2019 WINTER  |  SEASON 43

By: League Analyst
Contributing Writer


Foundation vs. Tune Squad
Bronze Division
10 a.m.

Foundation is undefeated with a 2-0 record and rank 1st in Bronze Division. They take on rookie team, Tune Squad, a team that is ranked #5 with a 1-1 record.

What to watch for:  It's the rookies vs. the seasoned vets, fast vs. slow, new vs. old. The match-up to watch is Tune Squad PG Vincent Rodriguez vs. Foundation PG Asher Avinger (8 assists last week). Foundation newcomer, Kris Dick, has also been revitalized with a new team and could be Foundation's All Star candidate. However, GM Jonathan Wynn isn't emphasizing All Star nods and he wants the team to focus on team wins over personal accolades.

Prediction: If Tune Squad were to give Foundation their first loss of the season, they would have to do it by out-running the team sponsored by Icy Hot. The Senior Foundation Homecare is stacked with talent and they are still putting up numbers. Their depth 


Fire Squad vs. We Tried
Bronze Division
11 a.m.


The defending Champions are 0-2 while We Tried, last season's last place team is 1-1 and ranks #8. If We Tried can make accomplish their first winning streak, it would send shockwaves around the league. Would the Reigning Bronze Champions, Fire Squad, really flame out with a 0-3 start?

What to watch for:  Fire Squad has wing players in Brandon Ortiz and Andrew Martinez who can score. However, they are being out-rebounded and out-muscled in the paint and the addition of new bigs has All Star GM Otto Guillermo on the hot seat. Will Fire Squad debut with some front court personnel? 

Prediction: We Tried won their match-up with Relentless on the glass last weekend, 46-33. Juan Arredondo grabbed 9 while GM Anthony Meltcher led the team with 15 rebounds.  We Tried is thirsty for more wins and their team morale is the highest its been AND LOOK FOR THAT TO CONTINUE. League Analysts say Fire Squad has this but the underdogs in all of us are rooting for We Tried!


Relentless vs. Winners Only
Bronze Division
12 p.m.


Both teams are looking for their first win. Relentless ranks #12 with a 0-2 start while Winners Only ranks #9 after losing their season opener against Squad Up.

What to watch for:  Hustle points. If you watched Squad Up vs. Winners Only on Week 2, you could hear Mouthpiece repeating Winners Only GM Isaac Berlinger's name grabbing a rebound and putting up shots. Both teams are hungry for their first win so look for both teams to come out with some intensity.

Prediction: Which team will be relentless for their first win? Our only prediction is one team will come out with their first win. =)


Monstars vs. Team Challenge ALS
Gold Division
1 p.m.


Baldwin Park team, Monstars, are in their 13th Season and the team is looking like the best version of themselves. Undefeated with a 2-0 record, they have the attention of Team Challenge ALS, arguably the league's #1 team outside of 20x Champions, Relics. The #1 position is on the line as two undefeated teams compete to remain undefeated.

What to watch for:  Team Challenge ALS is huge and they are beating teams by an average of 36.5 ppg. Will Team Challenge ALS widen that gap or will Monstars prove they're worthy of competing with one of the best teams in Southern California? 

Prediction: Monstars got open and scored on transition buckets last weekend against Death Row. The team's big, Ralph Morelos and Gus Vasquez will have a difficult task in trying to contain GM Sean Marshall, who had 39 points, 19 rebounds on Week 2. If Monstars upset Team Challenge ALS, expect the Baldwin Park team to celebrate this W much like Colony High School celebrated their CIF Championship last night. Shout out to the Coaching Staff at Colony HS.


Entourage vs. Prodigy Plug
Gold Division
2 p.m.


Both teams are looking for their first win as #9 team, Entourage, take on #8 team, Prodigy Plug. Entourage are improving as the season progresses while Prodigy Plug is looking for answers. The team had a commanding lead against East LA Dream Team in their season opener on Week 2 but somehow managed to give the game away.

What to watch for:  Entourage has implemented new players and they're a much better team compared to last season. However, their record isn't reflecting how much the team has improved because the competitions has improved dramatically from last season.  CJ Cooper (23 pts last week) and Jayson Cruz can score but they need to get the veterans their touches otherwise they're playing 2-on-5. Ryan Miller, was pivotal in the team's last season success but he needs to be more aggressive, especially against an athletic Prodigy Plug team.

Prediction: Prodigy Plug plays in other leagues and when the team plays night games in Superstar Basketball, they appear to be weary. With an early game against Entourage, the team should be at full strength. Isaiah Watson can score with the best of them while Marcus Carter's defense should help contain Entourage.


Stay Up vs. McDaddy's
Bronze Division
3 p.m.

Team camaraderie is high for rookie team, Stay Up. The ranks #4 with a 1-0 record and seems to play a lot together at 24 Hour Fitness in Puente Hills. They take on McDaddy's, the league's FREE AGENT team that has a 1-1 record while sitting at the #7 spot.

What to watch for:  McDaddy's came it overconfident against Tune Squad and the result was a 1-sided affair in favor of Bishop Alumni team, Tune Squad. Winners Only scored on hustle points in their season opener against Stay Up but the rookies played with a lot of poise thanks to veteran, Playoff P. If McDaddy's are going to stay together this season, they could take some lessons from Stay Up, a team that really enjoys to be playing for each other.

Prediction: McDaddy's are well rounded individuals that contributed to their respective teams in season's past. Talent may favor McDady's but it's difficult to beat a TEAM, especially against Stay Up, a team that appears to be a team, team. (lol).


Below The Rim vs. Chicle
Bronze Division
4 p.m.

Chicle is #2 with a 2-0 start while Below The Rim sits at the #6 spot with a 1-1 record. Chicle, a team that is 17-1 in their last 18 games, has a game plan for Below the Rim, a team motivated that Chicle is favored to win in their match-up. The team from Compton is motivated to prove they're one of the top teams in Bronze Division so look for a Playoff atmosphere when two of the division's top 2 teams face off on Week 3.


What to watch for:  ...or what to listen for. Chicle is well coached under the direction of GM Chris Duran but Shadon Knight, one of the league's most well renowned trash talker is going to go back and forth with Below The Rim, especially against outspoken big, Julius Patin. Trash talking is part of the game and look for both these players to bring their best with the trash talk.

Prediction: Caleb Oviedo has been quietly putting up numbers for rookie team, Below The Rim. If The rookies are going to give Chicle their first L of the season, it's going to be because of Caleb Oviedo.


Bullets vs. Fuerza
Bronze Division
5 p.m.


Bullets are undefeated with a 1-0 record and sit at the #3 spot. Fuerza, a rookie team from LA, is #10 with a 0-1 record.

What to watch for:  Fuerza can shoot. GM Abner Rodriguez started Fuerza's rookie campaign by hitting his first 6 shot attempts, finishing with 27 points on 71.4% shooting. Bullets have several guys who can shoot (MVP, Jorge Parrales) but the team's defense is often overlooked because of Bullets' ability to score and get out in transition.

Prediction: If Fuerza gets into a habit of shooting volume 3-pointers, look for Bullets high-flyer, Marcus Eggum to get some of these long balls and produce some much-needed Top 10 highlight dunks.


Empire Elite vs. The Rock
Gold Division
6 p.m.


Empire Elite should be 2-0 but instead, they rank #11 with a 0-2 record. They take on The Rock, a team that if it were last season, would have the same record as Empire Elite. However, The Rock has re-grouped and GM Ben Sin's new additions could have The Rock quietly sitting at the Top 3 by Monday.

What to watch for:  Empire Elite is better than their record and in both losses, they had the lead in the game's closing minutes. The team has talent and depth, but what they're lacking is experience and once the season progresses, they'll figure out how to close games. 

Prediction: What The Rock has in favor over Empire Elite is a coach who manage their minutes from the sidelines. What The Rock has in favor over Empire Elite is a coach who can run plays and defensive schemes to trap their opponents. All Star Kenny Jackson is on the sidelines this season and that means problems for the opposing teams.


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


The Battle of East LA as former 3-time Champions, East LA Dream Team, take on Sophomore team, Try Hards. Try Hards ranks #3 with a 2-0 record while East LA Dream Team ranks #7 with a 1-1 start. If Try Hards come out with the win, the Team Challenge ALS vs. Try Hards match-up could happen a lot sooner than Week 8.

What to watch for:  Both teams like to shoot 3's as stated by Quality Assurance team member, Jonathan Wynn.  Both teams have personnel that can guard the paint but the presence of 2-way players, Manny Morales and Juan Banda favors Try Hards to remain undefeated.

Prediction: East LA Dream Team has guys who can score - Mike Peters and Ever Garcia.  If this turns into a scoring affair, expect another offensive onslaught as MVP Ryan Carter continues to try and break Ken Ubom's season scoring record of 41.3 ppg (8 games).


Death Row vs. LA Riots
Gold Division
8 p.m.


Both teams are competing for their first win as the #10 and the #12 team face off for their first dub of the season.

What to watch for:  LA Riots allowed Ryan Carter to go off for 70 points on Week 2 and this week, GM Jackson Ruiz needs to have the team focus on team defense. Despite the L against Try Hards, LA Riots unveiled a lethal assassin in Wesley Harris who is capable of taking over should LA Riots go on a dry spell.

Prediction: LA Riots is still trying to figure out their identity while Death Row is working through the chemistry issues. Despite the record being similar, it appears Death Row is further along than LA Riots in their rookie campaign.


Beast Tribe vs. Death Row
Gold Division
9 p.m.


Beast Tribe, a team managed by Prentice Harris, makes their debut on Week 3 against a rookie team in Death Row. Death Row is 0-2 and has lost 2 straight to start their rookie campaign. Managed by GM Derrick Andrews, the team is composed of veterans that have won in Superstar Basketball a couple of years ago. Their 0-2 start is a shock and the team is doing a lot of soul searching as of late.

What to watch for:  Will Death Row work out their chemistry issues? Their players have won Championships for different teams but in this team, they have yet to figure out their roles. What if they figure it out against LA Riots only to lose it against Beast Tribe? That would be like the Lakers beating the Rockets then losing against the Pelicans.

Prediction: Normally, a team that plays a double-header will come out strong to start their second game. Expect Death Row to be warm and ready against Beast Tribe only for fatigue to catch up in the 3rd quarter. It's anyone's game in the 4th but expect Beast Tribe to make a statement in their season opener.