Los Fearless Takes 2017 VBL Crown; Season Ends with Full Day of Hoops
Ron Beals Day 2017 – the Venice Basketball League’s (“VBL”) celebration of basketball, fitness, and life itself came and went this past Sunday. We entertained a full slate of hooping, packing the schedule from 9 AM to 9 PM. Thanks to everyone who came out and helped us celebrate this historic 11th season of Venice Basketball League.
The morning began with an abbreviated Kids Venice Basketball League (“KVBL”) #ChurchOfHoops clinic with some of the best high school kids of the region getting together for a series of games. After a long season of showing the kids hoop and healthy living tips, it was the kids’ turn to show what they’ve got in a round of KVBL All-Star games. Next up, the Venice old-timers had a chance to display the skill they’ve still got left in the Legends 50 and over game.
Following that action was an all female game and dunk contest – the Bikini Ball – hosted by fitness guru and Q-Flex Fitness trainer Qimmah Russo, then a 3-point contest hosted by our good friends at Bodybuilding.com. Next, VBL Veterans and legends alike, including Chris Staples, Myree Bowden, and more, hit the court for a special celebrity VBL Dunk Contest and for the Ron Beals Celebrity Game. Alongside the VBL stars were comedy sensations Nick Joseph (@nicknpattiwhack) and Dan Rue (@danrue), ensuring and entertaining game for all in attendance. Beats and mic were taken care of by NBA legend and former dunk champion Cedric Ceballos (@cedceballos).
At long last, time came for the main event of the day, the VBL Championship game, which began just as the sun was dropping below the Pacific Ocean’s horizon.
Los Fearless Dominates on Both Ends En Route to Victory
As expected, the championship game featuring 10-seed Los Fearless vs 5-seed Sunblock was not a spectacle of high-flying dunks and rapid fire scoring – both teams are more Memphis Grizzly than they are LA Clipper. From the start as the sun was setting on water leaving pink clouds as a backdrop, the action was chippy and brick shots clattered off both rims. Eventual champion Los Fearless took off to a 10-0 start, relying on an imposing physical presence inside to batter back Sunblock’s leading big man Pop Champagne. They also forced a string of steals in the early minutes that helped them jump to a quick lead, which they did not lose for the rest of the game.
Bolstering Los Fearless’s interior was newly minted Los Angeles Clipper Montrezl Harrell, whose size, length, and athleticism did serious damage to Sunblock’s offensive capability. When you play two NBA seasons guarding the likes of Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol, Draymond Green, Blake Griffin, and Demarcus Cousins on a nightly basis, you probably know a thing or two about protecting the rim!
Sunblock eventually got on the board, but none of it was pretty. They faced an 11-point deficit at half, 21-10 and lacked the second half offense to make it up. Further hurting their cause were the many offensive fouls called on Pop Champagne – and the rest of the Sunblock squad – as he battled with Montrezl Harrell in the second half. These turnovers helped Los Fearless maintain a lead, even as they failed to score consistently for much of the third quarter.
The grind continued for Sunblock as they managed to drop the lead to 7 midway through the fourth quarter, but a couple nice buckets from co-Finals MVP Hugo Boss stretched the game out of reach. Los Fearless coasted to the title victory, completing their improbable playoff run and winning a championship in their first ever trip to the Finals. They went 2-4 in the regular season but 4-0 when it counted, knocking off VBL stalwarts along the way – Hall of Fame, Project Backboard, Pro Shot West, and Sunblock. Congratulations to Finals co-MVPs, Hugo Boss and The Steroid Ambassador, whose rock-solid rebounding and interior defense were essential to the title run.
That’s the final dispatch from Hooper’s Paradise for this 2017 season – thanks to the fans across the world who made 2017 the best VBL season yet. Stay tuned here on Veniceball.com and on our social media channels to keep updated on all the amazing things Venice Basketball League has planned for the long offseason. See you next year!
- Warren “Wojissimo” Szewczyk & the VBL team