|Raptors Uprising GC||16||16||14||13||59|
Blazer5 Gaming became the first team to earn a perfect record during pool play, surviving a series of nail-biting moments to come away with a 63-59 victory over Raptors Uprising GC during Thursday’s action at THE TIPOFF.
In a direct contrast to both team’s strategies earlier in the day, mid-range shots and transition buckets were all the rage in the first quarter. But either team gained much of a rhythm, as the opening frame ended in a dead even 16-16 tie.
It was clear Blazer5 Gaming targeted turnovers as a direct path to victory given Mama Im Dat Man and even OneWildWalnut were active in nearly every passing lane. While it didn’t always work, the high-risk play style opened up a ton of fast break opportunities when they did manage to steal the ball, with power forward Dat Boy Shotz once again on the receiving end of a variety of transition buckets. Chalk that up to point guard Dat Man, whose 10 points and eight assists by halftime helped space the floor enough for Shotz to capitalize. Only towards the end of the second quarter did Raptors Uprising center Yusuf_Scarbz make his presence felt, leading the team at the break with 12 points.
The turnover transition game continued to be feast or famine for Blazer5 Gaming, as Raptors Uprising GC never seemed to get too far ahead or behind throughout the second half. Every time Jusuf_Scarbz would bully home a basket in the low post to give his team a bit of momentum, either OneWildWalnut or Dat Boy Shotz would answer right back as the roller coaster ride headed into the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
With around a minute remaining, a critical exchange which saw both teams botch the ball trying to run up transition baskets seemingly bounced the way of Dat Boy Shotz, who converted a critical basket to put Blazer5 Gaming ahead by one. Scores would be traded back and forth once more, only for Yusuf to miss a wide open mid-range shot to essentially seals the victory for Blazer5 Gaming. While a missed free throw from Mama Im Dat Man kept things closer than they should have been, critical defense on Raptors Uprising GC’s final possession sealed the 3-0 finish to Pool C competition.