2019 WINTER | SEASON 43
By: League Analyst
Relentless vs. Fire Squad
Relentless is holding on to the #8 spot with a 1-2 record and
they take on the defending Champions, Fire Squad, a team that is
2-2 and winners of 2 straight.
Player to Watch: Fire Squad's biggest concern in
the off-season was their lack of size. Losing Garrison Deshay
and Nephi Fotiga had the Champions starting the season with a
0-2 record. The Champs have since adjusted but the fundamentals
and size of Relentless Center, Tony Gonzalaez could end
Fire Squad's 2 game winning streak. Gonzalez is averaging 11.3
ppg, 11.0 rpg and should have another double-double if
Relentless feeds him in the paint. Joel Contreras (12.0
ppg) and Chris Plantillas (17.3 ppg, 1.3 apg) are
Relentless' top 3 scorers.
Prediction: Relentless GM Ruben Ramirez
needs to find a way to stop All Star GM, Otto Guillermo.
Otto has been on fire from the field and nearly had another
triple double on Week 4. Otto is averaging 16.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg,
5.3 apg. Brandon Ortiz, Finals MVP is averaging 26.0 ppg,
6.8 rpg while Eric Orache is scoring 11.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg.
Fire Squad has a lot of fire power on offense and it is
Relentless' best interest to slow the game down and control the
tempo. Fire Squad is on fire of late so don't be surprise to see
Fire Squad improve their record to 3-2.
Relentless vs. Bullets
Is Relentless a Playoff Bronze Division team? The Top 8 in
Bronze make the Playoffs and if Relentless makes the
post-season, this should be a preview on what it feels like to
be in the postseason. Will the rookie team sweep their
back-to-back double-header? GM Ruben Ramirez requested
for the back-to-back and you know what they say, be careful what
you wish for.
Player to Watch: Relentless will have a tough first
game as they take on Fire Squad, a team that shoots a lot of
3-pointers and Brandon Ortiz is virtually unstoppable.
Bullets feature 2 players who play like Brandon Ortiz as
Marcus Eggum (22.0 ppg, 2.0 apg) and Rick Gutierrez
(18.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg) feature Bullets high octane offense. Eggum
has been a walking highlight reel so look for him to feature a
Relentless rookie on his poster on Week 5.
Prediction: Bullets have too many weapons - they
have point guard Wilson Parrales (8.3 ppg, 1.7 spg)
controlling the tempo and they have Angel Romero (12.7
ppg, 7.0 rpg) that can shoot the lights out. Bullets GM
Daniel Donato is out for a couple of weeks so he should be
on the sidelines giving Bullets instructions. Relentless should
still make the Playoffs but against 2 of the top teams in Bronze
Division in a back-to-back scenario, Relentless will be 0-2 on
Foundation vs. McDaddy's
Both teams have struggled with (2-2) Foundation losing 2
straight. The Free Agent team, McDaddy's, have lost 3 straight
and on the bright side, one of these teams will enter the
League-wide bye with a win.
Player to Watch: McDaddy's have players who can put
up numbers in last season's All Star, Adrian Lecesne
(14.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and Arvin Delapaz (13.0 ppg, 4.0 spg).
What McDaddy's is lacking is a true point guard who can involve
everyone on offense and so far, Christian Carrillo has
been that dude. Carrillo not only makes the extra pass but has
had several chase down blocks this season and he has been
impressive on the defensive end.
Prediction: It wouldn't be a surprise if McDaddy's
shock Foundation but experience and team chemistry are leaning
towards the former Champions. Foundation needs to crowd the
paint and have McDaddy's participate in a 3-point shooting
contest, an area where they were atrocious on Week 4. Foundation
has four players scoring in double figures as Uzoma Kalu
(13.7 ppg) and Kris Dick (15.7 ppg, 12.7 rpg) lead the
way. If Foundation loses against the rookie team, it will be
because McDaddy's fast break opportunities, an area where
Foundation has been slow to get back this season. GM Jonathan
Wynn needs to emphasize defense especially against the
younger teams in Bronze Division.
Bullets vs. Stay Up
Is (2-1) Stay Up a Playoff team? The team suffered their first L
of the season against Below The Rim and the team will be put to
the test after losing to Below The Rim last weekend. A tough
double-header against Bullets and Tune Squad could see Stay Up
fall to 2-3, barely hanging on to a Playoff spot.
Player to Watch: Bullets, along with Chicle and
Fire Squad, have been the best Bronze Division teams these past
2 seasons. Put them in Gold and they won't win more than 2
games. Stay Up have 3 players who do play in Gold Division with
players Andy Macias, Playoff P (7.7 ppg) and Kevin
Price (18.7 ppg) all playing for Prodigy Plug. While the
trio could be a factor in this match-up, they have a Gold
Division match-up with the Relics, a team they would rather
Prediction: Bullets is playing the second set of a
double-header while Stay Up is playing their first game of a
back-to-back. Both benches are deep and despite Stay Up listed
as a rookie team, their team chemistry is visible on the court.
Bullets are older and recovering from injuries and last we
checked, they didn't fare well in a double-header, especially
with double-headers where they have to sit out for 1 hour
*cough, Fire Squad, cough*. Marcus Eggum (22.0 ppg, 3.0
rpg) and Rick Gutierrez (18.7 ppg) should have big games
but the aging Bullets roster makes the Boyle Heights team
vulnerable to losing their first game of the season.
Tune Squad vs. Stay Up
A Triple-Header Tune Squad Weekend headlines Week 3 as Tune
Squad takes on Stay Up, Below The Rim and Chicle. Their
match-ups feature 3 different styles of play and Tune Squad's
game management will be put to the test.
Player to Watch: Tune Squad is the youngest team in
Bronze Division and the Bishop Amat alumni should get through
this triple-header with no problems. GM Vincent Rodriguez III
is averaging 16.7 ppg, 4.3 apg while Arellano is averaging a
team-high, 21.0 ppg, 1.3 apg. Remy Barrancos is averaging
8.0 ppg while Daniel Perez is averaging 6.0 ppg.
Prediction: After sitting out 2 weeks in a row,
Tune Squad is unleashing the beast in this triple header. They
debut their team jerseys and will play with extra motivation.
Expect the team to show up early to scout Stay Up and Tune Squad
should finish the weekend with a 2-1 record.
Below The Rim vs. Tune Squad
(2-2) Below The Rim is looking for their first winning streak as
they take on Bishop HS alumni team, Tune Squad. After opening
the season with a loss against Chicle, Tune Squad has now won 2
Player to Watch:
Caleb Oviedo suffered a leg injury on Week 4 and could be
out on Week 5 against Tune Squad. Caleb is averaging a
team-high, 15.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg. If Caleb is unavailable,
look for Julius Patin (9.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and Tray McNutt
(6.0 ppg) to carry the scoring load. GM Darryl Alexander
leads the team with 2.5 apg while Lupe Pena is averaging 6.0 ppg.
Prediction: Tune Squad is young and playing a
triple-header will be a huge test to the division's fastest
team. History suggests that a team playing a double-header
usually starts off fast in their second game. Fatigue usually
affects the team in the second half so look for Below The Rim to
rally in the 2nd half. Tune Squad is faster and more efficient
from the field, so look for Tune Squad to go 2-0 in their first
2 games on Week 5.
Chicle vs. Tune Squad
Tune Squad's Triple Header on Week 5 ends against Chicle, a team
the lost to in their season opener. Will Tune Squad beat the
Final Boss? Chicle, looking to make it 20-1, should run the
floor against one of the division's fastest teams in Tune Squad.
Player to Watch: Chicle defeated Tune Squad, 48-47,
in their first meeting as Vincent Rodriguez and
Arellano led Tune Squad with 18 and 19 points, respectively.
Since then, Tune Squad had had players contribute in the scoring
column and if Tune Squad can find a balanced scoring attack,
they could sweep this weekend with 3 straight wins.
Prediction: Chicle is averaging 74 ppg as Jay
Tapang (15.5 ppg) and Danny Villalobos (16.3 ppg)
lead the team in scoring. CJ "Nitro" Pang is focused on
getting his teammates involved and he is averaging a team-high,
4.3 apg. GM Chris Duran's emphasis on team play should
give the former Champions their 5th win of the season.
LA Riots vs. The Rock
Can LA Riots climb out of the cellar? The 1-3 team from LA take
on The Rock, a team that had their biggest W of the season
against Monstars on Week 4.
Player to Watch: Wesley Harris has been on
fire for LA Riots and the rookie scorer is averaging 31.7 ppg,
6.3 rpg. Wesley leads the team with 19 three-pointers and LA
Riots is averaging 37.4% from 3-point range. Chris Sav is
averaging 6.8 ppg while GM Jackson Ruiz is averaging 6.3
ppg. Wesley leads the league in style points so look for his
acrobatic fadeaways to out-shine The Rock's new uniforms.
Prediction: Both teams are as unpredictable as they
get. LA Riots have the talent to compete but their lack of team
chemistry and experience playing together has them at the #11
spot. Meanwhile, The Rock loses to teams they should beat but
beats team when they only have 6 players suited up. Chris
Ashanti has been the team's best scorer but guys like Ed
Principe and Terrell have stepped up for The Rock when they
Prediction...The Rock will win, based on the fact that their new
jerseys are fire and they're going to play with a lot of
Relics vs. Prodigy Plug
The Reigning 20x Champions are on fire despite re-tooling their
roster and adding new players. The 3-0 team takes on Prodigy
Plug (2-1), a team that has won their last 2.
Player to Watch: Relics have a wide array of
players who can score (Cisco Acevedo, 9.8 ppg and
Roderick Evans Taylor, 26 ppg) and play defense (Yayo
Yaisreal, 8.5 ppg, 13.5 ppg and DJ McGee, 5.5 rpg,
1.0 bpg) but the key to making it all work is management. So
far, GM James Acevedo and Bobby Kovach have been
on the sidelines and the players are happy as long as the team
is winning. If and when the team suffers their first loss...
Prediction: Relics have too much fire power and
Prodigy Plug players will be fatigued. Prodigy seems to play
their best in the early games but with weary legs come shaky
performances. The team must rely on Marcus Carter (20.0
ppg, 10 rpg) and Nephi Tofiga (13.5 ppg) with Isaiah
Watson (27 ppg) expected to sit this one out. Playoff P (12
ppg) has had his best games against Relics in the Playoffs but
in this Week 5 Regular Season match-up, expect Paul to give his
guys the majority of the minutes.
Team Challenge ALS vs. Try Hards
It's the league's best team facing on the league's best player
as #1 team, Team Challenge ALS take on Try Hards. Both teams are
undefeated with a 4-0 record as Team Challenge ALS and Try Hards
sit at the #1 and #2 spot.
Player to Watch: League analysts have said this
before and they will say it again - Ryan Carter isn't the
only player playing for Try Hards. Despite averaging a
league-best, 48.8 ppg, Ryan is surrounded by players who
compliment his playing style. The Reigning MVP has had players
like Fernando "Brodie" Ramos (11.5 ppg), Juan Banda
(7.7 ppg) and Manny Morales (4.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg) step up in
the team's 4 game winning streak. Last week, the team's smallest
player, Raul Rodriguez (3.7 ppg) made the game's biggest
shots. Who will step up on Week 5?
Prediction: Team Challenge ALS has been winning
games on an average of 20 plus points. GM Sean Marshall is
averaging a team-high, 29 ppg, 2.5 apg while Donovan Morris
is averaging 13.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg. Center Johnny Dukes,
likely to be out, is scoring 10.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg.
Beast Tribe vs. Baseline All Stars
Both Beast Tribe and Baseline All Stars were late to start
Season 43. Can Beast Tribe, winners of 2 straight, sweep their
double-header? They take on Baseline All Stars, a team that
started their season on Week 4 with a loss against Team
Player to Watch: Jules Barron had an
impressive debut with Baseline All Stars on Week 4 scoring 24
points on 55% shooting. Jules will more than likely match-up
with Beast Tribe's best post defender, Jason Harris. GM
Calvin Mitchell and Julian McDonald both scored 15
and 7 points respectively and both played freely in comparison
to their tenure with Death Row.
Prediction: Beast Tribe won't go 0-2 and in a worst
case scenario, they'll drop one of their double-header games.
Killmonger is a likely win considering Killmonger does not have
the personnel to stop Beast Tribe. League analysts predict Beast
Tribe won't be losing until they face Relics or Team Challenge
Beast Tribe vs. Killmonger
Killmonger has lost 2 straight after starting the season out
with a win. The 1-2 team from Chino take on Beast Tribe, winners
of 2 straight.
Player to Watch: The two guys with the most
impressive physique face off as Killmonger's Sean Harris
(14.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg) take on Beast Tribe's CJ Johnson
(13.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg). Both guys are playing in their late 30's
and are in better shape than most of the players in the league.
Prediction: Killmonger is supposed to be re-tooling
their roster and the reinforcements should be playing for the
Chino based team. Unfortunately, the same was said last week and
the result was a 1-sided affair in favor of Try Hards. Johnny
Blaze (27.5 ppg) and Shad Earby (23.0 ppg) will have
a lot of pressure as Beast Tribe's offense relies heavily on
their ability to play defense.
Empire Elite vs. East LA Dream Team
East LA Dream Team is 2-2 and sits #8 in the rankings. They take
on Empire Elite, a team that is 1-3 and ranks #10 in the
Player to Watch: Empire Elite could easily be 3-1
with their 1-sided loss coming from Beast Tribe, a team that
pressed them on Week 4. Empire Elite is gelling as James
Chicago (17.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and Kevin Swink (12.5 ppg)
have contributed to the rookie team in recent weeks. GM AJ
Thomas is at his best as a scoring guard but he's been setting
the table for his teammates as he averages a team-high, 3.8 apg.
Rob Walker needs to shoot more and he is averaging 9.0
ppg while shooting 36% from 3-point range.
Prediction: East LA Dream Team scores on plenty of
fast break opportunities and Empire Elite needs to be aware of
their transition offense. Last season's All Star, Derrick
Tamanaha, is averaging 15.5 ppg while Ever Garcia
leads the former Champions with 5.0 apg, 15.5 ppg. Matt
Austin has been tearing up the stats sheet and he is scoring
23.5 ppg in 2 games upon his return.