2019 WINTER  |  SEASON 43

By: League Analyst
Contributing Writer


Relentless vs. We Tried
Bronze Division
11 a.m.


Both teams lost their season-opener as Relentless suffered a loss against Foundation and We Tried took an L against McDaddy's. We Tried, a team picked to scratch the W column for the first time this season, is offense oriented while Relentless relishes on playing defense.

We Tried didn't have a player score in double digits last weekend as the playing against the much-bigger McDaddy's roster. Against the rookies, expect them to run and put up more shots from the 3-point line, where they struggled from the field shooting just 8-for-41 (19.5%). GM Anthony Meltcher finished with 9 points in the season-opener while Cody Rote aka Larry Legend aka Takesthrees69 scored 8 points.

The lower the score is, the higher the likelihood Relentless pulls out the victory. GM Ruben Ramirez is preaching defense as the rookie team plays with several young players capable of running. The team had 4 players score in double figures last week as Kenny Morales and Chris Plantillas both scored 19 points to lead Relentless. Ruben, a member of Hoopers last season, knows We Tried is a recreational team so look for his team to have some fun and put up numbers with We Tried in the scoring column.


McDaddy's vs. Tune Squad
Bronze Division
12 p.m.


After a heart-breaking loss courtesy of Chicle, will the Bishop Amat alumni team come back harder against McDaddy's? The Free Agent team is bigger than their opponents and their players have already scouted the opponents. Will McDaddy's stick with their game plan or will new additions prove Week 1 was a lucky win against We Tried?

Tune Squad nearly had 3 players score in double figures as Arellano led the way with 19 points. GM Vincent Rodriguez added 18 points while Player 42 added 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals. Tune Squad, regarded as the fastest team in the division, should out-run their opponents - a team that boasts the biggest line-up in the division outside of Foundation.

Mike Arceo, Andre The Giant's long lost son, had a double-double in the season-opener, finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds. CJ Collins led the team with 14 boards while Christian Carrillo led the team with 5 steals. Several free agents from IHOB are expected to join the team after McDaddy's played with just 5 players last weekend. Free agents include: All Star Adrian Lecesne, Arvin DeLaPaz and Center Mike Mason.



Death Row vs. Monstars
Gold Division
1 p.m.


After losing to 20x Champions, Relics, in their season opener, can Death Row bounce back against Baldwin Park team, Monstars?


Death Row made their debut with several players from former Champions, Baseline All Stars, and playing without Darren Collision, Monstars GM Jared Ojeda will have to settle for a crowd of Michael Munoz and Calvin Mitchell (3 points, 2 assists on Week 1). Jared had several TBT posts in the off-season showcasing his scoring ability against Baseline All Stars.


On Week 1, Monstars played a high-octane offense as newcomer, Vincent Rodriguez, finished with a team-high, 7 assists, 14 points. Jared added 12 points, 4 rebounds while All Star Andrew Martinez led the team with 16. The team combined for 14 assists and shot an efficient 45% from the field, courtesy of LA Riots.


Derrick Andrew, GM for Death Row, led the team with 17 points, 3 assists while Center Maintain had a double-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds. All Star Justian Hamilton finished with 9 points, 9 rebounds as the team out-rebounded Relics, 35-24. The team's advantage is their size against Monstars but they must control the tempo, especially against a younger, faster team.



Foundation vs. Fire Squad
Bronze Division
2 p.m.


Both teams will debut their new jerseys as Foundation and Fire Squad face off for the first time. Foundation is hoping to continue their winning streak while Fire Squad is reeling after losing 2 of their bigs from last season.


On the surface, Foundation is regarded as the best team in Bronze Division. They've acquired former MVPs, All Stars, and Finals MVPs all facing their biggest challenge -- Father Time. Relentless has called them the best team in the division but as the season progresses, the smell of victory will slowly fade to smells of salonpas and Icy Hot.


Five players scored in double figures last week as Adrian Eddington finished with 15 points on 77.8% shooting. Uzoma Kalu added 16 points while Alphonso White added 12 points. The team combined for 11 assists as GM Jonathan Wynn and Asher Avinger passed for a team-high, 4 assists.


Fire Squad had just 2 players score in double figures as GM Otto Guillermo (18 points) and Finals MVP Brandon Ortiz (19 points) combined to score 37 of the team's 53 points. The team's lack of size will be a problem for the Reigning Champions and last week, they were out-rebounded, 39-29. To beat Foundation, they need to run and Andrew Martinez needs to be comfortable as he is playing with Gold Division's Monstars.



Chicle vs. Fuerza
Bronze Division
3 p.m.


Can Chicle, the former Champions, make it 17-1 in their last 18 games? They take on a rookie team, Fuerza, on Week 2.

Last week's Player of the Week, Jay Tapang, finished with 17 points and was the hero after converting a bucket down the stretch for the win over Tune Squad. Jay shot 55.6% from the field while Center Danny V. added 10 points, 4 rebounds on 80% shooting. The team combined for 11 turnovers but once again shot a high percentage from beyond the arch, knocking down 31.6% of their 3-point attempts.

For the second week in a row, their scouting report will be non-existent as they take on another rookie team, Fuerza.

"They got the best mind in Bronze Division, you gotta challenge him with pop quizzes every now and then," said a league writer not named Hanz Jimenez.


The Rock vs. Entourage
Gold Division
4 p.m.


Can The Rock begin their season with a W? They take on Entourage, a team that lost to their rival, Killmonger on Week 1.

The Rock has revamped their roster and GM Ben Sin attended the All Star Game in hopes of finding another All Star. At the time, Joey Cejudo was uncertain about Entourage's future and Ben Sin was hoping to recruit Joey. Ben went as far as giving Joey Clipper tickets to the game but Joey after attending the game, Joey made like Ariana Grande and said, Thank You, next!

Entourage lost off a game winning drive from Johnny Blaze as Jayson Cruz had a strong debut with 13 points. Cooper added 14 points while Joey finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds. The Weeknd, Kevin Levingston finished with 9 points as Korey Levingston sat out with another injury.


Team Challenge ALS vs. Killmonger
Gold Division
5 p.m.


Several teams are accusing Death Row of ducking Team Challenge ALS's match-up as Killmonger and Team Challenge ALS puts their 1-0 record on the line. After securing Player of the Week honors last week, can Johnny Blaze lead Killmonger to a 2-0 start?

Johnny Blaze had the game-winning drive against Entourage and he finished with 34 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists. Blaze was firing on all cylinders and he shot 44% from 3-point range, an area Killmonger has struggled with in the past. Sean Harris, former MVP, finished with 17 points, 5 assists in the season-opener while Jay Benjamin added 10 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals. GM Steven Ancheta was hoping to face Team Challenge ALS later on the season when he has several more players added to the roster.

Team Challenge ALS scored a whopping 57 points in the 2nd half against East LA Dream Team as 5 players scored in double figures for the rookie team. GM Sean Marshall, a former MVP as well, finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds while Donovan Morris added 14 points, 7 assists. Dell Well, an All Star last season, finished with 10 points, 5 assists while Johnny Dukes finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists.  This team is the biggest in Gold Division and Killmonger will have to play a near perfect game to upset the #2 team in Gold Division.


Relics vs. Empire Elite
Gold Division
6 p.m.

Will the 20x Champions, Relics, add on to their roster? GM of the Season, James Acevedo has requested for a trade from LA Riots (Center, DJ) and the team has been making roster moves to adjust to the level of competition.

"Oh now everyone wants to come try and beat us," joked Acevedo, after Week 1.

While Killmonger is adding several pro players from overseason, Relics is keeping it local and hoping their veteran players turn back father time. Hall of Famer Terrence Martin had a vintage performance on Week 1, leading the team with 10 assists en route to 6 points. Andrew Knox had a vintage dunk (12 points) as well and Cisco Acevedo (11 points) was efficient from the field but shooting just 7 times from the floor. The team will go as far as Roderick Evans Taylor takes them and last week, the Finals MVP finished with 26 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists.

Empire Elite really should be 1-0 but the team coasted the last 10 minutes as Try Hards came back from a 10 point deficit. To make it worse, they face Relics, a team that had two 20 point deficits in the Playoffs last season against Prodigy Plug and Try Hards. No lead is safe and facing the 20x Champions should get Empire Elite to really lock in this rookie season. Mou U made the most of his touches last week and he led the team with 6 assists, 6 points, 6 rebounds. The beast made his mark on the game and was efficient from the field shooting 75% from the field. GM AJ Thomas scored 15 points while Deron Scott added 13 points, 4 assists. The team needs to cut down on their turnovers and last week, the team combined for 11tos.


LA Riots vs. Try Hards
Gold Division
7 p.m.


After a forgettable start on Week 1, can LA Riots bounce back against Try Hards?

Try Hards fell behind early in the 2nd half but used a 21-10 run to end the game. Ryan Carter, Reining MVP, finished with 32 points on 48% shooting while Juan Banda was the second leading scorer with 13 points. Fernando Ramos aka "Brodie" added 8 points, 4 rebounds as the team out-rebounded their opponents, 29-24.

Based on the last match-up against Monstars, LA Riots were unprepared but GM Jackson Ruiz has been recruiting. If he can get a consistent roster to come out, they should be competitive in Gold Division but if it's anything like last week, LA Riots should be heading down to Bronze Division.


Winner's Only vs. Stay Up
Bronze Division
8 p.m.


Both teams have yet to unveil their roster.

All we know is Playoff P of Prodigy Plug is playing for Stay Up while Winners Only will have former players from East LA Dream Team playing for them. A full recap will be available on Tuesday. Thank You.


Prodigy Plug vs. East LA Dream Team
Gold Division
9 p.m.

Prodigy Plug makes their season debut against East LA Dream Team. The former 3-time Champions started the season with a loss against Team Challenge ALS and the revamped East LA Dream Team line-up is starting to look like the Championship Game between East LA Dream Team and Ball Broz.

Ever Garcia, Finals MVP (Season 40), led East LA Dream Team in their season opener with 8 assists, 4 steals and 21 points while newcomer Khalil Dukes led the team with 26 points, 8 rebounds. Mike Peters, MVP for Season 40, finished with 14 points, 3 assists, 2 steals while Derek Tamanaha scored 4 points, 1 assists. GM Mario Miramontes was in attendance but wasn't in action and it appears Tamanaha has made the roster moves to combine former Ball Broz and East LA Dream Team.

On the opposite bench, Prodigy Plug is back after a forgettable 1st Round exit against the Relics. GM Playoff P has noticed that the competition is stronger this season and he's expected to bring a re-tooled line-up as well. Sharp-shooter, Russell Eastbrook, has been looking forward to the season opener and is expected to be part of the re-tooled line-up for Prodigy Plug. Isaiah Watson and Garrison Deshay are also expected to make the team's season-opener.