Defending champs keep on rolling

Crossover Basketball League (SE3)
Game 5, Sun. 04.03.17
@ SUTD sports complex

Monstars vs. E.B.I: 41 – 77

Game 5 of the Crossover League (SE3) regular season featured a matchup between the defending champs and a Monstars team that had sold itself well in the last matchup against E.B.I. Monstars proved to be a pesky opponent on the defensive end but were ultimately not blessed with enough firepower to pull out the win last season.

Entourage Basketball Inc on the other hand was having a banner season, winning the first four games by an average of 25 points and holding opponents to a league-leading low of 36 points per game. The team’s offense had also picked up compared to Season two, and another potent weapon was unleashed against the Monstars: new roster addition and point guard, Amir.

Amir in his E.B.I. debut

The experienced guard (2015/16 ProAm-SBL champion) coming back from a broken leg, joined the team in the pre-season but only just found his rythm. Joined by Dave, another season debutant and injured since last December, the 10-man squad was at peek prowess for this game.

The Monstars had also picked up new talent and their power forward, Keith, single-handedly carried their offense in the first quarter. Repeatedly unleashing a silky jumper against any E.B.I. defender, he helped keep it a close contest with the score tied at 18 points apiece to end the 1st quarter.

And then the floodgates opened…..

An impassioned appeal by Dave, doubling as player-coach due to JJ’s absence, was well received by the E.B.I. players as they applied the defensive pressure and forced more turnovers. Fasbreak points picked up and the game was nearing blow-out status by the third quarter. Then Amir and center JB decided to prematurely end all proceedings by doing this:

The alley-oop dunk, undoubtedly the play of the season so far, was the exclamation point on a strong offensive outburst in the middle quarters.jb-alley-oop.jpg.jpg

Four Entourage players scored in double figures, Alex, Jerel, Alejandro and Jean Baptiste, underscoring the solid team mentality. The rebound battle was won 32-23 and 14 assists (to just 7 turnovers) capped off by twelve steals and seven(!) blocked shots, showcase how locked in the victors were.

Monstars, with their new pickup, can be optimistic about their second half of the season, but on this day, Entourage Basketball Inc was not in the mood to hand out victories.

The fifth straight win, 19-0 going back to last season, puts the team comfortably at the top of the league standings. One team though, has an identical record, Yong Seng.

Last year’s finalists, formerly known as Hougang CCMC, have added new players in the hopes of de-throning the current champs. They’ll get their first try this Saturday at 2.45 pm; E.B.I. vs Yong Seng @ SUTD sports complex.