ETBL Finals concluded last Sunday and it was arguably the most entertaining game we ever had. Blown leads...blown freethrows...big shots...it had a bit of everything. The All-Star game took place right after the game and we saw Mr. Anthony Jeyakanthan take home the All-Star Game MVP as he dropped 41 points!!! He was shooting and nailing shots from almost halfcourt as well as everywhere else on the floor! The 3PT Competition ended the night and NJ took home the hardware in that one in a hard fought finals against who else but Anthony. Thank you to everyone that made this season the best one so far and we look forward to seeing everyone in the fall for Season 4!
NUGGETS vs WARRIORS: This was the matchup we were all waiting for! The number 1 seed vs the number 3 seeded Warriors. The first half was all Nuggets as they played a hard nosed grind it out type defence and made every shot difficult for the Dubs. They led 23 to 12 at halftime and really slowed the pace down and executed on their opportunities. Leading by 12 early in the second half and there was little life in the Warriors up to this point but all that changed quickly. Amit put his team on his back and got them back into the game with a big triple and a putback to start the comeback. Later a steal by Amit and then 2 baskets in a row by Gopal finished off lastly by another Amit basket to tie this game up at 25. The Nuggets went on their famous scoring drought where for some reason they go on stretches where they can't score the ball. It has happened to them all season but they usually find a way to pull it out. The Warriors started off on a 18 to 2 run in the second half to lead 30 to 25 and all the momentum was in their favor. The Nuggets turned the ball over and were atrocious from the freethrow line as they shot 2 for 18 for the game!!! The score was 37 to 29 in favor of the Warriors with a few minutes left and it looked like the Dubs would close this one out...but credit the Nuggets for not giving up and fighting back to take the lead once again as it was 41 to 37 with less than a minute to go! Dwayne hit a big time triple to tie things up at 37 and then Glenn had the fans on their feet with a big time 'and1' layup to give them the lead. An incredible back and forth boxing match where big blows were thrown but no knockout punch. Glenn misses a couple freethrows which could have pushed the lead to more than 4 and then Amit gets to the line and cuts the lead to 2 with about 45 seconds left. The 6th Man of the Year (Hari Yoga) comes into the game and gets a huge steal off a Dwayne pass and outlets it to Amit who misses the layup but Hari comes up with the enormous rebound and then proceeds to get fouled. These are the impact plays Hari has made all season for the team coming off the bench! He makes one of 2 from the line and now they send GM Ray to the line with the Championship on the line. I have to point out that Ray has not gone to the charity stripe all season including the playoffs and so these were his first 2 that he will be shooting with a ton of pressure on him. He unfortunately misses both...but wait...he gets his own rebound off the miss and the Warriors have to foul him again! This was like a soap opera with all the drama that was happening. They are still up by one with Ray getting a chance to redeem himself with 2 more freethrows...so just adjust the arc...take a deep breath...follow through...and...no...2 more misses...yikes! The Dubs come down the court with less than 15 seconds...Amit misses a shot in the lane...gets his own rebound and misses the putback...Bahee with a huge offensive rebound and finds GM Gautham at the 3PT line...who was left open by Ray...and with 5 seconds left....with Ray desperately trying to close out to him...GMAN nails the biggest shot of his life!!! He had been shooting poorly from long range all season but makes the one that matters on the biggest stage. Both GM's had an opportunity to win it for their team and you could not ask for much more in what was an incredible finals and it sucks that there had to be a loser in this one. Congratulations to the Warriors.
Final Score: Nuggets 41 - 45 Warriors FINALS MVP - AMIT Sieukumar 18pts/11rebs/2stls - 1 Triple - 9/12 FT's