The newly renamed Healthy Buffalo Champions League takes flight with a record 22 teams. Concrete knocks off the VeryAgressiveGuys in the West, while Sponge Bob Square Pants takes a rare early season loss.
Buffalo, NY- The Champions League officially kicked off this past Saturday, following an active off season. A handful of new teams made there debut, while a number of teams made some off season acquisitions. What is probably the most intriguing is Mike Bennett leaving the VeryAggressiveGuys for their divisional rival Concrete.
Nick DeMonte and the Fastbreakers started off the action against Nick DiGangi and White Men Can’t Jump. League newcomer Rodney Joyner looked to get some early season recognition with a nice one-handed dunk early in the second half. Steve Musso lit it up for White Men Can’t Jump, scoring a team high 19 points and leading his squad to a 61-53 point victory.
In game two, former Monstars captain James Kim returned to the Champions League with a whole new squad, Jeremy Lin & the Tempations to take on league newcomers the Buffalo Braves. Sam Fleming also had an impressive debut scoring a team high 20 points, including six three-pointers, but the Buffalo Braves put their first notch in the win column behind Galem Stone who scored a game high 22 points to lead the Buffalo Braves to a 59-56 point victory.
In game three the Billies came out with a chip on their shoulders after a disappointing end to their season in KJ5. Justin Andreozzi came out right where he left off last season leading the Billies with 25 points to wrap up the win against league veteran Paul Staring and Peerless Insurance, 61-48.
In the 4pm game Healthy Buffalo took on Prestige Worldwide, which was formed as a result of a fallout with league legend Nasty Nick Pfohman and new GM Matt Sommer. Prestige Worldwide got off to an anemic start offensively, and looked to be in desperate need of a dose of Nasty Nick on offense. But in the second half they turned it up behind a balanced offensive attack making a nice run and closing a 16 point gap down to four. They came up short in the end though as Knights veteran Andy Fanelli made his debut and Brian Walter lit up the scoreboard with a game high 29 points, leading Healthy Buffalo to a 57-53 point win.
Next up was Concrete versus the VeryAggressiveGuys. There was a lot of tension in this game as VeryAggressiveGuys veteran Mike Bennett jumped ship to Concrete in the off season. Both of these teams are known for their feisty defense and solid team play, which always makes for an excellent matchup. In a tightly played, low scoring affair Concrete made the big shots when they counted the most. Frank Franklin knocked down a big three-pointer with time winding down in the first half and then just as the VeryAggressiveGuys were making a run in the final minutes of the game, Mike Bennett delivered the dagger with a big three-pointer to put the game away for good. Final Score: V.A.G. 39, Concrete 45.
In the first Eastern Conference game of the night Sponge Bob Square Pants took on We All We Got. Sponge Bob Square Pants started off on the wrong foot as captain Jon Burgio was absent for opening day and Sponge Bob had to play opening day with only four players. Adam Lafleur (25 points) and Matt Tucholski (27 points) played admirably, but We All We Got overwhelmed them behind Tito Harris (21 points) and Kevin Hairston (17 points) who led their team to a 83-73 victory on opening night.
In the 7pm game Reloaded took the court against Court Justice. Dave Radomski did his work in the off season, picking up Brian Roddey from Swagged Out and recruiting newcomer Nick Jarmusz who scored 17 points in his debut performance in addition to kicking in a couple big time blocks. But it was Kevin Ford who stole the show, scoring a career high 32 points and leading Court Justice to a 79-73 point victory.
Healthy Buffalo welcomed Bashir Ansari and Team First back to the fold after a couple seasons off. Unfortunately their first game was against a pumped up Slaughterhouse squad composed of all sorts of Kronies Jamfest legends. In his first game away from Court Justice, Perry Davis took control of the game leading all scorers with 22 points, two of which came in a remarkable two-handed put back dunk to shift momentum in Slaughterhouses favor for good. Final Score: Slaughterhouse 54, Team First 45.
United Hoops was set to make their debut next against the legendary Norfolk N’ Chance. Chris Robinson (7 points) and Justin Stokes (5 points) had solid debuts, but United Hops couldn’t muster enough offense to stay with Norfolk N’ Chance who cruised to a 49-19 victory with a balanced attack to start the season in the win column.
In the final game of Week 1, MVP Network Consulting came roaring into action with a new name (formerly UGot Kirbstomped) and a revamped roster (picking up All-Stars Darrik Bloomfield, Ron Malicki, and veteran Seth Donalis). They had a tall task in front of them as they had to take on big man Andrew Alfieri, who fresh off winning the Western Conference title with The U.H. decided to take teammate Travis Craig and branch off to form Ball Never Lies. This was an excellent matchup to finish the day, one that needed to be decided in OT. Travis Craig (28 points) led a remarkable attack, including three consecutive baskets for Ball Never Lies down the stretch to push the game to overtime, but Terence Dill and Darrik Bloomfield had just enough in the tank to push MVP over the top, 61-56.
Week 1 is in the books. Next week Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy and R.I.P. Ent will make their season debuts after byes in opening week. There is little room for error in the quest for a Champions League title, so rest up and get ready for Buffalo’s best basketball action to resume next Saturday.