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BBAL Week 2 Recap (Javion's Edition)

Week 2 of the 2024 BBAL regular season is in the books! This season is cruising by but each week seems to impress more and more! Teams continue to prove their worth and live up to BBAL hype! Let’s get into this week's shenanigans! 


Starting our night, once again the Dragons faced off. This time against the Tropics who I could tell talking to their guys pre-game were hungry to be in the win-column. I believed it but, it was gonna be tough with only 5 in the lineup and no bench. The Dragons, once again without Elijah Terry and Andrew Makrides, forced them to try to overcome adversity without scorers of their caliber. Joey McCracken being back in the line-up was an aid, but was he enough? Out the gate, the Dragons led by Ricky Cruz came out red hot with 3 consecutive threes.

Tropics guard Tyler Crespo retaliated with notable defensive anticipation and transition buckets to shift momentum. He put up 21 pts and 12 boards and teammate Tyrell Melendez put up 19 pts combined for 40 with majority of their points coming from the charity stripe. They were in offensive foul trouble but this didn’t fear them as threes just couldn't fall. In the first half, the game felt like it was all Dragons and they were on their way to their first win. Their last memorable moment in the first half seemed to be when rookie free agent, Jael Rodriguez swished his first career points off a late close-out three. The Dragons came out flat in the 2nd half and the Tropics stuck to the plan getting to the line. Nothing was falling for the Dragons and Ricky Cruz started jacking which at this point, they had shot themselves in the foot. Tropics were getting to the line nearly every possession and knocked down key free throws late in the second half to get in the win-column, 64-56.


Next up, Titans against the CherryPickers, who are debuting NBA player and former sixth man of the year, Montrezl Harrell. Titans were looking to stay on the gas pedal and continue undefeated with their new uniforms being debuted in the 2024 season. Titans started off hot per usual as the Pickers struggled early. Ant and the guys were very efficient at getting to the line. There were stretches of momentum being traded. Titans would go on a run, then Pickers led by Montrezl would go on a run of their own. Ant-Man definitely held his own, scoring 19 pts and holding Montrezl to just 13. Chase Yarberough once again, didn’t disappoint captain Johnny Besecker leading the team with 21pts, 9 boards, and 50% from the field. Late in the game, Rob Footman nailed tough threes with well-anticipated steals. Johnny helped offensively with tough mid-ranges to secure the lead. Careless turnovers pushed the Pickers away as they started to play sloppy and fell 71-59. Either way, this goes to show how far the BBAL and all of us have grown to get professional hoopers in on the fun!



Tonight, starting our evening games, the Bullies and Huskies faced off in the race to 2-0 between these two. The Bullies have been a very exciting team without Marquel and looked to stay hot but, the Huskies are certainly no team to mess with. Huskies, coming off an impressive win last week look to upset the Bullies debuting their gray uniforms in the 2024 season. Both teams started fast and back and forth with their “run n gun” offenses. Kobe Gantz came out hot as the Bullies offense was heating up mid-first half. Just three minutes later, they fell under a dry spell and huskies were creating turnovers into points. In fact, Marquel was yelling on the sidelines about poor spacing which was leading to claustrophobic offense. In the second half, Huskies were killing the Bullies to start the second half from three with off-ball screens. In my opinion, Elijah Washington was complaining to the refs a lot late in the game that hurt the Huskies ability to stay focused. Kobe still kept his team alive and provided room for guys like Liam Besecker to come up huge with big rebounds to end the game. The Bullies finished the game 63-52 with Kobe dropping 36 pts in a one man show!





Gremlins and WoodPeckers faced off in a very defensive game to start. The Gremlins started fast with transition buckets which was a good sight. After this, the game was very quiet and neither team could get offense going around the 10 minute mark. Minutes later, the WoodPeckers gained momentum from an Aleer Gonzalez three and a few Devin Atkinson tough shots. They were looking to carry away up 29-16 when Gremlins stormed back to end the half 32-30 with the Peckers in the lead. Out of the half, the Peckers led as much as 58-45. The Gremlins wouldn’t go away with Nassir McFadden’s huge buckets as well as Nevin Roman hitting a huge three after turning the ball over that ultimately people could blame the game on. The Gremlins cut the Peckers lead to four making it 74-70 despite Nassir’s 26 pt game but poor transition defense allowed easy buckets for the Peckers to seal the deal with the Gremlins eventually falling 70-76.




To wrap up week 2 of the 2024 BBAL regular season, my favorite matchup of the night, 8 Balls up against the Lanc Show. The 8 Balls without Jason Kuntzelmand due to personal business would be up for a dogfight against the Lanc Show led by Ajani Simmons. We knew Jason’s sidekick Julian Collazo would have to play a bigger role and almost as identical as last game. Starting the game, Ajani started per usual with intensity defensively and very passionate communication. Early on, I could tell Jase being absent forced the 8 Balls to change the entire complexity of their offense. Julian Collazo responded with tough shots in the first and didn’t miss until 5 minutes left in the first. His offense rubbed off the others as they excelled at blocking out the noise from Lanc Show in the first half. Ajani and the Lanc Show were struggling to find shots to drop. I noticed uncharacteristically Ajani was frustrated with his struggles. All the way up to the 7 minute mark the 8 Balls were scoring nearly at will. Then, just 4 minutes later the Lanc Show shifted momentum as 8 Balls were missing, lacking sense of urgency and lazy rebounding. Just like that, Lanc Show were down by 2 and the ball was in Ajani’s Simmons hands. He found an open look for 3, it unfortunately just didn’t drop. This ended the hard-fought battle between these two giants with the 8 Balls continuing to roll to 2-0 with a 72-70 victory!



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