SEASON 41, WEEK 1
RECAPS


 

By: League Analyst
Contributing Writer

 

Foundation vs. We Tried
Bronze Division
2 p.m.

 

Foundation, one of the league’s oldest teams, came back with the league’s hottest jerseys and the new unis has the team motivated to get back to their winning ways. They started strong with a 15-8 lead in the 1st quarter but the lead wasn’t safe as We Tried nearly came back to beat 8x Champions, Foundation. In the end, a blown in-bounds play had Cody Rote’s 3-pointer waived off as Foundation survived a 59-54 win against rookie team, We Tried.

“That’s their shooter, make sure you stay on him,” said Foundation players while trying to cover Cody Rote.

Cody had a breakout game against Ball Broz last season and he finished with a team-high, 18 points, 4 three-pointers on 50% shooting. GM Anthony Meltcher, a veteran forward who has taken the GM role for the first time this season, finished with 12 points, 9 rebounds. Meltcher’s bread and butter was the left wing as he shot 60% from inside the perimeter. Carlos Nava added 9 points while Thahn Ho led the team with 3 assists.

Foundation’s Mark Mercado turned in his Player of the Week bid scoring a weekend-high, 31 points on 81.3% shooting. Mercado finished with 7 rebounds, 4 three-pointers, and 2 steals. GM Jonathan Wynn was upset at his offensive performance but was a key contributor finishing with 6 assists and 10 rebounds. One of the best rebounding guards back in his heyday, Wynn grabbed 20% of the team’s boards. Adrian Eddington made his return with 17 boards while Rommel Del Rosario finished with 6 points, 11 rebounds.

“We played bad, but we looked pretty damn good in our unis,” joked GM Jonathan Wynn, post-game.

 

East LA Dream Team vs. Relics
Gold Division
3 p.m.

 

 

The Game of the Week featured 3x Defending Champions, East LA Dream Team, a team that is going for a 3-peat this season. East LA Dream Team played without 4 starters as they took on Relics, the most decorated franchise in Superstar Basketball, a historic franchise that won 18 Championships in 7 years.

Dream Team attacked early and led 21-16 at the end of 1st quarter. Dream Team GM, Mario Miramontes, was on fire from 3-point range hitting 2 of 3 attempts in the 1st quarter. Finals MVP, Ever Garcia, finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds while Ant led the team with 23 points, 17 rebounds, and was 64.3% from the field. Dream Team trailed for the first time in the 3rd quarter and couldn’t keep up with Relics as they used a 21-9 run to end the 3rd.

“They’re a step slower but they know their roles and it’s the same well-oiled machine,” said an observing GM speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“Gone are the highlight dunks but give them a couple of weeks to get their conditioning back,” said another GM.

Terrence Martin finished with 22 points and “T-bone” shot an efficient 77.8% from the field en route to 3 assists. Bobby Kovach, recovering from an Achilles injury, finished with a surprising 14 points while Andrew Knox scored 14 points, 8 rebounds.

“Championships aren’t won on Week 1 but they beat the defending Champions so that’s good to hear,” said Relics Founder, Ernest Pablo.

 

Equality vs. Monstars
Gold Division
4 p.m.

 

 

Monstars nearly gave Equality aka Hoopers the ball game as Monstars shot 1-for-6 from the charity stripe late in the game. Monstars survived a 76-74 win as four players scored in double figures for the Baldwin Park team.

It was a balanced scoring attack from Monstars as GM Jared Ojeda finished with 15 points, 3 rebounds and 3 three-pointers. Ralph Morelos, primed to do some damage in the post this season, showed off his perimeter shooting as he finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds on 63.6% shooting. Xavier Morelos led Monstars with 20 points, 10 rebounds while Andrew Martinez added 19 points. Martinez, a rookie wing player, is the team's fastest player on the court and could be the team's missing piece.

"You know what you're getting from the Morelos Brothers and you're gonna get some 3-point shooting out of Jared," said a league analyst. "They have a 4th reliable scorer, it looks like Monstars are at another level this season, now they just gotta fix their free throw woes."

Equality was out of this game early and the team trailed by double digits before making a run in the 3rd quarter. Trailing by as many as 8 with 3 minutes left, the team made a run as soon as some of their ball dominant players left the game. GM Gary Beaird finished with 22 points, 4 three-pointers while Uzoma Kalu added 12 points, 12 rebounds. Larry Parker finished with 10 points while Arvin Delapaz scored 10 points, 6 steals, 2 assists. Kenny Farr, by far the oldest player in Gold Division (not really but it sounded dramatic), finished with 8 points, 2 three-pointers and 2 rebounds. The 44 year old found his stroke early but struggled to stay in the game as his calves gave him problems midway through the game.

"I don't do drugs, but I've always said basketball addiction is worse than drugs," said League Commish Hanz Jimenez. "All is takes is one good game and you're hooked again. Shout out to B-ball Junkies."

 

 

Renegades vs. The Rock
Gold Division
5 p.m.

 

The non-texting players from Renegades nearly led to a forfeit as Renegades had to pick up Gary Beaird and Mike Arceo from Gold Division team, Hoopers aka Equality. Kris Dick and Gary Beiard could not miss as Renegades welcomed The Rock back to the league with a loss on a 73-39 rout.

 

"If you don't want to play with Zoma and Larry, come to Renegades," said GM Aaron Mancell, doing this best Suge Knight impression.

 

Kris Dick, expecting a Player of the Week nod for his 28 point performance, finished with 14 rebounds and was 50% from the field. Dick was efficient in the 1st half shooting up to 70% at one point but the lack of competitiveness from The Rock led to his field goal percentage.

 

"You know Kris, he shoots better when someone is guarding him," joked a stats-keeper.

 

Jason Fielder finished with 17 points on 66.7% shooting while Gary Beiard added 23 points on 66.7% shooting as well. Beaird, a former 3-point shooting Champion and All Star MVP, shot 7-for-11 from 3-point range. GM Aaron Mancell added 5 points and 4 assists to lead the former 2x Champions, Renegades.

It was 2 teams with 2 Championships making their return to Superstar Basketball but the storyline was different for The Rock, a team reuniting to honor late Center, Dale Barnes. The team struggled in the 1st half scoring just 18 points in the opening half. Mike Ashanti was lightning quick with 11 points but came down hard on multiple occasions as he teleported against opponents with reckless abandon.

"He hasn't gotten the memo that he's old now," laughed GM Ben Sin.

"I'm struggling with the thought of it," added Mike.

Ed Principe, visibly leaner this season, scored 8 points while Eric Rey finished with 10 points. The Rock historically starts slow but who knows how they'll develop this season. As competitive as Ben Sin can get, a trip down to Bronze could be in the fold as The Rock has gone on record to say they're playing recreation basketball as they enter the twilight of their basketball career.

 

Chicle vs. Reckless
Bronze Division
6 p.m.

 

 

It's expected that Kris Dick will get Player of the Week honors in Gold Division but in Bronze, it appears to be divided between Mark Mercado's weekend high of 31 points vs a triple-double showing from CJ Pang.

CJ filled up the stats sheet with 14 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists  en route to 4 steals. A quadruple double was first accomplished by BK Agu, who finished with 15 points, 10 assists, 13 rebounds, 10 steals as Fontucky Unicorns beat Bullets, 127-48 (Season 16, Spring 2010).

Mike Trout led Chicle with 26 points on 78.6% shooting while Damien Reyes added 11 points, 6 rebounds. Jay Tapang finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds while Louie Venegas added 15. GM Chris Duran emphasized ball movement in the 2nd half and Duran finished with 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 4 points.

Luis Montes, the MVP in the Consolation Bracket last season, finished with a team-high, 21 points while GM Noel Serpas added 5 points, 4 assists. Serpas let out a sigh of relief as he nearly suffered a season ending injury midway through the game.

 

"It looked pretty bad when he buckled his knee but he was able to finish it out," said stats-keeper, Anthony Palacol. "That's going to be sore tomorrow.

 

Joe Fosho made his season debut with 5 rebounds while Alan Abrillo continues to show tremendous progress as the high schooler finished with 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 points. James Santillan added 8 points and led the team with a game-high, 14 rebounds.