2016-17 Chicago Hoops – Playoffs Week 3 (April 23)

Updated: April 27, 2017

Week 3 of the Playoffs, better known as ELIMINATION SUNDAY, gave us a handful of fantastic finishes.. On the 3rd Sunday of the Playoffs, 8 Teams are sent home for the season, the most of any weekend of the year.. Teams fought for their Playoff lives all night long and when everything was said and done.. Just 8 Teams remain standing.. Two of them: 2x Champs and #2 seed Team Lalez is joined by #5 Team Malvin who needed Overtime to knock-off #1 Team Kozin in the Main Event of the evening. More on that below. They are joined by 6 Teams in the Elimination Bracket — one of those Teams will join Teams Lalez and Malvin on Championship Sunday!  Let’s recap everything below!

Weekly Highlight Video! Powered by Dr. Jacob D.D.S.

One more thing before we get to the Power Rankings, we have some amazing Sponsors for you this Season including none other than Live Clean Chicago! They are the best Cleaning Service in Chicago bar none and more importantly you can trust them to clean your place (even if you aren’t home). Myself and my family (Holden) use them frequently!  One more brief mention as it’s likely you will want to know..   Also, StudentCity has a new program and Young Professionals are invited! It’s called the Bucket List! They take you on amazing trips abroad.

If you ever want info (and we also get deals!!) from any of our Sponsors just contact Holden@allsportsseries.com

All Stars

Quickly, as a reminder the Starters were chosen by the League during the VOTE over the past month.. The Reserves were named by the League Office.  On Sunday May 7, along side the Championship, the All Stars will compete in a 3pt Contest and All Star Game (unless they are partaking in the Championship of course..).  A special Congrats goes out to League MVP Chris Wroblewski! Chris, deservedly so, received the most Votes from the Players. He will be one of the two Captains to select their respective Teams on the final night.. Joining him will be the second-highest vote-getter which was Lane Barlow of Team Wong (in his debut season of the Chicago Hoops League) – very impressive.  If either or both are in the Championship, replacement Captains will be named..

All Star Starters (Voted on by League’s Players, Alphabetical Order)

MVP* Chris Wroblewski – Team Maione, Esto Vega – Team Zimmerman, Josh Davis – Team Kozin, Lane Barlow – Team Wong, Marin Kukoc – Team Gutman, Nate Johnson – Team Malvin, Randall Hampton – Team Kozin, Rodney Clark – Team Malvin, Scott Campbell – Team Lalez, Tim Szatko – Team Wong, Victor Ojeleye – Team UC Booth, Zack Novak – Team Harris

All Star Starters (Voted on by League Office, Alphabetical Order)

Austin Brown – Team Schwartz, Brad Deutsch – Team Maione, Brock Massie – Team Wong, Chris Ray – Team Maione, Dave Gershenzon – Team Lalez, Gage Coleman – Team Silver, Gilles Jones – Team Jones, Jonathon Gac – Team Sternberg, Joe Kozak – Team McNichols, Rob Kamentsev – Team Apuli, Matt Merrigan – Team Malvin, Max Shulruff – Team Sternberg, Sam Leewood – Team Purimetla, Terdarin Bryson – Team Wong, Tred Dean – Team Kaplan


Playoff Review

Winner’s Bracket – Round 4

1. Team Kozin (Peak Properties) v. 5. Team Malvin (StudentCity)

We are going to start with the Game of the Week… The Winner here would be just two Wins away from holding the Crown.. A far cry from what the Loser would need to accomplish in order to win the whole thing.. The Loser here would need to rattle off 5 in a row to win the Crown.. That is a huge difference considering the caliber of opponent that awaits in the final Games..

On to the Game itself.. Team Malvin would start out fast and claim an early lead over the top-seeded Kozin squad. Every time Team Kozin would make a run, it was either Rodney Clark, Nate Johnson or Matt Merrigan making a great play to keep the momentum with Team Malvin — exactly why they are All Stars.. Eventually Team Kozin would lock in on Defense.. Rashad Singleton is so good on the perimeter. The top-seed would cut in and at the end of the Game it was up for grabs. Randall Hampton and Josh Davis made big plays down the stretch. Down 1, with 30 seconds left, Matt Merrigan hit a corner-3 to give Team Malvin the 2pt advantage.. Randall Hampton would get fouled on the ensuing possession – sink the free throw – to OVERTIME we’d go!  In OT, both Teams were in the bonus.. Team Malvin hit a few free throws — Team Kozin missed a few, and that was the difference! Team Malvin would pick up the biggest Win of the season!  They stay in the Winner’s Bracket while Team Kozin will move on to ELIMINATION territory where they will have to Win 2 Games in order to make it to their 3rd straight Championship Sunday.


2. Team Lalez (Hakimian Imports) v. 6. Team Jones (Chicago Trolley)

While Team Malvin and Team Kozin were locked into a back and forth battle, we saw anything but on the other Court.. Team Lalez came out hot.. Motivated by the presence of their injured-Captain, Benny Lalez. Scott Campbell went for 38 and 12 in this one.. No big deal there. Dave Gershenzon went for 20+ as did Brandon Lathon who just narrowly missed a big-time triple double. This one was over early as the 2x Champs showed Team Jones why they have been able to call themselves Champs around here for a long time.. Team Jones falls into ELIMINATION GAME territory for the first time in Franchise history. They’ll need to Win 2 Games next Sunday to crash Championship Sunday.  Team Lalez will take on Team Malvin in a key Game that will send one to the Championship and the other to the Semi-Final with a Loss on them.. Crucial Game.. The Winner of that Game has gone on to Win the Championship in each of the past 3 seasons!



9. Team UC Booth (Biaggi’s Red) v. 16. Team Schwartz (SLA Insurance) 

Winner plays 8. Team Zimmerman

This is a Rematch from the first Sunday of the Playoffs, on a night where Team Schwartz stole the show and won a couple of Games on the night. Their upset of Team UC Booth being the headliner.. Team UC Booth remembers that well and came into this one determined to not let it happen again.. They were hungry from the tip and jumped out to a big lead.. Arjan Gower had 22 and Matthew Schick had 31 for UC Booth.  One that only grew over the course of the Game. Team Schwartz just couldn’t cut into it and 9. Team UC Booth would get some Revenge and a pivotal W in an Elimination Game.. 8. Team Zimmerman awaited.

For Team Schwartz, they made a really nice run to finish the season. The final Game won’t be one they look back upon but they played very well this Spring.  The addition of Greg Gonzalez full-time this Season gave them a much bigger Offensive punch. They are a caliber Team that is capable of winning one of these things.. Thanks for playing! See you this Summer.


8. Team Zimmerman (MB Financial) v. 9. Team UC Booth (Biaggi’s Red)

UC Booth was not afforded much time to celebrate their first Win of the night as #8 Team Zimmerman was waiting just moments later and once again both Teams’ Playoff lives would be on the line. Team Zimmerman was able to withstand the initial momentum surge from UC Booth. We often see the Team playing in their 2nd Game start out hot as they are very warmed up.. Team Zimmerman took the lead into the second half and while UC Booth would make runs, Team Zimmerman always felt in control of this one as they stretched the lead to double digits in the back-half of the second half. Team Zimmerman their 2nd W of the Playoffs and move on to Week 4.. They have been notorious for competing (and winning) 3 Games in a night come this time of year.. They are going to be faced with just that come Sunday evening.

For Team UC Booth, they had quite the run. It ended earlier than they hoped but they got some huge Wins this season and sent a few Teams home packing. This group always has a significant amount of talent even with the roster-turnover they have at the end of semesters. Always a pleasure to have them in the League! We’ll see you back next year!



10. Team Purimetla (Wrigley View Rooftop) v. 15. Team Cohen (Crystal Lake CDJ)

Winner plays 7. Team McNichols

Another Rematch from earlier in the Playoffs. These Teams battled intensely during the Opening Night of the Playoffs. Team Cohen had been coming off of a Win and pushed Team Purimetla to the brink on that night, but couldn’t come away with the Win. This one did not follow the same narrative. Team Cohen struggled to get going in this one and falling behind Team Purimetla is a recipe for disaster. They can score in a hurry and don’t really give you an opportunity to go on big runs. Josh Blackwell had 18 for Team Purimetla here and helped guide them to the decisive W.  They will move on for another Rematch — this time with #7 Team McNichols.

For Team Cohen, it is a disappointing end to what was an encouraging final run.. This group was melding many new parts during the season and it took them a while to figure out where everyone fit. They have a ton of talent though and they really started to play well together down the stretch. We will see variations of this squad over the Summer and hopefully they stay together next Season as they can be a dangerous group now with a bunch of PT logged together. Thanks for playing!


7. Team McNichols (Al’s Beef on WESTERN) v. 10. Team Purimetla (Wrigley View Rooftop)

In a night of many Playoff-rematches, this one had the potential to the be the highlight.. And that it was. Team Purimetla was coming into their second-straight Game – just as they were when they played a few weeks back.. Team McNichols was fresh. This time though — the Loser would go home.. These guys would go back and forth but Team McNichols would end up getting control of the Game for most of the second-half. Romeo Magloire had 26 for Team McNichols and Derek Reich had 20 to lead Team Purimetla. Team McNichols seemingly had a safe lead down the stretch but Team Purimetla would put on a fierce press and started forcing turnovers.. Soon the lead diminished and it was actually Team Purimetla who would take the lead with just seconds remaining. Team McNichols would not get a final look at the basket and Team Purimetla would leave with an improbable second win on the evening! They now move on to next weekend where they will need 3 Wins to continue on to Championship Sunday. They will also face a tough road.. They will play #3 Team Wong and then if they win, because they are the lowest seeded Team remaining, they would get #1 Team Kozin in their second Game..

For Team McNichols, certainly a bitter-sweet end to the season. They made it far but thought they had a Win all but locked up and then it just disappeared before they could catch their breathe. For their first run in this particular Chicago Hoops League – and to grab the #7 seed in a packed field – shows how good they are. They will make an appearance in the Summer League where they will certainly be a threat to take the whole thing! Thanks for playing!



11. Team Sternberg (Pear Tree Catering) v. 14. Team James (Chipotle)

Winner plays 4. Team Maione

If you are sensing a theme.. yes, there were a bunch of rematches on Sunday afternoons.. There was the perfect amount of upsets in the first two weekends to slot several Teams in against one another once again.. This was another Rematch from the Opening Night of the Playoffs. An Overtime thriller that saw Team James survive Team Sternberg.. On that night, Team Sternberg was had a very short rotation.. On Sunday, that was not the case when they saw the return of Jamie Nikitas and this time Jonathan Gac was in the line-up as well. It didn’t hurt that Tyler Max went for 35 and Max Shulruff had 21 in this one.. Team James kept it close but couldn’t overtake the lead late.. Team Sternberg would avenge their first Playoff defeat and move on to play #4 Team Maione.

For Team James, it was a stellar season. Kyree Beamon had a nice final night, scoring 23 points. They will have the fond memory of the OT win in the Opening Round against Team Sternberg.. They are close. This is a group that has enough pieces to make a serious run next year they just need someone who can really protect the Rim and tie it together for them on Defense. Thanks for playing!


4. Team Maione (Southview Athletics) v. 11. Team Sternberg (Pear Tree Catering)

Team Maione was waiting for Team Sternberg, giving Team Sternberg little to no time to celebrate.. From the Opening Tip, Team Maione was ready to go. Chris Ray and Chris Wroblewski came out firing and they didn’t really look back. They’d both get over 20 on the Night. Team Maione would advance with the 20+ W.  They will take on familiar foes in Team Zimmerman. A group they have had Playoff battles with in the past.. They will need to prep for 3 Games on Sunday Night. They will need Win all 3 to get back to Championship Night. If anyone can do it, it is them…

For Team Sternberg, it was a season of runs.. They came out of the gates swinging.. Starting 7-1 and putting the whole League on blast.. They then had some Roster-departures around the New Year and stumbled back to .500 before getting going once again to finish the season out. They made a nice run in the Playoffs and got a few Ws over the past few weeks. These guys will be all over the All Sports Series landscape this Summer and we’ll certainly see them back here in the Hoops League in the Fall. Thanks for playing!



12. Team Harris (Stanley’s Kitchen and Tap) v. 13. Team Gutman (Live Clean CHI)

Winner plays 3. Team Wong

Our final Rematch to recap on the Night and it was another good one.. These two Teams met during the first Night of the Playoffs and their paths were set to cross once-again here.. We’ll repeat some backstory.. A Year ago, Team Gutman upset the then #3 seeded Team Harris and basically stole their route on the way to Winning the whole thing. Team Harris got a bit of Revenge a few weeks back dishing the Defending Champs their first Playoff-L but it would be much sweeter for them if they got to Eliminate the Champs all-together.. Team Harris built up a nice lead into the late stages of the Game.. Team Gutman, refusing to just wither away in their Title Defense mounted a furious comeback late in this one.. They had the ball with a chance to tie but couldn’t bury the shot and Team Harris would hold on!  Team Harris would now face #3 Team Wong..

For the 2015-16 Champs, Team Gutman, it was a year that the Championship Hangover just lasted longer than they hoped. They never quite got as hot as we saw them get last Spring.. No one can take last year away from them and we’ll see if either Team Lalez becomes 3x Champs in a couple of weeks or if another Team joins those two as the only Teams to ever Win the Chicago Hoops League. These guys will be around with All Sports Series over the Summer and we’ll certainly see them back as they try to have a rebound season in the Hoops League. Thanks for playing!


3. Team Wong (Biaggi’s Purple) v. 12. Team Harris (Stanley’s Kitchen and Tap)

Team Wong was ready. They had a bad taste in their mouth following the Game against Team Jones a couple weeks back and they were hungry to get back out on the court.. Team Harris, with just 5 guys, was absolutely gassed after their Win against Defending Champs Team Gutman.. This one was over fast. Tim Szatko and Lane Barlow were just too much. Tim had 26 and Lane had 23. Team Harris was without Dylan Richter or Zack Novak and they just couldn’t keep up. Team Wong is moving on and they will face #10 Team Purimetla next Sunday. They will have to Win 3-straight Games to survive this coming Sunday and move on to Championship Sunday.

For Team Harris, they fought hard and just didn’t have the numbers on their final night. This is as a group that at full strength could have beaten anyone – and they did. We’ll see most of these guys on various Summer League Teams and hopefully they can band together against next season as they really have enough to Win the whole thing! Thanks for playing!


That’s it for the Recap of Elimination Sunday! Good Luck to the Final 8 Teams still standing!