2019 WINTER  |  SEASON 43
WEEK 2
 

By: League Analyst
Contributing Writer

 

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

 

We Tried won a dramatic 59-50 victory over Relentless as We Tried sharp-shooter, Cody Rote, hit the go-ahead bucket for We Tried. It was We Tried's first win in two seasons keeping Relentless winless in 2 tries during their rookie campaign. Initially dramatic for the Livestream audience, the game wasn't actually close after an official review of the stats-sheet with the League Commissioner.

"They weren't actually down, the stats-keeper missed at least 4 points for We Tried, and as dramatic as Cody's shot was, it wasn't actually the go-ahead bucket," said the League Commish.

GM Anthony Meltcher finished with a double-double, 17 points, 15 rebounds but struggled from the field shooting just 28.6%. Cody Rote added 8 points, 3 rebounds while Boley Grant finished as the second leading scorer with 13. Juan Arredondo scored 11 points, 9 rebounds as the team out-rebounded their opponents, 46-33.

Relentless has struggled from the gates but the rookies aren't settling for outside shots and shot better than their opponents inside 3-point territory shooting 45.5% (vs 34.3%). They are struggling from the charity stripe, shooting just 33.3% but that should improve as the season progresses. Chris Plantillas was the leading scorer with 17 while Joel Contreras added 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists. Tony Gonzalez led the team on the glass, grabbing 13 rebounds but was the only player to grab double digits in rebounding.

 

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

 

Pending

 

 

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

 

Baldwin Park team Monstars, playing in their 13th season, is looking the best they've ever been as they ran Death Row out of the building with a 75-59 victory.

Ralph Morelos made a rare appearance and was very efficient for Monstars shooting 70% from the field and leading Monstars on the glass with 9 rebounds. Surprisingly, the team was more aggressive on the glass out-rebounding Death Row, 41-31. Andrew Martinez, last season's All Star representative, led Monstars in scoring with 22 points while Alex Mendiola added 13 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists.  The team was out on the open floor and did most of their scoring on fast break opportunities and Monstars combined for 21 assists. GM Jared Ojeda called out Relics, the 20x Champions, for a match-up on Week 3 but Relics requested for a bye and Monstars got the next best thing.

Team Challenge ALS, picked by league analysts to be the #1 team, observed how Monstars have been playing well as of late and requested to play against Monstars at 1 p.m.

On the flip side, Death Row hasn't been clicking and it starts with their team chemistry. Players haven't been as aggressive as they were playing for other teams and not everyone on the team knows their role. GM Derrick Andrews is filling up the stats-sheet and he finished with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists. Maintain finished with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals while Calvin Mitchell added 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists. Death Row is bigger than most of the teams in Gold but against a young up-tempo like Monstars, it was just a difficult match-up for Death Row to overcome.

 

 

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

 

The Bronze Division Champions faced a re-tooled Foundation roster that was revamped by GM Jonathan Wynn after Foundation failed to make the Playoffs last season. Fueled by missing last season's Playoffs, Foundation made a huge statement on the Reigning Bronze Division Champions as Foundation defeat Fire Squad, 81-57.

 

Brandon Ortiz, last season's Finals MVP, was the leading scorer with 24 points but that wasn't enough Foundation had 4 players score in double-digits. Eric Orache finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds while Gold Division recruit, Andrew Martinez, finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists. GM Otto Guillermo, an All Star last season, was limited to just 14.3% shooting en route to 5 points, 4 assists and 4 turnovers. It's clear Fire Squad is missing their twin towers in Garrison Deshay and Nephi Fortiga and the two lent their advice following their Prodigy game against East LA Dream Team.

 

"They gotta pick up guys who can board and want to play defense and crash rebounds," said Garrison. "The guys they picked up in Free Agency are good, but that's not what the team needs.

 

Asher Avinger made sure his teammates ate and he finished with a season-high, 8 assists. Alphonso White and Kris Dick both scored 18 apiece while Gary Beiard added 17 points, 5 rebounds. Uzoma Kalu scored 10 points while GM Jonathan Wynn added 4 rebounds, 2 steals. Foundation (for Elder Statesmen of Superstar Basketball players) out-rebounded their opponents, 51-33.

 

 

 

Chicle vs. Fuerza
Bronze Division
3 p.m.

 

Fuerza came out firing as Coach Abner Rodriguez made his 6 buckets to start off their rookie campaign at Superstar Basketball. For the second straight week, former Champions, Chicle, were prepared for whatever rookie teams were thrown at them as Chicle defeat Fuerza, 81-67.

 

For the second game in a row, Chicle played without a scouting report and GM of the Season, Chris Duran, proved why he's the Reigning GM of the Season as Chicle improved their record to 17-1 in the last 3 seasons.  Five players scored in double figures as Shadon Knight led all scorers with 21 points, 6 rebounds. Former MVP, CJ Pang aka Nitro, finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists and is waiting for the League to announce his Player of the Week honors. With a PER of 46, CJ is looking for another All Star Weekend. The team out-rebounded their opponents, 39-24 and had 25 assists as Center Danny Villalobos finished with 6 assists, 9 rebounds, and 16 points. His valiant effort was recognized as league admin finally corrected his last name after he almost delivered with a triple-double.

 

"Villa-llamas, Village people, villa lopsided win... we gotta give Danny V his complete last name cuz  he's been killing it," joked a league admin.

 

Abner Rodriguez led Fuerza with 27 points and he shot 71.4% to lead the team. Steven C. added 11 points on 71.4% shooting while Geo Bonilla finished with 19 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. The team narrowly trailed at the half, 49-46 but Chicle's defense stepped up limiting Fuerza to just 40.7% shooting from 3-point territory.

 

"That team can shoot, they're gonna be a problem," observed a Bronze Division GM.

 

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

 

Pending

 

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

 

Killmonger got ran out of the gym as this season's unofficial #1 team, Team Challenge ALS, routed last season's #1 team with a 112-73 victory.

GM Sean Marshall had his best game of the season scoring 39 points on 63% shooting. The former MVP shot 17-for-27 from the field and connected for 5-of-11 (45.5%) three-pointers to lead his team. Marshall filled up the stats-sheet with 19 rebounds as the team out-rebounded Killmonger, 71-30. Shatrang led Team Challenge ALS with 7 assists while Donovan Morris finished with 6 dimes, 15 rebounds, and 15 points. Dell Well, an All Star for Sick Pick Ups, finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists. With the 1-sided affair, league analysts gave Team Challenge ALS the #1 ranking before rescinding it and putting Relics on top.

"You can't be the #1 team until you beat the Champs," said Hall of Famer, Andrew Knox.

"With Relics getting a bye this week, several teams are going to be 3-0 and Relics are losing their #1 rank," said a league admin.

Killmonger played without former MVP, Sean Harris, as last week's Player of the Week, Johnny Blaze, led Killmonger with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals. Blaze led Killmonger with 7 dimes as Shad Earby returned to the line-up with 24 points, 4 three-pointers. Shad was an All Star snub last season but his impact was huge as Killmonger had a reliable scorer outside of Harris and Johnny Blaze. Jay Benjamin finished with 15 points while Chris Starks added 8 points, 3 steals.

 

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

 

The 20x Champions, Relics, almost blew a 44-24 halftime lead as Empire Elite came back with their 3-point shooting and Empire Elite GM, AJ Thomas' playmaking. The duo of Darius Davis and DJ Shumpert led the surge back scoring 20 points apiece for Empire Elite but Relics would hold on with a 69-66 victory.

Roderick Evans-Taylor continues to light it up from the field and he finished with a game-high, 26 points on 55.6% shooting. Roderick, last season's Finals MVP, has been training with Chet Johnson @onpurpose11 and he returned to the league finishing with 3 assists, 5 rebounds. His defense and playmaking should give Relics another elite athlete and Relics are looking as dangerous as ever. Andrew Knox, Hall of Famer, started the game with a dunk en route to 5 points, 5 rebounds while Cisco Acevedo finished with 19 points, 4 three-pointers on 44.4% shooting.

"Relics are tinkering with their line-up, and you can see they struggled in the 2nd half figuring out which line-up works best," said a stats-keeper. "As long as they came out with the win, they're happy about that but they're working in a lot of new players."

GM James Acevedo, last season's GM of the Season, should figure it out as the new teams in the league have a huge bulls eye on the 20x Champions.

Empire Elite should be 2-0 and for the 2nd straight week, they've blown a close lead in the game's pivotal minutes. Rob Walker continues to light it up from 3-point territory finishing with 15 points, 4 three-pointers while Mou U. added 4 points, 6 rebounds.

 

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

 

 

Pending

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

 

Pending

 

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

 

 

Pending