Friday, August 1, 2014

#SBC4 Tournament recap: Anatomy of a Champion (1 of 2)

We recently wrapped up the 4th One-Day Basketball event amongst work colleagues - The 'Real Events' SBC Tournament. The 5 team GMs for the Tournament were ostensibly the Committee members that helped put the last two events together. 'SQ' (7pts, 9rbs, 4asts, 2.5 stls) the reigning two-time MVP declared he wouldn't be participating for #SBC4. His main rival 'Mamba' (8pts, 8rbs) followed suit which was sure to open up the field and herald a new MVP. This bore itself out as 3 of the teams split their games at 2 wins apiece and an MVP race that ended neck and neck.

The distinction of winningest player goes to 'Jonesy'. Having gone 3 for 3, he's been on each Championship team since the Tournament's founding. Tasked with being a GM this time around he had the opportunity to remove the "Lucky Charm" tag, seen as simply having the good fortune of being drafted with the most devastating player. Jonesy could remove all doubt for this latest campaign, assembling and managing his own team .

With the 4th pick of the Snake draft, Jonesy wisely built his team in consultation with his #1 pick. Despite being a standout of the group, 'Leo' remains humble and arguably the most enthusiastic of the pickup game crew. Together they selected a squad based on chemistry and consistent attendance to the Wednesday sessions. I had the pleasure of being drafted to this team in the later rounds. This was a masterstroke as the team gelled and defined their roles through constant play, there were times during the midweek scrimmages where half the participants came from our squad.

What we were playing for:
SBC Championship, MVP, Steal of the Draft and Defensive Player trophies
Another visionary move by our GM was creating a private Facebook group and bringing on board Jesse as 'President Team Advisor', a motivated player unable to participate on court due to nagging knee pain. The intensity of these moves was amusing and unsettling at first but the preparedness paid dividends on Game day. Particularly the advantage of having a detached observer to critique performance and manage the minutes.

In deciding our Team Name it was only natural we consider referencing our GM's remarkable winning run. It was audacious to be sure but we figured it was better to own it, place the targets on our back and galvanise the team into winning it for his legacy. We went with 'Team UNDFTD' and based our unis on the OG Toronto Raptors. In hindsight the 2014 Phoenix Suns had a more analogous identity with our Dual PGs, twin bigs and equally rounded roster.
The #SBC4 Uniforms:
Gators, Sonics, Ruff Ryders, Team UNDFTD, Rack City
The scouting report for our opponents were as follows:
Gators - The best PG/C Pick and Roll tandem surrounded by deadly shooters
Sonics - Balanced team with Height and solid rebounders
Ruff Ryders - Guard heavy with wiley veterans (read: Lots of Pinoys)
Rack City - Headed by 3 talented all-rounders that can shoot from range

We played the Sonics first up, our weeks of wargaming was finally going to be tested in battle. It was a tight game due to their size and rebounding, the shots weren't falling on both sides but we eventually took control with what would be our calling card for the Tourney, Points off Turnovers.

Our second Game was against 'Rack City' which featured the #1 Draft pick 'Cannings' in his first SBC Tourney. His hand was sizzling after torching the 'Gators' with some deep treys. He remained hot swishing a few times from a few steps beyond the arc but our balanced play deflated them as we ran away with the game in the second half.

The SBC's inaugural MVP tallying the wins and losses
We faced the 'Ruff Ryders' next. They were winless at this point so we came in confident after two solid wins against stiff competition. Knowing they had nothing to lose, the team of scrappy vets played with spirit and lead by 5 going into the second term. We knew we outmatched them in positions and had a second gear to access, we flipped the switch and took control with end to end to plays in transition.
Tournament intermission: Takeaway stir fry. 
Entering into the break we had lived up to our name, we knew we matched well with our opponents and it was just a matter of meeting the intensity come the later rounds. For the 30min intermission, Commissioner Von brought out takeway Stir Fry to feed the combatants and referees, an SBC first.

The months of scrimmages and excited chatter was coming to fruition. It was still a long Road to Glory but we were liking our chances. Would we meet our date with destiny?
Find out: #SBC4 Tournament recap: Road to Glory (2 of 2)

Find posts on previous Star Basketball events
- 30 Home Games participates in a Final Four Tournament
- 30HomeGames at the 2nd Star Basketball Tournament
Star Basketball Tournament II recap
- Star Basketball Tournament III: Kicks on Court Gallery
- Recap of the 3rd Star Basketball Tournament
#SBC4 Star Basketball Tournament IV: Kicks on Court Gallery
- #SBC4 Tournament recap: Anatomy of a Champion (1 of 2)
- #SBC4 Tournament recap: Road to Glory (2 of 2)

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