2018 WINTER  |  SEASON 40

By: League Analyst
Contributing Writer


Chicle (3-2) vs. Reckless (1-4)
12 p.m.


Margin of error for Reckless guards is slim, considering Steven Castanieto and Luis Montes aren't getting any help in the backcourt.

Reckless have lost 2 in a row and the frustration from the bench can be heard. Can Reckless stop the slippage against Chicle, a team trying to avoid a 2 game losing streak themselves?

Chicle's close loss against defending Champions, East LA Dream Team, should have the rookie team coming into this match-up with confidence. The team defeated #2 Ball Broz on Week 1 and Chicle owns the tie break against Ball Broz. A win against Reckless and a Ball Broz loss against East LA Dream Team should give Chicle a #2 ranking as the season winds down to Week 7.

Why the emphasis on rankings? Because anything can happen in the Playoffs. Match-ups play a huge role in upsets and it's rare for teams with perfect records to actually win the Championships. Don't be surprised if teams in the bottom half are positioning themselves for match-ups because the veterans know, anything can happen in the Playoffs.

Former Champions, Reckless, are led by Luis Montes who is averaging 12.6 ppg on 47.8% shooting. David Guerrero is averaging 9.3 ppg while GM Noel Serpas is scoring 9.8 ppg. If Reckless is going to make a serious run in the Playoffs, Reckless needs to have their 2 best guards in Luis Montes and Steven Castanieto (12.0 ppg) setting the tempo. The team has the size and the depth to put as many big guys in but Luis and Steven are the only guards capable of scoring for Reckless.

Size may be a huge advantage for Reckless but Chicle is undeniably quick and their tenacity on defense produces 10.8 spg. Jay Tapang (Player of the Week) leads the league with 4.0 spg and he is averaging a team-high, 15.2 ppg. CJ Pang (14.7 ppg) is averaging 3.0 apg and a team-high, 9.7 rpg while GM Chris Duran is scoring 5.6 ppg. The team is averaging 13.0 ppg but shooting just 27.2% from 3-point territory (ranks 6th out of 8).

Pick to Win:  Chicle wants that #2 spot...



Killmonger (2-2) vs. Undisputed Era (2-3)
1 p.m.


Jonathan Spaniol is a game-changer for Undisputed Era. Can he improve conditioning to make an impact late in the season?

Killmonger could see their losing streak continue to 3 as the team with the most injuries make a return after losing 2 straight. Undisputed Era snapped their winless streak last week thanks to the return of Jonathan Spaniol who is averaging 15.0 ppg, 14.0 rpg in his return. It's 2 straight wins vs 2 straight losses as Killmonger take on Undsiputed Era on Week 6.

Most of Undisputed Era's players are familiar with Killmonger GM, Steven Ancheta as Jason Rico leads UE with 20.3 ppg, 1.5 spg. Uzoma Kalu played with UE once this season and he knows first hand how to beat his former teammates. Herman Pech is averaging 14.3 ppg, 12.3 rpg while GM Erick Maldonado is scoring 5.8 ppg. Their biggest weakness is stamina and UE was surprisingly slow in their 2 game winning streak. GM Erick Maldonado needs to make sure his bench shows up or it could be another slow game with players dying to sub out.

Uzoma Kalu leads Killmonger with 17.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg while GM Steven Ancheta is scoring 6.3 ppg. Dion Hudson had a fast start early in the season but the team will need to find a way to replace his 13.5 ppg in scoring as he requires 4 months of recovery after suffering an Achilles injury. Jordan Salley is averaging a double-double, 10.7 rpg, 14.7 ppg but his conditioning has been a concern especially after suffering a late injury on Week 4. With health being an issue, the team must venture forth to Wakanda and find more vibranium... -_-

Pick to Win:  Real talk, Killmonger is gonna light up when they see Spaniol and they would want to get the W over the former referee. Then they'll be tired in their double-header, a winless team they'll take ever so lightly.




Elements (0-4) vs. Killmonger (2-2)
2 p.m.


How likely is this upset for Elements against Killmonger? Very likely!

Killmonger is going to destroy Elements, so look for Killmonger to win some tacos in this easy Week 5 match-up.

Elements haven't won all season, so look for Killmonger to sweep this double-header.

The truth is...

Elements aren't losing in the double-digits any longer thanks to new additions, Kirk MacLeung (9.0 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 6.0 apg) and Ryan Drew (29.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg). The team is playing with a sense of urgency not found in previous games and those backyard shooting practices are starting to pay off for Luke Montilla (6.5 ppg). James Bernardo hasn't lost a step on the defensive end (1.5 spg, 2.8 apg) but his ability to manage the team's minutes in late game situation was a question mark when they blew a lead against Undisputed Era on Week 5. Elements have grown from their dismal Week 2 showing... unless Spring Break put a break on their improvement.

Uzoma Kalu is averaging 17.0 ppg while Jordan Salley is averaging 14.7 ppg. Frankie Eturti has been in and out of the line-up and he is averaging 6.7 ppg. Once considered the fittest team in the league, the team is injured and a double-header should give Elements a slight edge in this match-up.

Pick to Win:  This writer roots for underdogs... maybe cuz he's under 5 feet. lol.




East LA Dream Team vs. Ball Broz
3 p.m.


Can Andrew Martinez make a late season run at MVP honors. He has a chance if East LA Dream Team stays undefeated.

Game of the Week.

East LA Dream Team, the Reigning Champions... take on Ball Broz, a team currently 4-1 and in 2nd place. East LA Dream team sits atop the standings with an undefeated 4-0 record. Can East LA Dream Team keep the streak going through Week 6?

Ball Broz is led by MVP front-runner, Mike Peters, who is averaging 23.2 ppg, 2.0 spg, 2.4 apg. Mikey has been a staple in the weekly highlight reel and his tenacity on both ends of the floor has produced a team inspired to take it all the way. Newly acquired Center, Steve Carpenter, has fit in with ease and he is averaging 12.0 ppg, 1.3 apg. Robert Morgan has been the second best player, averaging 13.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg while Andrew Lozano is scoring 8.8 ppg. G Chico is averaging 8.7 ppg while GM Gabe Rodriguez is averaging 9.0 ppg, 1.3 apg. The wild card is poster boy, Terrence Martin, and despite being on the roster, "T-Bone" has yet to show up all season. Will this be the week T-Bone makes an appearance?

Ball Broz is averaging 85.4 ppg and has 63 three-pointers to lead all teams. In contrast, East LA Dream Team is averaging 65.3 ppg and has 39 three-pointers in 4 games. East LA doesn't put up numbers at a high rate but they control the tempo and do most of their damage on defense. They have the length to make it difficult for Ball Broz to hit open shots but an inspired Ball Broz team playing with a chip on its shoulder could be problematic for the defending Champions.

Andrew Martinez, fresh off a Player of the Week honor, is averaging a team-high, 19.5 ppg on 42.6% shooting. Martinez leads the team with 2.5 spg but is also averaging a team-high, 2.5 topg. GM Reyes Cervantes is shooting a remarkable 68.8% from the field and is averaging 19.5 ppg. Frankie "Outlaw" Morales is averaging 12.5 ppg while John King is scoring 6.7 ppg.

Both teams are team oriented but at this point of the season, it's clear that Mike has been the best player on the floor for Ball Broz. Although a match-up between Peters and Martinez would be ideal, the match-up seems unlikely.

"Mike is too fast, he'd give Andrew buckets all day," said a league analyst. "Andrew does most of his scoring down low, he looks like a guard, but he's more of a low post scorer. Both these teams are too good to let anyone go 1-on-1 all day, but one can wish right?"


Pick to Win:  All we know is this is Game of the Week. NBA Playoffs might be starting next week, but in Superstar Basketball... Playoffs intensity is gonna be high for this match-up. Ball Broz play better when they know they're underdogs, so let's pick East LA Dream Team so that Ball Broz play to their full potential.