1:15PM COURT 1
Johan #1 – Group B vs KL Twin Towers #4 – Group A
Johan lived up to its name by solidifying their #1 seed in the tough Group B of Black Division. New to the League, their potent offence and tough defence was a difficult matchup for opponents throughout the season. Their only loss in the regular season came to the Phat Mambas when they scored an uncharacteristically low 56 points when they average 82.8ppg. Look for Johan to overpower their opponents with stingy ball pressure and finishing strong around the basket. They also have cool jerseys.
KL Twin Towers (3-2)
One of the fairy tale stories of SSL 6, KL Twin Towers put together their best campaign ever with a 3-2 record. This season’s roster gelled well and started undefeated in the first two weeks and capped off with an impressive win over Black Knights.
Kazuki Kawata (#44) lead Black Division in Assists with 8.0 per game while Kazuki Karasaw (#30) was second in steals with 3.6 picks per game. Their first round matchup will be a tough one but if they are able to maximise their ball and player movement this could be a surprising upset. KL Twin Towers will look to force turnovers and run to keep momentum on their side. Unfortunately for them, Johan does both equally well. KL Twin Towers key to victory may be their 13th man by their side every weekend, their unwavering supporters.
1:15PM COURT 2
Phat Mambas #2 Group B vs Gfence – #3 – Group A
Following an up and down season, GFence solidified a respectable #3 seed going into the playoffs. However, with a tough first round matchup they will have their work cut out for them. Their only losses came to higher ranked seeds. Meanwhile their wins were varied – convincing against KL Twin Towers, dominant against an undermanned Air Asia AllStars team, and near loss to winless Dragons Academy. If they hope to advance they will need their full roster on game day and a balanced offence. They must also pick their spots against the Phat Mambas defence and avoid turnovers as the Phat Mambas can quickly turn defence into offense. Word is most of these guys are lawyers so let’s see if they can make a case for themselves to go on to the next round.
Phat Mambas (3-2)
Though finishing with a 3-2 record, the Phat Mambas were close to an undefeated record with close results in both their losses. Lead by scoring and size in Sunil and Sassi, the team’s athleticism and all around play make them a favourite to advance deep into the playoffs. Long, tall and experienced, the Phat Mambas will also be successful if they can elevate their defence to another level and increase efficiency on offense. If they cut down on turnovers and space out shooters they will be a nightmare for any opponent. But let’s be honest, can you really lose if you have a guy with “Happy” on the back of his jersey?
2:45PM COURT 1
Thunder #3 – Group B vs Black Knights #2 – Group A
Black Knights (3-2)
The story of the season for these guys was the roster of week to week. In a five game season, the Black Knights showed the importance of having consistency and working on chemistry to translate into wins. With scorers, playmakers, and rebounders the Black Knights’ only weakness may be getting everyone to show up on gameday. That said, they were able to pull of a respectable 3-2 record and grab the #2 seed in their group and ready themselves for a playoff push. If they are able to pull together, their experience will easily overpower the young Thunder team in their first round matchup. Let’s see which Black Knights team shows up come playoffs.
Young and well-coached, the unknown Thunder team was a surprise to most of the League this season. They started strong going undefeated the first three weeks before hitting a stumbling block and losing to a 5-man Admiral team. However, with big wins against strong Phat Mambas and Bandwagon, they have proven that they can win any game as long as they keep it close. Their strengths come in their energy and youth with half court traps and slashers on offense. The team averaged a sizzling 15 steals a game. Sean Goh finished the season as Black Division’s top scorer and three point threat. The Thunder will need their lightning speed advantage to take out the Black Knights.
2:45PM COURT 2
Admiral #4- Group B vs Ufour #1 – Group A
Athletic, young, unselfish, and tenacious, it was no wonder UFour put together an untainted 5-0 season with ease. The team stats speak for themselves: 88.0 points per game, 18.3 assists, 15.0 offensive rebounds, 18.8 steals, 5.0 blocks, all while shooting 45.2% from the field. Not to mention an incredibly low 8.0 fouls a game. This band of brothers strolled through the regular season. Ironically, this may end up being their biggest weakness. Untested against adversity, a surprise performance from Admiral may have them back-pedalling. But with the firepower and talent on their team, they should have enough to recover from any challenge.
This was an up and down season for Admiral, literally. They alternated wins and losses week to week, yet managed to squeak into the playoffs with big wins when it mattered against the Thunder and Bandwagon. A strong rebounding team, they make up for their relatively low output with scoring runs in every game that always put them in position for the W. Forward Wong Jen Hoe topped the Black division in blocks per game with more than half of the team’s average 4.5 denials. Admiral have a chance to extend their season and upset UFour if they take care of the ball and clean up the boards. Buy Admiral products!
GONE FISHIN’ (Eliminated from Playoff contention)
This season’s free agent team comprised of players from five different countries never having played together becoming one on the court. And they did just that. Two of the three losses were by a total seven points in tight and undermanned games. The aptly named Bandwagon also had a chance to squeeze into the playoffs in their final regular season game but fell 10 points short of the mark. Standout performances include Black division leading rebounder Chris Sinvulo who averaged 14.3 boards per game. In the end, they will be remembered as a rag tag mix of almost Cinderfellas.
AirAsia AllStars (1-4)
The AirAsia AllStars were pumped and ready for another SSL season but ran into tougher competition and irregular roster lineups – the achilles heel for many teams in the League. Mike Ramos continued his campaign as one of the all time scorers in SSL history but that wasn’t enough to get them more than one victory. The AirAsia AllStars look to regroup and prepare for takeoff for the next season and hope to soar to greater heights in SSL7.
The Youngbloodz were just that, young and out for victorious blood. With a strong mix of slashing ability, speed, and some wiry length, the team finished off their season with a win over Admiral in impressive fashion. Perhaps another season of experience, chemistry and added shooting will prove to be enough to put them in the playoff mix in future seasons.
Dragons Academy (0-5)
It’s almost impossible to root against youngsters in a men’s league. Helmed by player coach Ghazi, the team was comprised of WestPort Malaysia Dragons Academy players as well as coaches suiting up. In the end, it was the youngsters who proved to be the story, showing heart in all their match ups and almost pulling off the upset against GFence in Week 4. With a lot of promise and potential, these guys may be the team to look out for in coming seasons.