Playoffs Get Underway 4/9
APRIL 6, 2006 (8:00AM) -- The Wildcards leapfrogged the field with another doubleheader sweep last Sunday, the 1st of which was against a tough Ballaz By Law team from the West, the 2nd of which was a forfeit by the depleted West-leading SJ Vikings. With a head-to-head win over Bench Gremlin back on 3/5, the Wildcards clinched the East #1 seed.
Meanwhile, there was a three-way tie in the West between Ballaz By Law (which lost both of its games), Below The Rim, and Bomb Squad. But BBL maintained the West #2 seed with a better head-to-head record against BTR and Bomb Squad. With a regular season split, the tiebreaker between BTR and Bomb Squad came down to record against common opponents, in which the matchup against the Sugar Beats proved to be difference. BTR beat the Sugar Beats while the Sugar Beats beat Bomb Squad.
Therefore, Bomb Squad ended up with the undesired West #4 seed, which means they must play against East #5 (Mix) for the right to play against East #1 (Wildcards) on the same day in Round 1. However, in a stroke of luck, some of the Wildcards players are playing on the NL East Bay Cardinals team which will play at PHRC in SF, so Bomb Squad still can play at home on 4/9 despite being a relatively low seed.
The rest of the matchups are as follows. W#3 BTR faces E#2 Bench Gremlin for an early game at IJRC due to various scorekeeper and tipoff request constraints. We had to schedule it before 2pm to adhere to the higher-seeded Bench Gremlin's request.
Despite the difference in seeds, Ballaz By Law has to travel to the Sugar Beats' homecourt because the Sugar Beats have a better regular season record, just like with NBA homecourt rules. This will mark the 4th time in the last 5 games that BBL has had to travel to IJRC for a game. This was primarily a consequence of a complicated bye request made by BBL. Who would've guessed BBL would finish at only .500 and forced to go on the road for the playoffs?
Finally, W#5 Syuhn Fung and E#4 Game Time square off for the right to face the W#1 San Jose Vikings, who are not available to play on 4/9 due to a tournament conflict. Luckily for them, Syuhn and Game Time will be available on 4/16 to play at PHRC in SF (the only gym available that day), so Syuhn or Game Time not only can avoid a doubleheader on 4/9, but also can stay closer to home on 4/16.
Previews for 4/9...
Mix at Bomb: Mix lost by 10 in regular season matchup. Bomb might be too athletic with Rome Olmpiada's jumpers and Rob Cuenca's pogo stick rebounding. Winner-Mix/Bomb vs Wild: PHRC practically another home for Wild, which has much more balanced attack than most teams, plus a coach to boot. Wild would be strong favorite. BTR at Bench: BTR c Yih-Wei Chien out of town, leaves void down low for BTR, but Bench more of slashing, jump-over-you style anyways. Bench might just be too tall even with Dhat back for BTR. If Tai Chou is on for Bench, look out. BBL at Sugar: Doubleheader loss to end regular season last Sun by BBL leaves us wondering. Guy Blightman vs Mark Scates down low will be good battle. BBL might have more experience, quickness, shooter's touch at guard, unless Sugar's Aaron Javier can continue to achieve potential as he did last week at his young age. BBL might have tough time manning up on Sugar's MVP candidate forward David Torres. SyuF at GmTm: SyuF still looks good on paper, but hasn't pulled it together. Slower, taller team could have promising outlook against GmTm, which doesn't have any slash-and-burn guys. Both somewhat methodical styles. Who will have more of an impact, the midrange shooting of GmTm sg Greg Tom or the versatility of SyuF sf Ed Pan? He who leads most effectively will probably win. Winner-SyuF/GmTm vs SJV: AAA-E MVP sg Ryan Mateo for SJV is out with injury, but pg Seve Nocon can still get it done. Big man Alvin Cabonce needs to be solid and same with sf Loren Zapanta.