FALL '17 ELITE 8 HIGHLIGHTS, VANCOUVER METRO BASKETBALL LEAGUE

December 5, 2017

STALLIONS (1) - 103 vs DUNCAN DONUTS (8) - 49

STALLIONS - Prince Carino 21

DUNCAN DONUTS - Brad Mavis 9 Will Huang 9

The 8th seed has a storied history throughout basketball history. The college basketball’s version of its championship, it would be the 16th seed. With that said, the 16th seeds have never upset a #1 seed, but a #15 seed has taken down a #2 seed in the first round (1991 Richmond Spiders over the Syracuse Orangemen,1993 Santa Clara over Arizona Wildcats, and Lehigh over Duke in 2012)!  The NBA's 8th seed upsets consist of: 2011 Memphis Grizzlies over the 3 headed horsemen in the San Antonio Spurs, The 2007 Golden State Warriors over the #1 Dallas Mavericks who had been in the NBA Finals the season before, and the 1994 Denver Nuggets over the Seattle Supersonics! With all THAT said, Duncan Donuts had something to look forward to before their massive tilt with the multi-time champion Stallions squad! Their inspiring, gutsy win over Fire Squad last week, looked to be the spark they would need to try and pull the gigantic upset in Vancouver Metro League history!

The playoffs are where Kings are made! The Stallions know this better than any team in the history of this league! Through all of the allegations, the investigations, and witch hunts into their somewhat ho-hum regular season games (at times), the Stallions always have their eyes on the prize! Even with the upset loss which seems like years ago, that broke their 17 game win streak, the Stallions have done nothing but turn up the heat on every opponent they faced!  DD looked across at the Stallions minus the former MVP Brody Greig, Jit Locham who was lost for the season due to injury, and Matt Madewan who suddenly retired yet again, DD felt like this was their chance to make history! The Stallions looked over at DD like Lions stalking prey on the Serengeti!

DD would come out and drill the first three-pointer by way of Brad Mavis. The highlights for DD from that point would be few and far between!  The Stallions took a Fred Flintstone running start to begin the game, but it didn't take them long to hit full throttle!  The three-pointers were not falling in bunches for the Stallions, but their almost patented fastbreak attack with any player on the court engulfed DDs defense almost immediately!  Prince Carino would attack the DD defense off the dribble and with hard cuts to the basket to put DD on notice that they would have to guard every player 1 through 8 in this game!  Almost like a car stuck in the mud, the more DD tried to make adjustments on their transition defense, the deeper they would get stuck in the mud!  That mud seemed to turn into quicksand as the 1st half went on, as DD had no answers for the Stallions gallop!

The 2nd half would start with the Stallions having a 29 point advantage!  In most case, teams would let off the throttle a bit and try new things they haven't tried in games before.  However, the Stallions become a different type of team in the playoffs.  Almost sinister in their instinct to bury their opponents! The consistent fastbreak attack from every member of the team, the relentless defense and switching, the steals the blocks, then back to the fast break!  That is what the Stallions look like for 46 minutes of every playoff game in every season they have played since 2011!  The Stallions have a methodical way of continuing to press their opponents to patiently watch as their effort slows and then their will breaks!  Even though a few of the DD players continued to fight the good fight, the Stallions saw their breaking point...and broke right through it!  The relentless pressure that has swallowed most playoff opponents whole, would do the same to the DD squad as they had an unbalance of offense and defense plays that were always to their disadvantage, as they would be outnumbered on both ends!  

In the end, 6 players scored in double figures for the Stallions, as 2 players from DD  would score 9 points each and three others would score 6 each.

The Stallions postgame banter would consist of a hodgepodge of different subjects (music, news, investing, etc.).  Almost no mention of the game itself, but the thrill of the hunt! Just as I saw it, they described it to a T.  So well, it would almost put you on the court with them as they reached for the heart of a team, ripped it out, and feast on it as if it were a Shark feeding frenzy! Their next opponents are in for a real-life survivor test when they face this team next week.

G2 69 vs TTP 61

G2 - Gabe Gibbs 20 

TTP - Mathew Jackie 12

On Court 6 this evening was the last game of the season in Division II and the matchup of the night - TTP vs G2. 

TTP showed up like they always do. Playing both hard and physical and fighting for every possession. This was, by all means, a man's game. The Anza brothers came out swing fists (metaphorically) against G2, who had been giving them problems all season long. All was safe however and the officials allowed a great and physically demanding game to take place. 

Kai “Messiah” Williams was his usual energetic self on both offense and defense. Excited because of his new single “Stand” that just dropped on Apple Music? Maybe, maybe not but Kai had the JUICE this evening. Regardless, with a few fast breaks, a few rebounds, and the odd three ball, TTP looked like they were in charge of this matchup in the first.

G2 came out of the half with a renewed sense of energy. TTP had been having it their way the entire first. Handing G2 a 10 point deficit. 

That all changed as soon as the second half commenced. Going back and forth, readily throwing punch for punch right down to the wire. Gibbs could be heard across the court, yelling out direction for his team who clinched on to a 2 point lead with two minutes to go. And who would step up for Gibbs and G2 when they needed it the most? Who else but Kai Williams. And he did just that with two hard takes to the rim just to convert them both. TTP unable to knock down shots down the stretch and G2 takes home the win 69 - 61 

BALL SO HARD (2) 103 - vs 86 FIRE SQUAD (7)

BSH - Adi Baybay 40, Alan Hogan 23, Devon “Steady Eddie” Carney 11, Jack Ho 10

Fire Squad - Gene Wolff 26, Brad #35 20, Ollie #33 15

The spirit of Vancouver Metro is alive when in Playoff season, we can still get a highly competitive Exhibition game between veteran players!  If it is for the title, or just a “King of the Hill” exhibition games, true ballers come to play!  

This game started out as a “Two hand touch” football game.  It was light, and players were sort of floating around waiting for the action to happen.  After a little bit of veteran “smack talk” from Gene “OG” Wolff, the game seemed to pick up speed after a sub 40 point half from both teams!

The activity and the “banter” picked “way up” in the second half, as Alan Hogan would get the crowd involved with his “chatter” on the BSH side of the ball!  The competition level went to championship status as both teams began to play to win!  Fire Squad to prove a point that they should have been considered formidable in this season’s Metro league, and BSH making sure FS knew that they were former champions.  The Player of the week turned out to be Adi Baybay for BSH!   Adi hit his first three pointers, which looked innocent enough.  However, as the 2nd half went on, Adi went “Enfuego”!  Adi would hit on 12 three pointers in total, and the last 3 were punctuated by the signature Adi “one leg hop” after each make!  BSH would put up nearly 70 points in the 2nd half, while FS put up a whopping 49 points!

SHOCKWAVE 53 vs AGAVEROS 67

AGAVEROS - Oscar Salvador 17

SHOCKWAVE - Rayyaan Mohammad 16

Given the unfortunate event of Agaveros not qualifying for the Division 1 playoffs and Academy unable to attend due to league games, we found ourselves with an even better matchup! Agaveros vs Shockwave! Both teams winless throughout the season, one team was going to pickup their first win of the season tonight! 

The Oscar Salvador led Agaveros squad is always fun to watch. With their in-game antics, constant communication on the court or on the bench en Espanol. Which we have yet to verify if their semantics are legal or appropriate. But given our lack of understanding, we have let it fly thus far! 

A tight game throughout, Shockwaves bright spots where late-season addition Andrew Creightney and Shockwave die-hard Rayyaan Mohammad. Both finishing the game in double digits. However, it was still not enough as the steady Agaveros team was not to be stopped. Ultimately taking home their first W of the season!

SOFA KING GOOD (3) - 73 vs 68 TWO FIFTY CREW (6)

SOFA KING GOOD - Edward Fan 30

TWOFIFTY CREW - Luca Bonamici 22

The young guns AKA TwoFifty Crew! Looking to make a statement in their first Metro League season by upsetting former champions Sofa King Good in the first round. Although this was a 3 vs 6 matchup. Both teams were feeling, looking and shooting confidently coming into this game and in the opening minutes. 

Playoffs defiantly have a great feel to it, these two teams embodied that spirit in a classic first-round matchup. Both capable teams slugging it out early. Alex Koong may be one of the most consistent players in the league, week after week, season after season you know you are going to get 15 - 25 points from the man and a whole lot of sharpshooting. But with the TwoFifty Crew being new this year maybe they didn’t get the memo! SKG pulled out to an early 10 point lead off of Alex’s hot hand. But its hard to hold a group of young men down! 250 battled their way back slowly, consistently, one stop at a time. Most of the game these two fire squad traded baskets, but every once and a while Zach Usherwood or Lewis Hurst would come up with a key steal leading to a four-point swing here or a four-point swing there. Next thing you know SKG held on to a 4 point lead going into the final minutes.

Adjustments had clearly been made, however, the young guns didn’t account for SKG not-so-secret weapon, Edward Fan. Who was quietly dropping 30, putting up roadblocks for 250 Crew every time they seemed to be getting on a roll. As they went to the intentional foul, 250 crew couldn’t make up the difference and were subject to an early exit from the Metro League playoffs against the veteran SKG squad. 

WALK ONS (4) - 96 vs SWAT (5) - 97

WALK ON’s - Demi Harris 52 Gerard Gore 23

SWAT - Jomari Reyes 21

Perhaps the game of the night, this 4-seed vs 5-seed was a match made in heaven. Both squads being teams of an elite nature. Both teams that occupied the top 3 spots in the league at one point or another during the season. Timely absences allowed other teams to sneak in a win or two and thus blessing us with this matchup tonight.

Elvis, Brain, and co. on SWAT held their own against the Demi and Mo for Walk On’s as Demi is known to take off heads in playoff games! With SWAT throwing double and sometimes triple teams at Demi, he quickly found his teammates. Who did not disappoint and made the defense pay for playing off. The game was knotted up all the way through. A pro’s game - being played at a high level. With multiple coaches on the floor for both teams, this game was well executed on both ends. 

The difference maker appeared to be, you guessed it, Demi, who was on route to drop 52 points in the win. That was - until the dying seconds of the game, SWAT down 1 with the ball 70 feet from the basket. Jomari Reyes takes a few dribbles and launches a prayer from half court, alas their only option. In the moment, he split Between two defenders and shot the ball. BUT! In maybe the most controversial call of the season - he was fouled in the act of shooting and received free throws with no time on the clock! Which he calmly knocked down and sealed the deal for Demi and the Walk On’s in an early first-round exit from the playoffs.

METRO MAN OF THE WEEK

#8 JOMARI REYES - SWAT 

24 points.  Down 1 and heaves a hail mary at the last second, but draws the foul. Hits 2 free throws and wins the game.  SWAT (5) gets the upset over Walk-Ons (4) to advance to the Semi-Final vs Stallions.