|What’s the best part of the playoffs, besides looking forward to winning the championship? It has to be the one time when everyone gives everything they have. Remember those days when your coach yelled at you for not giving 110% (which is not really possible, but..), it’s the playoffs when everyone decides to reach back and give a 110%, doing the little things you overlook during the regular season. This was quite evident in our first round of games between the 4th seeded Bad Boys and 5th seeded Good News Bears. Since this is our short summer season, the winner of this best of 3 round automatically goes to the semi-finals, probably the fastest any team went to the semi-finals. |
It looked like Bad Boys were going to lose game 1 without Albert Chen on the floor and only 4 guys on the court. Bears came out and did what they had to do, took a double digit lead into the second quarter. Of course the big man walked in ala Willis Reeves, without limp and injury and delivered big time for Bad Boys, capping a 20-11 second quarter.
For the Bears, Rich Lee finally showed up to the game (really,really early for that matter. He was in the gym at 12:00, working on perfecting that jumper) and did his part doing a little bit of everything (19 points, 9 rebs, 3 steals and 2 assists) but he wouldn’t get much help on this day. The man that we highlighted during our preview, Eric Rhee, was supposed to be the Robin to Rich’s Batman, but he came out shooting bricks. Maybe he’s the one that should have been in the gym early. Rhee shot 20% from the field, including 1/10 from the 3-point line, and 2/6 from the FT line. Of course it was hard for him to get going when he was the only one capable of trying to guard Big AL. Big Al put his team on his back and carried them to a game one victory 17 points and 9 rebounds. Unlike the Bears, Al got some help from his teammates, with Tai James contributing 11/5/4/4 and Rob Schopen contributing 9 more points.
Both teams looked gassed after the first game but in times like this, when everything is on the line, it was time to chug that coconut water and get right back to work, which leads…
With one team fighting to stay alive for a 3rd game, the other was hoping for a second win so they can get out of the oven that is Julia Richman Gym. This game didn’t resemble the start of game 1. Albert Chen established himself early and often, scoring 6 points in the 1st but Eric Rhee was intent on shaking off his horrendous shooting performance in the first game by hitting his first two 3’s and keeping his team on pace with the Boys. While Robin showed up for Bears this game, Rob Schopen and Rich Fang (who was missing for game 1), came alive from the outside hitting 3’s of their own to space the floor for Big Al to take over in the 4th.
While Rhee got the green light to gun at will, Rich Lee was hoping to find a way to get back on the court. Saddled with cramps (gotta drink that coconut water son!), he had to keep pulling himself out of the game, leaving other guys to step up and boy did they do in a key stretch. Down by 5, Wayne Van put together two drives to the basket for uncontested layups, while Daniel Lee sandwiched a put back in between Van’s two layups to give Bears a 1-point lead. After a free throw, the game was tied at 48 with 59 seconds left when Big Shot Bob would make an appearance and in this case it was Rob Schopne. Tai James brought it up on the right wing and was trapped right away with the Bears hoping to get another TO (Tai had 10 for the game), but during the scramble, James somehow found a wide open Schopen standing a few away and shoved a pass in his direction. Shopen let it fly and swish!!! Not only was that the shot going through the net, but that was also the sound of the Bears season coming to an end.
After a Rhee miss, the Boys hit a FT to put the game out of reach and prepared for their battle with Tri-State War Dog. The Bears ended an extremely disappointing season by playing their best basketball in the final two games. After the game, not one Bear was hanging their head, what is there really to hang your head over? They played two amazing games with only 6 guys, (5 really, Don Lee sat out most of the second game).
If the Bears can get a big man, and have guys show up to games, they can definitely make some noise in the AAA. For the Boys, they’ll be facing a rested War Dog team, ready to run all game long.