Ultimate Hoops Plano: Winter Semifinals Preview

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Ultimate Hoops Plano: Winter Semifinals Preview

7:15 PM: 2. Giv3 N’ Go vs. 3. The Soldiers
On paper, this matchup is a great one. Giv3 N’ Go is deeper team (probably the deepest in the league) with weapons everywhere, particularly on offense. Defense isn’t a weakness by any means but they get into a lot of shootouts. The Soldiers started 5-0 but have come back down, splitting their last four with a pair of wins and losses. They’ll have to be on (and getting along) to hang with G&G.
Matchup to Watch: Martin Salinas vs. Paul Starr
In basketball, you have to score more points than the other team. The primary source of scoring is shooting. Two of the best shooters in UH Plano are these two: Salinas and Starr. However, Salinas has more help and doesn’t need to take --and hit-- as many shots as Starr will need to.
Prediction: Giv3 N’ Go

8:15 PM: 1. Easy Money vs. 4. Tropics
The top seeded Easy Money draw the red hot Tropics, who have won four in a row and six out of seven. The teams met in the very first week of the season and Easy Money won their first game in what would be an undefeated regular season. They’re 9-0 and the clear favorites to defend their title. The Tropics have a similar roster to Giv3 N’ Go in that they are deep. There’s a lot of talent. Consistency has been their biggest issue but if they can get the kind of performances from their core four (Adam Miller, Lorenzo Prats, Brett Williams, Chris Moore) that they’ve been receiving, they could give Easy Money far more than I’m sure they’re anticipating.
Matchup to Watch: Brandon Barkley vs. Adam Miller
Barkley and Miller are two of the best all-around players in the league. They both play both ends of the floor and stuff the stat sheet on a weekly basis. Miller has had less of his usual impact this season and the Tropics will need him to match each Barkley move to hope for the upset. Both players’ potential Achilles’ heel is their three-point jumper and in a league (and world) dominated by that shot, it could be a deal breaker. 
Prediction: Easy Money

9:30 PM: Championship!
Prediction: Easy Money over Giv3 N’ Go

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Ultimate Hoops Plano: Winter Play-In Recap

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Ultimate Hoops Plano: Winter Play-In Recap

Plano: Play-In Games by Asher Feltman
7:15: Easy Money 79, Contract Killers 52
Not expected to be a barnburner, this one simply just burned. As noted in the preview, the Contract Killers could aim for the upset by shooting a high percentage. Instead they shot 39 percent and fell behind early. Three players topped out at 12 points. They did dominate the glass, outrebounding Easy Money 41 to 28. But again, shooting. They made just three three-pointers on 22 tries (14%).
Player of the Game: Erik Adams
Playing this one without both of their Kevin’s (Emasiani and “Chip” Green), they received help in the name of Erik Adams. Adams scored 29 points to lead the team with B.J. Valentine adding 21 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Brandon Barkley is healthy after rolling his ankle two weeks ago. He stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Onto the next one for the league’s best team.

8:15: Giv3 N’ Go 108, Black Beatles 92
After watching the league’s top team take care of business, second-seeded Giv3 N’ Go had a job to do as well. The Contract Killers didn’t press Easy Money at all, but the Black Beatles have been incredibly good the past few weeks after starting the season a forgettable 0-5. The Beatles scored a robust 92 points but the league’s best offense belongs to Giv3 N’ Go and so does a win as well as an advance to the semi-finals. The Beatles played with just five but all contributed double digit point totals. Kobie Douglas (11-of-19 shooting, 6-of-8 from three) finished the year in peak form. Reggie Britton added 20 and the Beatles shot a clean 50 percent (15-of-30) from beyond the arc. They’re definitely a sleeper pick going into the spring season.
Player of the Game: Brett Bailey
Bailey missed a handful of games in the middle of the season but has returned with two very, very big games. He dominated the guard heavy Black Beatles and finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Fellow big Adam Bush also abused the undersized opponent (something I also noted in my preview; turns out I know what I’m talking about!) to the tune of 20 points and nine rebounds. Martin Salinas and Prince Benitez both had 14 to round out another potent night for G&G.

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