Crossover League Playoffs
SUTD Sports Complex
Entourage Basketball Inc vs. Average Joes 54 – 47
Team E.B.I. set a couple of goals prior to the third meeting between both teams this season: win and proceed to the Finals, and dominate while doing so. The winning goal was met, but dominance was elusive in the playoff semifinals.
The Joes proved to be the expected tough opponent, playing their compact zone defense and daring EntourageBBall players to launch outside shots, a lot of which missed their target.
Playing with a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude, the opposing team recovered from an early deficit to stay within arm’s reach for the rest of the game.
Able to rely on a full squad for the first time in weeks, E.B.I. coach Jean Jacques implored his players to attack the basket and cut down on turnovers. And for the most part, the bench mob of Jerel, Tery, Mike, Alex and Jean Baptiste led by example, converting easy shots.
Their pace was much higher than that of the starting quintet of Evan, Dave, Javier, Tolga and Sebastien, who also had some highlights but were too turnover-prone in the well-officiated game:
Playing without any of the aggressive outbursts from the first two matchups, both teams relied on their defense to create opportunities on the other side of the court.
A 10-point halftime lead was quickly wasted as the starters could not score for the first 4 minutes of the third quarter, while the Joes hit multiple jumpshots to close the gap.
Ultimately though, E.B.I. never fell behind, sealing the wire-to-wire win with calm execution and freethrow shooting late in the game.
The 12th straight E.B.I. win propels them into the Crossover League Finals: a dream matchup against the number two seed, Hougang CCMC (9-1 record) awaits.
The high scoring second seeds have reinforced their roster with more big men since they lost to EntourageBBall in the regular season and the team’s athleticism might pose some problems for the favourites.
With a full complement of E.B.I.players confirmed , this promises to be an interesting matchup of the best offensive and defensive teams in the league.
Game 1 of the Finals:
Saturday, December 3rd, 3.15 pm
SUTD Sports Complex