2018 WINTER  |  SEASON 40

By: League Analyst
Contributing Writer


Chicle (4-3) vs. nWo (3-4)
12 p.m.


With a full roster, nWo was a contender. Their roster has suffered in recent weeks and nWo is now 3-4.

nWo has lost 2 straight and have seen their record drop below .500. Chicle, a team many consider to be a dark horse in the Playoffs, are 4-3 in their rookie campaign.

With a full roster, both teams are capable of beating the top teams in the league. The difference is Chicle has more experience playing together while nWo has more experience, overall. Chicle is led by CJ Pang who is averaging 19.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg. Louie Venegas is averaging 11.2 ppg while Jay Tapang is averaging 12.7 ppg. The team doesn't rely on 3-pointers and blowouts are rare for Chicle. They play in a lot of close games and their experience playing in close game situations makes them a dark horse contender. They're capable of winning ugly, grind it out games... games that are typical in the Playoffs.

nWo won't have the services of their guard Mark Mercado and they'll rely on Jonathan Wynn to manage the team's minutes. Wynn is averaging 7.3 ppg while Beau Reyes is averaging 9.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg. CJ Collins is scoring 2.2 ppg while Ever Carro is averaging 9.7 ppg. With 15 players on the roster, the team either has too many players playing or too many players sitting out. Last week, the team played with just 4 players and paid for it with a 167-101 loss against Ball Broz.

Pick to Win:  Chicle has shown more consistency in recent weeks and should beat nWo, a team that's seen their attendance suffer in recent weeks.



Elements (0-7) vs. Ball Broz (6-1)
1 p.m.


This could be another blow out for Ball Broz if Elements once again play without 2 of their starters. 4-on-5, anyone?

Ball Broz, the number one team in Superstar Basketball, is the hottest team in the league and they have won 4 straight. On the flip side, Elements have a perfect season but unfortunately, it's on the wrong side of the win-loss column.

With GM James Bernardo on vacation, Elements won't have one of their best perimeter defenders. Luke Montilla will manage the team's minutes and he is averaging 6.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg. Adrian Cueto is scoring 11.3 ppg while Anthony Meltcher is averaging 10.3 ppg. Rosan Bernardino is scoring 4.3 ppg while Joseph Azuela is averaging 4.7 ppg. The team isn't expecting Ball Broz to play defense, a team who put up 163 points last weekend.

Against the number 8 team in the league, Ball Broz is expecting to put up huge numbers. Mike Peters is averaging 28.1 ppg after shooting a career-high, 61 points on Week 7 against nWo. Steve Carpenter is averaging 22.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg while GM Gabe Rodriguez is scoring 11.3 ppg. The team is averaging 95.0 ppg and shooting nearly 48% on the floor.

Pick to Win:  Several teams have played 4 on 5 in recent weeks. If Ball Broz play 4 on 5 vs Elements, will they beat them? Dare....


East LA Dream Team (6-1) vs. Reckless (3-4)
2 p.m.


Reckless' back court was off to a fast start. Their front court has played huge in recent weeks.

Reckless have won 2 straight and confidence is at an all-season high for the former Champions. Against the former Champions and the number 2 team in the league (East LA Dream Team), Reckless should see how far they've come along in their return to Superstar.

Steven Castanieto is averaging 11.7 ppg while GM Noel Serpas is scoring 12.4 ppg. Luis Montes is playing through with injury and he is averaging 11.3 ppg with 16 three-pointers. It was a fast start for the team's backcourt as both Castanieto and Montes were averaging over 16 ppg to start the season. Reckless has seen their front court produce in recent weeks as the Serpas Brothers combine for nearly 20 ppg, 15 rpg. David Guerrero (8.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Maui (5.5 ppg) have been overlooked but against East LA Dream, their size will be crucial.

East LA Dream Team's lengthy and their ability to dominate the glass will give Reckless match-up problems. Andrew Martinez is averaging 20.9 ppg, 2.0 spg while Alan Rosas is averaging 14.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg. Armando Aranda is averaging 17.5 ppg while GM Mario Miramontes boosted his average with 7.3 ppg, 1.0 spg. Mario is celebrating his birthday this weekend and a repeat performance of last week's 8 three-pointers is very likely.

Pick to Win:  If this match-up happened earlier in the season, this game could have ended up like East LA Dream Team vs. Elements. Reckless have shown a lot of improvements and they should compete with East LA Dream Team.


Killmonger (4-3) vs. Undisputed Era (2-5)

3 p.m.


Without their General Manager, Undisputed Era has taken a lot of Ls in recent weeks.

Winning starts at the top.

You can have all the talent in the world, without a great General Manager, the team will only go so far.

Both teams have learned this important lesson in recent weeks as both Killmonger and Undisputed Era have played without their GMs.

Playing 4 on 5 last week, Killmonger almost took down Undisputed Era until a late game injury had Gary Beaird losing momentum in the game's most crucial moments. Without GM Steve Ancheta to guide the team, the players committed ill-advised fouls and the result was a loss against Chicle.

Undisputed Era has played without GM Erick Maldonado and the team has lost all momentum heading into the Playoffs.

Gary Beaird is averaging 23.3 ppg while Uzoma Kalu is averaging 21.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg. Beaird, the former MVP has won on multiple levels in the league and has shown his ability to hit the 3-ball. In just 3 games, Gary ranks #2 in Killmonger in 3-pointers made with 19 three-pointers. While the focus shifts to Gary and Uzoma Kalu who runs point guard for Killmonger, league officials feel Frankie Eturti is the team's missing puzzle. Brandon Chavers is averaging 14.0 ppg and his ability to score without plays called for him has also been key.

"You saw it last week, Brandon is scoring and even when he's not getting most of the shot attempts, he's grabbing boards and playing both ends," observed an official. "Frankie... he's shown he can score the mid-range now and he will always be a threat because of his size. The team needs to look at the 2000 Lakers playbook and they'll really maximize the team's potential."

Undisputed Era has lost 2 straight and GM Erick Maldonado is on hiatus. Jason Rico is averaging 19.3 ppg while Herman Pech is scoring 17.6 ppg. Paolo Leonardo is averaging 15.0 ppg while Ben Pena is averaging 7.8 ppg. The team has expressed in playing with new players next season and if there are 2 divisions, Undisputed Era should be a top team in Bronze Division. In light of the team's attendance issues, the team does have a sense of humor as several players joked about the GM's attendance issues.

"What's our GM name again," joked a player from Undisputed Era. "Erick or Eddie?"

Pick to Win:  Killmonger has the talent to win it all but running a system should take them to the next level. They could easily win this match-up, but it's their best interest to run several plays just in time for the Playoffs.