The Final Week in Review -- It's all over with and it took awhile to recover from, but lo and behold we have a new champion in a new era. Congratulations to the Homecrest Cruisers who unseated Da Bien to become the third franchise ever to capture the New York Dream League crown!
Winter 2005-2006 Dream League Most Valuable Player: Tony Hu, Homecrest Cruisers
Four times in the past five seasons, we had to watch as the championship round went the distance. It reinforces the fact that the double elimination format is not only an exciting one, but also one that forces the team that ultimately wins it all to really prove that they got what it takes.
In coming back to take Game 2, Homecrest silenced pundits who thought that if they lost Game 1 to Da Bien, then they may as well have mailed in Game 2. Last season, Oh Holla! was exactly in that position after entering the final round with 2 losses to give to Da Bien. Everyone knew that if they didn't take care of business in the first game, leaving the door open for a reigning champ to slide through, was like committing championship suicide.
Well, these Homecrest Cruisers are a far cry from that Oh Holla! team and so even though Shawn De Los Reyes ran them ragged in Game 1 with a 25 point, 9 rebound pasting, the team that some believed might be too weary and beaten to rebound and take Game 2 over an ever more confident Da Bien team, did precisely that by doing pretty much exactly what they had to do.
They shut down SDR. They blanketed Lethal Weapon 2 (not 3, as Virgilio Borbo set a DL record with 8 threes). And they received some good fortune as it was Da Bien, and not them, who ultimately succumbed to fatigue.
See ya in Texas, kid: Tony Hu (Homecrest) and Rick Wong (Da Bien) already look like teammates.
Congratulations to the Homecrest Cruisers for taking the Winter 2005-2006 New York Dream League Championship - and congratulations to Da Bien for an unbelievable run of 3 titles in 4 seasons. You wore the crown proudly. But there's a new sheriff in town now. And things just got a lot more interesting for future seasons to come.
See ya'll down in Houston, TX over NBA All-Star Weekend. The Cruisers and Da Bien will join forces for a weekend as they represent the NYC DL and take on NYC West and Texas area teams in DL's latest destination tournament we strive to bring our hoop-crazed audience.
In Hoops We Trust -- Da Commish
P.S. - Look out for our DL Fundraiser details coming soon!
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE HOMECREST CRUISERS: A NEW NYC DREAM LEAGUE CHAMPION IS CROWNED
The Winter 2005-2006 Dream League Awards were announced over the weekend. Based on ballot voting by all the writers of La Liga, your All-League, All-Star, All-Studs are as such:
Now, THAT'S a Dream (League) Team! Winter 2005-2006 All-Stars L to R: K. Park, Da Bien; T. Hu, Homecrest; CB Liu, Homecrest; J. Yu, TSIV; D. Wong, TSIV; Y. Kagitomi, FTB; P. Ohshima, Gen X; P. Thomas, BNB; S. De Los Reyes, Da Bien; E. Chuang, Run B&C; J. Moy, Got Skillz; C. Soo Hoo, Sky Hook; Q. Tso, Homecrest; M. Cho, Oh Holla! (Not pictured: B. Liang, Cali Love; J. Yau, Cali Love; S. Yeung, Oh Holla!; S. Cho, Replacements; M. Kiang, A Ball; D. Chin, A Ball; J. Guilfoile, FTB; J. Tai, Moe's, M. Ghumman, Ghee Unit; N. Nayak, Ghee Unit, B. Chock, Gen X; W. Lew, Gen X)
1st Team All-Dream League:
G - Jonathan Guilfoile, Funkytown Ballers
G - Kevin Park, Da Bien
F - Tony Hu, Homecrest Cruisers ** Most Valuable Player
F - Mo Ghumman, Ghee Unit
C - Yoshi Kagitomi, Funkytown Ballers
2nd Team All-Dream League:
G - Danny Chin, A Ball
G - Stan Yeung, Oh Holla!
F - Shawn De Los Reyes, Da Bien
F - Nik Nayak, Ghee Unit
C - Brian Liang, California Love
Steeler fan and Vic Tai Cheng Most Inspirational Player Frank Liu.
3rd Team All-Dream League:
G - James Tai, Moe's Tavern
G - Marshall Cho, Oh Holla!
F - Jeff Moy, Got Skillz?
F - Mark Kiang, A Ball
C - Jiang Yu, Tri-State InvAsian
G - Paul Ohshimsa, Gen X ** Defensive Player of the Season
G - Andy So, A Ball
F - Yoshi Kagitomi, Funkytown Ballers
F - Punit Menda, Ghee Unit
C - Brian Liang, California Love
Rookie of the Season: Brian Liang, California Love
Comeback Player of the Season: Eden Chuang, Run B&C
Vic Tai Cheng Most Inspirational Player of the Season: Frank Liu, Sky Hook
IMPORTANT THINGS THAT DON’T MATTER (vol.1 issue 15)
By Mike Owh (ARCHIVES OF PAST COLUMNS HERE! and HERE
Love and Basketball…
Wow, what a momentous week! The State of the Union, Ben Bernanke taking over for Alan Greenspan as Fed Chief, Sam Alito being confirmed for the Supreme Court, and a little football game, Superbowl Extra Large. To all that hubbub, please add a helping of possibly the greatest Dream League NYC Finals ever! All of these important moments got me thinking about one of the most important moments in my life.
Do we look alike?
When I was five years old, still living in Seoul, Korea, I made a big decision that would forever change my life. After preschool one day, I brought over a friend- a female friend to my house. And in front of God and my parents I announced that I would make that friend my companion and wife, to love and to have, in sickness and in health, in poorness and in wealth, and all that other gobbledygook. My mother was horrified; my father, amused. My brother was oblivious, being all of one.
A few days later, my family and I immigrated to the United States. My mother would tell me later that my future wife was very unattractive, even for a 5 year old. Now, I don’t know if we moved because of my announcement, but it’s pretty suspicious. And knowing my mom, I wouldn’t put it past her to keep me away from my true love by packing up and moving halfway across the world, albeit to a place with just as good Korean food. I know, deep down, that moment was the impetus for change in my life and possibly my friend’s.
This coulda been me.
Sometimes, when I’m alone and I am left with my thoughts, I wonder about what could have been. Maybe I could have become a Korean pop star, like Rain, or and actor in one of the great dramas. Maybe I could have been pushed into being a great student, attend Seoul University, and become a reliable salaryman. Maybe I could have even been a scientist, one who could fool the world into believing that I had cloned human embryos and then get caught, humiliating my country and living in notoriety forever. Maybe I could have even been one of those guys who died from playing 36 hours of video games at a PC bang.
And what of my special friend? She could be Kang Tae-young, or maybe even a pop star. Or she could be stuck on a strange island with her new husband who can’t really speak Korean very well and not allow him to go look for his friend who went off to find his son (seriously, what was up with that?!). Or she could simply be a kind, beautiful girl with a couple of plastic surgeries and highlighted hair. Whatever the case, I’m sure my mom basically ruined any chance of me uniting with my soul mate. Instead of being star crossed lovers, we were mom-crossed. I was stood up for my date with destiny.
Is this her??
However, Da Bien doesn’t ever seem to get lost on their date with destiny. No matter the obstacles, they have reached the Finals every season that they have played in the League. Even in this, the most parity-ridden, season, Da Bien managed to stave off greater competition, complacency, and injuries to arrive at the Promised Land. But Da Bien did not arrive unscathed. They had some tough matchups throughout the season and lost their double elimination status in the playoffs to none other than the Homecrest Cruisers.
The Cruisers are in their first season in the League, but they are no rookies. Tony Hu, Quincy Tso, Leighton Kuet and CB Liu have all played and excelled with other teams. As a team, the Cruisers have been together for a long time, with Kuet being their newest addition. And speaking of destiny, the Cruisers seemed to be on the fast track toward the Championship as soon as they got back George Chan late in the season. The man they call “Trunks” has provided solid roots on defense and another dangerous weapon on offense. With Tso and Liu lighting it up from the outside and Hu, Kuet, and Chan dominating the post, this team is going to be hard to beat.
But if there’s team built to beat a team with the Cruisers’ talent, it’s Da Bien. Featuring Lethal Weapon 3 (Ed Lee, Virgilio Borbo, and Rick Wong) with their fatal three-point shooting ability, and starring Shawn de los Reyes, Oliver Verzosa, and Kevin Park on the wings, this team has the speed and skill to topple any opponent. Using their great hands and anticipation, the team’s perimeter players make it hard for the offense to get set. Joe Meijia, possibly the most underrated player on both squads, provides a strong defensive presence downlow and a reliable lowpost scorer on offense.
Da Bien, Cruisers: Who will be holding the Rich B. Twu Championship Trophy?
The question, though, isn’t whether Da Bien can beat the Cruisers. If this season has shown us anything, it has shown us that any team can beat any other team at any time. Heck, this Championship pits the #2 seed against the #4 seed. Hence, the question is whether Da Bien can beat the Cruisers twice in a row. I love Da Bien’s team game. I love de los Reyes’ ability to push his team and keep them in any contest. I love Verzosa’s clutch performances. But I think two games in a row is too much to ask. The Cruisers are a well-oiled machine and they are beginning to hit their stride. They have the ability to hurt you from too many different angles and stopping them once just means that there’s less chance of stopping them the second time.
So I’m picking Da Bien in the first game and the Cruisers in the second, giving the Cruisers the Dream League NYC Championship. Will I be right? Will Da Bien be reunited with their lovely DL NYC Championship trophy? Or will the Cruisers play the part of my mom and take that dream away? If you wanna find out, you gotta come to the games…or you can wait until we post the results on Friday.
If you wanna share a story about how your mom thwarted your plans or if you just want to make fun of me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EXTRA STUFF!!! His alter ego writes for us. Some of you love him, some of you hate him. There is no denying that he's an opinionated man. If you've got the time and the hankerin'...let us know if you would like to go see him live! We'll help set it all up! This is the REAL Stephen A. folks, not the one that writes for us. (Though we could arrange for a meeting with him too if you like.) Email email@example.com and we can organize a Dream League outing. Bring your cousins, your mentees, and your momma too. No joke.
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