Saturday, August 2, 2014

#SBC4 Tournament recap: Road to Glory (2 of 2)

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

After our low key win and the 30 minute break we were on bench duty. We were able to scout the first two teams who we considered formidable contenders for the Final. The Sonics gained the edge over Rack City in a game that went down to the wire. Their superior rebounding and interior presence overcoming Rack City's firepower. On the other court, hollering could be heard as Gators' guard 'Mik' lit up the Ruff Ryders with 4 triples. Mik was the reigning Champion GM, his long range form foreshadowing what was to come as we faced them next.

A gutsy 31-29 win by the 'Sonics' over 'Rack City'
After our hiatus we began our final Round-Robin, 10 minute game flat footed. The 'Gators' started the game hot, scoring exclusively from downtown on their first six shots. They also had the Tourney's most devastating Center and best Floor General so they controlled the game in the half court, lobbing it to their Big Man in the paint for easy points.

With 7 minutes to go and trailing 15-24 I'm sure it dawned on us that even if we were fortunate enough to win it all, it would lose its sting if we hadn't gone Undefeated. Our Big, "Superman" started the slow climb back with consecutive buckets before resting. Our last pick and virtual lock for 'Steal of the Draft' began to take the game over, forcing turnovers, hitting "And Ones" and a handy trey. Incredibly, 'Chang' had been making a case for each trophy the whole tournament. His performance in this game would have made it tough for the GMs voting for MVP. Remarkably we clawed our way back, trading baskets to close the match. "Uncle Drew" hit the clutch go-ahead jumper, our first lead of the game. 'Big D' got a questionable call the other way and knocked down his Free throws to put the Gators' back on top. With 20 seconds left our other Big 'Linsanity' dribbled it forcefully inside to hit the game-clinching deuce. 28-27, we survived. It was clear the team took it's name to heart. Whilst the title picture remained just as uncertain, this game showed we had the fortitude to match all Challengers

The epic comeback coming to fruition
The Semis pitted the Gators' against 'Rack City'. We would face the 'Sonics' who dropped to the 4th seed on for and against. Both matches were replays of our opening games, our showdown mirrored the first but shots were falling this time as both teams played loose. The 15 minute halves for the Championship stages worked to our advantage having the deepest roster. As we had a chain with solid links and standout players we could simply outlast opponents as their Stars got tired. The 10 extra minutes was the difference in our rematch with the Sonics.

The #SBC4 Stat sheet
Our toughest matchup, the Gators' faced a different problem. After being torched by 'Cannings' they applied a 'Box-and-One' defense for the rematch to contain him and force the other players to score. It was a fatal misdiagnosis as they underestimated the supporting cast and the equally deadly 'Taiwan Tiger' and 'Ridirkulous'. Rack City dominated, almost beating them by double. The 'Gators' unable to reverse their misjudged strategy change.

Whilst we expected the daunting prospect of facing the Gators for a Finals showdown. The incredible 50+ point Semi Finals performance by Rack City signaled they were coming into form. The MVP trophy was up for grabs with at least 5 players staking their claim. Check out these Tourney averages:
#8 Cannings (Top scorer, 1st Overall pick) - 12pts, 3asts, 5rebs, 2stls, 1blk
#41 Ridirkulous (Double Double) - 10pts, 10rebs, 1stl, 1blk

#11 Leo (Team leader) - 7pts, 3asts, 3rebs, 3stls
#2 Superman (Force in the middle) - 6pts, 5rebs, 1stl
#0 Chang (8th rd selection) - 6pts, 2asts, 3rebs, 2stl, 1blk
VIDEO: #SBC4 Finals recap - Team UNDFTD vs Rack City

Whilst the MVP trophy could have legitimately gone to any of these standout players, it was the Finals that ultimately clinched it. Leo in the game that mattered most dropped 9 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals to claim the award. To be fair his supposed "Stand-in" dropped a comparable line, in many ways 'Chang' wasn't an understudy as much as a duplicate of the MVP. He even challenged for 'Defensive Player' honors from the Guard position, the award going to 'Superman' who was an imposing anchor for our team.

Yes we did! 'UNDFTD' Championship Celebration.
Team UNDFTD, #SBC4 Champions
We did it! All the hard work and preparation paid off. Bringing on sideline coach Jesse was instrumental to our success and incredibly 'Jonesy' remained Undefeated claiming his 4th title. This one surely the sweetest, taking home the Championship trophy for orchestrating arguably the best campaign of #SBC tournament history.

Another amazing event hosted by Von RM. The standard of play, organisation and competition keeps improving with each iteration. Can't wait for the next one.

The impressiveness of the team was revealed in the following Tournament's Draft when 4 of our stars were selected by Round 2. The whole squad picked up by the fourth - SBC5 Draft Results

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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