2016-17 Chicago Hoops – Playoffs Week 4 (April 30)

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Updated: May 4, 2017

We entered the second to last Sunday of the Season with just 8 (of our original 20) still alive with a shot at the Crown. 6 of those 8 were in ELIMINATION Territory and by night’s end only 1 of them would still be alive.. That Team will join Team Lalez and Team Malvin on Championship Sunday.. More on all of that below.. Aside from the Championship Games, May 7 is also the date for our All Star Game and 3pt Contest. If you want to participate in the 3pt contest, please let us know!

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 5 – Winner goes to Championship

2. Team Lalez (Hakimian Imports) v. 5. Team Malvin (StudentCity)

This was actually the night cap, but in many ways it’s the biggest Game of the Season aside from the Championship Game.. The Winner here is in the absolute driver’s seat for the Championship. They would be just 1 Win away from the Crown and the Team they take on in the Championship will have to beat them 2-straight (and that would be after they played a Game first).

Team Lalez has been in this position before, while this is the furthest Team Malvin has been in the Chicago Hoops League.. Team Malvin was without All Star Matt Merrigan and Team Lalez was once again without Captain Benny Lalez.. Which Team would adapt better?  Well, Team Lalez answered that quickly.. They came out firing and without the long-range threat of Merrigan for Malvin they just didn’t have the firepower to catch-up. Nate Johnson also went down early in this one for them and this one was over quickly..  Team Lalez now moves on to the Championship for the 3rd time in 4 years and are in the driver’s seat for their 3rd title… Team Malvin will now take on whoever makes it out alive from the Elimination Gauntlet (listed below).. They’ll have to re-group quickly and earn their right to get some Revenge on Team Lalez.

 

ELIMINATION GAMES – 1st Set

3. Team Wong (Biaggi’s Purple) v. 10. Team Purimetla (Wrigley View Rooftop)

The underlying story of Sunday Night was Teams playing without their Stars.. Lane Barlow and Terdarin Bryson were out for 3. Team Wong and it really hurt them. Team Purimetla did not pity them at all and jumped out to an early lead. It was fun to see Derek Reich and Tim Szatko go at it in the paint for 44 minutes. When it was all said and done, Team Wong couldn’t overcome the absences and Team Purimetla would move on with the double digit W. Their biggest Win of the Season and their reward.. A date with #1 Team Kozin immediately following.

For Team Wong, it will surely seem like a disappointment to bow out at this point but what a season they had. They were at or near the top of the Rankings the entire season and managed to finish 3rd in the Standings in what was the most talented League we have ever seen in All Sports Series. That is something to be proud of. This roster is good enough to win the whole thing and they will enter among the favorites next Fall when we start back up in October! Thanks for playing!

 

4. Team Maione (Southview Athletics) v. 8. Team Zimmerman (MB Financial)

Much like the Games we have reviewed ahead, this was a lot about who had their guys — Team Maione — and who did not — Team Zimmerman..  Zimmerman and co. were without their two bigs – Nate Bateman and Matt Toth. Both would have helped secure the paint a bit in a Game that they needed prevent 2nd chances.. Team Maione was full strength for the first time in what seemed like forever and they really looked great. League MVP Chris Wroblewski went for 28 and helped his Team secure the first of what they hoped to be three Wins on the Night.  They’d move on to play #6 Team Jones next.

For Team Zimmerman, they put forth one of the gutsier runs we’ve seen out here in years. These guys did not have a strong first-half of the season. They lost past MVP Kyle Nelson in the off-season and had to quickly reshape the Roster.. Many counted them out and that is exactly when they went on a huge tear to end the Regular Season and climb from multiple Games under .500 to the #8 seed. They lost their Captain early on to an injury and still kept fighting. This is a group that with better luck can win the whole thing next year. In the meantime, many of them will shift their focus to earning a 3peat in the Men’s “All Sports” League this Summer! Thanks for playing!

 

ELIMINATION GAMES – 2nd Set

1. Team Kozin (Peak Properties) v. 10. Team Purimetla (Wrigley View Rooftop)

With the Win in their first Game of the Night over #3 Team Wong, #10 Team Purimetla was now staring down the top-seeded Team Kozin squad. We would re-seed in this Round and Team Kozin earned the right to play the lowest seeded Team left – which was Purimetla.

At this point, there were 6 Teams left standing. It’s obvious that each Team is among the League’s best.. There is no arguing it. How much gas would Team Purimetla have left in the tank? They had enough.. Enough to make it a fight. But they just couldn’t over take the top Team. Randall Hampton went for 19 and Josh Davis had 16 in the Win. Derek Reich would score 23 in their final Game of the Season. Team Kozin would move on to their second Game of the Night for a match-up with old Rivals Team Maione.

For Team Purimetla, they had a really impressive run in the Playoffs. They had won 3 straight Games with their backs against the wall and, thus, eliminated 3 Teams from the League.. That is pretty impressive stuff – aside from finishing in the Top-6 this season. Many of these guys had played in the Summer League before but it was their first run in the THE Chicago Hoops League – tip of the cap to them in their debut season out here. They will be back over the Summer and again next Fall. This group likely has a Championship in them one day.

 

4. Team Maione (Southview Athletics) v. 6. Team Jones (Chicago Trolley)

Team Maione and Team Jones took the court in this one, both believing that they had enough to make a run to the end. Team Maione had some momentum from their first Game against Team Zimmerman and started off hot. Team Jones was trying to whether the storm but they fell down by a wide margin in the first half.. Captain and All Star Gilles Jones wouldn’t let his team just fall off and went crazy in the second half, scoring from distance regularly. It was tight by the end of the Game but Team Maione held on and got the huge Win to move on.. Setting up a Game against Team Kozin to end the night.

For Team Jones, these guys are true competitors. They won’t be satisfied finishing in 6th but it was a really impressive debut season. There is a TON of quality in this League and they more than held their own in their first swing through with everyone. They are going to be a top-tier squad for years to come. Thanks for playing!

 

ELIMINATION GAMES – 3rd Set

1. Team Kozin (Peak Properties) v. 4. Team Maione (Southview Athletics)

These two Teams have had countless battles in the Hoops League over the years and many in the Playoffs. It’s fitting that they would take the court against one another.. With a spot in Championship Sunday on the Line.. Team Kozin is trying to make their 3rd straight Championship Sunday – which would be a record .. Team Maione is trying to get back there after a couple years without appearing.. Team Maione was also entering their 3rd Game of the Night.. All bets were off.

Team Kozin came out hot. They were warmed up from their first Win of the Night and looked strong. Team Maione was just gassed.. About midway through the first half Team Kozin was able to break it open and that is how the rest of the Game would go.. Mitch Bouie led with 21. Team Kozin was moving on to their third straight Championship Sunday. Team Kozin will take on Team Malvin in the Semi-Final and the Winner there will need to defeat Team Lalez 2x next Sunday!

For Team Maione, they bow out in 4th place after a really valiant run in the Elimination Bracket. They knocked out 3 Teams with seeds 11 or higher along the way and had they had just one more body on Sunday, maybe they would have had enough. It was a heck of a run on their final night as well.. Making it to the 3rd Game in itself was an accomplishment. These guys are routinely title-favorites and that will continue when they lace ’em up this Summer when they go to defend their Summer Hoops League Crown.  Thanks for playing!

 

That is it for this Week. Just one more to go this Season. See you Sunday!

-Holden