Road to the Final.
EntourageBBall inc. Jaguars, finished the regular Season in fourth Place with a 4-6 record, with Team FastBreak Black (7-3) topping the standings. Our Squad then qualified for the Playoffs in a hard-fought Play-in Game against 5th-Place Dunkaroos, a match in which ‘roos Pro-Player Leung scored 45 Points, while shooting 33(!) Freethrows.
Due to the mid-December Date, injury & travel-related, multiple Jaguars Players, including all 3 top scorers Lukas, Josh and Mcrid were unavailable for the Playoff Semis. A great opportunity for the rest of the roster to step up: which they did in impressive manner.
Led by veteran E.B.I. Guard Terence (19 Pts) and newest Jaguars PG, Christian (18 PTS / 10 REBS), the men in green & black dismantled League-leaders FB-Black with a 19-7 lead in the first quarter. Weathering a second half comeback, the 76-67 victory showcased the depth of last Season’s roster, all nine players contributed, and the Squad cruised to the win.
Back in the Finals for the first time since the Spring 2019 Season, we lost the championship game against Team Cut Gym fair & square 71-81. Chasing a 20 Point deficit for 3 quarters is never a recipe for success, especially in the Finals. A spirited defensive effort in the last six minutes saw us cut the lead down to 8, but the hot-shooting opponents had time on their side.
Here’s the twist: the ‘Champs’ had not abided by FastBreak League regulations, adding Players to their Playoff rotation who were ineligible to play. League rules state players have to play multiple (3) regular season games to be Playoff-eligible, the players in question had none.
So no Champion crowned that night but the League office, after deliberating with both Team managers, came to a fair executive decision: the Fall 2022 Championship Game would have to be replayed Febrary 8: only eligible Players allowed.
An important aside: amazing support by non-playing teammates, Friends and Family of our little Club, Wednesday. Loudest court we’ve played at in a long time. Thank you!
The replay of the Championship Game was in danger early February, as Cut Gym could not field 5 eligible players. E.B.I-GM, Dave, begrudgingly agreed to league manager Kiran’s suggestion to allow ineligible players so the Season could be concluded. Cut Gym arrived with a small contingent of current & former National Team players while we had the privilege of adding Team New Zealand and Pro-Player, Jordan Ngatai, to our ranks. Sadly we could not rediscover the cohesive Gameplay of the Semifinal (and the second half of the previous Finals Game) and were down 12 Points at halftime. Opponents were red-hot from the Perimeter and consistently scored easy transition Baskets, and the rout was on. Jaguars lost the make-up Final 92-62.
Big congrats to our injured top scorer, Lukas for winning the ‘FG Leader’ Award this season. Even while playing only two thirds of the regular season, Lukas was the 6th best scorer with 16.5 Points per Game. Hope the achilles heals well and we’ll see you back oncourt soon-ish, Luki.