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New York Crossbearers Win Second NACBA Title
Written By: Mike Mon

Friday night, teams drew their pool placements as they were divided into four groups of four. On Saturday afternoon, the teams took to the hardwood at Boston University’s FitRec courts. Once again, the smaller courts and the loose officiating definitely had an effect as the more skilled, run and gun, finesse style teams had a harder time getting into their flows. The teams that played a more brutish, physical style definitely had the advantage in this tournament. By Sunday morning, eight teams were eliminated and eight teams remained in contention. Notably absent from the Medal round were a number of pre-tourney favorites. The Boston Hurricanes B had looked very good at the Pre-NACBAIT Classic, but they were the victim of a tough draw and lost out on point differentials. The NY ISS Flightz were one win away, but they didn’t fare well against the more experienced teams. NY United East (2010 runners up) had an impossible pool draw, as they lost to Team Texas and Washington CYC B. And the consensus pick to win it all, the guard dominated NY Rockits AIA, had a tough time dealing with the rugged play as the refs were letting a lot go.

On Sunday afternoon, the competition continued with the Quarterfinal rounds. The #1 NY Crossbearers played the #8 NY USAB Warriors B. USAB suited up only 7 guys, so this turned into a rout pretty early on. As expected, Mike Chan (9 pts) and James Li (11 pts) were unstoppable going to the hoop, and Will Moy (13 pts) was money from the outside. F Chi Ming Pun was one of the only guys who didn’t look like they gave up completely after halftime for the Warriors, as the Crossbearers won in a rout 51-20. On Court 2, the best game of the round was played between the #4 Boston Knights and the #5 Toronto Kagers. The game was neck and neck the whole way, but the Kagers ended up coming from behind to send it into OT. Toronto ended up stealing a big win 37-36. Joe Brusche (10 pts, 8 rebs) paced the Knights, while Germaine Wan had 11 for the Kagers. Court 3’s QF was the most highly watched matchup, as Team Texas faced off with Washington CYC B in a rematch of Saturday’s pool play game. Early on, Davis Chun (11 pts, 3 assists) and Travis Chun (6 pts, 3 assists) were able to handle the perimeter pressure exerted by CYC’s Kevin Lee (All-Tournament, Top 18’er) and Caleb Lui. They were able to get into the lane for deuces and dimes. Kevin Lee (12 pts, 2 treys, 2 steals) was also pretty nifty at the other end for DC, but the injured Ricky Choi wasn’t able to play up to his normal standards so CYC had a hard time scoring. Texas was up by 5 midway, and they made an effort to stay strong in the paint as they controlled the boards and took it strong to the rack. Vet Ronald Lim (9 pts) had a strong half and Texas maintained the advantage for a 46-37 win. On Court 4, it was the #2 Philly Suns A v/s #7 Toronto Shameless. Shameless has been a perennial championship caliber team in the Friendship, while the Suns were moved down from the Elite divisions after a few unproductive years. Shameless looked like they were going to win this game, as the versatile Dalton Mak (2010 MVP) and Henry Wong led Toronto. But the Suns got it together as Quoc Tran (6 pts) and Rich Huynh (7 pts, 1 triple) had strong second halves. Philly hit some free throws at the end to seal the deal 39-35. D-Mak had 12 pts and 2 threes for Shameless.

In the Semifinals it would be the NY Crossbearers A v/s the Toronto Kagers. This game was a war. The Crossbearers knew that since the Kagers were without their go to guy Eric Liao, they would have to control Germaine Wan early on, and they did just that- as he didn’t score a single point in the first half. Jasen Kim did his best to compensate as he had 6 in the first half. Toronto was also doing a good job protecting the basket as well, and the score was even at 18 all at halftime. In the second half, the Crossbearers managed a couple of breakaways, and Michael Chan came to life for a quick spurt of points as NY had a slight cushion. Toronto had to start fouling and the Crossbearers were clutch in the crunch, especially vet Kin Man Mak (6 ft’s). The Crossbearers pulled away at the charity stripe for a 48-39 W. The other Semifinal would be the Philly Suns A v/s Team Texas. Both squads entered with 4-0 records, and there was a Monday game on the line here. Texas had the lead early, as the youth of Davis Chun (7 pts) and the active game of Luke Monteith (10 pts) gave them a slight edge. But the matchup became a heck of a lot more tough as the game wore on. There were a couple of extracurricular plays, and the inexperienced Texas kids couldn’t handle the trash talking and rough play. The Suns got a 6 point lead with about 4 minutes left, thanks to G Rich Huynh (10 second half pts). Texas’ rookies became a team of one quick shot artists and once those shots didn’t fall, it was Suns 43, Texas 33.

The Championship game was played Monday morning, as the NY Crossbearers A met the Philly Suns A. The consensus of the spectators was pretty much in favor of the Crossbearers as their athleticism looked like it might be too much for Philly to handle. But Philly had a clear edge inside as Quoc Tran (2010 Dirty Dozen) and Dave Ma (2009 All-NACBA) were definitely too much for the Crossbearers bigs to handle. So the Suns would need to maintain their wits and control the pace for 40 minutes if they wanted to emerge victorious and bring Harry a title. Philly looked awesome at the outset, as PF Quoc Tran (14 pts, All-NACBA) dropped in 8 baseline and close to the hoop points almost immediately. He was a mismatch with his devastating tenacity and quick first step. But NY is a veteran team, and they were unfazed as the Suns crowd was going firetruck/ambulance loud. They stuck to the gameplan and went to their main man James Li. Coach Borbo knew that there was no one on the other bench who could contain Li, and they kept going to the honeyhole. Li put on a show, hitting jumpers, popping a treyball, and displayed the legendary athleticism that he’s famous for as he went to the bucket. The Suns had no answer, and started to play impatiently. You wouldn’t expect an experienced team like the Suns to fall apart so quickly, but before you knew it, they stopped going to Ma and Tran. They lost their composure and just started hacking. The Crossbearers were in the bonus. NY was up and it looked like they were going to blow open the floodgates. But Rich Huynh and San Mac came up with a couple of timely steals right before halftime to cut the lead to 25-18, NYC. In the second half, Philly stayed physical as 2 players fouled out and two others ended up with 4 fouls. The Crossbearers carried themselves like Champions as they calmly played through it, and Mike Chan (11 pts) awoke after halftime to score some points. After MVP James Li (22 points) made an amazing 3-point play, it was all New York and everyone drifted over to the main court to watch the other game. The Crossbearers won their second NACBA title with an easy 58-34 win. They will test their skills in the Elite division next year in Vancouver!

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