VBL Playoffs Set!
|1. Sunblock x Soleworld||5 – 1||55|
|2. Hoopbus x Woodies||5 – 1||55|
|3. In the Lab||5 – 1||43|
|4. XvsX Sports||5 – 1||12|
|5. Sneakers’N’Stuff||4 – 2||20|
|6. Born x Raised||4 – 2||8|
|7. Future Mood Studios||3 – 3||25|
|8. Project Backboard||3 – 3||14|
|9. Timeless||3 – 3||13|
|10. Fentwood Hoops||3 – 3||-2|
|11. Bball Junkies||2 – 4||-9|
|12. Top Dawg||2 – 4||-32|
|13. Hard to Guard||1 – 5||-27|
|14. Hooperverse||1 – 5||-44|
|15. Hamilton x Wilson||1 – 5||-49|
|16. Leune||1 – 5||-78|
Week 6 Results!
|Matchup||Player of Game|
|Leune v Hard to Guard|
|Hamilton v Hoopbus x Woodies|
76 – 46
|Brandon ‘BodyBag’ Moss|
|Fentwood v XvsX Sports|
|Emmanuel ‘Antennas’ Brown|
|Timeless v Born x Raised|
85 – 75
|Kwah ‘Lethal’ Gredic|
|BBJ v Future Mood|
80 – 78
|Brian ‘Grizzly Moons’|
|Hooperverse v Top Dawg|
63 – 45
|Sneakers’N’Stuff v In The Lab|
59 – 56
|Ryan ‘Hezigod’ Carter|
|Sneakers’N’Stuff v Project Backboard|
60 – 47
|Van ‘All-Fades’ Girard|
Top 10 Plays of the Week!
Saturday – July 23rd
LiveStream – Powered by the Sho
Leune V Hard to Guard
The finale of the VBL’s 17’th regular season kicked off at 12:00PM on a sunny day in Hooper’s Paradise. In a battle of two teams for whom wins have been hard to come by, Team Leune (1-5) came out on top 46 – 38 over Hard to Guard (1-5). In a low-scoring affair, Leune held the lead for the majority of the game and at the final buzzer their at times maligned players were ecstatic. Displaying true tenacity and grit despite a losing record, Team Leune has set themselves up for a match up against championship favorite Timeless (3-3) on day 1 of the playoff play-in games. Hard to Guard has earned the VBL’s 13th seed and will play 12th seeded Top Dawg (2-4) on the opening day of play-in weekend.
Leune was led by Marcus Wallace who contributed a game high 14 points and 5 rebounds. Both Jovan Jokic and captain Jahmel ‘JT’ Tolliver would both contribute 8 points a piece in the team’s winning winning effort.
Hard to Guard struggled to put points on the board missing their leading scorer Dios Mac and multi-skilled point guard Sydney Dean. Defensive-specialist, hustle-player and Week 5 Player of the Game, Jeff Montenegro led the way with 8 points and 6 rebounds.
Hamilton x Wilson V Hoopbus x Woodies
At 1:20PM on Saturday, Team Hoopbus x Woodies (5-1) beat Hamilton x Wilson (1-5) All-Stars 76 – 46, in a shutdown game of celebrity appearances, high-flying dunks and flashy passes with Hoopbus defeating a squad that featured NFL Pro-Bowler and future Hall of Famer, Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins. With the victory Hoopbus has sneakily earned the VBL’s 2nd seed and a multi-week bye to the quarterfinals, a great feat for a team which has faced inconsistency amongst their starting lineup the majority of the season, yet have found cohesion in late roster additions. Hamilton x Wilson finish as the 15th seed and have earned a matchup against Bball Junkies and Zach Hinton, the VBL’s leading scorer and rebounder.
Brandon Moss (avg. 30 ppg) took home his second consecutive Player of the Game honors continuing to astound the beach with his jaw-dropping leaping ability and seemingly effortless scoring, racking up highlight dunks on his way to 29 points and 8 rebounds. Moss has added a much needed scoring punch for Hoopbus the past 2 week, despite being a late addition to the squad. Team Hoopbus has gathered momentum at the perfect time, and will seek a Beals Day trophy on the back of Brandon’s scoring and the ‘Chocolate’ family tree’s (composed of Jacob “Mint” Gill, 18 points, father Randy “White Chocolate” Gill, 12 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, and Isaiah Gill) versatility and discipline.
Team Hamilton x Wilson once again came out with multiple new faces in Week 6, with none providing more excitement than Tyreek Hill. Hill, swapping out his cleats with Puma’s for the weekend, provided a show in his VBL debut, with his athleticism on full display. Hill’s stat-line was 10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and multiple windmills during layup lines. Over the past decade, HoF Terrell Owens has set the standard for NFL players in the VBL, leading to the question: who is the best hooper in the NFL? Other contributors for Hamilton were rapper Amari “Haiti Baby” Proctor who added 12 points and several impressive dunks.
Fentwood V XvsX
Game 3 at 2:40PM saw Fentwood Hoops (3-3) fall to XvsX Sports (5-1) 57 – 52 in a game with huge playoff implications. XvsX, a scrappy squad combining talented rookies from Philly to battle hardened from Skid Row, find themselves the VBL’s 4th seed, and earned a bye to the Quarterfinals. For the I.E. all-star squad, Fentwood Hoops, their rookie season endeavor yields the 10th seed and a matchup against Hamilton x Wilson on Saturday in the play-in.
The game was neck and neck from opening tip. Fentwood took an early lead, XvsX answered. Fentwood, up as many as 7 in the fourth, has struggled all season closing out games. As the clock hit 1 minute, Fentwood down 2 with a chance to take the lead turned the ball over, setting XvsX up for a fast-break lay and sealing the game. Per usual, XvsX’s Emmanuel ‘ Antennas’ Brown earned his 5th Player of the Game honors with a team-high 13 points and 7 rebounds. Jair was a force inside, adding 14 points and 6 rebounds, while newcomer Lorenzo Cugini contributed 13 points in his debut. A continued balanced scoring effort will be key to XvsX’s post-season success.
Fentwood Hoops put forth another impressive performance, yet suffered from lapse of concentration in closing the game. Maurice Jones (avg. 19 ppg) once again led his team in scoring with 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Fentwood received scoring punches from Rashad ‘SmoothShad‘ and Jordan J-Dub, who finished with 8 points and 9 points respectively. Rashad led his team in rebounding with 10 boards.
Timeless V Born x Raised
Saturday’s final game of the day at 4:00PM, saw two VBL championship contenders in Born x Raised (5-2) and Timeless (3-3). The game finished 85 – 75 with Born x Raised earning a huge victory and the 6th seed, while Timeless’ early gains from a red-hot start have been virtually erased in a 3 game losing streak, placing them as the 9th seed. Born x Raised earned themselves a Saturday bye and will be sitting watching the games to see who they’ll play in the Top 12 on Sunday. Meanwhile Timeless shockingly falls out of top 8, and will play last-seeded Leune (1-5) in Week 7.
Born x Raised was led by Player of the Game, and the VBL’s assist leader Kwah ‘Lethal’ Gredic who was played floor general, dishing out 10 assists on top of 22 points of his own. LaQuavis ‘Q’ Cotton placed his own stamp on the game finishing with several flashy dunks on his way to a 27 point performance. In addition, Michael Fry built off of a strong VBL debut in Week 5 adding 10 points and 8 rebounds.
Timeless would not go down without a fight as Elvin “Mr. Everything” Rodriguez continued to build his impressive 2022 campaign resume with another impressive performance adding 26 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks, and 4 assists. Larry “Buddha” Boyd was amongst the few familiar faces playing for Timeless in Week 6 as he added 17 points and 10 rebounds of his own. These two impressive performances kept Timeless in the game but the absences and missing offensive contributions of Zack Andrews and Dame ‘God’s Prodigy’ Young were ultimately too much to overcome for team Timeless.
Sunday – July 24th
Livestream Pt 1
Livestream Pt 2
Bball Junkies V Future Mood Studios
Sunday’s first game between B-Ball Junkies (2-4) and Future Mood Studios (3-3) at 12:00PM set the pace for the day in a back and forth boxing match between two heavy-weights dead-set on closing out the regular season with a win. Coming down to the last shot, Future Mood would close out a crucial 80-78 win, bumping the team to a first-day bye in the playoff picture. For his 33 point 10 rebound double-double performance, Brian ‘Grizzly Moonz’ earned VBL Player of the Week honors for Week 6. The most consistent performer for Future Mood all season, Grizz, averaging 17.5 ppg, put the team on his back. Finding his rhythm from midrange early, Grizz was able to find his scoring at will throughout the game, a feat his team needed to withstand BBJ’s stat stuffer Zach Hinton, 38 points 16 rebounds, who leads the VBL in both points and rebounds.
In the fourth quarter, the score was on a pendulum, swinging back and forth for 10 minutes every time Grizz and Zach touched the rock. In the game’s dwindling seconds, BBJ’s Isaiah ‘Zay’ earned the last of his 24 points with 16 seconds on the clock, tying the game at 78 – 78. In the halfcourt BBJ denied Grizz from the game’s final shot, forcing the ball into the hands of newcomer Jamaal Harris, a dunking phenom, who used his elevation as he drove to the left block and pulled up over his defender, sinking the game winning basket. Future Mood, who have struggled all season closing out tight matchups, found the right time to win in the clutch, finishing as the 7th seed and earning a bye to the Top 12 next Sunday.
HooperVerse v Top Dawg
At 1:20PM, Hooperverse (1-5) earned their first victory over Top Dawg (2-4), in a game which finished 63 – 45. Hooperverse’s Mekhi earned player of the game honors, recording 14 points, 7 steals and 4 assists. The game was competitive through the first three quarters, but in the fourth, Hooperverse was finally able to break the levies, as their momentum and pressure ignited a run which had their sizeable coaching staff electrified. Relying heavily on interior presence from big Sheldon Bailey, 9 points 11 rebounds, and scoring from Marquis, 19 points, Hooperverse found a win at the perfect time in their season, dragging the team from the 16th seed to the 14th, and earning a matchup against Zach Hinton and the Basketball Junkies.
Top Dawg was ultimately left shaken. The team likely expected to earn a Saturday bye against the winless Hooperverse, but instead fell apart in the game’s crucial stretch, turning the ball over and forcing up bad shots. Baby Shaq remained the most consistent performer for Top Dawg, scoring 14 with 8 rebounds, though being forced to the sidelines with foul trouble early. Top Dawg with the loss fell to the 12tth seed, they’ll play 13th seeded Hard to Guard on Saturday in the first round of the play-in.
In the Lab v Sneakers’N’Stuff
Game 3 at 2:40PM showcased the feature matchup of the season, with the battle of In the Lab v Sneakers’N’Stuff. Both teams were undefeated with records of 4-0, and both teams were slated to play two games, having been one game behind the pack from week 2 byes in Inglewood. The battle of two championship favorites ultimately finished 59 – 56 with In the Lab (5-1) earning a win of massive importance over reigning champion SNS (4-2). The game was a clash between both team’s all-star roster’s two distinct play styles: SNS’ pass-first, dirty-work buckets, all hands in defense versus In the Lab’s iso-dominant fast break style. The game lived up to the hype, with VBL’s brightest talents giving their all to a beach packed to the brim with fans. Led by Coach Dev, Ryan ‘HeziGod’ Carter earned player of the game honors for In the Lab, dropping 21 points and hitting 2 long balls. Darius was a standout player as well, dropping 12 points and 7 boards.
With a tight game in the fourth quarter, the game swung on a controversial SNS possession down two with 30 seconds on the clock in a 56 – 57 ball-game. SNS, believing they had a foul called in their favor, stopped, as In the Lab exploited the opportunity for an easy layup, giving them a four point lead. Unable to claw back from the deficit, the team lost on a mental lapse. SNS’ standout performers included Ivan ‘IP,’ 12 points, 3 steals and Jordan Giusti, 6 points 5 assists, 4 steals.
In the Lab v Sunblock x Soleworld
At 4:00, In the Lab (5-1), playing their second consecutive game, lost to Sunblock (5-1), 68 – 59. Sunblock, led by the big 3 of Juice, the Mute, AJ ‘Chosen’ Harris, earned a first round bye and the league’s #1 seed with the victory. Fresh off a victory, In the Lab coach Dev elected to evaluate the roster depth, leaning on a cast of youth and young players rather than his patented starting lineup of the Hezigod, Darius, PeShon and Darae. Despite their youth, In the Lab’s B squad was plenty capable, hitting big shots in the fourth against one of the league’s best teams. Player of the Game Honors again went to Julius ‘Juice’ Billsbrew, 2’nd in VBL scoring averaging 22222 ppg, who scored 20 with 4 steals.
The game and week’s most engaging moment came in the first quarter, where Hezi called out NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Owens, who moments earlier had been inaugurated to the VBL Hall of Fame, in an Iso Card. The Iso card clears the court and forces a 1 on 1 matchup, and Hezi, the league’s controversial showman, saw a chance to capture a moment. With fans crowding the side of the court and the camera’s rolling from all angles, Hezi threw the ball off T.O’s head and danced back to hit a stepback 3. The video has since gone viral, garnering millions of impressions between Veniceball, BreakAnklesDaily and BleacherReport coverage. In fairness to the great and much appreciated T.O. it’s worth noting his contribution to his team’s 5’th victory, dropping 13 points with 4 assists. Earning the #1 seed, Sunblock earned themselves a bye for play-in weekend, and will face off against the lowest remaining seed in the quarterfinals on August 13’th.
Sneakers’N’Stuff v Project Backboard
In the final game of the regular season, SNS (4-2) fell to Project Backboard (3-3), in a game which was the determinant to all seeding in the VBL playoffs. Winning 60 – 47, Project Backboard was able to jump into the top 8, earning a Saturday bye for day 1 of the play-ins. Player of the game honors went to Van ‘All-Fades’ Girard, who had played just his second game of the season, but came away with a game high 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. The implications of the game were most apparent to SNS, who had started the day undefeated, and left with two L’s, which ultimately pushed them to the 5’th seed, and out of a first round bye in the playoffs. For the first time all season the champions showed their neck, and both opponents leapt at the chance to choke out the champions. Ultimately, SNS will remain confident their core of talented league winners including Dream Chaser, Deebo, Gerald Williams II, Jordan Giusti and more will have enough fire-power to propel them to their second consecutive championship.