By: League Analyst
Contributing Writer


IHOB vs. Bullets
Bronze Division
12 p.m.


Jorge Parrales scored a division-high, 28 points, against IHOB.

After making the Finals last season, expectations were high for IHOB, a team that had a huge make-over in the off-season. Adding new pieces was good for IHOB but losing Defensive Player of the Season, Jason Shorts (work schedule) proved to be a bigger blow as IHOB gets blown out to start the season, 82-52.

The team from Boyle Heights made like Drake and started from the Bottom in their first stint in Superstar Basketball. Those were several years ago when the team featured All Star Mike Enriquez and while the team went dormant, other teams from East LA (Outlawz and East LA Dream Team) dominated the ranks. East LA is looking strong this season as Bullets routed Victorville based IHOB, 85-52.

Jorge Parrales, a runner-up for Player of the Week, finished with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists. Parrales shot 52.4% from the field while Rick Gutierrez added 24 points, 14 rebounds, 5 steals. Rick claims he's a Bronze Division player but has the skillset to be a presence in Gold -- a compliment, not any means a call-out to say he should be playing in Bronze.

"Back in the day, most teams started out in Bronze and worked themselves up, so Bullets shouldn't be called out for sand bagging," defended one historian.

The team hasn't played together in 6 months but the team was in unison as Wilson Parrales and Rick led Bullets with 7 dimes. Marcus Eggum had 2 dunks, 13 points while Wilson Parrales added 11 points, 9 rebounds.

Alex led IHOB with 17 points while Adrian Lecense, Rookie of the Season, finished with 11 points, 6 boards. GM Arvin Delapaz had a bad game (he's held to higher standards, lol), finishing with 15 points, 2 steals and 0 assists. Josh Booker finished with 5 points as the team committed 14 turnovers in their first game of the season.

"It's our first game, let's not get frustrated, we'll work it out," said a player from IHOB, post game.

NOTE: IG Story made a mistake putting Wilson Parrales instead of Jorge Parrales as the Player of the Week candidate. Thank You, Wilson, for pointing that out.



IHOB vs. We Tried
Bronze Division
1 p.m.


Despite the loss, Carlos Nava had a big game for We Tried - 28 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, 4 assists.


After losing their first game against Bullets, IHOB took their frustrations out on We Tried as IHOB ran the floor, 90-72.


Arvin Delapaz must have something in it for "Larry Legend" Cody Rote, as he shook him with a crossover early in the 1st quarter. Arvin got the juices flowing as he finished with 4 assists, 15 points, and 7 boards. Adrian Lecesne filled up the stats sheet with 13 rebounds, 4 steals, 5 assists and 10 points. The Rookie of the Season from last season has several players for Top 10 Plays of the Week, scheduled out for Thursday. Mike finished with 13 points while Alex led the team with 21.


Carlos Nava scored a game-high, 28 points and shot 57% from the field on his way to fill up the stats sheet. Nava also logged 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 assists and We Tried's first loss of the season. GM Anthony Meltcher had a double-double with 14 points, 15 rebounds while Cody Rote added 12 points, 6 boards, 7 assists. The team lost several players that were contributing to the team last season including Nico and stand-out, "The Clawn" Lance German. Both Johnny Troung and Than Ho scored 9 points apiece as every player from We Tried scored at least 9 points.



Prodigy Plug vs. Try Hards
Bronze Division
2 p.m.


Isaiah Watson scored 24 points to lead Prodigy in their first win of the season against Try Hards.

Prodigy Plug led 25-17 after the 1st quarter but Try Hards would come back to make the game competitive throughout the contest. Prodigy Plug had 5 players score in double figures as Prodigy Plug barely hold off Try Hards, 78-76.

The rookies were impressive in their debut as Drey Garcia tied a game-high, 24 points, 4 assists, 3 steals. Garcia shot 55% from the floor as the team combined to shoot 44%. Rob Garcia added 20 points, 3 assists while Fernando Ramos scored 12 points, 3 assists. GM Rudy Hernandez aka FAKN Rudy finished with 3 points and has a difficult task of managing a roster of 11 players. While Rudy figures out who gets the majority of the pt, Manny Morales (15 rebounds, 9 points) and Shaq Gilbert (6 assists, 4 steals, 8 points) shouldn't have a problem getting plenty of playing time for rookie team, Try Hards.

Isaiah Watson finished with a double-double for Prodigy, tying a team-high, 24 points and 13 rebounds and 4 assists. Isaiah filled up the stats sheet with 4 steals, 2 blocks but struggled from 3-point range, shooting just 17% from 3-point territory. Steven Goytia scored 16 points while "Playoff P" Paul Magaway scored 17 points, 3 steals and 2 assists. Poobey "Russell Eastbrook" is getting comfortable with his 3-point shot, converting 3 attempts on 50% shooting. Poobey led Prodigy Plug with 7 assists and is poised for a break out season.


Relics vs. Renegades
Gold Division
3 p.m.


Justian Hamilton got rid of any slander by posting his stats on IG story.

19x Champions, Relics, won again, 71-45.


19x Champions, Relics, defeated Renegades again...


Relics are saying they're old but the only thing old is their habit of scratching the W column week after week. Actually, that never gets old as Relics' Terrence Martin is loving the new environment.

"New jerseys, we got music again, and we got an emcee (@voiceofvenicebeach)," said the league's poster boy, Terrence Martin. "This makes me want to play!"

T-Bone led Relics with 20 points as the Hall of Famer combined to shoot 58% in the season opener. Point guard James Acevedo passed for a team-high, 6 assists and finished with a team-high, 9 rebounds. (insert eyes emoji). Cisco Acevedo scored 14 points 4 three-pointers while Andrew Knox added 12 points, 7 boards. Yoseph "Yayo" Yaisreal made his Relics debut with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Yayo, claiming he locked down Renegades Center Justian Hamilton on social media, had Hamilton posting his game stats via IG story.

Justian finished with 17 points and was 58% from the field. Quick to destroy any slander, Justian posted a screen shot of the game stats to let everyone know Yayo, mayo, nay-yo-fools is stopping Justian this season.

Mike Ratliff finished with 11 points while Adrian made his debut with a game-high, 5 assists, 11 points. For the first time in the history of Superstar Basketball, Kris Dick went home with 0 points as he struggled from the field with 9 rebounds, 2 steals, and a big fat donut.

"That's what I get for not touching a ball in 5 weeks, that's never going to happen again," said last season's MVP Runner up."



East LA Dream Team vs. Try Hards
Gold Division
4 p.m.


No easy shots against East LA Dream Team. The former 3x Champions are passionate about playing defense again.

It's too early in the season but their peers were asking the same question after seeing Try Hard compete against Prodigy Plug and East LA Dream Team.

"Was Dream Team that much better than they were last season?" asked one GM.

"Are they back to Championship form?" asked more of their peers.

Try Hards barely lost to Prodigy Plug in their first double-header but against East LA Dream Team, they were ran out of the building, 95-61. If East LA Dream Team is hungry like they were in their Repeat Run, many should start referring to East LA Dream Team as BEast LA Dream Team.

Trey Jeffries dominated the paint, finishing with 23 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals. Trey grabbed a team-high, 4 steals and shot 53.3% from the paint. Newcomer, Derrick Tamanaha, was disappointed with his 3 point production while Ever Garcia left early after scoring 13 points. Dream Team is deep with talent and defense-centric players, Andrew Martinez (8 points) and Alan Rosas (13 points) are quietly doing the dirty work.

"Some guys want to be stars, some guys want to see stats, but East LA Dream Team is lucky to have guys who want to play defense and do all the things that don't show up on the box score," observed a fan. "We see them working, we're always gonna give them a shout out because it takes a lot to play and focus on playing defense."

Try Hards may have been blown out but they were playing to prove that they are one of the most exciting teams in the league. Shaq Gilbert passed again for 6 assists (average 6.0 apg) and he finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Manny Morales logged a double-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds while Moe Macias finished with 11 points. The rookies had 2 dunks that had several players asking for the return of the dunk contest this season.


"It's premature and it's only Week 1, but looking at the IG Story, there was a lot of dunking going on," observed stats-keeper Anthony Palacol. "We might have to bring the All Star Game and the Dunk Contest back."


"Let's see how everyone plays on Week 2 before we get carried away," responded a league writer.



Entourage vs. Killmonger
Gold Division
5 p.m.


Killmonger's commitment to defense could lead Killmonger to the top of the rankings this season.


Johnny Blaze was on fire for Killmonger as the team upset Entourage in their return, 73-67.


Entourage featured a balanced scoring attack as five players scored in double figures for Entourage. Jermaine Avenuela scored 15 points while Chris Collins added 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists. Bryan Gernux and DJ Griggs struggled in their return, combining for just 5 points. Kevin Levingston was sporting a new hairstyle as Mouthpiece aka @voiceofvenicebeach constantly called Kevin, The Weekend.


"It must be Sunday, cuz the Weekend is going to work," said Mouthpiece after Kevin would score.


"He's playing like Tuesday," Mouthpiece would say after Kevin would miss.


The game was a see-saw battle as both teams were tied at 45 points apiece after 3 quarters of action. Johnny Blaze finished with a team-high, 23 points and was 53% from the field while leading the team with 5 three's. Blaze also led the team in assists (3) and rebounds (11) as Killmonger got killed on the boards, 41-32. Uzoma Kalu finished with 6 points before heading out to a Shakira concert, while Shad Earby added 16 points on 57% shooting. Dropping some knowledge was former MVP, Sean Harris, who finished with 17 points, 2 assists while calling out the Relics.


"We want to play against the Relics," said Sean Harris.


(Full interview on Instagram)


Chicle vs. Foundation
Gold Division
6 p.m.




CJ Pang was named Player of the Week after scoring 24 points for undefeated Champs, Chicle.

Foundation led, 20-18, after the 1st stanza but Chicle bounced back in the 2nd quarter with a 17-5 run. The Reigning Champs shot 50% from the field and combined for 11 steals as Chicle defeat Foundation, 77-53.

The Champs had 4 players score in double figures as CJ Pang led Chicle with 24 points, 4 steals, 3 assists. CJ was named Player of the Week after shooting 83% from the field, not missing any of his field from inside the 3-point range. Jay Tapang finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals while GM Chris Duran scored 12 points. Sharp-shooter Mike Trout added 12 but it was the physical play between Duran and Foundation F Rommel Del Rosario that sparked a confrontation.

"Chris threw his body at him, and that's not sportsmanlike, that can cause an injury," said a fan.

"Foundation is tired of losing to Chicle, but it wasn't that that had tempers flare, they just felt like Chicle is playing dirty," said a player.

Adrian Eddington finished with 15 points, 9 rebounds while Mark Mercado added 12 points, 3 rebounds. Center Mike Arceo finished with 5 points while Aaron Mancell finished with 5 points, 4 rebounds. The team was frustrated with their shot selection despite the team shooting 46% from the field. The team could be in the midst of a trade so stay tuned...


Monstars vs. Sick Pick Ups
Bronze Division
7 p.m.


Dell Well scored a league-high, 42 points in his rookie debut for Sick Pick Ups.

Rookie team, Sick Pick Ups, played nothing like rookies as Sick Pick Ups beat Monstars, 70-66.

Dell Well was awarded Player of the Week honors after dropping a weekend-high, 42 points on 56% shooting. Dell shot well from the field knocking down 9 three-pointers on 45% shooting from 3-point range. Emcee JC Mouthpiece aka Voice of Venice Beach, was impressed with his ability to get the 3 the old fashioned way as Dell converted on several and-1s down the stretch.

Chad Dennis finished with 14 points while GM Marqus Valenzuela added 8 points on 60% shooting. Sick Pick Ups trailed for most of the 1st half until Sick Pick Ups rallied, playing just 5 players and no bench. Chad Dennis had 2 highlight dunks with his 1st quarter getting everyone in the gym excited.

"My man is 5'8, he's giving everyone hope right now," said @voiceofvenicebeach on the mic.

Andrew Martinez, last season's Rookie of the Season, continues to be that dude scoring a team-high 23 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Andrew continues to score wherever he wants to and he shot 61.5% from the floor. Xavier Morelos showed off more muscle this season and he logged a double-double scoring 20 points and grabbing a team-high, 11 rebounds. Johnny Cabrera and GM Jared Ojeda combined for 10 points while Alex Baron grabbed 6 boards in a losing effort. The team got used to playing short-handed and this is the deepest the bench has ever been in a minute. The team must show consistency in order for Ojeda to do his thing.

"It's tough being GM - from collecting fees to managing players to trying to win games," said a league analyst. "With Monstars, you never know who's showing up, so it's tough to figure everyone's minutes."

Monstars' Xavier Morelos had time to poke at Jared on social media, posting a tweet of the game stats and pointing out his stats compared to Jared's.