QUARTER - FINAL
Toronto Wild 68 - Tribe Called Blessed 57
Toronto Wild was led by Shaq St. Paul, who scored a game high 19 points on 6/11 FG shooting, while Delly Thomas posted 15 points and 11 boards in the win. For TCB, they had so much promise to make a great run, but ultimately, their chemistry got the best of them against the feisty and hungry Toronto Wild. In a losing effort, Daniel Mong led his squad with a team high 18 points.
Salami & Cheese 49 - Grind Time 40
The cagey veterans of Salami & Cheese used their experience and grit to throw off the defending champs of the Comp. Wednesday division. They were led by Vadim Razenberg, who controlled both ends of the floor with 13 points (4-7 FG shooting), 10 boards, and 2 blocks. For Grind Time, the only thing that can justify this loss was it felt like they were not destine to win. I say this because they were uncharacteristically ice cold from the floor, shooting 24% FG and 7% as a team from downtown. In short, it was simply not their night.
SEMI - FINAL
District 6 52 - Toronto Wild 42
Toronto Wild make it interesting and fight till the end, but ultimately, they had no answer for Darlington Osazuwa, who finally showed up in the second half to finish off with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Also, Capt. Yirenchi Dodi played big time as he posted 11 points and 4 assists, while primarily defending Toronto Wild's franchise player in Delly Thomas. For Toronto Wild, Anthony Hypolite finished with 10 points and did a great a job getting to the line (8/10 FT), but it was not enough as his team ran out of gas against the well rested D6.
Bugatti Boys 84 - Salami & Cheese 76
This was a good one. It went back and forth, and both teams did a great job leaving it all on the floor as it was really hard to tell who was going to come out on top. At one point, it appeared that S & C had the momentum with Milad Gulam and Ramsey Aburaneh catching fire, but with the relentless attack and never say die effort from the Bugatti Boys, they always seemed to weather the storm. In the end, the BIG THREE of Penola, Chua, and Zapanza was too much as they combined for 77 points on 22/38 FG shooting. This was a performance of near perfection and there was nothing much that S & C could have done better about it.
Leaders of the Week
Points - Norman Penola (28)
Rebounds - Delly Thomas (11)
Assists - three players tied w/ (4)
Steals - Aaron Martin (6)
Blocks - Vadim Razenberg (3)
CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL PREVIEW
District 6 vs Bugatti Boys
In the finale, there are only two teams left standing. Both teams have played on this stage before and they both know the stakes. Let's take a look at the key match-ups going into the big dance.
Zapanza vs Dodi - Advantage Bugatti
Dodi is the hands down better defender, but when it comes to the floor general game and overall threat, Zapanza gets the nod. If Dodi can get into the paint and make Bugatti pay, it can be the real difference in this one.
Chua vs Harvey - Advantage Bugatti
Chua has been down this road plenty of times before and knows what he needs to do. For Harvey, he has been streaky but when he gets going the perimeter attack of D6 improves substantially. This is a close match-up and we'll see how this one plays out.
Penola vs Goodridge - Advantage Bugatti
Penola is the more superior offensive player, but Goodridge has the length and athleticism that can give Bugatti's top shooter problems. These two are well familiar with each other and this battle may be the key match-up out of all match-ups, who will come out on top?
Murray vs Osazuwa - Advantage District 6
Osazuwa is hands down best player in the division. It just depends which version of Osazuwa will D6 get as he has tendency to get easily distracted and lose focus, when this happens his team becomes very vulnerable because his impact is near irreplaceable. For Murray, he will definitely have his hands full as the veteran role player will have his toughest assignment of the season. The key would be to just make Osazuwa work and avoid tacky fouls, if possible.
Hsu vs Mitchell - Advantage District 6
Mitchell has come into the season with a new purpose. In fact, this may be the best version of Mitchell we have seen in a very long time which is not a good sign for opponents as he covers so much ground and deceptively quick and agile for a big man. For Hsu, all he needs to do is play his role and execute when called upon as his squad will need him to finish when the opportunity presents itself.
COACHES: n/a vs Willy "Shredder" Phan - Advantage District 6
The Jeff Van Gundy of Megacity Basketball will need to keep his troops in line and focus on game day. Also, he needs to make use of his active bench as Johnson and Mwabi are regular starters and can play big roles in the championship finale.
Good luck to everyone and remember to leave it all on the floor!