The 2017 Venice Basketball League (“VBL”) regular season is officially over! This past Sunday marked the VBL squads’ last chance to hone their game before the playoffs begin on July 23. After a #ChurchOfHoops morning clinic for the Kids Venice Basketball League, hosted by former Los Angeles Laker Samaki Walker, the games were on!
Project Backboard Hands Pro Shot West their Second Straight Loss
After taking their first L of the season last week, the Pro Shot West squad (4-2) looked to spring into the playoffs with a victory. Unfortunately, they ran into tough competition from Project Backboard (5-1), who came ready to play after their buzzer beater win in a match-up with Sunblock the week prior. Playing without their trained assassin Ryan Nitz, Project Backboard added some celebrity swag – NBA champion Glen “Big Baby” Davis!
Pro Shot West played an up-and-down game, relying on perimeter quickness and outside shooting to counter Project Backboard, who played big with Davis and 6’10” skilled big man “The Devourer”. As with last week, Pro Shot West held a lead for the first half, but a tough third quarter from Project Backboard gave them a 2-point advantage going into the fourth.
Pro Shot West retook the lead with a tough and-one from #0 “The Anchor” around the 4-minute mark, setting the stage for a furious back and forth until the finish. Project Backboard relied on their lanky swingman and player of the game Latraius Mosley (22 pts, 10 res, 5ast, 3stl), who hit two threes and a step back jumper in the sequence. Holding a 1-point lead in the final minute, Mosley then finished a tough floater to extend the lead before stealing the inbounds pass and dishing to Big Baby, who put the game out of reach with the late throw down.
Novastars Stays Undefeated Versus Hub Select
Led by their endlessly energetic captain Tristan “King Hustle” Wilson, the Novastars squad (6-0) looked to remain lossless versus the talented Hub Select team (4-2) in the season’s final week. The match-up was chippy from the start, full of jabber between the players, the coaches, the refs, and just about everyone on the court.
Hub Select fielded a bigger team than usual, replacing point guard and 2017 #1 draft pick Alan “The Italian Answer” with a new acquisition, Vince “BodySnatcher” Camper in their starting line-up. A high-energy defensive struggle, the Novastars held Hub Select to just 17 points in the first half and held an 8-point lead going into the third quarter.
That lead stretched to 12 by the end of the third, but Hub Select was far from done. Relying on a tough interior presence, the Hub Select squad crawled back into the game, cutting the point differential to 2 off a scrappy lay-up by the Body Snatcher with a minute on the clock.
After the Novastars’ “The Beast” made one out of two from the line, Hub Select had two chances to tie down three, 59-56 –first “Grandpa Dew”, then former Golden State Warrior Tony Farmar got a great open look from behind the arc, but the game was over when it bricked hard off the front of the rim.
The Rest from Around the League
Hall of Fame (3-4) made good on their shooting guard Crushow’s promise to make the playoffs last week, notching a win versus El Crew (2-3) by running and gunning to a 12-point victory, 75-63.
The Sunblock team (3-3) knocked off always-dangerous Los Fearless (1-5), 60-50, while the Most Hated Players (4-2) put the beating on The Venetians (2-4), 48-25.
Tune in next week for the first round of the VBL playoffs, where the top 8 teams in the league will face off and begin the clash for the 2017 championship!
- Warren “Wojissimo” Szewczyk