• Titans Prevail 18U Div.

    May 25, 2015 - The NY Titans and Markham FCCM Shake Hands Post an Action Packed Boys 18U Championship Game.
  • Canton China to Montreal

    May 25, 2015 - Canton United, Men’s 45+ Basketball Team Travels From Canton China to Play.

    May 25, 2015 - Toronto CCYAA Captures Two Men’s Divisions Championships, 35+ & 45+.
LA Achormen Scores Big in B-Town!
Written by: Mike Mon

A record shattering 16 teams took part in the 2011 Mens Friendship Division. With so many teams in this division, pool play wasn’t even completed until 10am on Sunday morning. Following the round robin portion, the top 2 squads in each pool advanced to the Medal Round. Up first was the #1 Philadelphia Fastball team vs the #8 New York Tigers. Fastball entered as a heavy favorite, having captured the Pre-NACBAIT Classic only a month earlier, and they looked good in pool play as they earned the top seed based on point differentials. The Tigers meanwhile, were entering their first NACBAIT so they definitely had the jitters as the tipoff neared. True to their name, Fastball played an uptempo pace that the Tigers couldn’t keep up with. The Tigers kept trying to run their offense through their 6-4 All-NACBA center Steve Lin (6 points, 2 dimes, and 12 rebounds) but with Tung Le and Khang Tang playing good defense it was hard for Coach Gong’s team to get their normal looks. Heng Guo (9 pts, 3 steals) and Stephen Lok (6 pts) were superstars in the backcourt as Philly won 38-21. On Court 2, it was MMAC Mars v/s the NY Falcons Red. The talented Falcons had come in as one of the teams with deep run potential, as Coach Law has really put in a lot of effort in this team over the past few years. But NY couldn’t make the necessary adjustments to the rough style of play that MMAC was getting away with. Montreal ran a lot of (moving) screens to get their shooters tremendous wide open looks. The Falcons couldn’t counter and fell behind by 6-7 points early on. Top dog Henry Lam (All-NACBA) was rendered ineffective (no first half points) as Montreal rushed him like a pack of wolves each time he got his hands on the basketballs. G Jarrett Lee also had a hard time getting by the snatching and grabbing defensive style of the Canadians. By the time NY realized they weren’t going to get any help from the guys with the whistles, it was too late. Chris Yee came on and sealed the game for MMAC by hitting 8 points in the second half as Mars won 42-31. On Court 3, it was the #3 Boston Knights Red squaring off with the LA Anchormen. As soon as you saw the Anchormen play, you knew they probably didn’t belong in this division. But this was their first trip to the Chinese Nationals so they didn’t know what the level of play was going to be like. The talent disparity became evident mighty quickly as they raced to a 15 point edge with PG Brian Houng (10 pts, 3 assists, All-NACBA), lanky center Henry Kwan (8 pts), and unsung F David Kuo (16 pts, 2-2 ft) wreaking too much havoc for the host Knights to control. LA advanced without too much strain 44-30. In the last game of the round, it was two teams that no one had advancing to the Medal Round brackets. The shocking #2 NY Crossbearers B tipped it off against the inexperienced #7 NY Falcons White. Buoyed by Horace Qiu (9 pts) and Anderson Kwok (6 pts), the Falcons took a 19-17 halftime lead. But in the second half, it was the Crossbearers star forward Kevin King inside (14 pts) and PG Leslie Yeung (8 pts, 1 super clutch three pointer) who got the job done for a 38-30 win.

In the Semifinals, the game that everyone seemed to gravitate to was the Phila Fastball B-Montreal MMAC Mars matchup on Court 3. At the start, Montreal’s James Tsai sank a couple of deep dialups and Montreal had the lead right away. Philadelphia didn’t fold as they knew it was going to be a long game. Fastball got back in it by playing their game, utilizing its entire 11 man roster and a full court man to man defense. Montreal’s center George Wu (13 pts, 9 rebs) was doing big time work, and it was neck and neck. Fastball tried to speed up the pace at their end, while Montreal played a patient offensive game looking for good shots against a gambling Philly defense. Each team had their moments. Fastball had a 5 point lead midway through the second half, and it looked as if they were going to pull away. But All-Tournament G Chris Yee did an unexpectedly good job as he scored 9 points in the second half to give MMAC the lead. A couple of trips down the court ended up with two missed layups for Tung Le and an ugly turnover for Heng Guo as Fastball was forced to foul. Montreal hit from the charity stripe the next few possessions. Sam Nguyen of Fastball came off the bench to sink two consecutive miracle threes to get Philly within striking distance. Fastball was down by three with 3 seconds to go and the ball all the way down at their own baseline. They came out and got the rock to All-NACBA G Dr Guo but his shot barely missed at the buzzer as Montreal moved to the title game with a 38-35 W. F Dat Luong led Fastball with 9 points and 3 steals. The other semifinal wasn’t half as exciting as the LA Anchormen won 35-24 over the NY Crossbearers B. Brian Houng had a dozen for LA and Kevin King also reached double digits for NY.

Finals time, and the games finally moved onto a hardwood court as LA Anchormen met the MMAC Mars for a 40 minute battle. At first glance, the Anchormen easily had the more talented team. But Montreal was hot, having defeated 2 tough opponents to get here. Plus, the style of play that was being allowed by the stripes definitely fell into the favor of Mars. Montreal’s physical style had been superbly effective in slowing down quicker guards and lanky penetrators. So although most fans picked LA to win by a comfy margin, those really in the know knew otherwise. Just as the gurus had predicted, Montreal took a 9-3 lead, taking layups against the soft 2-3 LA zone. James Tsai (9 pts, 3 treys) then caught fire for MMAC within minutes. LA stormed back, cutting the lead to 15-11 with 6:48 to play. With a 3 point barrage, LA’s Jeremy Yeung (9 first half points, Most Valuable Player) was putting on a clinic. Neither team could score for the next 6-plus minutes as the physical play was taking its toll on both team. Finally, with 2 ticks left in the half, LA’s Brian Houng found a gap and ended the drought with a whirling dervish of a layup to make it 15-13 at the half. In the second half, the scoring drought continued until Shorty’s man Wayley Louie finally gave the Anchormen their first lead with 15:40 to go. Jeremy Yeung hit a midrange on the next possession and it was 20-17, Los Angeles. All-Tourney pick George Wu was then called for a momentum killing offensive foul, just as Montreal was trying to creep back in the mix. B-Houng nailed a three and it was 23-18 with 10:27 left. In a Willis Reed like move, Montreal’s star F Andy Chen came up off the bench despite a severely sprained ankle that I’m sure included plenty of ligament damage. With the heart of a lion, Chen made a reverse at the 8:17 mark. Yeung missed on a heat check 3, and Montreal’s sank one at the other end as Mars regained the lead 25-23 with just over 7 minutes. Brian Lee answered right back with a three from the top of the key and MMAC’s Chen did his thing with a baseline jumper to give Montreal the lead once again, 27-26. The battle raged on, and Houng connected on a jumper just inside the arc to make it 28-27, LA. Following that scoring flurry, no one scored for the next 3 minutes. Montreal had possession with 1:20 and they were working for a good shot. But the Anchormen showed that LA isn’t all showtime and run n gun, as they made a great defensive stand that was punctuated by a 5-second call against Mars. All-NACBAIT selection Brian Houng got to the foul line for a 1-and-1 opportunity with 49.5 to play. He let down his Cali contingent by missing, as the decidedly pro-Montreal crowd went bonkers. That was followed up by a decidedly shady foul call on Houng as Aaron Tsay stepped to the stripe for his own shot at glory. Tsay missed and LA’s Henry Kwan snatched the carom. He was immediately fouled with 37.4 seconds and everyone walked all the way down the court to the opposite end. Kwan bricked and Montreal gathered the ball in with a chance to win the major hardware. As expected, MMAC got the ball to their dai lo Andy Chen. Chen went to the cup as fast as his injured ankle to would take him. Andy grunted as he planted and elevated towards the rim for an amazing layup. Chen’s will to compete is as strong as anyone’s I have ever seen and as he was headed towards that game winner, I was thinking about what a great story could be written about his heroic effort and title clinching shot. Out of thin air, Wayley Louie appeared and swatted the ball out of bounds with tremendous passion as his teammates rejoiced. There were still 11.2 seconds remaining and Montreal had one last chance. They inbounded the ball to Aaron Tsay, and after a few seconds of confusion, the ball ended up being stolen by Derek Houng. The Anchormen emerged victorious 28-27, and their #1 fans, the SF ArcAngels celebrated in style in the front rows of the bleachers. Congrats to both teams on one of the most dramatic Championship games we have seen in the past few years. Next year both teams will be headed into the Open division.

<< previous      womens liberty division recap >>