And then there were two! Finals match-ups are set. See the full photo album up on the Metro League FACEBOOK PAGE.
It was “Money Time” in the Final Four, as spots for the Championship game next week were on the line! The Stallions know more about that than any other team in Vancouver Metro League history! The upstart Blouses squad were still riding the high of last week’s upset victory, and looked to shock the world!
Blouses is in the process of getting a patent for their 2-3 zone - it is so unorthodox and confusing to their opponents, and themselves, that It looks like a 1-2-2 or even a 3-2 half court zone. This defense was the key to their upset last week, and at the start of this game, it looked like it would be effect in this game against the dynasty that they call The Stallions! Early in the game, this game was mucked up! Not truly a sloppy game, but a probing game to say the least. The Stallions resembled a Great White Shark, probing and testing the Blouses unusual defense. Eventually the size of the Stallions would poke holes in the defense, and run into the half with a 13 point lead.
That lead was deceiving because it led you to believe that Blouses were closer than they really were. As a young team, they live and die off of early shot clock action. The Stallions turned up the defense near the end of the first half, and it carried over to the second half. Birthday Boy Darryl L raced all over the court with the rest of his team, diving for loose balls and pushing the break with Brody Greig leading the way.
The second half turned into a track meet, which just about every team loses against The “Thoroughbreds” named the Stallions. In the end, they took the victory running away like the newest Triple Crown Winner “Justify”. Up next - the championship game for yet another chance to add to their trophy case!
Stallions Top Performers:
Mark Halfknights - 17 Points | 5 Rebounds
Jitt Locham - 12 Points | 10 Rebounds | 4 Blocks | 1 Steal
Braedan - 12 Points | 3 Rebounds
Blouses Top Performers:
David Yap - 14 Points | 2 Rebounds
Abdi Mohamud - 8 Points | 2 Rebounds | 1 Assist
Ahmed Mohamud - 7 Points | 5 Rebounds | 1 Block | 1 Steal
The other spot in the championship final would go to either Outworkcrew or Ball So Hard. Playing with only five players didn’t matter for Outworkcrew as they got off to a strong start that did not look good for Ball So Hard. Brandon Hoyem and Jack Ho would return to the line-ups for Ball So Hard, but Outworkcrew’s size caused a number of problems for Ball So Hard. Bruce Komakech would be the stand-out in the first half, with a number of blocks and one monster dunk in transition. With Alan Hogan arriving late, Ball So Hard found themselves down 56-31 at the half.
Most teams down 25 at the half would throw the towel in and give up in the second. Not Ball So Hard. Despite a big second half from Pat Simon for Outworkcrew, Ball So Hard would chip away at the lead and somehow find themselves down single digits in the closing minutes. A stop, followed by a bucket, followed by an Outworkcrew turnover would bring Ball So Hard to within three points. The game tying attempt for Ball So Hard would miss, but Alan Hogan would chase down the loose ball and feed Jack Ho who would tie the game on his own three pointer. After a timeout, Outworkcrew would go iso ball for Bruce Komakech who calmly knocked down a pull-up jumper to regain the lead. On the final possession of the game, a potential game winner for Ball So Hard would just rim out and the ensuing game-tying putback….would come just after the final buzzer. Outworkcrew would escape with the 88-86 win and book their ticket to the finals.
Outworkcrew Top Performers:
Bruce Komakech - 34 Points | 11 Rebounds | 5 Blocks | 2 Steals | 1 Assist
Pat Simon - 22 Points | 5 Rebounds | 2 Steals | 1 Block
Luka Zaharijevic - 14 Points | 6 Rebounds | 2 Steals
Ball So Hard Top Performers:
Jack Ho - 25 Points | 3 Rebounds | 2 Steals | 1 Assist
Alan Hogan - 22 Points | 11 Rebounds | 3 Steals | 2 Blocks
Brandon Hoyem - 12 Points | 11 Rebounds | 1 Steal
These two teams were more evenly matched than people thought. The team dynamics were different, but similar at the same time. Both teams had average height across the board, and both loved to shoot the three. Humble Beast came into this game the underdogs, but they came out swinging early and often! Humble Beast’s underrated three point shooting was on full display to start the game, and they were able to blitz the sometimes “slow starting” TTP squad. A few people even asked “What is going on with them?”. I replied with “Don’t worry, they will get it going.” Almost like clockwork, TTP began to put the ball in the hole! TTP’s Nedim Muminovic and Sunny Chen would battle back and get the game tied at the halftime break 31-31!
The second half would start out as a tug of war, but TTP’s firepower was deep and too much for Humble Beast! Humble Beast’s Myka, Austin, and AJ shot the lights out from three-point land to make it interesting, but the “Bradley Cooper Twinns” Maher and Seemo were the stars of the show! Along with Jeff Chan’s “You Can’t See Me” two pointer after a small dust up with one of the HB players.
TTP Top Performers:
Nedim Muminovic - 19 Points | 8 Rebounds
Sunny Chen - 11 Points | 6 Rebounds | 2 Steals
Seemo Elusini - 11 Points | 5 Rebounds | 1 Assist
Humble Beast Top Performers:
Myka Tang-Blumenschein - 16 Points | 4 Rebounds | 1 Steal
AJ Jones - 15 Points | 3 Rebounds | 1 Steal
Austin - 12 Points | 1 Rebound
Undeafeated The Party was looking to keep that record perfect as they would play the underdog Academy team. Despite being the higher seed, both teams looked evenly matched early on. For The Party, Chris Loreth would have a strong start to the game with a number of easy buckets. Turnovers would plague Academy early which resulted in a 36-27 deficit at the half.
The point differential would stay steady throughout the second half as the teams played evenly and trading baskets. Will Johnson was solid chipping in 13 points while Lukas Domingo added three triples in the game. Down the stretch, however, Niko Mottus would play hero as he knocked down multiple 3’s in the final minutes including a four-point play. The young Academy team would give it their all but would come up short. Final score 67-50.
The Party Top Performers:
Niko Mottus - 21 Points | 7 Rebounds
Will Johnson - 13 Points | 2 Rebounds | 1 Steal
Chris Loreth - 13 Points | 5 Rebounds
Academy Top Performers:
Anton Poburko - 10 Points | 5 Rebounds
Paul Didenko - 10 Points
Raj Paul - 7 Points | 6 Rebounds