Congrats to the DreamLeague Summer AAA Champions: Tri-State War Dog
Check below for a monster size picture of the Champs in their unique threads!
This year’s Summer Dream League Season didn't have enough teams to have the usual drama in the playoffs but it did have the two best teams going at it in the Finals.
To get to the finals, both teams sailed two different courses.
The Tri-State War Dog came into the Finals after stomping most of their competition in the regular season, then taking out the Bad Boys in two blowout games. They were one of the favorites coming into the season with the addition of Nazar Khan and Kashem Miah. Both guys fit extremely well into the War Dog team concept, which already featured Dave “Vegas” Wong, sharpshooter Chris Kwan, veteran stalwarts Felix Shen, Andre Liu, and Arif Ansari. Both teammates contributed amazing numbers in getting their team to the Finals, plugging all the necessary holes.
The BK Hustlas took a road most teams take coming into the season. They came in with a solid, young team, led by Danny Luk, Lewis Leung, Ilye Levin, Alex Wong and the every emotional Phivan Quash, but needed to gel, get used to each other’s game and boy did they ever. Over the course of the season, they turned in some great performances to take the second favorite spot away from Moneyball, after they lost Ray Huang to the west coast.
Game 1 of the finals had André Liu and his camo wearing team come out flat, with Miah not starting out like he normally does, thus making the 1st half closer than they would have liked. But not to fear, War Dogs had their usual dawgs help lead the way with Vegas, C-Kwan and AA contributing to keep pace with the young and ready BK team (Arif is thinking dirty thoughts right now). BK kept their attacking mentality all half long. They weren’t about to let a War Dog team just walk out with 2 quick victories. But like most Andre Liu teams, the second half was a different story as War Dogs started picking off passes and ripped everything from the Hustlas on their way to a 17-point lead. It was a gutsy call by PG Felix Shen, a full court press. The rest was history, as War Dog continued to add on to their lead with a 6 point advantage in the 4th.
Game 2 was all BK in the first quarter, till Ilye Levin decided to get Kash heated and I mean on fire (Dr. Dre has a great wrapup of that quarter in the game wrapup). BK had the War Dog confused and lost. They were attacking the rack and running circles around the War Dog team. Never had an Andre Liu team look so lost. After another 3 point shot by Alex Wong at the buzzer to end the 1st, Arif Ansari started barking out orders. It’s intimidating coming from such a big man.
Kash Miah heard the message. Along with Ilye starting to bark in Kash’s ear, he had enough. Kash single handedly scored 14 straight second quarter War Dog points to erase a 13-point deficit and give them a one point lead heading into the 2nd half, a lead they would never relinquish.
This series proved that old Dogs are still capable of keeping up with the young guns even though they had every reason to lose this series. BK had a wonderful season but just couldn’t get over the hump, as they bailed out War Dog players on various shots and drives to the baskets. If there’s anything to take from this series, the Hustlas are for real and this championship experience gives them another reason to continue that amazing team play ball take a crack at the AAA Fall Season.
For Andre Liu, it’s his 4th championship trophy, if you count back to the Jurassic Park days. Of course after the game, while out celebrating with teammates, he was already planning his next team for the Fall season. The life of a GM in the Dream League.