Good Show, Gotham Games!
|They didn’t travel 3,000-some miles – and then another 35 or so – to not take it.|
In the end, the team from the 415, came, saw, and conquered – just as they’d planned.
Flying from San Fran, and then driving to Hillburn from Queens – after consecutive nights of all-night partying no less – the Dream League Bay Area took it all home with a come-from-behind 73-66 win in an all-DL Final against the DLNY.
If anyone’s wondering, this is the second time the DL teams from opposite coasts have met each other in national competition. They’re now 1-1, but it’s safe to say this win by the DLBA is a little better. The other one was a play-in game in the 2006 Houston NBA All-Star Weekend tournament that neither team came close to winning.
Congrats to the 2008 Gotham City Games Champions: Dream League Bay Area.
This time, perhaps after needlessly expending too much energy in knocking around the RL Cruisers silly with a 94-71 semifinal win, the DLBA came out flat against DLNY, falling down by as much as 13 in the opening half.
There was too much time though and after regrouping, planting their feet, and digging in, a comeback began – a comeback that may not have happened had JoJo Pierce not kept them in it. Hawkins seemed like the only player who had anything left in his tank as he hit several shots during DLNY’s run.
Before long though, in executing on coach Rich Twu’s adjustments, the DLBA cut the deficit to 35-26 by the half. The DLNY had opened the game establishing the post and getting several easy buckets from Mo Ghumman (18 pts, 9 rbs) and Brandon Chock (11 pts, 4 rbs) while Wilson Wang (11 pts, rbs) worked the arc, but by the half, and after the half, the DLBA’s interior defense learned how to stifle the post with swarming defenders, and as Josh Urbiztondo heated up, they swung into the lead 53-51 by the 3rd quarter’s end.
Urbiztondo, who in the 1st half had been effectively contained by Derik Kumagai and gang, finally turned it on – and after a 42-point outburst against the Cruisers, everyone knew it was coming – and started poppin 3’s as he was brought to New York (before heading off to Manila to play in the PBA) to do.
In the 4th, the DLBA simply wore down DLNY and took their own double-digit advantage – the back breaker, a turnaround 12-footer by Sunny Margate (15 pts, 12 rbs) - before the DLNY made a run in the final 2-minutes, too little, too late.
Urbiztondo wound up with a game-high 32-points, picking up the slack after Mike Reding tweaked his ankle, and opening up the paint for Margate to work his miracles. It was a formula that worked all tournament long.
Taraz Lee had a typical Jason Kidd-esque performance: 0 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals, 2 blocks. He spearheaded a defensive game plan effectively shut down two DLNY MVPs: Nic Echevestre and Shawn De Los Reyes who were held to just 8 and 1 point respectively. These are high teen to mid 20’s type of guys.
And so with a curt championship ceremony, the DLBA scurried off to the airport so guys wouldn’t miss their flights back home (some did as it turned out). No police escort, no limousines, no champagne free flowing; just a championship sweatshirt, some hardware, and memories to last a lifetime.
It made coming the 3,035 miles and the impending 3,035 more miles back to the Bay all the worthwhile.
THE BEST, THE MOST, THE WORST.