Everything you think you knew about the competitive balance of the Champions League… forget it.
Buffalo, NY- Upsets reigned supreme in the seventh week of action in the Champions League. In game one, Norfolk N’ Chance embarked on the post-Papincak era against a Concrete team on the rise after the acquisition of Carlos Hawkins. It was a nail-biter throughout, with Dean Antalik (24 points) moving back into the role as the primary offensive weapon for Norfolk N’ Chance, but Concrete was able to squeeze out the victory 61-59.
In game two, Court Justice surrendered a large lead and suffered their first loss of the season to Buffalo’s Finest 94-92. Buffalo’s Finest was led by the strong play of Roy Wallace (29 points) and Dave Robinson (31 points). The win gives a big boost to Buffalo’s Finest as they look to make a run in the standings in the final two weeks of the season.
The Raw Dawgs put on a show against R.I.P. Ent, as R.I.P. Ent continues to struggle without their leader Mitch Reese and their starting point guard Jeremy Rowe. Shane Canahai led all scorers with 22 points, while Darrik Bloomfield provided the fireworks with some nice dunks to carry the Raw Dawgs to the 78-57 win and to move within a half game of Court Justice for control of the Eastern Division.
White Men Can’t Jump is another team on the rise as they knocked off perennial powerhouse Sponge Bob Square Pants 72-68. Drew Bielowski had a career game scoring 24 points to lead Sponge Bob, but his career day was spoiled by the heroics of Perry Davis who continues to lead White Men Can’t Jump’s push into the playoffs.
In the first game of action in the Western Division Phi Slamma Jamma made a statement with a breathtaking upset against the Billies. Phi Slamma Jamma put on a dominating performance in the first half led by Rookie of the Year candidate Brian Jolley (18 points), taking a 32-17 lead into the half. In the second half the Billies made a run and tied up the game in the closing moments, before giving up the winning basket with only seconds remaining on the clock. Billies captain Rich Lynch was furious with the results and what he perceived was a lapse on time management by the Healthy Buffalo administrators. Phi Slamma Jamma captain Chris Reichmuth attributed his teams excellent performance and first win of the season as a result of being out of the spotlight, as this was one of Phi Slamma Jamma’s first non-televised games.
In the 8pm game Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy had what it thought was an easy win coming against the winless THE Goon Squad. However, as stated in much of Healthy Buffalo’s previous analysis, THE Goon Squad is much better than their record indicates and after witnessing Phi Slamma Jamma’s big win, they knew they needed to pull off the upset to stay in playoff contention. In the first half Jeff Romans (26 points) continued his solid play of late with 16 points to lead his squad to a surprising 32-25 lead at the half, and they would hold onto the lead throughout handing Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy just their second loss of the season 55-51.
In the 9pm game, The U.H. took a drubbing by the VeryAggressiveGuys, who welcomed the return of former teammate Mike Bennett (9 points) to the lineup. It was a vintage VeryAggresiveGuys victory, reminiscent of their championship years, as they distributed the ball well and played excellent team defensive, holding The U.H. to just 13 first half points in the 62-34 win.
In the final game of the night the Fastbreakers hosted JLin & The Temptations in what was an instant Healthy Buffalo classic. JLin & The Temptations held a slim lead throughout, but Shawn Satarian put together his best half of the season scoring 17 second half points to take the game to OT, after JLin & The Temptations surrendered a five point lead with eight seconds remaining. However, after exchanging free throws in OT, JLin & The Temptation managed to squeeze out a 70-67 win to maintain possession of first place in the West.