Spring 2015 Season recap: how the championship was won

Team Entourage went through a rough transition before the Jammers International Weekend League (Season 11) began early 2015. Coming off a disappointing playoff quarterfinal loss to the IFS Vikings, a low point in the team’s season; only 6 players were available to play, former coach Sergei decided to leave for greener pastures. He had led the team to 2 playoff finals and 6 consecutive winning seasons, highlighted by an unbeaten record (14-0) in 2012, but the title stayed just out of reach.

Sergei coaching: 2014
Coach Sergei: Jammers League Nov. 2014

The league also had to deal with the start of ProAm – SBL’s sophomore season, an exciting semi-pro league drawing the best local and expat players in. This led to only 7 teams committing to Season 11 of the Jammers International weekend league.

Entourage Basketball was in danger of not fielding a team, but player/coach Dave, pulling double duty as a player in ProAm-SBL and coaching Entourage’s team, managed to keep the team together.
Team founder and Point Guard Evan returned to the roster and veteran forwards Tolga and JJ plus long-time injured center Eric all committed to the team. Shooting Guard Mark also found his way back after recovering from knee surgery. A pleasant surprise was 2012 teammate Ronnie making his comeback. Returning from the previous season were big man Tony, combo guards Terrence and Sam and young forward Alex.

On paper, the team was stacked, intelligent, experienced players at all positions. As always in amateur basketball, players kept recruiting and inviting players to try out for the team. Guards Sinan and Sujith joined shortly before the season kicked off.

Team Entourage lost the first game of the season against White Heat, a new addition to the league, then proceeded to stumble through the early part of the season. Player availability was lacking, the team had not prepared in the pre-season.By April, Entourage had pulled off a 4 game winning streak, beating old rivals Jammers, WG Sonics, Kelekonas and newcomers SlamJam.

Changes were made in the roster, Sam left for the Sonics, Tolga and Sinan were unavailable for long stretches. Additional players joined to supplement the roster; big man Daniel and SG Andrew, who had played for the team in 2014.

Jammers League had trouble with court availability resulting in multiple week-long hiatus for the team, the longest lasting 5 weeks. Coach Dave insisted on weekly practice sessions to keep the team in rhythm; this proved crucial for team chemistry. A win against team White Heat secured a playoff position, the team then lost a nail-biter to WG Sonics to end the regular season with a 7 – 5 record. (Jammers League Regular Season standings June ’15)

4 teams qualified for the playoffs (Jammers, Victoria’s Secret, WG Sonics and Entourage BBall), the format was 1 game, instant elimination. Entourage in 4th position faced the league leading Sonics in the semifinals: it turned into a classic.

Séb challenging Tuan of the Sonics
Séb challenging Tuan of the Sonics

In a highly contested, fiery game, both teams (regular season head-to-head matchup, 1:1) had multiple lead changes. The Sonics had a few national team players on their side but Entourage Basketball also had a full roster, JJ fresh off his championship run with the Falcons in the ProAM-SBL and Dave back in uniform. Entourage won the game on a halfcourt buzzer beating 3 by Evan: culmination of a fantastic individual game by the team’s captain and main ballhandler.

Another 2 week break resulted in the Finals being postponed then re-scheduled multiple times. Sadly the opposing team, VS, could or would not accept the league’s proposed finals date and lost the Championship by forfeit.

An unsatisfactory ending to the season led to the team’s first trophy after joining the Jammers league 3 years ago. Entourage Basketball overcame a rocky start, came together as a team and as a result, played attractive basketball. It remains to be seen if the squad can catch lightning in a bottle two seasons in a row as they prepare for season 12, beginning September ’15.

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Left to right: JJ, Sébastien, Ronnie, Sujith, Eric, Evan (and Teddy :-), Daniel, Dave, Terrence, Mark.
Rest of the team: Alex, Tolga, Sinan, Andrew and Tony

New season slated to start mid-September

The Entourage Basketball roster has been practicing in anticipation of the upcoming Jammers International Weekend League. Winning the championship in July does not guarantee success as Season 12 promises to be a strong one with more teams seemingly involved in the competition.

Mainstays such as shooting guard extraordinaire Andrew and veteran center Eric have moved abroad, local PG Sam to a rival team. Entourage Managers Evan and Séb have done a solid job recruiting players at PG, PF and SF, now it’s up to player/coach Dave to get everyone back on the same page.

A major factor in teams’ rosters will be the start of the ProAm SBL league, a semi-pro league that had an exciting 2nd season earlier this year. Big budgets guarantee the influx of talented players from around the world but local players also contribute to the teams. Last season’s SBL champ, Falcons, relied on a trio of american players supplemented by strong local talent.

Pro AM SBL league is stated to begin December 2015 and teams are already jockeying for position in securing the best players from in and around Singapore.
Stay tuned for more media, info etc. about Entourage BBALL’s pre-season preparations

New uniforms; an evolution

Entourage Basketball’s current unis premiered in early 2013. The team has now designed and ordered a new look for the upcoming season. And here it is………..

Uniform Design
Concept, August 2015

Alex, Tony & Daniel

Fall ’15 uniform: Entourage Inc.
Debut: November ’15

Here’s how the team’s look has changed since 2008.

1
2008/2009: The McDonalds all-american look

Teamphoto Entourage Fall 2010
2010 – 2012: (light) Blue Steel
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Spring 2012 – “Street 31” loaners courtesy of Jammers League

 

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Fall 2012: 14-0  regular season record in the NY-Knicks “kryptonite” look

 

Champs!
2015: Champions in Green/orange/black

Basketball club in Singapore: Est. 2008.