2019 WINTER | SEASON 43
By: League Analyst
Relentless vs. Stay Up
Both teams are suffering from losing streaks as Relentless (1-4)
take on Stay Up (2-3). Both rookie teams have lost 2 and 3 games
Relentless prides on defense and GM Ruben Ramirez have 3
scorers that are capable of scoring double-digits. Chris
Plantillas and Joel Contreras can create their own
shots while Center Tony Gonzalez brings the old school
back the basket moves. GM Ruben Ramirez has brought in
size and Relentless needs to grab boards against Stay Up, a team
shooting more than 10 three pointers per contest.
Stay Up has lost 3 games to some of the top teams in the
division. Despite the losses, Stay Up ranks #7 with Gold
Division scorers, Kevin Price and Paul Magaway
capable of taking over for the team. James Magaway, a
rookie scorer for Stay Up, has been on fire for the team but
recent injuries have deterred Stay Up from staying on top of
Bronze Division. The 1 week break should have helped Stay Up get
back on the winning track.
Foundation vs. We Tried
Foundation (3-2) stopped their 2 game winning streak against
McDaddy's on Week 5. With the former Champions back on the
winning side, will Foundation make it 2 straight? They take on
We Tried, a team that ranks #11 (out of 12) with a 1-3 record.
Both General Managers are expected to be out of town as
Foundation GM Jonathan Wynn roam the streets of Las Vegas
with family. While Wynn is checking out the views of the fake
Eiffel Tower, We Tried GM Anthony Meltcher has the luxury
of seeing the Eiffel Tower first-hand, as he travels Europe on
Foundation has experience and size but without All Star Wynn in
the line-up, who will take over the team as the replacement GM?
Kris Dick has been the team's leading scorer while
Asher Avinger has gotten his teammates involved in an assist
leading point guard role. As long as Foundation has 5 players
and they commit to running with We Tried, they should get the W.
We Tried is playing without their arguably their best player in
Anthony Meltcher. Cody Rote, a 3-point shooter,
could take over the scoring role while guard, Johnny Truong
is capable of being the team's playmaker. On average, We Tried
is a decade younger than their opponents and it would be their
best interest to try and out-run Foundation. Cherry-picking and
cutting back on 3-pointers should give We Tried an upset, but
will the team stick to the game plan without their All Star GM?
Fuerza vs. Fire Squad
Fuerza is 1-2 and will be playing the rest of the season with
double-headers. Playing without their leading scorer in GM
Abner Rodriguez, can Fuerza upset the Champs?
Fire Squad, the Reigning Bronze Division Champions, have won 3
straight games. Otto Guillermo has been close to
averaging triple doubles in their last 2 games while Brandon
Ortiz continues to lead the team in scoring. The team lost
athleticism in the off-season (Garrison Deshay, Nephi Fotiga)
but has since added role players that complement the team.
Who will step up in Abner's absence? With Geo Bonilla
expected to take over the scoring role, Fuerza could struggle if
they cannot replace Abner's 20+ scoring production.
Bullets vs. Tune Squad
Two of the top teams in Bronze Division face off as Bullets,
winners of 5 straight, take on Tune Squad, a team that no one
wants to play in the Playoffs.
"Ya'll looking good, we want to play against you guys," said
Bullets high-flyer, Marcus Eggum.
"We're trying to beat you guys," said Tune Squad GM, Vincent
Both teams highly respect their opponents so expect a full out
war on Week 6, before Rivarly Weekend (Week 7).
Former MVP, Jorge Parrales, has been sitting out in hopes
of getting his body right for the Playoffs. In his absence,
Rick Gutierrez has led the team in scoring and rebounding
while Marcus Eggum has made his weekly appearance in the
highlights. Like Parrales, GM Daniel Donato has been
sidelined to injury and Wilson Parrales has the team's
floor general in Donato's absence. Mike Enriquez has
officially been the team's coach on the sidelines and Bullets is
undefeated with a 5-0 start.
Can Tune Squad give Bullets their first L of the season? GM
Vincent Rodriguez III and Arellano has been
unstoppable for the rookie team and both scorers should set the
tempo for their teammates. The Bishop Amat alumni squad has
rejuvenated the lost art of the mid-range game, hitting timely
shots from the perimeter, even with defenders on their faces. If
Tune Squad continues to shoot lights out, Bullets could have
their first L this season.
Prodigy Plug vs. Monstars
Prodigy Plug is 2-2 and sits #6 in the Gold Division with a 2-2
record. They take on Monstars, a team that has lost 2 straight
after starting the season with a 2-0 start.
Monstars have re-tooled their line-up by adding key players in
Vince Rodriguez, Geoff McTosh and Deon Garey. GM Jared
Ojeda has added new talent while welcoming the return of
Ralph Morelos. All Star Andrew Martinez continues to lead
the team in scoring and while the team from Baldwin Park has the
talent to beat some of the top teams, their lack of experience
playing together also leads to questionable losses (notably
against The Rock). Talent wise, they match-up with Prodigy Plug,
a team that plays better in the morning hours of the day.
Prodigy Plug plays in several leagues outside of Superstar but
there's no question they play their best when they're fresh, and
during the Playoffs. Marcus Carter is a walking
double-double and Playoff P is hitting from long
distance. Their best player, Isaiah Watson, is the team's
leading scorer and Kevin Price has developed into one of
their best 2-way players.
Killmonger vs. The Rock
Killmonger has lost 3 straight and sits at the #10 spot with a
1-3 record. They take on an inconsistent team in The Rock, a
veteran team that ranks #7 with a 2-2 record.
Johnny Blaze (27.5 ppg) was named Player of the Week when
Killmonger won their only game of the season. The team has since
lost 3 straight but their guard heavy line-up could be turning
the tide soon. Jushay Rockett made his first appearance of the
season on Week 5 and if Killmonger GM Steven Ancheta can
get their best players to show up, Killmonger could easily be a
Top 4 team. The problem is attendance, or lack thereof, as
Sean Harris and Shad Earby have both sit out a couple
of games this season.
While Killmonger loses games with their best players sitting
out, The Rock wins games when most of their players sit out. The
Rock has an inspired win against Monstars on Week 4 but
inconsistency led to a questionable loss against LA Riots.
Chris Ashanti, back from Achilles injury, has been the
team's best player this season while Terrel has been the
team's second best player. GM Ben Sin's scouting report
for Killmonger is out the window considering it's unknown what
Killmonger's Week 6 roster looks like.
Death Row vs. Entourage
It's the Battle of Winless teams as Death Row (0-5) takes on
Death Row players have moved on playing for Baseline All Stars
and Relics and the team has suffered by sitting in last place. A
win against Entourage could turn their season around but is it a
little too late for Death Row? GM Derrick Andrews has
been the team's most consistent scorer but the addition of
Steve Hibachi could make Death Row dangerous down the
All Star GM, Joey Cejudo, is back with his team and
Entourage has 4 players that can score in double-digits. The
problem with the Chino based team isn't their offense but rather
their offense. They can score with the best of them but their
inability to stop the opposition from scoring has Entourage
sitting at 13th place. CJ Cooper and Bishop Mency
are putting up numbers from 3-point range, but once again, it
comes down to defense.
Empire Elite vs. Relics
A scheduling frenzy led to Relics playing Empire Elite for the
second time this season. The last time these 2 teams faced each
other was on Week 2 when 20x Champions, Relics, defeated Empire
Relics was led by Finals MVP Roderick Evans Taylor and he
finished with 26 points. AJ Thomas led Empire Elite with
9 assists as Relics used a late game surge to beat Empire Elite.
Both teams have added new players to their roster and despite
playing each other for the second time this season, this is a
whole new ball game.
Empire Elite has added James Chicago and Kevin Swink
giving Empire Elite size, shooting, and playmaking. On the
opposite end, Relics have added veteran sharp-shooter Nick
Sanderson and All Star Center, Justian Hamilton.
Beast Tribe is looking at a double-header against the top 2
teams on Week 7 facing Team Challenge ALS and Relics.
Relics will take on Team Challenge ALS in their much anticipated
match-up on Week 8.
LA Riots vs. Team Challenge ALS
Team Challenge ALS has won 5 straight and sits atop the rankings
with an undefeated record, 5-0. Big Guard Johnny Dukes has gone
on social media to say the team has been unchallenged and it
could be another week or 2 when Team Challenge ALS faces Beast
Tribe and Relics. Facing rookie team, LA Riots, will their
opponents manage to upset the league's #1 team?
Sean Marshall, the leading candidate for MVP is nearly
average 30 ppg. The team combines for 20 plus assists per
contest as Team Challenge ALS feature 5 different players
averaging double digits in scoring. They are bigger than most of
the elite teams in Gold and have been winning games by an
average of 25.
LA Riots is 2-3 and are led by Wesley Harris who is
averaging 31.7 ppg. After stopping Try Hard's and Reigning MVP
Ryan Carter on Week 5, look for Team Challenge ALS to put the
clamps down on Harris and LA Riots.
Chicle vs. Winners Only
Chicle, former Champions, suffered just their 2nd loss in 21
games and are hoping to bounce back against the team they were
originally scheduled to play on Week 5, Winners Only.
Chicle played out of their element and lost to a team that was
playing their 3rd STRAIGHT GAME, Tune Squad. Chicle needs this
win mentally and a loss against winless Winners Only could
unravel their whole season. The team is filled with All Stars
and MVPs in CJ "Nitro" Pang, Jay Tapang and Shadon
Knight. They have shooters in Mike Trout and
Damian Reyes and a GM in Chris Duran that seems to
put the team together, seamlessly. The team should beat
Winners Only, a team looking for their first win, but then
again, the same was written on Week 5 when they should have
beaten Tune Squad.
Winners Only have 2 games and they are ranked #12 with a 0-3
start. GM Isaac Berliner (5.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) plays with
110% intensity and has a tenacity to score and grab boards.
Newcomer, Kevin Costello (19.0 ppg) , leads the team in
scoring while Jeriko Santos leads the team in assists
(2.0 apg). They have a tough double-header against 2 of the top
teams in the division - Chicle and Below The Rim.
Below The Rim vs. Winners Only
Below The Rim has won 2 straight games and their 3-2 start is
more than just brute strength and physical play. Their shots are
starting to fall and their team play has Below The Rim playing
above average. Will the rookies build on momentum gained in
recent weeks or will Winners Only scratch the W column for the
first time on Week 6?
Caleb Oviedo, rookie scorer for Below The Rim, suffered a leg
injury on Week 4 and sat out the match-up against Tune Squad on
Week 5. It was an impressive win against Tune Squad as Julius
"Tazz" Patin and Alex Villacis has found their shot
in Below The Rim's continued offense. The team has noticeably
been setting up their team-mates and wide open shots are falling
for the team from Compton.
Winners Only is just as aggressive and just as physical as Below
The Rim. Below The Rim must match their intensity and continue
to play with a chip on their shoulder. If Winners Only is
looking at an upset, their shots from long distance need to fall
as Below The Rim has a tendency to shut team's out from scoring
in the post.
Beast Tribe vs. Try Hards
Beast Tribe suffered a lack-luster loss against East LA Dream
Team in their second set of a double-header. Can they bounce
back against Try Hards, a team that also suffered their first
loss of the season on Week 5?
Try Hards is 4-1 after losing an emotionally charged match-up
against Team Challenge ALS. Reigning MVP, Ryan Carter, is
on pace to beat Ken Ubom's 41.3 ppg and he is averaging
48.8 ppg in 5 games. Last season, Ryan scored 225 points and he
has already surpassed that with 248 points. The team isn't a
1-man show as Fernando Ramos, Shaq Gilbert, and Juan
Banda have all taken turns putting up huge numbers this
season. Manny Morales has been one of the league's best 2
way players this season despite having career lows this season.
Beast Tribe has 6 players averaging double digits in scoring
this season. They are led by former Champions, Jason Harris,
CJ Johson, and Sheldon Pace. Despite being one of the oldest
teams in the league, they press for 40 minutes at a time and
have found the secret to staying young.
"We just want to play basketball. All Day!" yelled Jason Harris,
multiple times this season.
Baseline All Stars vs. East LA Dream Team
Baseline All Stars forfeited last weekend and East LA Dream Team
almost forfeited against Beast Tribe. It was an inspirational
win against one of the best teams from Inland Empire and East LA
Dream Team is hoping to make it 3 straight against wins. With a
3-2 record and sitting at #5, it looks like former 3-time
Champions, East LA Dream Team, is making noise en route to the
Derrick Tamanaha is the team's best player while Matt
Austin leads the team in scoring. Brandon Ortiz has
complemented the team's personnel while Mike Peters is
the team's best 3-point scorer. The team lost Sean Weeks and
several players are questionable for this match-up.
GM Calvin Mitchell has the former Champions sitting in
12th place and Baseline All Stars is currently 0-2. The team has
several double-headers down the stretch of the season and Calvin
needs to recruit heavily if Baseline All Stars is going to win
games this season.