2018 WINTER  |  SEASON 40

By: League Analyst
Contributing Writer


Chicle (2-1) vs. Elements (0-2)
1 p.m.


Cookies. Jay Tapang was everywhere with 7 steals last weekend.

After suffering their first loss of the season, Chicle bounced back with a win against Undisputed Era on Week 3. They take on Elements, a team looking for their first W of the season.

Jay Tapang was named Player of the Week for Week 3 after grabbing 7 steals on Week 3 against Undisputed Era. Tapang is averaging a league-high, 4.7 spg and has 14 steals for the season. Tapang is averaging 14.7 ppg, 2.7 apg while Louie Venegas is averaging 10.7 ppg, 2.0 apg. The team is shooting 57.4% from the field but just 22% from beyond the arch. Look for that field goal percentage to skyrocket against Elements, a team playing without a reliable Center.

Luke Montilla is averaging 7.0 ppg while James Bernardo is averaging 2.5 spg, 3.5 apg. Jeremiah Ward was unavailable on Week 2 (20 ppg) and his presence is key if Elements want to avoid a 3 game losing streak. They're in love with the 3-ball and shooting just 15.6% from beyond the arch. What Elements needs to do is read the defense and look for holes on the defense. Watching game tape for Weekly highlights, Superstar Basketball editors saw the same thing, over and over again.

"Rather than shooting the wide open shot, they drive in and shoot contested shots that look good for highlights, but why would you want to shoot a low percentage shot," asked an editor. "Watching game tape is important, especially for Elements, a team that's trying to figure their game strategies."

Pick to Win:  Chicle is playing without one of their best players (CJ Pang) while Elements is playing without their point guard, James Bernardo. Chicle's ball movement is superior, averaging 11.0 apg for the season. Chicle, by double digits.



n W o (2-2) vs. Reckless (1-2)
2 p.m.


Luis Soriano is averaging 11 ppg and has 6 three-pointers on 50% shooting for Reckless.

n W o suffered their second loss of the season last week against Ball Broz. They take on Reckless, a team that won their first game against Elements on Week 3.

The addition of height and young legs didn't translate into an immediate win and the team knows it will take time to make adjustments. Their veteran players have carried the former Champions as Mark Mercado leads the way with 16 ppg, 1.8 spg. Mercado has been money from the baseline and his shooting has been superb down the stretch. When he's not hitting mid-range jumpers, he's looking for Jerry Tennison who's averaging 7.0 ppg on 33.3% shooting. Lalo Arroyo and Mercado have assumed leadership roles and their biggest challenge is giving everyone playing time while keeping the team motivated.

Reckless runs a 12-man roster and many of their players are picking their spots on the floor. Conditioning has been their main priority and so far, Steven Castanieto leads the team with 12.7 ppg, 2.3 apg. Luis Montes is averaging 11.0 ppg while David Guerrero is scoring 9.0 ppg. Their starters are solid but the bench needs to develop in order to remain competitive with the rest of he upper echelon teams. The Serpas Brothers are averaging a combined 14 ppg, 13 rpg.

Pick to Win:  Reckless made quick work of Elements on Week 3 but the match-up is tougher against an experienced nWo roster. This should come down to the wire, look for nWo to avoid their first losing streak of the season.



Killmonger (2-1) vs. Ball Broz (3-1)
2 p.m.


Killmonger is trying to bounce back after suffering their first loss of the season last week.

Game of the Week.

Killmonger was on a 2 game winning streak and their peers took notice of their fast start.

East LA Dream Team put an end to the hype machine and this week, Ball Broz is looking to add another dent to their record. Will Killmonger suffer 2 straight losses? Can Killmonger stop the league's best player in Mike Peters?

Ball Broz is off to a 3-1 start thanks to Mike Peters who is averaging 24.8 ppg, 2.5 spg, 2.5 apg and a league-high, 19 three-pointers on 46.3% shooting.

His teammates are putting up solid numbers as well with Robert Morgan averaging 13.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg and Adrian Anaya scoring 5.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg. Their new big, Steve Carpenter, is averaging 9.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg. GM Gabe Rodriguez (knee injury) is out and this gives plenty of opportunities to other players willing to step up.

If Ball Broz is going to lose, they need to let the other players beat them. When Mike is going, Ball Broz usually wins so it's up to Killmonger's defense to stop their losing streak. Will they double up? Will they play zone but have a man covering Mike at all times? GM Steven Ancheta is well aware of Peters and has a jersey waiting for him next season, when they move up to Gold Division.

"When we move up to Gold next season and Ball Broz is in Bronze, aka Ball Bronze, we'll have a jersey waiting for Mike Peters," joked GM Steven Ancheta.

Jordan Salley is averaging a team-high, 18.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg while Dion Hudson is averaging 11.7 ppg, 1.3 spg. Uzoma Kalu is scoring 14.3 ppg, 4.0 apg while GM Steven Ancheta is scoring 8.3 ppg. In their fast 2-0 start, the team was running and their offense was free flowing. They need to come out with something to prove and not come out flat-footed like they did against East LA Dream Team.

Pick to Win:  Ball Broz has been eyeing this match-up since Week 2 and if Ball Broz comes out hungry like they did on Week 3 against nWo, it could be Killmonger's first losing streak of the season.