As I write this postgame report, I find myself satisfied with the path that the GSBL is on. This season has brought out the best in many of our athletes while it has also shown us and helped us see the potential that our league has developed. Comeback stories. Comeback games. Double doubles. Monster performances. Close battles. Incredible individual performances. The 2018 Golden State Basketball League has truly been a special year and we have so much more on the horizon!
This past Sunday night, we witnessed the coronation of one of our newest athletes. Upon looking at his appearance, one would laugh at the thought of him being able to withstand the grueling battles that the GSBL sometimes brings. However, he has built the endurance and mental fortitude to stick with it and develop a special kind of game plan that works to his advantage. Team Captain Sam Burcham turned out to be one of the best feel good stories in the 2018 GSBL with an impressive 3-1 record as captain. The more fascinating statistic is the turnover ratio from Weeks 1-2 to Weeks 3-6. Burcham went from giving up 16 turnovers in two games to giving up 17 turnovers in four games! Also, through the first two games he averaged 11 PPG while his last four games he averaged 16 PPG! This dramatic turnaround might have just won the 2018 GSBL MVP award for Burcham; but more importantly, Burcham has put his team in a position to potentially get the #3 seed in the playoffs.
Let’s recap the games…
- Team Burcham vs Team Mackay (Team Burcham wins 49-42)
- As previously mentioned, Team Captain Sam Burcham has found the secret formula to leading his team to a dramatic 3-3 record! I say dramatic because this team was down and out at 0-2 and looked like it was going to be a very long and disappointing season. This past Sunday night, we said that Team Burcham was going to need to drive the ball and pound the ball in the paint to get a win against Team Mackay. Nate Patton had another impressive week with 11 points and 12 rebounds good for his first double double of the season! Jon Reimers had his best week of the season dropping 11 points as well and grabbing 9 boards on the side. The formula to success for Team Burcham has been to get Sam in the lane drawing fouls early and then getting their wingers to hit an occasional three pointer throughout the game. Despite the team turning the ball over 13 times, they managed to jump out to a double digit lead in which they did not look back. A 7 point win over Team Mackay gives them momentum going into the playoffs and with a Team Tanqueco loss in Week 9, Team Burcham would vault into the #3 seed going into the playoffs. If that particular scenario plays out, Team Burcham would then play the loser of Team Mayfield/Team Mackay this Sunday night. Once again, a favorable matchup for Team Burcham since they have beaten both of these teams this season!!
- Team Mackay drops their 3rd straight game while Team Captain Tyler Mackay continues to struggle from the field. His 3/14 shooting is the worst that he has had all season, but this lackluster performance has now been duplicated. In Week 6, Team Mayfield shut Mackay down and he had no response in that game. This week, Team Burcham shut him down and his response was to facilitate the ball in a way that gave him 7 assists on the game! When he doesn’t shoot well, he switches his game so he can still produce for his team. With the playoffs right around the corner, Team Mackay will NEED their leader at the top of his game IF they are to be a threat to win the title! Carl Baltazar dropped a season high 18 points with all of his points being from beyond the arc! His hot shooting helped give his team a CHANCE at coming back, but it ultimately went unnoticed. Tyler Pettis got into foul trouble early in the 1st half which is why Team Burcham managed to pull away in the early stages. Despite getting into this foul trouble, he still managed to put up 8 points and help clean up some of the boards in the paint. Team Mackay still has a lot to play for as the #5 seed is up for grabs in a winner take all last game of the season against Team Mayfield this Sunday night!
- Team Tanqueco vs Team Monteiro (Team Tanqueco wins 64-53)
- A legendary performance from Team Captain Dexter Tanqueco has his name written in the record books for the most three point field goals made in a GSBL game since the merger! Tanqueco dropped 8 three pointers and ultimately put up 30 points which is a season high. His 30 points is also the MOST points scored in a single game over the last four seasons! There is so much to say about his performance…there really isn’t enough time. He shot 11/17 from the field. 8/12 from downtown. He even tossed 3 assists and grabbed a steal. While he did give up 5 turnovers, his offensive explosiveness makes me ask the question: will this be the new Dexter? Let’s not forget that his team shot the ball VERY WELL overall registering our first 40%+ shooting percentage of the season!! Yes, their turnovers were an obscene 20—but when you when by 11 while scoring 64…who cares?! Nate Webb was 2 assists short of a triple double which would have only been the cherry on top the best team performance of the season. Matt Colasanti was an instant X-factor as he dropped 14 points fresh off the 2 week CL. This team SHOULD be 5-0; but an incredible comeback by Team Mackay and four players getting put on the 2 week CL, have this team 3-2 with a crazy scenario going into Week 9! With a win over Team Keeton in Week 9, Team Tanqueco will take the #1 seed going into the playoffs which would also give them a Quarterfinal Round BYE. With a loss to Team Keeton, they would fall to the #4 seed and play the winner of the other Week 9 matchup between Team Mackay/Team Mayfield. Crazy.
- I feel bad for Team Monteiro. I really do. They played a fabulous game for the GSBL and ultimately deserved a better ending. However, 54 points with only four three-pointers was nowhere even close to being enough to beat Team Tanqueco. Regardless of the outcome, Team Monteiro will STILL get a 1st round BYE as they hold the tiebreaking advantage over Team Keeton. On top of that, DJ Chitty and Trent Bailey have played fantastic in the absence of Team Captain Tim Monteiro! They combined for 28 points and 24 rebounds and really gave themselves a hope that a comeback was possible. Even after being down by 19 points, they managed to cut the deficit down to 8 and had two chances to get it down to 6 or 5! Regardless of their performance, they still lost and forfeited their opportunity to get the #1 overall seed. They will not play again until the semifinals and the answer of WHO they will play is still unknown.
Week 8 produced the best team performance and best player performance of the season. Week 8 also cemented who I believe the MVP of the 2018 GSBL SHOULD be come voting time! With 1 week remaining, I look ahead to Team Keeton/Team Tanqueco and Team Mayfield/Team Mackay and see that the potential of next week being the BEST WEEK in the HISTORY of the GSBL being a VERY POSSIBLE thought! #1 is on the line and #5 is on the line! Week 9 in the 2018 GSBL will be live on the GSBC Bleacher Report Facebook Page beginning at 8:25PM! Don’t miss it!!
-Voice of the GSBC Bleacher Report Network