2021 WINTER  |  SEASON 47
WEEK 7


 

By: League Analyst
Contributing Writer

 SATURDAY GAMES

 

Blazing Kings vs Try Hards
BRONZE DIVISION
12:40 p.m.

Blazing Kings is 1-1 and have 4 players averaging double digits in scoring this season. Playoff P is averaging 19.0 ppg while Garrison Deshay is tops averaging a team-high, 21 ppg. The team's only loss comes against undefeated team Block Party, a team that is now ranked #1 in the division. Blazing Kings is shooting 28.9% overall from 3-pt range but their biggest asset is their ability to score in the paint thanks to guys like Garrison and Kevin Price (11.0 ppg).

Try Hards is 2-1 and 2 players are averaging double digits in scoring for the East LA team. "Brodie" Fernando Ramos leads the team with 17.3 ppg while Brandon Riojas is averaging 15.0 ppg. The team averages 73.3% from inside the paint while shooting 50% from beyond the arch. The team's imo is their running game but if their offense gets stagnant like it did on Game 1 against Outlawz, they could be in trouble. As long as Try Hards doesn't get 18 pt leads to start the game, they'll try hard in trying to win the game instead of holding on to a lead.

 

Powerball vs. Try Hards
GOLD DIVISION
1:40 p.m.

 

Powerball's last loss was a forgettable loss against Most Hated. They're 1-1 and hoping to bounce back against Try Hards. Powerball was led by Khalil Williams who finished with 16 pts, 10 rebounds while Geoff Vaughn added 13 pts. Anthony Farmer scored 8 pts but was visibly a step or 2 behind his defender. With plenty of time off from their last game, many are wondering if Powerball worked on their conditioning or will they show up a speed slower against Try Hards.

 

Derrick Tamanaha had his worst shooting performance in Bronze Division last weekend so look for him to bounce back in a huge way in Gold. Derrick Tamanaha is averaging a league-leading 39.5 ppg in Gold while averaging 55.8% from the field. Ever Garcia is averaging 12.5 ppg while Smoov is averaging 13.5 ppg in 2 games this season. Try Hards is undefeated with a 2-0 start and don't look for Try Hards to end that streak, unless Markus Monroe shows up for Powerball, focused and ready to lock down the division's best offensive player.

 

 

Fuerza vs. Zu's Finest
GOLD DIVISION
2:40 p.m.

 

Fuerza GM Abner Rodriguez is on vacation again and you know what that means for Fuerza... another inspired win. All jokes aside, Fuerza seems to run like clockwork even without their GM and that credit goes a lot to Abner himself. A second Fuerza win (first was in Bronze against Buckets) will validate that statement as they take on Zu's Finest, a team looking for their first win. Mike Martin is averaging 18.5 ppg while Josh Giron is scoring 17.5 ppg Cevin Garret is scoring 17.0 ppg and 7.7 rpg. Rob Talamantes and Jonathan Sirait are poised enough to lead the team without Abner so look for the backcourt to take charge against Zu's Finest.

 

Zu's Finest All Star point guard, Ben Reaves, is playing his best basketball in two seasons. Ben is averaging 20.5 ppg, 2.0 apg while shooting 46.9% from the field. The late games haven't been easy for Zu's Finest and now that they're back to afternoon games, we'll see how they perform on a favorable schedule. Nate Reaves is scoring 11.0 ppg while Jay is averaging 13.0 ppg.

 

 

City Boyz vs East LA Dream Team
GOLD DIVISION
3:40 p.m.

 

City Boyz is 3-0 and GM LJ Besong was concerned with his roster after finding out several players are leaving City Boyz. Steven David (Powerball) and Tyler Baskett (Buckets) have all parted ways with undefeated City Boyz and the league is informing City Boyz that they still have 4 roster slots. LJ Is playing his best in Gold this season averaging 12.7 ppg, and a team-high, 4.3 apg. Brandon Ortiz is still a walking bucket, averaging 20.0 ppg while newcomer Udengwu Ninadi is averaging 16.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg.

 

This game was a late addition thanks to several Platinum Division teams declining to play at the 3:30 time slot on Saturday. East LA Dream Team took the slot and the team is 1-1 with their last lost coming against Cali RH‘CKITíS. Their biggest asset is their veteran core, the ones who don't put up numbers but are willing to sacrifice their bodies to make the right plays. Coach Reyes Cervantes gets the maximum effort from this players and he needs to be on the sidelines if East LA Dream Team is looking to give City Boyz their first L of the season.

 

 

Jets vs. Outlawz
BRONZE DIVISION
6:00 p.m.

 

Jets, looking for their first win of the season, are playing against undefeated team, Outlawz. Jets are 0-3 and have replaced some of their players that are MIA with Devin Chambers (21.0 ppg) and Christopher Partida (26.0 ppg). They are averaging 46% from the field while shooting 37% from inside the arch. Jets might not be as fast as Outlawz and that could be a problem if they don't control the tempo. Once Outlawz get in their running game and are moving the ball around, it's going to be tough for Jets to upset Outlawz.

 

On the stats sheet, Outlawz look terrible. Sal Escandon is averaging a team-high, 19.3 ppg while a couple of players are averaging 9 ppg including JC Banda, David Munoz, and Andrew Martinez. The truth is, these guys play for each other and the ball is constantly moving. It doesn't matter who scores as long as the team wins, and their 3-0 record is an example of that. The former Champions haven't even had their former MVP on the floor (Fernando Ruiz) and Rick Gutierrez is playing with a bad knee.

 

 

USA Hoops Academy vs. Unfazed Ballers
GOLD DIVISION
7:00 p.m.

 

USA Hoops Academy is 1-1 with their last win coming against Wastemanz. Alwynn Sadler is averaging 21.0 ppg while Jon Strachan is scoring 19.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg. The team is shooting 34% from 3-pt range while averaging 37.0 rpg. Jet Ting is averaging 8.0 ppg while Joe Ceballos is scoring 10.0 ppg. The team's turnovers have jumped this season to 11.0 topg from 6.6 last season and the team needs to be careful with the rock if they're going to beat Unfazed Ballers.

 

Unfazed Ballers' last win comes against SkyRyse as Anthony Fitzpatrick led the team with 16 rebs, 11 pts. John G. added 13 pts while Dengio S. finished with 12 pts. GM Devon Bonner added 7 pts while Junior Muntu finished with 5 pts. While both teams play uptempo, team chemistry seems to favor USA Hoops Academy, a team that's been together for years.

 

 

Cali RH‘CKITíS vs. Life Alert
GOLD DIVISION
8:00 p.m.

 

Cali lost their last match-up against Shooters as Andy Torices and Gelaun Wheelwright led the team with 22 pts. Andre Allen was the third leading scorer with 18 pts while Hez Banks led the team with 10 rebs, 6 pts. Cali shot 21.4% from 3-pt range while shooting 64.3% from the charity stripe. They've lost winnable games and against Life Alert, a team looking for their first win, the team needs to capitalize on a "winnable match-up".

 

Jose Bonilla leads Life Alert with 21.0 ppg while Rafael Aguierre is averaging 11.0 ppg. Arthur Jacobs is scoring 9.5 ppg while GM Daniel Gutierrez is averaging 5.0 ppg. The team is averaging 10 three's per contest while shooting 31.8% from beyond the arch. The rookies have struggled in their 2 games with losses coming against Try Hards and City Boyz.

 

 

Buckets vs. Most Hated
GOLD DIVISION
9:00 p.m.

 

The MVP Match-up between Buckets' Al Brown and Most Hated's Ryan Carter won't happen with Al Brown missing this match-up. Can Most Hated, a team that's 1-2, even their record against the Reigning Champions, Buckets? Most Hated put on a show in their last contest as Ryan Carter finished with 37 pts, 11 rebs. Ismael Arellano scored 23 against Powerball while Zach Hinton added 13 pts. Their one of the most talented 1-2 teams and GM Noel Marquez needs a win now before Ryan leaves on a national tour for the next 2 weeks.

 

Buckets will be missing Al Brown's production of 29.3 ppg, 3.0 apg. Dell Well is expected to step up and he is averaging 24.7 ppg. Mike Karinu is scoring 8.7 ppg while GM Jonathan Wynn is averaging 8.3 ppg. Former Finals MVP, Dre, is expected to return to Buckets in the next few weeks.

 

 SUNDAY GAMES

 

Foundation vs. Hennyboyz
BRONZE DIVISION
6:30 p.m.

 

Both teams are 1-1 as Foundation take on Hennyboyz in their 3rd game of the season.

 

Aaron DeAnda leads Hennyboyz with 17.0 ppg while GM Austin Garzon is averaging 13.5 ppg. James Santiago is averaging 17.0 ppg while Aaron DeAnda has a team-high, 6 three-pointers. The team averages just 24.0 rpg despite having one of the biggest teams in Bronze Division. Hennyboyz have improved their field goal percentage to 43.6% this season, up from 37.9% from a season ago.

 

Foundation matches Hennyboyz in size but what they lack is youth and speed to match-up against Hennyboyz. Their experience is a huge advantage and Foundation's championship experience is tops in the division. Terrence Martin and Jacob Moran have been on a tear in the scoring column while Will Manea and Aaron Boyd have been active on the boards.

 

 

Cali Shockers vs. Cali Raisins
BRONZE DIVISION
7:30 p.m.

 

It's the battle of the Cali teams as Cali Shockers take on Cali Raisins in what could be the most competitive match-up of the night.

 

Three players are averaging double-digits in scoring for Cali Raisins as Jaime Villalbos leads the team with 19.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg. Jacob Turner is averaging 18.3 ppg while David Aguilera is scoring 16.0 ppg. The head of the beast is All Star G Jordan Ramos who averages a division-high, 7.3 ppg. Jordan has found his mid-range shot in Gold Division and that's carrying over to his Bronze games where he's averaging 7.0 ppg.

 

Cali Raisins shocked Buckets in their last outing as Ajaun McLaughlin led the team with 22 pts. Donovan L finished with 11 while GM Michael Weston added 15. Greg Hamilton finished with 10 pts, 4 assists but a lot of their win had to do with their defense. They stopped division-leading, Derrick Tamanaha from scoring (30 ppg) limiting him to just 17 pts. If they can shut down one of the league's premier point guards from distributing, Cali Shockers could shock another top tier Bronze team.

 

 

Dream vs. Shooters
GOLD DIVISION
8:30 p.m.

 

Dream is 1-2 while Shooters is 1-1. The league has been wanting to see this match-up as one of Bronze Division's fastest players, Jake Turner, takes on some of his teammates from Cali Raisins' Gold Division affiliate team, Dream.

 

Jake Turner started his new Gold Division team this season and he is averaging 10.0 ppg, 4.0 apg. Jake benefits a lot from playing with teammate, Jordan Ramos, by being on the receiving end of Jordan's timely passes but on his Gold team, he's doing most of the playmaking himself. Marcell Mount is averaging 25.0 ppg while Dominique Daniel is averaging 32 ppg. A role player for SkyRyse's Platinum Division team, Dominique showed he can shoot lights out from long distance hitting 9 three-pointers to lead Shooters in their last win.

 

Jordan Ramos is averaging 6.3 ppg and a division-leading, 8.0 apg for Dream. Terone Johnson is averaging 21.0 ppg, 2.5 apg while Jaime Villalobos is averaging 18.5 ppg, 1.5 apg. Victor Lee is scoring 13.5 ppg while Josh Whitaker is averaging 14.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg. Dream is on a 2 game skid with tough losses against SkyRyse and Prodigy Plug.

 

 

The Heights vs. AYMHIIGH
PLATINUM DIVISION
9:30 p.m.

 

The Heights have a double-header as they take on AYMHIIGH and TEAMNOSNEAKYSTUFF. The Reigning Platinum Division Champions won't have the services of All-MVP, Ryan Carter, who is out for 2-3 weeks. GM Min Park has his team winning their last 2 but these next 2 will be a test as they play without the Reigning Player of the Week / Reigning Finals MVP. The Heights will be missing 36.3 ppg from Mr. Carter as Isaiah Watson averages 11.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg. Buddha Boyd is scoring 8.5 ppg while Adam Flash is averaging 10.0 ppg. With or without Ryan, GM Min Park knows how to get the best out of his players so don't look for The Heights to miss a beat without their All-MVP.

 

AYMHIIGH should be 2-1 but a crazy sequence in the last 2 seconds against Jets has the team at 1-2. Bobby Kovach made his return this season and the Hall of Famer is averaging a team-high, 20.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg. GM AJ Thomas is averaging a team-high, 3.7 apg, 6.7 ppg while Desmond Spencer is averaging 17.5 ppg. AJ James is scoring 8.0 ppg while Parnell Jones is averaging 10.0 ppg. The team is averaging 43.2% from the field while dishing for 11.0 apg.

 

 

The Heights vs. TEAMNOSNEAKYSTUFF
PLATINUM DIVISION
10:30 p.m.

 

There aint no SneakyStuff in The Heights cuz word on the street is, ALL-MVP is out of town. TEAMNOSNEAKYSTUFF was also missing their All-MVP in Omar Alameddine, losing their last match-up against Hilltop, 99-68.

 

"No Omar, No Win..." thought the League Commissioner.

 

"I can already hear Omar saying it, ya'll need me?" said TNSS GM, Franklin Canales.

 

It's funny that the League Commish and the team's GM were both thinking the same thing after that loss but what's not funny is TNSS is undefeated with Omar, and he is the team's MVP. AJ Hollins led the team with 19 while Dean Cello finished with 15. Haze Jtimier scored 14 while Michael Earl finished with 8 pts. While size is favorable to TNSS, The Heights' youth and athleticism spells problems for the rookie team. If they can find a way to control the tempo against The Champs, they'll have a fighting chance at beating them, without the league's MVP in Ryan Carter.

 

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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.