Season 3 - Week 4 Recap
With a few last-minute injuries and cancellations, the Direwolves returned their team this week after a week hiatus and look to defend their title. Standing in their way this week were 4 new teams hungry to cement their legacy and start a new dynasty of their own. Unfortunately for the Direwolves, their shots were not falling this week and they stumbled their way to a 1-5 round robin, quickly eliminating them from championship aspirations. On the flip side, we have the new look Legends going a perfect 6-0 (first team to run the round robin table this year), while the Ballers finished the round robin with an almost perfect 5-1 record, setting up a Week 4’s championship game.
The perfect Legends were led this week by newcomer Captain Umair Sheikh (also, commissioner of GBBL’s cousin league GNBL). Umair has been a force since joining GBBL but had never been to the finals. Drafting his own team, Umair drafted the big bruiser Baseer Yasseen and sharpshooter Jav Ahmed. Rounding out the team was Fahad Ilyas and the always scrappy Shahzad Razzak. Having both commissioners of both leagues on the same team meant great things would happen, and by going undefeated in the round robin, this team looked poised to capture Week 4’s championship. On the flip side, captain Umar Ilyas assembled his rival team to take down the boys in blue. Umar built his team on grit and grind, selecting the master strategist Zahid Merchant, the loud and scrappy Ashar Malik, the ever-dependable Adil Mujeeb and the always reliable Omar Uddin. If history had anything to do with it, the Ballers had a slight advantage given that an Ilyas brother had captained the last 2 champions (Fahad in week 2 and Bilal in week 3).
The game started off with a big 3 from Jav, which was quickly countered by single buckets from Umar and Zahid. With a low score of 2-2, Adil got into the action and put the Ballers up 3-2 with less than 10 seconds left in the first half. Unfortunately, the wheels came off for the Legends. Zahid hit a big shot with 2 seconds left in the half. Confusion arose as to whether it was a single point or a 3-pointer. After the clock stoppage and discussion, it was determined that it was a 3. With 2 seconds left, the ball was checked up and Zahid found captain Umar wide open (no Legends player was within 6 feet of him) and launched a shot right before the buzzer, hitting a back breaking 3. The games momentum shifted within 10 seconds, going from 3-2 to 7-2. With a full 2nd half left to play, the Legends still had a chance given the lead was not insurmountable. Unfortunately, the boys in blue looked out of sync, after looking like probably the best cohesive unit in the round robin. Guys were not getting open, there was little to no ball movement and people were jacking up shots without setting. The Ballers on the other hand did everything right. Ashar was playing the role of JYD on the night and did all the dirty things, rebounding, stealing, passing and making buckets (less his missed wide-open layup). Zahid as always, hit yet another 3 and Adil was fighting down low, securing all the rebounds. The Legends got points from only Jav and Fahad in the finals, while Baseer, Umair and Shahzad were all left blank, not scoring anything. The Legends were able to score 6 points total, all from 3 3-point shots, but could not muster anything else. With the Ballers hitting on all cylinders and Legends flaming out, the boys in white took Week 4’s championship and will look to defend their crown next week. As predicted earlier, 3 weeks straight an Ilyas brother has captained a championship team. Can a new captain dethrone the Ballers or will the Ilyas streak continue? Stay tuned for week 5 Youngbloods!!!