• 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+.
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Toronto CCYAA Captures 1st Youth 15 NACBA Championship
Written By: Mike Mon

This year, four eager teams entered the May Madness in the Boys Youth 15 & Under division. Following pool play on Saturday, the top 3 teams merited advancement to Sunday’s single elimination playoffs. The Semifinal game pitted the 2nd seeded Maryland Pistons, and the 3rd seeded NY USAB 15’s (2007, 2008 Champions). This was a rematch of last year’s Championship game, and Maryland had been waiting all year long for their chance to take down the Champs. The USAB 15’s certainly didn’t appear as dominating as they have been in previous years, having struggled all year long on the East Coast Asian circuit. Maryland had come into this year’s NACBAIT as many people’s pick to win it all, with all-star Tommy Cung hailed as the best player in the division. Bolstered by top shooters Justin Kung (7 ppg, 1.3 threes) and Ervin Liang (6.7 ppg), Maryland’s offensive prowess looked like it would carry them pretty far. These two teams had met on Saturday during preliminary round play, and the Pistons showed resilience to come from behind and steal a 38-34 win in a torridly paced game. Once the Semis started, it was pretty clear that USAB had no intention of just rolling over and surrendering. Unexpected star Erick Wong (13 pts, 1-3 FT) had the best game of his short career for NY, as he went back and forth with Tommy Cung (15 pts, 4 assists, 6 rebounds). The game went back and forth, up and down, until USAB held a 42-40 lead with time running out. Maryland coach David Kung called a timeout with a plan to get a score and send the game into OT. He drew up a pick and roll play to take advantage of a smallish USAB backcourt, as Maryland came out of the timeout ready to get 2 points. USAB read the play, and cut off the Pistons’ roll option. Piston big Trevor Taylor read the USAB help side, and countered with a pick and pop. He got the feed and took a jumper that looked like it was headed in, but it rimmed off and NY grabbed the board. Maryland was forced to foul with 5.2 seconds left, and sent PG Jeffrey Chan to the line for the first time all game long. “Little Man J” lined himself up, ignored the pressure, and buried both freebies to give USAB a 4-point cushion. On the ensuing inbounds, Jeff then got a steal and the clock ran out, giving USAB an unlikely upset win 44-40.

In the Finals, the undefeated Toronto CCYAA Youth awaited the winner. Toronto’s young coach Solomon Tenn, a former All-NACBAIT selection himself, had changed the team’s look this year, after a couple years of unsatisfying finishes. They recruited some new blood, as Toronto became bigger and got stronger. New add Chris Wong (10.8 ppg) became their go to guy, while 3-year “veterans” Ivan Chan and Eric Chong developed into their spirited leaders. This team breezed through pool play with a 3-0 record, winning most of their games by double digit margins. When the final game boiled down to USAB and CCYAA, one could not help but think back to the rivalry that these two organizations have had over the past few years in the younger age groups. Collectively, they have captured the past 9 Youth and Junior Championships at our annual event. This sustained dominance, bragging rights, and organizational pride really drew a big crowd from both contingents at the Championship game, as fans and players were packed like sardines to witness this great matchup. The players did appear somewhat tense at the outset, with neither team able to find their rhythm. Toronto had their opportunities, as they continually took it to the rack and kept drawing contact, but couldn’t convert from the charity stripe. USAB stepped up their play a little bit, with center Brian Lichtenstein sinking an early three to draw a huge cheer from the NY crowd. At the break, the score was a meager 14-12 in favor of the USAB 15’s. In the second half, USAB recognized that this game was theirs for the taking. Coach Chan knew that they would just need to maintain their current defensive aggressiveness and find a way to hit a few more shots. The pace of the game was easily in favor the New York. The USAB boys did what was expected, as defense spurred NY to an 8 point lead that at times looked insurmountable for CCYAA. While USAB kept playing an unselfish team game on offense, the Toronto trio of Chris Wong, Ivan Chan, and Eric Chong decided that they were going to take command of their team. The pace of the game increased exponentially, as both teams got to putting points on the board and the momentum began to shift. The Toronto three scored every single Canadian point the rest of the way, as they continually created contact to get to the line. In a miraculous finish, MVP Eric Chong (12 pts, 3 triples, 3-4 FT) hit two three pointers in the last minute to tie the game up. The game appeared to be headed into overtime, as the score was all tied up at 39-all with only seconds to play. Toronto went with the hot hand, and fed Eric for one last shot. USAB came up to the shooter and scored what appeared to be a clean block as the buzzer sounded to preserve the tied score. But then, to the disbelief of almost everybody in the facility, the referee on the baseline whistled a foul call and Eric Chong would step up to the line with the biggest shot of his young lifetime. Eric went to the free throw line, facing a dropjawed crowd. The shot went up and in, as the Toronto bench went wild and the USAB fans sat there stunned at the way it all ended. Toronto CCYAA captured their first ever Youth 15’s NACBA Championship, and could not be any happier with the 40-39 escape. Many congratulations to both teams on one of the greatest Finals games ever played in any division of this Tournament. Great job Mr. Solomon and the CCYAA Youth on your undefeated performance.

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