Buffalo, NY- The action started off fast and furious in Round 1 as White Men Can’t Jump and Concrete battled it in a game certain to be getting hundreds of YouTube hits for years to come. Joe Catalano (16 points) and Greg Brown (13 points) cam up huge in the closing minute to propel White Men Can’t Jump into the semis. The Very Aggressive Guys made short work of the Healthy Buffalo squad. It appeared like a tough draw for the Very Aggressive Guys after their tough regular season matchup with the season hanging on the line the Very Aggresive Guys cruised to a big win. In another classic in the making the Billies narrowly escaped their matchup against the U.H. All kinds of Billies stepped up in this one as Brendan MacIntyre hit some key free throws down the stretch, Dan Graffam hit a big time 3-pointer, and Frank Pieri (21 points) and Mark Ward (18 points) kept the offensive pedal to the metal. James Capuana (11 points) made the three-pointer off the backboard at the buzzer which would have won the game, but after careful review it was determined that the ball was still in his hands as the clock expired.
In one of the league’s more bizarre episodes Yao Know What I Ming tried to bring a in a ringer for the playoffs that had never played in the league ever. The player in question was a Marine that was home from active duty. When they were told he was ineligible for the playoffs, in the big matchup of #4 versus #5 they were outraged, shocked, said that Healthy Buffalo did ‘not support the troops’, was disrespectful and will never play in a Healthy Buffalo league again. To clarify Healthy Buffalo’s position we adamantly support the troops and would do anything to support a soldier in need and their family. However, we fail to find the corollary between supporting the troops and allowing a team to subvert the rules to gain an unfair advantage in a critical matchup, which is more or less cheating and not very honorable (Please feel free to offer your thoughts in the comment section of the post). What was particularly unfair to Healthy Buffalo league administrators was to show up out of nowhere and expect a snap decision to be made to break the rules and then question the patriotism of the commissioner. If we had advance notice we would have loved the opportunity to show our support by offering a commemorative jersey or another form of acknowledgement and we certainly understand Yao Know What Ming’s win at all cost mentality, but in sports a league is only as good as it’s ability to draw clear rules that teams must abide by and stick to them. Shawn Satarian exploded for 30 points in the contest and blew up a close game in the first half to to win in commanding fashion and advance to the semis to face the #1 seeded Very Aggressive Guys.
In the first game of League A action the Superstars shocked Norfolk N’ Chance. Norfolk N’ Chance welcomed the return of captain Anthony Giordano, who was coming back from a broken nose. Shortly after being selected to his first All-Star team, Tito Harris Jr. led the Superstars with 16 points and a win and a trip to the semis. In the 6pm game the Cleveland Beamers knocked off the Franchise players to continue their strong run. Edvin Ramulic, who was honored for bringing home the scoring title before the game, scored a game high 32 points to lead all scorers.
In the final game of the night United Hoops was looking to shock the world against the Tune Squad. They had their fan base out in full force, a crowd that could very well challenge the Very Aggressive Guys as the leagues best. They were fired up and ready to go and led most of the way through the first half. Xavier Ruiz knocked down four three-pointers in the first half and had United Hoops believing that they were going to the semis. But the Tune Squad fought back, carried a five point lead into the half, and then held United Hoops to 14 second half points and had their ticket punched to the semis to take on the Superstars on December 14th.