2020 SPRING  |  SEASON 46
WEEK 1 - SEASON OPENER

RECAPS
 

By: League Analyst
Contributing Writer

 

Foundation vs. Outlawz
BRONZE DIVISION
8:30 a.m.

 

Newly crowned Bronze Division Champions, Outlawz, welcomed Foundation back into the league and they had a scare quite early as Foundation jumped to a 11-3 lead. Outlawz never looked back after leading 13-12 as Outlawz defeat Foundation, 63-49.

Outlawz was led by sharp-shooting All Star, Fernando Ruiz, who finished with a team-high, 24 points, 6 rebounds and blocked shots. David Munoz continually set up his teammates, finishing with 5 assists, 17 points and 3 steals while GM Elias Ayala added 4 points, 4 boards. JC Banda was efficient from the field converting 66.7% of his shot attempts while finishing with 16 points, 7 rebounds. Outlawz out-rebounded Foundation, 36-29 and committed just 6 turnovers. Rudy Hernandez grabbed 6 boards while Monks added 4 rebounds.

After a 2 year hiatus from playing on the hardwood, League Commissioner, Hanz Jimenez, returned to action and he was on fire from the get-go. Jimenez was 2-for-2 in the first 2 minutes and was on pace to score 81 until Father Time hit him with a dose of reality. Jimenez finished with 11 points, 4 turnovers while Terrence Martin filled up the stats sheet with 8 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists. Despite the loss, the Hall of Famer was just delighted to share the floor with his son, Jai, who finished with 3 points and 3 rebounds. The team is stacked with old players who have won multiple Champions with teams they've operated including Relics founder, Ernest Pablo (4 points, 3 boards) and Buckets GM, Jonathan Wynn (4 points, 2 assists). After scoring just 7 points, Kennon Rude scored 8 points in the final 2 minutes of the game, leading the team with 15 points.

 

Fuerza vs. Hennyboyz
BRONZE DIVISION
9:30 a.m.

 

The addition of Public Enemy's Tim Austin could be the difference for Fuerza this season as Fuerza welcomed Hennyboyz to Bronze Division with a 69-52 win. Fuerza had just 5 players suited up but the lack of depth didn't seem to matter as Fuerza combined for 25 assists.

 

GM Abner Rodriguez looked slimmer the last time he was on the hardwood and the weight loss translated in more crossovers, more crossovers...and more crossovers. Abner finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists as he continually made whoever was guarding him, dance to the countless crossovers he unleashed on his opponent.

 

"He crosses you, and the minute he has an opening, he crosses you again... despite the fact that he's already open," observed a photographer. "It's almost as if he's saying, I'll not only get you one time, I'll get you again but in the opposite way."

 

Rob Talamares finished with 18 points and a team-high, 10 assists while teammate, Center Oliver Mathews added 18 points, 8 boards. Newly acquired All Star, Tim Austin, finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists and went on record to say he likes his new team already. While Austin is feelin' the new vibe, Public Enemy, his former team side-eyed him the whole time while newly-crowned Champions, Outlawz, were out-spoken on social media.

 

"Ya'll just had to stack up the team just to beat us," posted Outlawz player, JC Banda.

 

Despite losing by 10+ points, Hennyboyz were impressive in their season debut as newly acquired guard, Jarbas Frin, finished with 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals. New GM Alen Alexis finished with 2 points while former GM, Austin Garzon, added 4 points, 7 boards. Center Gus Garzon finished with 11 points, 7 boards while Gabe Gamboa finished with 8 points, 10 rebounds.

 

 

 

Public Enemy vs Stay Up
BRONZE DIVISION
10:30 a.m.

 

Public Enemy finished last season with a 7-1 record but an early 1st Round exit had the team shaking up their roster from last season. Founder, Joseph Flores, came in with renewed focus finishing with 10 points as Public Enemy defeat Stay Up, 46-14.

 

Both Public Enemy and Stay up started their season with new GMs as Kosmond Russell (4 points, 8 rebounds) took over Public Enemy while Raymond Mercado (3 points, 8 boards) took over Stay Up. Kosmond appeared to be more active thanks to his new workout regimen and his commitment to nutrition. While Kosmond showed off an impressive new physique, it was Aaron Boyd's game highs of 25 points, 17 rebounds, and 3 steals that had league staff wondering if those numbers got mixed up.

 

"You really got 25?" joked a league analyst.

 

Aaron Boyd, attempting not to get caught up in the hype of his big season debut, deflected the attention towards Ryan Carter, All-MVP who finished with 65 points in Platinum Division.

 

"He was hoopin, mad it was a wasted effort," replied Boyd, via Instagram.

 

Public Enemy out-scored Stay Up, 46-14 in the 1st half and never looked back as the team dominated the paint by out-rebounding their opponents, 48-40. The team scored at will in the post, converting nearly 40% of the shots they took inside 3-point territory. Ian Kekawa finished with 20 points while Will Lee added 5 points, 8 boards. Joseph Flores, in his first inclusion in Top 10 Plays of the Week, finished the 1st half with a buzzer beater 3-pointer.

 

Rich G. led Stay Up with 15 points, 8 boards while Alden Black added 6 points, 3 boards. GM Raymond Mercado added 3 points while Stay Up founder, Tyler Su, managed the team from the sidelines. It might be a new GM for Stay Up but the former All Star coach, Ty Su, really enjoys coaching from the sidelines and even without the official title of being GM, Ty is willing to take on the task of managing the team. The team is under-sized compared to the bigger teams in Bronze but their speed should make up for the size difference. They take on Foundation on Week 2.

 

 

 

Blazers vs. Cali Raisins
BRONZE DIVISION
11:30 a.m.

 

Cali Raisins, finalists from last season, showed renewed focus in their season opener against Blazers as Cali Raisins defeat Blazers, 109-79.

 

"That's Jordan Ramos right there, the scouting report is - stop him," joked a league analyst.

 

"We'll see what we have. We have our own Jordan too," said Blazers GM, Eric Crespo.

 

Jordan Ramos, Player of the Week for Season 46, Week 1, finished with a near triple double finishing with 18 points, 7 rebounds and a division-high, 11 assists. Ramos set the table for his players to eat as Jacob Turner finished with a team-high, 24 points, 5 steals, and 2 assists. Kevin Chow and Korey Davis both finished with 15 apiece while Jaime Villalobos added 17 points, 9 boards. Jaden Radecliffe added 11 points, 3 steals while Matt Virata scored 9 points, 6 assists. Cali Raisins combined for 27 assists (Blazers, 10) but was out-rebounded, 47-33.

 

"Some of the top Bronze teams have size, whereas Cali Raisins have speed and are a little bit younger than some of the top teams," observed a league analyst. "We'll see if Cali Raisins adds size, but from what they have, they look good enough to compete with the top teams in Bronze."

 

Blazers Center, Martin Santoyo, finished with 31 points, a team-high and 9 rebounds. Mario Navarette scored 21 points, 17 boards while Justin Chavez finished with 21 points, 2 steals. Jordan Chavez was a no-show as the Jordan vs. Jordan match-up never happened. Blazers are young and their size is comparable to some of the top teams in Bronze. They are one of the youngest teams in Bronze and their development relies heavily on GM Eric Crespo.

 

 

 

Buckets vs. Wastemanz
GOLD DIVISION
12:30 p.m.

 

The addition of All Star sharp-shooter, Dell Well, could be the move that ends Buckets' Championship drought as GM Jonathan Wynn displayed a faster, more athletic team, not seen since the glory days a decade ago. Al Brown finished with 37 points and 2 assists to lead Buckets as Buckets defeat Wastemanz, 79-70.

 

Wastemanz, a second-season team, showed resiliency despite trailing by 16 at the half. Already losing their big man in Bishop Mency, Wastemanz is no push over as Wesley Forbes finished with a team-high, 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists. All Star GM, Warren Forbes, added 11 points and 3 three-pointers while Zander Smith finished with 12 points, 2 steals. Andres Rodriguez finished with 9 points while Mark Eden and Tyler Peterson both added 9 apiece.

 

 In their rookie season, Wastemanz got hot in the 2nd half of the season and teams cannot overlook the Chino-based team. Had Buckets kept the same roster from last season, the outcome would have been different considering Buckets improved in speed and athleticism.

 

Buckets were led by Player of the Week, Al Brown, who shot 51.7% from the field and 31.1% from beyond the arch. Mike Karimu led the team with 16 boards, 4 assists while Dell Well finished with 19 points, 5 three-pointers, and 6 assists. Dell Well, looking like he was getting ready for the Arnold Sports Expo all winter, appeared to be bigger and his shot appeared more consistent than previous seasons. Glenn Payne finished with 5 points while David Ward added 5 boards.

 

 

 

Try Hards vs. Quetzacoatl
GOLD DIVISION
1:30 p.m.

 

"America's Best Shooter, Derrick Tamanaha, was on fire from the get-go as Try Hards gave Quetzacoatl a scare for much of the contest Quetzacoatl, playing in just their 2nd season, got a LOT better in the off-season with the addition of 3 veterans - Steven Carpenter (23 pts), Kimani Lane (15 pts, 11 rebs, 4 asts) and Lupe Pena (9 points). Despite the 76-73 loss, Try Hards showed they shouldn't be overlooked as ball movement and team play seems to be Try Hards' main focus this season.

 

All Star GM Chris Escoto has re-loaded with scorers in the off-season and the addition of Kimani Lane and Steven Carpenter has Quetzacoatl re-loaded. Ed Hernandez finished with a double-double, 14 points, 11 rebounds while Escoto added 7 points, 5 boards, and 3 assists. Christian Prediado finished with 8 points while the newcomers combined for 47 points.

 

It's a blessing and a curse when you're an All-MVP like Ryan Carter and many questioned whether Try Hards is better or worse without the All-MVP in the line-up. Without their franchise player, Try Hards combined for 14 assists as Fernando Ramos led Try Hards with 5 assits en route to 14 points. Brandon Riojas added 10 points while Manny Morales added 6 points, 13 boards. Derrick Tamanaha was on fire from 3-point territory, finishing with 32 points, 8 three-pointers on 50% shooting. Whether Ryan shows up with Try Hards for the remainder of the season is questionable but Ryan has gone on record to say he's playing in both divisions.

 

"I'll take my Game 1 loss, but you know I'm winning Platinum and Gold this season," said the league's poster boy, after the Game 1 loss against Entourage.

 

 

 

Breakdown vs. Zu's Finest
GOLD DIVISION
3:00 p.m.
 

 

It was the battle of two Sophomore teams as Chris Oliver and Eric Alvarez combined for 57 of Breakdown's 82 points. It was a see-saw battle from the start as Breakdown defeat Zu's Finest, 82-79.

 

"We're old, we just found a way to win out there," said Breakdwon GM, Pablo Sanchez.

 

Sanchez finished with 6 rebounds while Center Chris Oliver led Breakdown with 9 rebounds, 28 points. Eric Alvarez led the team with 7 assists while finishing with 29 points, 7 boards. Matt Zamora rounded off the top 3 scorers with 19 points, 4 boards and 6 three-pointers. Breakdown was out-worked on the glass, 48-33, but made the most of their possessions shooting 50% from the field.

 

All Star GM, Ben Reaves, finished with 25 points while leading Zu's Finest with 7 assists. Ben connected for 4 three-pointers and tied a team-high, 2 steals as the team combined for 8 steals. Michael Dominguez added 15 points while Eduardo Servin was the second leading scorer with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 2 steals. Chris Reaves returned to action after helping officiate for Superstar Basketball for a couple of seasons and the former pro hooper from China finished with an impressive 6 rebounds and 2 steals.

 

"I'll get here early next time, I didn't shoot well... so I gotta do the old man stretch and get here early," said Reaves.

 

 

Prodigy Plug vs. The Rock
GOLD DIVISION
4:00 p.m.

 

The Rock, former Champions, returned to action as GM Ben Sin finally made his return after a scary operation that saw him sitting out for a year.  The Rock has a tough match-up in their return, facing the Defending Champions, Prodigy Plug. Four players scored in double figures for Prodigy Plug as the Champs lay the smackdown on The Rock, 69-58.

 

Roderick Evans-Taylor claimed he hasn't touched a ball since the last time he was in Superstar two months ago. The former Finals MVP finished with a team-high, 22 points, 4 assists and 7 boards while Kevin Price added 13 points, 4 rebounds, and a refined shooting touch around the rim. Like Buckets' Dell Well, Kevin Price is looking swoll in the season opener and it's obvious the former All Star has been lifting in the off-season. Isaiah Watson finished with 17 while Jeff Briegel finished with 14 points, 5 boards. Playoff P played sparingly in the season-opener and he showed off the best looking tattoo ever to grace Superstar Basketball.

 

"He just got that recently, I wouldn't risk playing out there and having someone scratch off fresh ink either," said an observer. "Especially if you got the GOAT on your arm like that. BEST TATTOO EVER."

 

Chris Ashanti led The Rock with 17 points and 8 rebounds while Kenny Jackson added 5 points and a team-high, 6 assists. Truth be told, Kenny "Action" Jackson could have easily had 15 dimes had his players converted his passes. They say old men never lose their shooting touch due to shooting memory but with Kenny, it appears he'll never lose his passing ability. He seems to make the right pass at the correct spots and despite being slower, is crafty enough to get by defenders. Playing for his original team, Ed Principe isn't with Buckets any longer and he finished with 11 points, while Mike Ashanti made his long-awaited return, scoring 8 points.

 

"We played hard but we also played like a team that hasn't played together in a year," said Ben Sin, The Rock GM.

 

 

City Boyz vs Unfinished
GOLD DIVISION
5:00 p.m.

 

If Pregame Introductions deserved trophies, ya'll gotta give Marcus Eggum the award now. It was an impromptu, off the dome, introduction... and probably one of the best, ALL TIME.

 

Before we talk about the game, let's run that introduction back. Better yet, let's replay it on IG on Sunday morning just because writing about it... is getting me hyped -- to go to the gym. There's a reason why I saved this write up last, it's because writing about that intro... made me want to be part of the team. While Marcus Eggum seems himself as a Head Coach, a mentor, a life coach for some of the young men he's coaching, it would be a shame if he didn't get a side job as a commentator or social media director somewhere.  Marcus apologized for posting too much about his team on social media and the League Commissioner told him to never apologize because he's in the right platform for that. This is the place to hype your team, to hype your players. This right here --- is HOME for Unfinished.

 

(Heads out to the gym, cuz I got hyped writing that).

 

(Sits my ass down cuz I gotta finish what I started. #mambamentality)

 

This game had Playoff atmosphere written all over it and if City Boys and Unfinished are competing like this every week, then we're all for it. City Boyz jumped to a 31-19 halftime lead but Unfinished would rally behind Marcus "The Lightskin DWade" Eggum. The All Star high-flyer finished with 19 points, 4 three-pointers and 3 boards while Melvin Washington added 14 points, 2 boards. Lance Mitchell finished with 10 boards, 8 points while Meberry Tee scored 7 points. Unfinished had multiple chances to steal this win but 2 missed 3-pointers in the final 15 seconds had Unfinished trailing by 2 points. A missed free throw led to another opportunity to tie but a no-call at the end decided their fate in the season opener.

 

City Boyz was led by GM LJ Besong who was impressive in his season debut, scoring 22 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Ryan Herrera added 20 points, 10 boards while Trae Booker finished with 2 boards. Zuri Williams led City Boyz with 3 steals and he added 4 boards, 2 assists. City Boyz were missing 3 players in the season opener and the addition of Steven David should help the team out in the post. City Boyz have a bye on Week 2.

 

 

SkyRyse vs. USA Hoops Academy
GOLD DIVISION
6:00 p.m.

 

It was the battle of rookie teams as SkyRyse faced USA Hoops Academy in both team's season opener. SkyRyse defeated USA Hoops Academy, 88-78 as the team combined for 14 dimes while out-rebounding their opponents, 32-27.

 

"How do you spell, HUMBLE?"

 

D-O-N-O-V-A-N M-O-R-R-I-S.

 

Details are everything and with Sky Ryse's Instagram account, the details say everything. Posted was a picture of Donovan shooting a free throw with his stats written. While PTS, REB, AST was legible, emojis covered up the numbers. 28 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists is nothing to hide but humility is Donovan's middle name.

 

"They say we won," read the caption.

 

Winning is all that matters and while we post the obligatory stat line for SkyRyse, all that really matters for the team is a W. Mark Turner and Jayden Radcliffe both finished with 11 apiece while Nick Pacitti finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists. Andrew Bongo added 12 points and 6 boards while AJ Martinez added 8 points. With the W comes plenty of complacency but SkyRyse showed none of that as his players showed up to practice all last week.

 

On the flip side, rookie team, USA Hoops Academy had 4 players score in double figures as Joe Ceballos led the team with 19 points, 5 boards. Danny Plasencia finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds while Alwynn Sadler finished with 18 points, 3 boards. The team shot well from the charity stripe, shooting 90% from the free throw line. The team combined for 8 steals as Bryant Howling led USA Hoops Academy with 4 steals. GM James Ting emphasized playing the right away and despite the loss, USA Hoops Academy showed plenty of potential in the season opener.

 

 

Entourage vs. The Heights
PLATINUM DIVISION
7:00 p.m.

 

65 points.

 
All-MVP Ryan Carter is putting up numbers, AGAIN! It's scary to think but with 7 games left on the schedule, Carter is in a position to break the scoring record of 48 ppg, a record he set in his 3rd season with Superstar.

 

"60? That's that Hezi Mentality..." said Carter, late in the 4th.

 

Not to be out-done, All Star Raby Hardaway, the "Red Mamba", hit the game winner, as Entourage spoiled The Heights double digit deficit comeback.

 

"He's a hell of a competitor, it's always an honor to compete against one of the best scorers in the city," said Raby, post-game.

 

Suffering from flu-like symptoms, Red Mamba scored a team-high, 25 points, and finished with 6 assists, also a team-high. Miles Ford added 19 points, 6 rebounds while Shad Earby finished with 23 points. Anthony Fitzpatrick finished with 9 points while Jayson Cruz made his return, finishing with 8 points. GM Joey Cejudo added 7 points and led the team with 8 rebounds.

 

The Heights' second leading scorer, Isaiah Watson, finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds while Marcus Fuggins added 7 points, 3 boards. Steven Goytia finished with 6 points and 4 boards. Ryan Carter shot 70.4 fg% from the field while shooting 10-for-15 (66.7%) from 3-point territory. Up next for The Heights - Concrete.

 

 

Goon Squad vs. Powerball
PLATINUM DIVISION
8:00 p.m.

 

Powerball led at halftime, 45-30, and never looked back as Powerball defeat Goons, 84-79.

 

The trash talk was at an all-time high between both Goons and Powerball as Markus Monroe finished with 19 points, 2 three-pointers and 2 assists. Dell Well was the second leading scorer with 18 points, 4 rebounds while Mike Peters finished with 14. Roderick Evans Taylor was the 4th double-digit scorer for Powerball, and he finished with 10 points, 5 rebounds. GM Randy Raphael has the team stacked with scorers as the team shot 58% from the field. Powerball combined for 14 assists and were seemingly headed for a rout until Josh Gordon showed up for Goons late in the 1st half.

 

Josh appeared fashionably late for Goons as Gordon led the team with 29 points on 66.7% shooting. Mike Ratliff was the second leading scorer with 24 points, 2 assists while Caleb Obviedo added 10 points, 5 rebounds. Amore Smith finished with 8 rebounds while Kevlin Swint made his Goons debut, finishing with 6 points, 9 boards. GM Julious Patin, expected to sit the season out because of injury late last season, recovered quickly and surprised the league by being on the hardwood so early.

 

 

East LA Dream Team vs. Goon Squad
PLATINUM DIVISION
9:00 p.m.

 

East LA Dream Team came back from a huge deficit as Goon Squad opened Season 46 with a double-header. The former 3-time Champions, East LA Dream Team, got screwed over 3 times as East LA Dream Team loses to Goons, 74-73.s

 

This was a game Goons escaped from as they seemingly gave the game to East LA Dream Team. Mike Ratliff finished with 26 points, 3 rebounds while Kelvin Swint finished with 17 points. Josh Gordon added 16 points, 4 steals while Avery Pike added 5 points, 3 assists.

 

East LA Dream Team's Everette Garcia sinked a game winner with 2.0 seconds left and no one from Goons signaled for a time-out. However, a new league official and the stats keeper stopped the clock, assuming a player from Goons called the time-out. The clock only stops on a dead ball in the last 2 minutes of the game. On a made basket, the clock should be running and in this instance, the staff operating the game assumed Goons called a time out.

 

A foul was called on East LA Dream Team with 2 seconds left in the game and while the game was being decided on free throws, an in-bound for East LA Dream Team drew plenty of contact...with the official swallowing his whistle this time around.

 

"All you really want is a fair game," said the League Commissioner, who went over the plays on social media.

 

Ever Garcia finished with 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists. Miguel Salazar added 17 points while Andrew Martinez finished with 15 points. Armando Aranda and former MVP, Jason Rodriguez, both finished with 6 points apiece.

 

 

 

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 Game Previews and Recaps are written by league analysts on Saturdays and Mondays. If there is a typo on your name, please e-mail commish@superstarbasketball.org. Thank You.