27 - 20 in favour of the Stallions going into the second half. With the Stallions going undefeated last season, perhaps a 7-point margin was too close for comfort. As soon as the second half started the Stallions decided to turn it on, pushing the pace and destroying Agaveros with speed. Although Agaveros showed signs of being the great team that they truly are, they were still ultimately not on the same page to take down the champions, falling - 61 to 44.
Stallions - Roger Sheung 16, Darryl Lardizabal 13, Mark Halfnight 10
Avaveros - Damen #0 13, Oscar S and Omid Tossi 8 each
SWAT’s return to the Metro League was highly anticipated and did not disappoint! With few returning players SWAT still came through with a stable of scorers, shooters and all around workers! Gunning from all angles, Academy product Josiah Mastandrea could not be stopped from beyond the arch. We don't know if the kid has ever seen a shot he didn't like (that is, unless it’s within 30 feet)
Duncan Donuts although new, showed flashes of congruity. Still, it was clearly their first time at the Metro League tango! And who can blame them, coming up in their first game against a team like SWAT was a tough first test. SWAT also came large in number with a full 12 man roster and to add to the flurry of players, SWAT was able to put up 51 points in the first half alone. Sad to say that with the score 65-32 only a few minutes into the second half, this game had already reached its conclusion with SWAT simply being too much to handle on the first night for Duncan Donuts. 105 - 58 the final.
Swat - Josiah #93 22, Luca #0 17, Jonari and Brian #00 15 each
DD - Brad Mavis 15, Terry Tsguh 11
The new versus the old in this late night matchup of Sonic Boom and Walk-Ons. Another game where we didn't know what to expect going into the opening tip. There is always an element of excitement when the Vancouver Metro League attracts new team like the Walk-Ons . Sonic Boom always has been and always will be a tough matchup for anybody as they can hurt you from all angles. New to the league, Demitri Harris showed us exactly the type of game that the Walk-ons were trying to play; another fast paced, high flying, alley-oop catching team that is definitely here to stay! The Walk-ons lead start to finish. Although once again, this was in no way a blow out. Sonic Boom competed all of the way, Joel #77 making key threes scattered through the game which seemed to keep giving Sonic Boom a fighting chance. But the hits just kept on coming from the Walk-ons from literally every player on the roster, although the final score showed the Walk-ons only merely escaping Sonic Boom on opening night, it was clearly a dominant win for Demitri Harris and the Walk-on crew.
Walkons - Demitri Harris 30, Wayne #10 15, Max #12 13
Sonic Boom - Max #13 20, Joel #77 14
Academy - Jacob #11 24, Josh 15, Kobe 14
G2 - Gabe Gibbs 22, Igor Dutina 21
The first rumor of a Gabe Gibbs led team going to Div 2, was met with bewilderment! The long time standout, who once started in division 2 as an add on, had won a title in division 1 not too long ago. The thought of "G2" being in the lower division with less teams, seemed "blasphemous"! As I listened to the circumstances pre game, it all started to make more sense.
The "eye test" would have given a distinct advantage in size for any team they would face, however that paper meant little to nothing to the upstart Academy squad! Even with a lack of height the young Academy team would make up for it in hustle, speed, and will!
The first half was evident of a potential battle between young and old, fast vs experience, lean vs brawn. The first half would play to a 34-34 tie. The rebounding advantage would definitely go to G2, but Academy shot a high percentage from the field and that would be key throughout the game. Academy's starting PG Josh, was sattled with 4 first half fouls and had to sit a good portion of the 2nd half.
G2 would make a quick burst in the time he was out, and with 12 mins left in the game, Josh was faced with a real world test in his basketball career. How would he still be effective while not fouling out? Well, Josh would answer that question with flying colors! Josh would score 10 of his points late in the 2nd half, with G2 defenders trying to defend his every move! Josh would find Jacob in the corner for a number of big time threes! Igor Dutina and Gabe Gibbs pressed the issue late in the half to draw within 5 points with less than 3 minutes left in the game. The Academy would show some big time poise, and would salt the game away late to complete the first big upset of the season in Metro League!