07 September 2011
Hey again! Malice here, and I'll be covering B3, and we'll be starting with a "Game of the Week" Recap (which... as the title infers will be a weekly thing!).
The first one of these will be Lake Merritt Arrows vs Aguilas de Santiago...
The Oracle by the Lake stadium (home of the Lake Merrit Arrows) played host for the visiting Aguilas de Santiago side in a match that started well, but in the end played out to be the game everyone was expecting.
Aguilas kept pace with the might of the Arrows, but early foul trouble saw them keeping Lake Merritt in the game in the formative stages. Right from the get-go, Bartolome Damiano looked like he was too much of a handful for the Aguilas guards. A wide array of no-look passes and the ability to always find the open man was just too much. Damiano ended up with a dazzling double/double - 15 dimes and 12 points. Arrows coach Coco said,"I'm actually really happy of his game there: you don't see 15 assists in a game at this caliber that often: he was totally the key in breaking the 2-3 defense, and to me that more than makes up for the poor shooting performance."
Toward the end of the first quarter, LMA started to apply themselves and already, the fat lady was starting to warm up those vocal cords - with 3 minutes still on the clock prior to the first break!
By mid-way through the 2nd, the lead that was 7 at the change was out to 16... and the Arrows never looked over their shoulder. Dimitris Agaliotis and Oliwer Mocarski both anchoring a very effective inside game.Aguilas was getting a good game from Gerasimas Salnikas, but precious little elsewhere. Teams hit the big break with the Arrows holding a 22 point lead, 56-34.
Aguilas pressed in the 3rd, but never really looked like troubling Lake Merritt, who maintained a double-digit lead from a minute into the second quarter. The Arrows advance to a 6-0 scorecard on the B3 season thus far. Lake Merritt Arrows ended the game with a 106-77 score.Local boy Carlos Alberta Vega was key in the game, giving a domineering game at the anchor - 22 points off 10-12 shooting, and adding 11 rebounds and 4 assists.
Arrows Coach Coco was enthusiastic about the result in the post-match conference, declaring:"It's a bit early to say [if Arrows can compete with the best in B3]. The good thing today was that our team play was up there with the very best teams. I don't think I have ever put up such good defense - both outside and inside, especially not with two of my best players - Agaliotis and (Ruben) Ramos - not as healthy as they could be.
One last thing: it's not just about the 6-0 teams. There's formidable 5-1 teams out there. The last day is going to be very interesting."
Next up, the Lake Merritt Arrows face New Zealand's 1-5 Stoke Penguins.