2019 WINTER | SEASON 43
By: League Analyst
Foundation vs. Tune Squad
Foundation, regarded as Bronze Division's new #1 team, was off
to a 2-0 start and looked as unstoppable as ever. Tune Squad, a
rookie team composed of players from Bishop Amat, played to
their strengths as Tune Squad ran all over Foundation with a
Tune Squad used a 37-22 run in the 2nd half to put the game away
as Foundation lost for the first time this season. Arellano
finished with a game-high, 26 points and shot 45.5% from the
field, en route to 6 three-pointers. GM Vincent Rodriguez
III scored 16 points and tied a team-high, 3 assists while
Remy Barrancos finished with 6 points, 7 rebounds. Noah
Guzman added 5 points while Tyler Young added 3
points. The team was confident it was turning the corners after
losing their first game of the season against Chicle.
"THIS is the #1 team in the division?" asked a player from the
"We want all the hard teams," said another player, post-game.
Chicle, the new #1 team in Bronze Division standings, were
paying attention to the match-up and former MVP, "Nitro" CJ
Pang, chimed in on their win.
"Great win, but they still lost to Chicle," said Nitro,
Kris Dick finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds while
Adrian Eddington added 9 points, 2 boards. GM Jonathan
Wynn scored 4 points while Asher Avinger added 5
points, 3 rebounds. Although the team attempted 22 free throws,
Foundation, was overwhelmed on both ends of the floor and didn't
follow the game plan presented by the GM.
"The game plan was to slow it down, but they ran with the young
Tune Squad team and you saw what happened," said a stats-keeper.
Fire Squad vs. We Tried
We Tried won their first game of the season on Week 2 and it was
time for celebration as We Tried had players go on vacation.
Fire Squad, a team that has been on vacation since winning their
first Championship, showed up for the first time this season as
We Tried falls to Fire Squad, 98-38.
"We needed this win," said Finals MVP, Brandon Ortiz.
The team improved to 1-2 as Brandon Ortiz went off for 39
points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists. GM Otto Guillermo
finished with a triple double, 20 pts, 21 rebs, 10 assists while
Joshua Romero added 10 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals.
"We gotta do a score check and a stats check on Otto, did he
really get a triple double," asked a player from McDaddy's.
We Tried All Star, Anthony Meltcher, had his worst game
in 2 seasons, finishing with 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists.
Cody Rote, still riding high (not high as in marijuana high,
but high as in life high, you know what I mean, LOL) from his
Week 2 heroics, finished with a team-high 14 points while
Andrew Fonseca added 2 points. Boley Grant, a rookie
for We Tried, finished with 18 points, 9 rebounds on 37.5%
We Tried is on a tough stretch in their schedule. After facing
the Reigning Champions, Fire Squad, they take on 18-1 Chicle.
Relentless vs. Winners Only
Relentless, a team that was relentless for their first win,
played fundamentally sound basketball as they beat Winners Only,
Rookie Center Tony Gonzalez has been the voice of poise
for Team Relentless and on Week 3, Gonzalez continued to impress
with his back to the basket moves and fundamentally sound
footwork. Gonzalez finished with a double-double, 13 points, 11
rebounds and was efficient from the field with a 75% field goal
percentage. GM Ruben Ramirez rounded off the top 3
scorers with 11 points while Chris Plantillas finished
with a team-high, 16 points.
The team had a plan to play hungry as the team had showed up in
the past 2 weeks playing lack-luster basketball. The team
out-rebounded their opponents, 34-24, and shot 40% from the
Winners Only was led by Kevin Costello who finished with
19 points, 6 rebounds and he shot a team-high, 47.1% from the
field. Matt Arellano scored 6 points while GM Isaac
Berliner finished with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists. The
team struggled from 3-point territory, knocking down just 9% of
the shots they attempted. The team vowed to bring in more talent
and should have their full team on Week 4.
Monstars vs. Team Challenge ALS
Baldwin Park team, Monstars, was looking to make a statement
against the league's new #1 team, Team Challenge ALS.
"We played scared, we didn't play to our potential, but we gotta
keep working," said GM Jared Ojeda.
"Would have been a lot closer had your guys showed up early,"
advised a league official.
1 p.m. is a time slot Monstars requested but when it was time to
compete for the #1 spot, Team Challenge ALS proved they are this
season's #1 team. GM Sean Marshall finished with a
game-high, 28 points and led the team with 13 rebounds, 2
assists. BIG GUARD Johnny Dukes led the team with 5
assists, 15 points while Donovan Morris added 15 points,
7 rebounds on 85.7% shooting. An All Star for Sick Pick Ups last
season, Dell Well added 12 points, 4 assists and 3
"They have pro players, and they have basketball minds that
are coaching Colony HS deep into the CIF playoffs," said a
league analyst to Monstars. "You might be watching videos for a
scouting report, but they'll make adjustments so be ready for
Monstars trailed early, 11-1 and was down 51-28 at the half.
Xavier Morelos, former MVP, finished with 12 points, 5
rebounds while Gus Vasquez led Monstars with 14 points, 2
boards. Geoff McTosh made his season debut with 11 points
while Alex Mendiola led the Monstars with 7 assists.
Entourage vs. Prodigy Plug
Entourage GM Joey Cejudo was hell-bent on going down 0-3
so he decided to have Entourage play an early game against
Prodigy Plug. Unfortunately for the All Star, Prodigy Plug
proved they played better in the early games as Prodigy Plug
went off for 60 first half points. Prodigy Plug improved their
record to 1-1 with a 86-76 victory to keep Entourage winless.
Nephi Tofiga couldn't miss as the Fire Squad champion was
on fire from long distance, shooting 6-for-10 from 3-point
territory. Nephi finished with a team-high, 21 points and shot
53.8% overall from the field. Kevin Price and Andy
Macias added 15 points apiece while GM Playoff P
scored 12 points, all from beyond the arch. Prodigy Plug plays
in other leagues and when they play in night games, they seem to
play with a lot of fatigue.
"They might as well play Relics and Team Challenge ALS at 10
a.m.," joked a league referee. "They're like Dr Jekyl and Mr.
Hyde. They're a totally different team when they're rested."
Joey Cejudo had his best game of the season, finishing
with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists. TA Dixon made his
season debut with 16 points, 7 rebounds while Kevin
Levingston added 13 points, 3 rebounds. CJ Cooper,
a rookie guard, led Entourage with 4 assists while Ryan
Miller added 8 points, 4 rebounds.
Stay Up vs. McDaddy's
McDaddy's was confident they can stop Stay Up, a team that
started the season with a win over Winners Only. McDaddy's
offense was in synch but couldn't keep up as Stay Up improved to
2-0 with a 80-59 victory.
When most Bronze Division teams form with a Gold Division All
Star player (Playoff P), history reveals that said All Star is
usually padding their stats in a Bronze Division team or said
Gold All Star is trying to win an easy chip in Bronze Division.
This team has none of that as Playoff P spent most of the
time on the sidelines watching Stay Up remain undefeated.
James Magaway led all scorers with 22 points while Ray
Mercado finished with 6 points. Fonz Salvador added
11 points while Kevin Price logged a double-double with
17 pts, 10 rebs.
McDaddy's had 3 players score in double figures as Arvin
Delapaz finished with 15 points, 4 steals, 2 assists.
Adrian Lecesne, an All Star for IHOB last season, finished
with 12 points, 8 rebs while Center Mike Arceo led all
players with 4 blocks, 9 rebounds and 5 points. Christian
Carrilo scored 8 points while Jerry Tennison made his
debut with 13 points, 6 rebs.
Below The Rim vs. Chicle
Playoff intensity wasn't just in the building but Livestream
viewers noticed a sense of urgency from both teams. Part of the
Quality Assurance team, Jonathan Wynn, was making sure
stats were intact and he saw how good the rookie vs veteran
"That was a really good game, it looked like it was a Playoff
game," said Foundation GM, Jonathan Wynn.
Below The Rim, a rookie team from Compton, led at the half,
39-33, but Chicle improved to 18-1 in their last 19 games using
a 35-26 run in the pivotal 2nd half. Chicle is 3-0 with the #1
seed after beating BTR, 68-65.
Shadon Knight finished with a team-high, 16 points and
was 66.7% from the field after grabbing 5 rebounds. Jay
Tapang was the second leading scorer with 13 while CJ
"Nitro" Tapang, the Player of the Week for Week 2, finished
with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals. The team is smaller than
Below The Rim and was out-rebounded, 32-23. Despite the
discrepancy, Chicle was efficient from the paint, shooting 64.5%
from inside 3-point territory.
"Most teams overlook Chicle because of their size, or they look
old, but they play well together and have had a tough schedule
to start this season," said a league analyst.
Jason Fisk led BTR with 12 points while Caleb Oviedo,
the rookie team's best player all season, struggled with just 11
points, 6 rebounds. For any player, 11 points is good but Caleb
has been scoring 20+ per game and is capable of leading the team
in multiple stat categories. Julius "Tazz" Patin scored 8
points while Tray McNutt added 8 points, 7 rebounds. The
team had a chance to tie the game down the stretch but an
ill-advised drive to the basket led to a turnover giving Below
The Rim their second loss of the season.
Bullets vs. Fuerza
Marcus Eggum is on a tear this season and Bullets may
have their second MVP in 2 seasons. Eggum finished with 30
points on 51.9% shooting as Bullets defeat Fuerza, 87-70.
The team from Boyle Heights combined for 18 dimes as Wilson
Parrales led the way with 5 assists. Wilson grabbed a
team-high, 3 steals and had 7 rebounds, a big deal considering
he's usually a defensive point guard who has overpowering bigs
grabbing these boards. His brother, last season's MVP, was MIA
but Bullets proved they had too much ammo in the chamber as
Rick Gutierrez (19 pts) and Angel Romero (12 pts)
went off. Romero has gone off for 50 points in the past and
shooting 12% from 3-point territory was his lowest shooting
percentage to this point.
"For their best 3-point shooter to shoot 12 percent and to still
win by nearly 20 points means they are stacked with talent,"
said a league analyst. "They might have talent but in Gold, they
won't win. After this season, there is definitely a need for a
Rookie team Fuerza was led by GM Abner Rodriguez who
finished with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Danny
Cortez scored 13 while Chico V added 10 points, 6
rebounds, and 2 steals. Fuerza is having a difficult time
getting their players to come out from LA but the pictures,
stats, and multimedia is getting Fuerza to come out to the
suburbs for these Sunday night games.
"As long as Abner and Chico are coming out this way, they're
almost guaranteed to be on highlight reels," said a league
editor. "They got some Top 10 moves every week."
Empire Elite vs. The Rock
Had The Rock won this match-up, they would have been elevated to
play #1 team, Team Challenge ALS. Instead, The Rock showed they
weren't ready for the marquee match-up as a new and improved
Empire Elite team upset The Rock, 67-59.
Empire Elite scratched the W column for the first time this
season as rookie Center, James Christian, James
Chicago, Bullied his way to 22 points, 6 rebounds en route
to 60% shooting. James, a newcomer to the league, was unfamiliar
with Empire Elite's 0-2 start and that didn't matter as GM AJ
Thomas was hell bent on establishing a winning culture
for his team. Thomas finished with 4 assists, 10 points, while
Rob Walker added 10 points, 2 three-pointers. Rob
Walker aka Bobby Active aka Rob 3-point shooter, has
been consistent from beyond the arch this season. The team shot
33% from 3-point range and Empire Elite nearly shot 50% from the
field opposed to The Rock, a team that struggled by hitting just
31% of their shot attempts.
Chris Ashanti played like he never had an Achilles injury
and he scored a season-high, 28 points, 6 rebounds, 4
three-pointers. D'Angelo McDaniel finished with 14
points, 7 boards while rookie Terrel added 8 points, 16
rebounds, 3 assists. Kassah Kantiok led The Rock with 13
rebounds but struggled from the field matching his body fat
percentage, shooting just 10%, overall. One word for The
Rock - inconsistency.
"One week they look like they're ready to be a Top 3 team, the
following weekend, they play like they shouldn't be Top 8," said
a league analyst. "It's a marathon, but they seem like a team
that will hit peaks and valleys this season."
East LA Dream Team vs. Try Hards
Everyone was asking what MVP Ryan Carter would end up
with. After scoring 70 points, will Ryan follow it up with
another 30 point outing? Would the Rookie of the Season, MVP of
the Season, All Star MVP follow it up with another MVP
It's gotten to the point that when he misses, spectators are
shocked that his shot missed the basket. A brief glance at the
game stats show he shot 58.3% but Ryan has been THAT good and
you expect every shot to go in. He's gone on record to say he's
really a point guard and this scoring binge came out of nowhere.
This week, he kept a low profile and insisted his players prove
a point that this isn't just Ryan Carter and a bunch of guys.
"They keep saying it's Ryan Carter, Ryan Carter, but truth is,
we are a team," said the MVP.
Believe it or not, he's right. GM Rudy Hernandez knows his team
has guys that complement his talents and league analysts have
compared this team to 2008 Lakers, with Ryan playing the Kobe
role. Manny Morales aka Pau Gasol finished with 10
points, 15 rebounds while Shaq Gilbert aka Andrew
Bynum finished with 5 boards. "Brodie" Fernando Ramos,
an All Star last season, is clutch like Fisher but is more Lamar
because of his efficiency, finished with 16 points, 2 steals.
In a game that came down to the wire, Ryan Carter quietly
converted a put-back for the go-ahead bucket as Try Hards
shocked East LA Dream Team with a come from behind victory.
East LA Dream Team led for most of the 2nd half as Matt
Austin returned with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 2 steals.
Khalil Dukes added 16 points, 6 rebounds while Derrick
Tamanaha finished most of his points on fast break
opportunities, en route to 22 points. The team played without
sharp-shooter, Mike Peters, as Ever Garcia spent
most of the time getting his new team-mates involved to the tune
of 6 assists. GM Mario Miramontes needed an easy game
after the loss and requested to play Entourage for Week 4.
Death Row vs. LA Riots
The Double-header Death Row took over the headlines on Week 3
but not to be overlooked was LA Riots' resurgence. A team that
didn't seem to have it altogether, LA Riots has been on fire the
past 2 weeks, notably Wesley Harris who finished with 27
points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals on 52.6% shooting.
If style points were given out, Wesley would be leading the
division in style points alone. His acrobatic fade-aways are
reminiscent of the Mamba and despite the degree of difficulty,
the rookie has been highly efficient from the field.
Monty McKnight finished with 10 points while Art Wash
finished with a double-double, 19 rebounds, and 15 points. GM
Jackson Ruiz added 4 points while Ben Issaih scored
18 points, 8 rebounds. A player from LA Riots was ecstatic with
the team's first win and had this to say after the game.
"We taking over this! We in this now," overheard from the bench.
"Yo, it's just our first win. Quiet down," responded another
Death Row was led by Calvin Mitchell who finished with 18
points, 4 rebounds. Michael Munoz finished with 11 while
Mike Ratliff returned to the league, finishing with 11
points. GM Derrick Andrews added 12 points but was
disappointed with the team's 3rd straight loss.
Beast Tribe vs. Death Row
Would Death Row bounce back from their loss in the previous hour
and get it going against Beast Tribe. The team formerly known as
The Corporation, quickly put the game away with a 34-21 lead
leaving announcer, Kassah Kantiok, in awe at what Beast Tribe
"Their average age is around mid 30's and they're playing like
they're in their late 20's," said Kantiok on the mic. "Do these
guys ever tired?"
Sheldon Pace finished with 23 points, 6 assists while
Trowe scored 9 points in his debut. Jason Harris returned
with 15 points, 4 steals while CJ Johnson added 19
points, 6 rebounds. A week after playing for the Relics, CJ
Johnson decided to leave Relics to start a new journey with
his boys and in his own words, it was like night and day.
"You saw me play one way with the Relics, you saw me play
another way with Beast Tribe," said CJ.
While CJ is on his way out, Justian Hamilton is on his
way into the Relics. Playing his last game with Death Row, the
Renegades All Star finished with 6 points, 2 rebounds while
Mike Ratliff added 14 points. Calvin Mitchell scored
19 points while GM Derrick Andrews scored 5 points. It
was Death Row's last game with this roster before GM Derrick
Andrews and Calvin Mitchell decided to blow up the team,
making way for Gold Division's 14th team.