2019 WINTER  |  SEASON 43
WEEK 4
 

By: League Analyst
Contributing Writer

 

Bullets vs. Foundation
BRONZE DIVISION
10 a.m.

 

Undefeated Bullets team is 2-0 and the team from Boyle Heights is hoping to make it 3 straight. They take on Foundation, a team that suffered their first loss against Tune Squad last week.

Bullets is led by Marcus Eggum who is averaging a team-hig, 22.5 ppg. Reigning MVP, Jorge Parrales, is out with an injury (ankle) and he is averaging 16.0 ppg. Angel Romero had his worst game last weekend and he is averaging 10.5 ppg on 29.6% shooting. Point guard Wilson Parrales is averaging a team-high, 6.0 apg, 2.5 spg while Rick Gutierrez is averaging 14.0 ppg. The team is slower than Tune Squad and plays at the same pace as Chicle and Below The Rim. Foundation matches up well but the key to this match-up is rebounding.

Foundation is averaging 39.3 rpg whereas Bullets is averaging 36.0 rpg. Bullets have a tendency to score easily on the break whereas Foundation is working on their chemistry. The team is 2-1 and is led by Center Kris Dick who is averaging 17.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg. GM Jonathan Wynn is scoring 4.3 ppg while Uzoma Kalu is averaging 13.0 ppg.

Pick to Win:  Foundation has a lot of weapons this season, but Bullets have had their weapons for 2 seasons now. They are virtually the same team but experience playing together favors Bullets. Look for Foundation to lose their 2nd straight game.

 

McDaddy's vs. Fire Squad
BRONZE DIVISION
11 a.m.

 

Can McDaddy's stop the 2 game losing skid? They take on the Reigning Champions, Fire Squad, a team that is 1-2 and currently ranks in 6th place.

Brandon Ortiz, last season's Finals MVP, is averaging 27.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg while GM Otto Guillermo is scoring 14.3 ppg, 11.0 rpg. The All Star tandem joined forces with Gold Division All Star, Andrew Martinez, who is averaging 8.0 ppg, 3.7 apg. The trio is most effective as scorers and this season, Fire Squad is averaging 69.3 ppg. Eric Orache rounds off the team's top 3 scorers and he is averaging 11.0 ppg while Joshua Romero is scoring 5.0 ppg.

McDaddy's is 1-2 and have the size to dominate the glass against Fire Squad (Mike Arceo - 7.7 ppg and CJ Collins - 2.7 ppg). They have the speed to run with their opponents (13.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, Arvin Delapaz (13.0 ppg) but lack the chemistry and experience to give Fire Squad their 3rd loss of the season.

Pick to Win:  Fire Squad found their rhythm last week against We Tried so look for the Champs to build on that momentum. McDaddy's have the individual talent but as a team, it's going to take some time to develop chemistry.

 

 

Death Row vs. Prodigy Plug
GOLD DIVISION
12 p.m.

 

After blowing up the whole team, has Derrick Andrews done enough for Death Row to win their first game of the season? They take on Prodigy Plug, a team that couldn't miss on Week 3.

Derrick Andrews is averaging 13.0 ppg while Center Maintain is averaging 10.7 ppg. The rest of the team is unknown at this time as Death Row had to start over after blowing up their whole roster.

Isaiah Watson is averaging 27.0 ppg on 61.1% shooting while Nephi Fotiga is scoring 13.5 ppg on 50% shooting. Nephi couldn't miss last weekend and he has 8 three-pointers on 53.3% shooting. Garrison Shay is averaging 4.5 ppg while Kevin Price is averaging 15.0 ppg.

Pick to Win:  Death Row. Team morale should be high for Death Row a week after blowing up the team roster.

 

Monstars vs. The Rock
GOLD DIVISION
1 p.m.

 

The Rock started their season with a win but consistency is in question after the team lost to Empire Elite on Week 3. Chris Ashanti is playing as if he never underwent surgery and he is averaging 25.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg. D'Angelo McDaniel is scoring 8.0 ppg while Terrel is averaging 14.0 ppg. Historically, the team plays well late in the season but with the amount of talent in the league this season, The Rock simply cannot go down early in the season.

Andrew Martinez, an All Star for Monstars last season, is averaging 14.3 ppg on 48.5% shooting. Gus Vasquez is averaging 11.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg while Alex Mendiola is scoring 9.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg. GM Jared Ojeda is averaging 7.7 ppg while newcomer, Geoff McTosh made his season debut with 11 points last week.

Pick to Win:  Both teams suffered losses on Week 3. Monstars' team morale is riding high considering they took an L from the league's #1 team. Look for Monstars to be unbothered by their first L of the season.

 

Below The Rim vs. Stay Up
BRONZE DIVISION DIVISION
2 p.m.

 

Despite a 1-2 start, Below The Rim is better than their record and it wouldn't be considered an upset, should they give Stay Up their first loss of the season. If they play with a sense of urgency and play with playoff intensity, Stay Up could be looking at their first L of the season.

Stay Up is 2-0 as Kevin Price leads the team in scoring with 20 ppg, 9.0 rpg. Price is shooting 88.9% from the field and Stay Up is shooting exceptionally well, shooting 46.7% from the floor. Fonz Salvador is averaging 9.5 ppg while Jake is averaging 9.0 ppg. GM Tyler Su is rather worried about how the team well perform considering some players will be coming back from Vegas on Sunday morning.

Below The Rim is led by rookie forward, Caleb Oviedo, and he is averaging 18.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg. Jason Fisk is scoring 10.0 ppg while GM Darryl Alexander is scoring 4.3 ppg. The team doesn't shoot well from beyond the arch (28.2%) but inside the perimeter, they are shooting 55.2%. The team has lost to 2 of the best teams in Bronze Division including Bullets and Chicle and this could determine whether Stay Up is a top contender or not.

Pick to Win:  Is Stay Up really a top team in Bronze? Will Below The Rim get back on the W column? Below The Rim has impressed their peers despite the 1-2 start but look for them to even their record to 2-2.

 

Chicle vs. We Tried
BRONZE DIVISION
3 p.m.

 

Why is an 18-1 team facing We Tried, a team that is 1-2 and ranks 10 in the division? Chicle, the #1 team will be missing half their roster and GM Chris Duran could be playing all game which means... "Let's shoot nothing but 3-pointers, today!"

Chicle has had a tough schedule to start the season and a break from facing the top teams is needed for the former Champions. Shadon Knight is averaging 14.0 ppg while Jay Tapang is scoring 13.3 ppg, 1.0 spg. CJ "Nitro" Pang is averaging 10.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg while Damien Reyes is scoring 8.7 ppg. The addition of Shadon in the off-season has the players adjusting to their new roles but Chicle remains undefeated and personal stats don't seem to matter.

Three players are averaging double-digits in scoring as Boley Grant leads We Tried in scoring with 11.3 ppg. GM Anthony Meltcher is averaging 10.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg while Cody Rote is scoring 10.0 ppg, 1.7 apg. Carlos Nava leads the team with 2.3 apg while Johnny Truong is averaging 6.0 ppg.

Pick to Win:  Look for both teams to pad their stats in this care-free match-up between Chicle and We Tried. If We Tried hangs around until 4th quarter, they could shock the league with the biggest upset in Bronze Division. Chicle is 18-1 and to lose against We Tried would be unforgivable for GM Chris Duran.

 

Fuerza vs. Winners Only
BRONZE DIVISION DIVISION
4 p.m.

 

Both teams are 0-2 to start their rookie season. Fuerza, a team from LA, is managed by GM Abner Rodriguez, and he leads the team in scoring with 23.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg. He is shooting well from beyond the arch (45%) and overall, Fuerza is shooting 37.5% from 3-point range. Chico V. is averaging 10 ppg, 2.0 apg while Geo Bonilla is scoring 16.0 ppg. The team is averaging 12 three's per contest and with 24 out of 68 points coming from 3-point range, expect Fuerza to go off from 3-point range against Winners Only.

Kevin Costello made his season debut last week and he is averaging 19.0 ppg. GM Isaac Berliner is averaging 5.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg while Tommie R is scoring 6.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg. The team from IE is expected to bring more players before the deadline and GM Isaac Berliner has gone on record to say his team will be at full strength this weekend.

Pick to Win:  Relentless showed how you could beat Winners Only and that's by defense and playing in the post. Fuerza is a 3-point shooting team and won't have the personnel to beat Winners Only.

 

LA Riots vs. Relics
GOLD DIVISION
5 p.m.

 

LA Riots won their first game on Week 3 and improved their season record to 1-2. They take on 20x Champions, Relics, a team that had a bye on Week 3.

Wesley Harris has been on a tear in his rookie season averaging 31.5 ppg on 52.2% shooting. The rookie is averaging 3.5 apg, 5.5 rpg and 1.5 spg. GM Jackson Ruiz is averaging 5.3 ppg while Chris Sav is scoring 8.0 ppg. After releasing Center DJ (22.0 ppg) in their season opener, LA Riots are 1-1 and has been climbing up the ranks behind Wesley Harris.

Relic are 2-0 as Roderick Evans-Taylor leads the team in scoring with 26.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg. The Reigning Finals MVP is averaging 1.5 spg, 5.5 apg while Hall of Famer, Terrence Martin, leads the team with 7.0 apg. Cisco Acevedo, considered the GOAT in Superstar, is averaging 15.0 ppg while Hall of Famer Andrew Knox has found the fountain of youth, averaging 8.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg.

Pick to Win:  Difficult to pick against the Reigning Champions but LA Riots does not have the experience to match the 20x Champions, Relics. Despite being Defending Champions, Relics have virtually a new roster is considered to be doing too much with their team. Vulnerable to upsets, Relics could lose to a rookie team, but not against LA Riots.

 

Baseline All Stars vs. Team Challenge ALS
GOLD DIVISION
6 p.m.

 

How will Baseline All Stars look in their season opener? GM Calvin Mitchell has been adding several pieces from Death Row to the roster including Michael Munoz, Mike Ratliff and Julian McDonald. They will have to quickly mesh on their new team as they take on the #1 team, Team Challenge ALS.

 

Sean Marshall, a leading MVP candidate, is averaging 28.7 ppg, 13.0 rpg, 3.0 apg. He leads the team with 13 three-pointers and he is shooting 46.4% from the field. Point guard Donovan Morris is averaging 14.7 ppg, 4.7 apg while BIG GUARD Johnny Dukes is averaging 14.0 ppg, 6.0 apg. Team Challenge ALS is blowing teams out by an average of 25+ points per game and is averaging 98.0 ppg on 56.7% shooting.

Pick to Win:  Team Challenge ALS has too much momentum against the former Champions, Baseline All Stars.

 

Entourage vs. East LA Dream Team
GOLD DIVISION
7 p.m.

 

Entourage is 0-3 and looking for their first win under All Star GM, Joey Cejudo. Despite the 0-3 start, the team is improving but their lack of urgency early in the contests have prevented them from winning tightly contested match-ups. If they play as if they were down by 20 to start the game, they would be playing defense early, instead of waiting until the 4th quarter.  Joey is averaging 11.3 ppg while CJ Cooper is scoring 19.0 ppg. Bishop Mency is scoring 12.3 ppg while TA Dixon is averaging 11.5 ppg. From now until the end of the season, stats-keepers won't keep track of Entourage's stats.

 

"We'll let them know we won't take their stats, that way, they could play for each other and not worry about their personal stats," advised a stats-keeper. "On top of putting 20 points for the other team on the scoreboard, we will also tell them their playing for W's, not for their personal stats."

 

This approach has worked for East LA Dream Team, a team that has won it all 3 times in Superstar Basketball. Any of their guys are capable of averaging 20 plus points for other teams but they're putting up numbers based on team needs. Ever Garcia, a former Finals MVP, is averaging 13.0 ppg while Derrick Tamanaha is averaging 15.0 ppg. Matt Austin made his season debut last weekend and he is averaging 30 ppg.

Pick to Win:  Upset City. East LA Dream Team lost the game in the closing seconds against Try Hards. If East LA Dream Team can't get over that loss, Entourage should get their first victory of the season.

 

Killmonger vs. Try Hards
GOLD DIVISION
8 p.m.

Killmonger is 1-1 and after a bye week on Week 3, they take on a surging Try Hards team, one of a few teams that have remained virtually the same from last season.

Ryan Carter, on his way to breaking Ken Ubom's 41.3 ppg, is averaging 45.7 ppg on 60.9% shooting. Ryan continues to add to his accolades and the Reigning MVP is surrounded by talent that complements his skill set. While most of the league considers Ryan a 1-man team, Try Hards have proven they are players that can step up in critical situations as All Star Fernando Ramos averages 13.3 ppg on 36.8% shooting. Juan Banda is scoring 7.7 ppg while Manny Morales is averaging 6.0 rpg, 4.7 ppg.

Killmonger is led by Johnny Blaze who is averaging 27.5 ppg on 38% shooting. The All Star was named Player of the Week on Week 1 and he leads the team with 5.0 apg and 8 three-pointers. Former MVP, Sean Harris is averaging 17.0 ppg while Jay Benjamin is scoring 12.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg. GM Steven Ancheta has gone on record to say his team will be adding some pro players later in the season and many are wondering if this week would be the unveiling of his new roster.

Pick to Win:  Try Hards are rolling and those wins have come from all situations - 1-sided wins, comeback wins, 70-point performances from their MVP! With experience and a developing winning pedigree, Try Hards should keep that momentum going.

 

Beast Tribe vs. Empire Elite
GOLD DIVISION
9 p.m.

 

Both teams have plenty of momentum as 1-0 Beast Tribe takes on 1-2 Empire Elite. A week after leaving Relics to reunite with his former team-mates (formerly The Corporation), CJ Johnson (Beast Tribe) aims to prove he's better off than playing for the 20x Champions, Relics. 

CJ is averaging 23 ppg, 4.0 rpg and leads the team with 6.0 apg. Jason Harris is averaging 15.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg while GM Prentice Harris is averaging 14.0 ppg. They started the season with a huge win over Death Row and that loss was monumental considering Beast Tribe put Death Row on its deathbed as GM Derrick Andrews decided to blow up the roster after that loss.

Will Empire Elite blow up their roster should they lose against Beast Tribe? The team may have quietly done that already considering several players haven't been back after a 0-2 start. GM AJ Thomas is averaging 9.0 ppg, 4.7 apg while Rob Walker is scoring 11.0 ppg, 1.0 apg. James Chicago made his season debut last weekend and he started his rookie campaign with 22 pts, 6 rebs on 60% shooting. The team could easily be 3-0 but their ability to close out wasn't there in their first 2 contests.

Pick to Win:  Both teams have plenty of momentum going but Empire Elite could give Beast Tribe their first L of the season.