2016 Furry Olympic Games - Co-Ed Basketball Tournament

These are events that are not handled by the FBA Engine and have no bearing on player ratings or stats.
Forum rules
Make sure to read the Rules of 'Roleplay'
qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

2016 Furry Olympic Games - Co-Ed Basketball Tournament

Postby qovapryi » June 15th, 2016, 12:30 pm

Image

CO-ED BASKETBALL

Two teams of five players must try to score points by putting the ball into the opposing side’s basket as many times as possible before time runs out.

An exciting, action-packed spectacle of dribbling, alley-oops, crazy slam dunks and three-pointers, basketball returns to the Furry Olympics for the nineteenth time since its inception, exactly 80 years ago in Berlin.

Twelve mixed teams from five continents will be battling for gold over a two-week long tournament, consisting of two stages – a group stage followed by a knockout stage.

Image

ABOUT

The 2016 Furry Olympic co-ed basketball tournament will be held at the futuristic, newly-built Onça Arena in Barra da Tijuca. The indoor stadium has a capacity of about 18,500 seats and is located within walking distance from the Furry Olympic Village, which was built in the same neighborhood.

The athletes will be housed at the Olympic Village during the entire span of the competitions. They will have access to a variety of services such as several restaurants and kiosks, gyms, a swimming pool, doctor’s office and a religious centre. Right beside the Village, they will be able to put in some training at the Village Training Centre – a multi-sport facility hosting several basketball courts among its structures.

TOURNAMENT FORMAT

GROUP PHASE (6-15 AUGUST)

Teams will be divided into two groups of six countries, playing every team in their group once. Two points for victory, one for loss. Top four teams per group qualify for the quarter-finals.

Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Head-to-head results; 3) Points difference; 4) Points scored.

Image

KNOCKOUT PHASE (16-21 AUGUST)

In the quarter-finals, the matchups are as follows: A1 vs. B4, A2 vs. B3, A3 vs. B2 and A4 vs. B1.

The winning teams from the quarterfinals meet in the semifinals as follows: A1/B4 vs. A3/B2 and A2/B3 vs. A4/B1.

The winning teams from the semifinals contest the gold medal. The losing teams contest the bronze.

Image

OOC

The 2016 Furry Olympic co-ed basketball tournament hugely borrows from its RL counterpart in both format and setting for continuity reasons.

Its primary focus is to allow the highest possible number of willing contributors to get involved and have fun together in a setting that might allow for RP and Twitter interaction. The selection of the 12 competing teams has been made keeping that in mind as a primary focus.

Rosters will be built trying to ensure participation from active characters above everything else; in order to ensure that every nation presents a 12-fur roster, I will need help from contributors to fill up some spots in determined teams, those who lack a sufficient number of characters between the FBA and the EFBL.

If for any reasons you do NOT want your character to be involved in the competition, make sure to notify me via Twitter/Slack/Skype/mail.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

In addition, to prevent any sort of bias, the US Team will be selected by public voting from a list of 30 characters picked by myself and agreed upon by the League Committee. All willing contributors will be asked to select their top 8 choices regardless of positions. The players with the highest number of votes able to play their positions (PG, SG, SF, PF, C) will be called up to be part of the US team, and so will the top 3 guards, top 2 forwards and top 2 centers from the remaining pool.

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2850704/2 ... cs-US-Team

Image

The results of the 2016 Furry Olympic co-ed basketball tournament will be simulated with Fast Break Pro Basketball 3 (link to website). All the rosters will be re-built in the game reflecting (when possible) each athlete’s realistic skills. The games will be contested over FFIBA rules – every game will be contested upon 4 quarters of 10 minutes each.

I will try to provide capsules for each contested game, using the FBPB3 output as model – again, in order to prevent any sort of biases that might come up.

I am open to any kind of critique, suggestion or inquiry regarding the tournament’s structure, the team rosters or just anything else you can come up with.

Q.


PDF DOCUMENTATION: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7b0pms5thk2vq ... 6.pdf?dl=0
Last edited by qovapryi on August 16th, 2016, 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY ONE

Postby qovapryi » August 7th, 2016, 10:46 am

In the opening game of the 2016 Furry Olympic Tournament, Team US took the court against the underdogs of South Korea with Coach O’Malley starting his strongest 5 (Zeraus, Knutten, Umaechi, Barrett and Quvianuq) from the beginning. However, the Koreans managed to surprise the Americans into a strong lead thanks to a 3-pointer and two assists to center Choi by the 2016 FBA Rookie of the Year, Derek Kim. That, combined by an excellent shooting performance by sixth fur Jasper Lee, allowed Korea to close the first quarter up by 10, 27 to 17. The gap widened in the second half, when USA seemed to be overpowered by the combined attack of Lee and Kim for long stretches of play, the American backcourt seeming powerless at times to stop their drives. A desperate three-pointer buzzer beater by otter power forward Scoonie Barrett allowed the United States to cut the deficit to 13 as the teams headed back to the lockers for halftime.

Coach O’Malley’s much needed pointers seemed to work as the teams got back on the court for the second half, after Team US opened the 3rd quarter with a 16-0 run. It was pretty clear how Korea had given their all in the first half and couldn’t quite keep up the pace set by the strongest American side, especially when the Asian team had to give their strongest players some rest. As predicted, Barrett and Umaechi brought their A-game to the court, otter and husky perfectly connecting under the basket over and over as the Koreans tried their best to stop the American tidal wave, but to no avail with their offense going on a cold streak on the other side of the court. Once US took the lead with 2:30 on the clock in the third quarter, they never looked back – letting their reserves take over in the last quarter to win their opening game, 99 to 79.

Scoonie Barrett’s domineering performance of 27 points and 10 rebounds earned him the tournament’s first Player of the Game award, the Kahunas star showing his stakes on the competition being as blatant as the five rings shaven on the back of his head. Dylan Redfield had a good showing off the bench, posting 14 points in just as many minutes, while Rodger Umaechi showed his potential as a triple threat with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. On the Korean side, only three players could post double digits, bench player Jasper Lee being the absolute surprise with 24 points (3/3 from behind the arc, 9/11 overall).

O’Malley was anything but pleased with Team US’ first outing, given how much the team seemed to take to find their pace against what was perceived as a way weaker opponent. Team captain Xavier Knutten, however, had another. “What matters [the] most now is opening with a nice W under ‘em stars and stripes,” the experienced red squirrel said to FSPN’s microphones. “One game down, seven to go.”

USA (1-0) – 17 19 31 32 - 99
Points: Scoonie Barrett 27, Rebounds: Scoonie Barrett 10, Assists: Rodger Umaechi 5

KOR (0-1) – 27 22 10 20 - 79
Points: Jasper Lee 24, Rebounds: Choi Sang-Woo 7, Assists: Kim Dae-Ryuk 11

Referees: Jade Katherine McKop (ZIM), Juan Alberto Araque (ESP), Piotr Drozdowicz (SWE)
Player of the Game: Scoonie Barrett (USA)

Image

The game between France and Australia was balanced from the very beginning – the Euro team built a narrow lead with two open threes by Poulletier and Panechou, but the Aussies were quick enough to catch up with a 9-0 run capped by a three-pointer of their own by EFBL star Sammy Perkins. France’s offensive performance managed to put a dent in the wheels of the Aussies’ well-oiled defense. Jazz and Melbourne ended in foul trouble very early in the game, allowing Blanc Mange and Christian Dutrieux to take advantage of their issues – the French canines one-upping each other in a sequence of lay-ups and rim-rocking dunks that got the Brazilian crowd on their feet. France went up by 4 at the half, 39 to 35.

After trailing by a few points for the entire third quarter, Australia managed to surge early in the 4th when Tasmanian devil Anthony Boris managed to score two close layups, allowing the Oceanian team to build a 4-point lead which they still clung onto with three minutes on the clock. An assist from saluki shooting guard Julian Cross-Kiraly to Chantal Panechou – the rough collie capping the play with a perfect three-pointer from the right corner – was vital to keep France in the game, the European side taking the lead shortly after with a two-pawed dunk by Blanc Mange before Barnaby Jazz put Australia back up, 84-83 with a minute to play. A quick exchange between Panechou and Cross-Kiraly brought the saluki on the left wing, where Perkins fouled him before he could let fly the open trey – a late-game ingenuity that brought the Aussies in the penalty zone and Cross-Kiraly to the free throw line. JCK missed the first throw, but scored the second – enough to tie the game at 84 apiece and 0:49 on the clock.

Soon as Alan Murphy tried to inbound the ball to Bobby-Rae Brine, though, lioness Victoire Luzolo astutely deflect the pass, leading France on a 2-on-1 break that ended with a spectacular windmill dunk from the feline itself. On the other side of the court, Jazz missed a 3-pointer, which was recovered by Murphy, which passed it back to Brine. With all his teammates guarded and a few seconds to play, the stingray tried to serve Kirkpatrick on the other wing, but couldn’t find the Tasmanian devil as the ball flew out of bounds. Seconds later, Luzolo put her final mark on the game, making one last free throw to give France its first win, 87-84.

An elated Mange was elected PotG, leading the French with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Bench guard Chantal Panechou followed with 15 points (3/5 from outside); likewise, Georges Poulletier had a brilliant game with 14 points (2/2 from outside) and 8 rebounds. Alan Murphy led Australia in both points and rebounds (19/9) with both Jazz and Kirkpatrick posting double digits as well, albeit the Aussie shooters trailed the French from inside (44% to 51%) and most importantly, from outside (25% to 42%).

AUS (0-1) – 19 16 27 22 - 84
Points: Alan Murphy 19, Rebounds: Alan Murphy 9, Assists: Christian Ashbury 6
FRA (1-0) – 19 20 26 22 - 87
Points: Blanc Mange 22, Rebounds: Mange/Poulletier 8, Assists: Victoire Luzolo 4


Referees: Ellis Youngblood (GBR), Satria Jusoh (SIN), Abid Aissaoui (TUN)
Player of the Game: Blanc Mange (FRA)

Image

Local star Juniper Hill scored a layup to open the home team’s first game in front of a sold out crowd of green-and-gold, but the Brazilians’ success was short-lived as Germany quickly got away with a commanding lead, mostly born out of turnovers and missed opportunities by the locals. Doberman superstar Klaus Korber was the fulcrum of the German offense, making easy work of the Brazilian front court as he drained in shot after shot. Germany’s team captain surprised for his condition, clearly having reached the Games at the peak of his form after his Typhoons missed the FBA playoffs. Korber stayed on the floor for 33 minutes out of 40, a constant thorn on the Brazilians’ side as he constantly found Dirk von Stryker and Siegfried Romanoren’s passes in his drives to the basket. Coach Delenna Dresden couldn’t mask a pleased smile on her muzzle as the German vanished into the tunnel, leading Brazil by 10 after a convincing first half.

The second half opened on the same premises of the first, with Brazil’s best players failing to get out of their slump and Germany not giving them any sort of respite. The duty to keep the Brazilians’ hope alive fell on feline power forward Andrè Luiz França, an EFBL veteran with the Israeli team – the colocolo leading his team to a bit of a comeback in the middle of the fourth quarter. Germany was able to capitalize on their lead, and went on to win the opening game with a comfortable 15-point lead over the home team.

With a mighty showing of 26 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals, Korber was the clear Player of the Game – the lean and mean canine putting up maybe the most convincing performance of this first day of competitions. In the post-game interview, the Doberman looked every bit elated at his team’s success. “To me, showing up at the Games and making my country proud were this season’s biggest goals,” the canine said. “Our team’s never been this strong, and with Coach Dresden behind us I believe we can challenge about everyone for a medal.”

Von Stryker (17 points, 8 rebounds) and Romanoren (12 points, 9 rebounds) confirmed their status as one of the Games’ most feared frontcourts. Sixth fur Andrè Luiz França led Brazil with 16 points, while most of the starters had a disappointing game (Hill, Braz, Trabuco and Cunha couldn’t crack double digits, with the gangly mink going 0-for-7 from outside).

BRA (0-1) – 12 19 20 22 – 73
Points: Andrè Luiz França 16, Rebounds: Caio Calheiros 6, Assists: Gonçalo Trabuco 3
GER (1-0) – 23 18 26 21 – 88
Points: Klaus Korber 26, Rebounds: Siegfried Romanoren 9, Assists: Stephanie Pfeilschifter 8


Referees: Alex Trenor (CAN), Evgeniya Goncharova (RUS), Savva Karatzakou (GRE)
Player of the Game: Klaus Korber (GER)

Image


Image

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY TWO

Postby qovapryi » August 7th, 2016, 11:46 pm

The game between Argentina and Japan started off with a 3-point shot by Antonio Garza – the tall bug making the most of the closer 3-point line (as the Olympic tournament follows international rules rather than the American ones). The South American team took the lead right off the bat and never relinquished it through the first half, keeping a safety margin of about ten points until the buzzer. Despite strong effort from Ren Inoue and Shou Masaru on the Japanese side – both canines dazzling the crowd with long-range jumpers – Argentinean toucan forward Sebastián Kosciusko was unstoppable under the boards, running circles around a weaker Japanese backcourt. At halftime, Argentina kept an 11-point lead over Japan, 44 to 33.

The second half opened with a feeble comeback attempt from Japan, which was immediately stifled by yet another 3-pointer by Garza – mimicked shortly after by a right corner bomb from EFBL top-class sharpshooter Fabian Sabatini. Japan tried to pull it together with a combined effort of its three FBA stars, but they could never bring their deficit under double digits. Argentina won their first game 88-77 on a convincing note, looking well-placed already for a spot in the knockout phase.

Kosciusko and Garza were the leading forces for Argentina – the toucan was elected PotG after posting a double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds, while the milkweed locust proved to be still worth of a FBA contract with 22 points in 28 minutes (2/4 from outside). Japan’s brightest notes came from tosa inu Ren Inoue, who had a very strong game with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. Kurosaki, Masaru and Inoue also posted double digits, while giant panda center Masahiro Maeda clearly struggled against Garza and Kosciusko despite his size – ending the game with just six points and one rebound to his name.

ARG (1-0) – 28 16 25 19 – 88
Points: Sebastián Kosciusko 24, Rebounds: Sebastián Kosciusko 11, Assists: Arturo de la Rosa 6

JPN (0-1) – 19 14 28 16 – 77
Points: Keitaro Kurosaki 18, Rebounds: Ren Inoue 7, Assists: Ren Inoue 8

Referees: Cody McBroom (AUS), Dave Möthrath (GER), Silvio Luiz Lupinari (BRA)
Player of the Game: Sebastiàn Kosciusko (ARG)

Image

After its 2016 successes, Great Britain’s debut was heavily anticipated by the local crowd, the British team being expected to make quick work of Russia. Despite a strong 5-0 run to start the game with, though, the Russians came into the game with a plan and the consciousness to be able to make it work – setting a pace of their own with their trademark, hyper-aggressive defense in order to annoy the British stars. The offense was mostly led by guards Kasa Yalenchka and Iver Drake, finding each other with crisp passes and ending plays with mid-range jumpers or, in Yalenchka’s case, an alley-oop dunk from the tiny tiger over the head of a stunned Jake Turner. Despite not being able to run away with a sizeable lead, Team GB kept control of the game for the entire first half, rat forward Alphonse Norwich IV not being afraid to trade blows and bruises with the physically imposing Tomilin and Zhidkov. At halftime, game was tied 39 apiece, both teams setting up the show for an exciting second half.

GB center Benjamin Durby, who’d had a good first half – making up for a poor shooting performance from his frontcourt partner Jake Turner – came back into the game with a commanding performance under the boards, providing a steady stream of layups and hook shots off his guards’ passes. His action were mimicked on the other side of the court by Russian mammoth Timur Tomilin – the Alphas’ unlikely hero putting on a great show for Russia and single-handedly keeping his team in the game when Yalenchka went on a cold streak at the beginning of the fourth. With two minutes on the clock, Tomilin was able to cut the British lead back to six points on a perfect assist from Drake, but Russia went in the penalty shortly after, allowing Norwich IV to score two vital free throws and lynx veteran guard Ambrose Slade to put the last dagger into the Russians’ back with a practiced layup. One last three-pointer from Yalenchka wasn’t enough to bring her team back into the game as Great Britain won its first game of the tournament, 86 to 79.

Benjamin Durby led Great Britain with 32 points and 11 rebounds. Norwich IV and D’Angelo MacQuilkin scored 14 points each, while Slade opened the tournament with 10 points (2/4 from outside) and 7 assists. One of the most awaited players in the tournament – red fox Jake Turner – couldn’t bring a solid contribution as he was held to 8 points and 3 rebounds by the Russians’ suffocating defense, of which he often found himself being the primary target. The British team appeared generally pleased about their first outing – not so much the Russians, whose aggressive game came to bite them back in the tail on the last quarter, with all of the starters going into foul trouble and Vladimir Zhidkov even fouling out of the game with 1:30 on the clock. Tomilin and Yalenchka led Russia with 22 points each, the lynx going 2/7 from the outside. Iver Drake also had a good game with 11 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists.

RUS (0-1) – 20 19 14 26 – 79
Points: Tomilin/Yalenchka 22, Rebounds: Timur Tomilin 7, Assists: Kasa Yalenchka 6
GBR (1-0) – 22 17 20 27 – 86
Points: Benjamin Durby 32, Rebounds: Benjamin Durby 11, Assists: Ambrose Slade 7


Referees: Stevie Maxwell (USA), Fred Kimteech (USA), Raphael Axell Jackson Cazarez (PUR)
Player of the Game: Benjamin Durby (GBR)

Image

Another game that should have been a sure blowout proved to be much more balanced than expected as South Africa ran away to a quick lead in the first quarter, thanks to a few bank shots from dreadlocked lion Gerrit-Jan Pretorius. The Taproots’ forward seemed to be everywhere, making it a show of his unearthly athleticism as he caught up to Yves Carbonneau on a fast break, silencing the arctic fox with a loud block that resonated in the entire arena. However, Canada was able to quickly regroup and put a halt to South Africa’s early burst, ending the first half ahead as South Africa went immediately into penalty zone – veteran lapine forward Brax Trenor scoring both free throws to put Canada ahead. A few errors from outside meant the Canadian lead was short-lived, though – Pretorius and De Hugo taking full advantage of their mistakes and putting South Africa up by two at halftime, 40 to 38.

In the third half, Canada’s superior skill seemed to gain the upper hand on South Africa’s athleticism, especially when Coach Wa-Tenza had to get his better player to rest. A three-pointer from Carbonneau and a perfect assist from Kevin Malka to Trenor couldn’t sap the Africans’ strong will, though, as a 3-point play from Leonardo De Hugo (born of a foul from Nereus to the lion’s shot) allowed SA to tie the game with eight minutes on the clock. The game was close until its final stages, but a three-pointer from Rocky Caracal – the veteran lynx making the most of his limited time on the court – effectively shifted the balance in the Canadians’ favor. With 2:57 left to play Canada had a 7-point lead to which they held until the final buzzer, starting their games with a 83-76 win against what turned out to be indomitable opponent.

Malka and Carbonneau led Canada with 15 points each, the pangolin adding 10 rebounds to his numbers and opening the Games with a double-double and a PotG award. Only nine players got floor time for South Africa, coach Wa-Tenza effectively making the most of his strongest players’ endurance and athleticism. Gerrit-Jan Pretorius rewarded him with 25 points and 7 rebounds, while Youssef Goulten quietly built a double-double of his own with 16 points and 10 rebounds and De Hugo added 16 points of his own to the total. “I think this game shows we can hold our own against any opponent,” Pretorius said after the game, seemingly pleased with his team’s performance despite the narrow loss. “If we play like we did today, GB has every reason to fear us.”

RSA (0-1) – 19 21 14 22 – 76
Points: Gerrit-Jan Pretorius 25, Rebounds: Youssef Goulten 10, Assists: Goulten/De Hugo 5
CAN (1-0) – 20 18 21 24 – 83
Points: Malka/Carbonneau 15, Rebounds: Kevin Malka 10, Assists: Wesley Lachs 5


Referees: Furkan Ulusoy (TUR), Jorge Athirson Vergara (VEN), Wilfrid Denis (FRA)
Player of the Game: Kevin Malka (CAN)

Image

Image

OTHER FIELDS

Twelve teams of three archers each competed for gold during the men’s archery team event. Having placed first in Friday’s ranking round, the highly touted South Korean of red panda Lee Joo-Hwan, bullfrog So Dong-Hyun and Jindo dog Gyeon Chul-Soon team made quick work of France in the quarter-finals and United States in the semi-finals, never losing a single set. Reigning Olympic champion Iomher Quirk of Ireland, who had placed first early on in the individual ranking round, likewise led his team to the finals from a difficult 6th seed through comfortable wins against Chinese Taipei and Japan and a tension-filled battle against China DR, which ended 5-3 in the European team’s favor after Zhao Bo botched his final arrow.

The stallion marksman opened the final round with two 10s, but his teammates Allen Foyle and Ciaràn Ó Brádaigh couldn’t keep up – the Irish wolfhound opening with an 8 and a 9, while the badger posted two 9s. The South Koreans made quick work of the first set by posting 58 points to Ireland’s 55. The Koreans slightly relented in the second round, but Ireland could only force a tie as Ó Brádaigh wasn’t able to do better than 8 on his final arrow. Korea needed to win just another set to get to five points, and they did it in spectacular fashion – posting four 10s and two 9s to cap their excellent showing with a 58 in the third set. Quirk fought until the end, keeping Ireland in the race until the very last arrow by getting another two 10s. Unfortunately, though, the equine’s teammates couldn’t match his exploits, and ended up losing the third set (and therefore the gold medal) 56 to 58 against a stronger Korean side.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Quirk will be able to get the revenge in the individual event, which will assign its medals on August 12. We can expect the Koreans to be his strongest opponents, along with American bad boy extraordinaire Chris Larson – the skunk from Pasadena sitting at third place in the standings after the individual ranking round.

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY THREE

Postby qovapryi » August 9th, 2016, 3:37 am

The third day of basketball opened with the match between South Korea and Australia, both teams still looking for their first win in the tournament. Seconds after the jump ball, a three-pointer from Derek Kim found nothing but net, followed shortly after by another deep shot from Kim Ji-Eun – forcing Coach Foster to call an early timeout in order to get his furs to regroup. The Koreans’ methodical game, mostly capitalizing on their shooters from outside, could easily keep at bay the Australian bruisers, with the guys led by Coach Park pulling away in the second half to go back in the tunnel with a 7-point lead.

Australia took little time to guess they needed to expand their range in order to make up for the lost ground, and they showed it in the third quarter when high-flyer Alan Murphy showcased his shooting skills in front of a stunned Korean defense, putting the Aussies back within scoring distance with three consecutive 3-pointers (he ended the game with 5/6). Korea still held on a 1-point lead going into the final half, but lost it when Sammy Perkins and Barnaby Jazz – the center shark effectively exploiting the closer 3-point line – mimicked Murphy’s feat by scoring twin bombs from outside. To their credit, the Asians kept up with what had quickly evolved into a contest of shooting skills, Derek Kim giving once again his contribution to the Korean’s cause with a perfect shot that sailed over Jazz’s guarding paws and into the net. But seconds later the shark from Tasmania had the last laugh as he was fed yet another open shot by Christian Ashbury, Jazz sinking another flawless 3-pointer and putting Australia up by 7. In the throe of excitement, the pumped shark followed the shot by a taunt in Kim’s direction – him flexing his biceps and menacingly staring down at the avian - which earned South Korea a technical free throw easily transformed by Nabi.

A valiant comeback attempt by the Koreans was stifled by an inside jump shot by Jazz, putting Australia up by ten with less than three minutes on the clock. South Korea cut it back to six, but couldn’t capitalize on the momentum when Lee Jin-Sung, until then playing a superb game with 20 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds, couldn’t control a long pass from Kim which ended into the stands. Seconds later, Korea went into penalty zone, with Sammy Perkins scoring the first two free throws and effectively giving Australia its first win in the tournament, 88 to 80.

Alan Murphy was chosen as Player of the Game after putting up 24 points and 4 rebounds. Jazz and Kirkpatrick were just behind with 21, with Christian Ashbury posting 10 of the Aussies’ 25 assists. Lee J.S. and Derek Kim easily led Korea with respectively 20 and 16 points.

KOR (0-2) – 21 22 19 18 – 80
Points: Lee Jin-Sung 20, Rebounds: Choi S.W./Lee J.S. 7, Assists: Lee J.S./Kim D.R. 5
AUS (1-1) – 20 16 25 27 – 88
Points: Alan Murphy 24, Rebounds: Aisha Melbourne 8, Assists: Christian Ashbury 10


Referees: Angelica Pacciardi (ITA), Piotr Drozdowicz (SWE), Ragnar Klingsheim (NOR)
Player of the Game: Alan Murphy (AUS)

Image

After the terrible first half against Korea, furs were curious to see if the US would have a more convincing performance against Germany. However, it wasn’t the case, as the players in white built a quick lead with two buckets by Siegfried Romanoren, exploiting the assist from German captain Klaus Korber – seemingly at ease with the Furry Olympic stage after single-handedly giving Germany its first win in the tournament on Saturday. The European team held to their tiny lead for the entire first quarter, but gave way to the Americans’ skills in the second thanks to Adam Tevela – the Californian linsang coming in strong from the bench by sinking two three-pointers in rapid succession. Team US led by five at halftime, 40 to 35.

The game was extremely tight throughout the third quarter, neither team wanting to give his opponent the upper hand. German reserves showed they could keep up with the Americans’ superior line-up, Adlersflugel and Richter scoring 12 and 10 points respectively while keeping Germany in the game as their starters got some well-earned rest. Korber got back on the hardwood at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but just when he was expected to storm the court as he’d done against Brazil, the Doberman threw a longball into the stands – a mistake that the Americans ruthlessly capitalized on as Zack Tate drove into the paint, then passed back to Zeraus who sunk the ball from the right wing.

A desperate three-pointer by Moonshiners’ role player Frans Richter and a muscly drive by Korber allowed Germany to cut the deficit back to 3 with less than five minutes on the clock, but the Europeans went into foul trouble shortly after, allowing USA to keep the distance thanks to the free throws. A late cold streak by the German snipers did the rest, ratifying the second win for Team US in the tournament, 88 to 80.

Rodger Umaechi led the United States with 21 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, making up for a rather off performance from the starting frontcourt – Barrett and Quvianuq combining their scores to just crack 20 points. Korber was again the best player for Germany with 20 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds, but was hampered by 7 turnovers. The canine did his best to keep up his brave face after the game, citing his team’s narrow loss against the hot favorites as a reason to be positive about their future in the tournament.

GER (1-1) – 22 13 20 25 – 80
Points: Klaus Korber 20, Rebounds: von Stryker/Romanoren 8, Assists: Klaus Korber 8
USA (2-0) – 18 22 21 27 – 88
Points: Rodger Umaechi 21, Rebounds: Xavier Knutten 9, Assists: Valencia Zeraus 5


Referees: Jayson Chowdhury (IND), Alex Trenor (CAN), Savva Karatzakou (GRE)
Player of the Game: Rodger Umaechi (USA)

Image

After a surprising win against Australia, France was back on the Onça Arena hardwood to meet up against the home team of Brazil. Since the beginning, the hard-fought opening game seemed to having taken its toll on the French starters, while Brazil started off strong to a 20-10 lead thanks to timely buckets from Juniper Hill and Andrè França – the colocolo curiously getting fired up against the nation that made up his surname in his native language. The partnership of Luzolo and Cross-Kiraly paid off on the French side, lioness and saluki feeding each other’s off to make up for the lost ground with matching 3-pointers. France pulled away early in the second half when fossa center Pierre-Guèlor Caro banked in a couple layups, but Brazil was right on his tail thanks to the contribution of Pèricles Braz da Silva – the 20-year-old giant otter finally living up to the expectations surrounding him. Being courted already by several EFBL teams, Braz is the brightest prospect of the basketball academy FBA retired superstar Paul Teronura helped building in his birthplace of Manaus. The young lutrine is still a raw prospect, but his playstyle reminds of PT Cruiser’s in many ways – despite lacking the athleticism and mobility of Scoonie Barrett, the player many insiders christened as “the evolution of the otter bigfur”, Braz is highly efficient on the defensive side, a towering, muscular presence that can keep even the strongest guards from scoring. A thunderous block on Luzolo was met with resounding enthusiasm by the locals, as Brazil ended the first half down by a single point.

The crowd sensed that the home team could get its first win in the tournament when cougar forward Caio Calheiros grabbed a critical offensive rebound off a missed trey by Cunha and tipped in the miss, sparking a deafening roar by the numerous Brazilians in the arena. France seemed to collapse when a pass from Cross-Kiraly to Luzolo was intercepted by Cunha, but the saluki was able to steal the ball back seconds after, setting up Caro for an easy shot off the glass. Seconds into the final quarter, the team in blue pulled ahead for the first time thanks to a mid-range jumper from rough collie Chantal Panechou, with Brazil tying the game back shortly after when Braz da Silva muscled his way to the hoop and dunked atop the shorter Dutrieux.

For a few minutes the two teams traded inside blows, the game still tied at 70 apiece with 1:59 left to play. French superstar Blanc Mange then brought his team a head with a hook shot over the defender after a perfect assist from Cross-Kiraly. On the other side of the court, Trabuco missed an easy layup, but Calheiros was quick to grab the offensive rebound and drive the ball in with a swift touch of his paw. France had multiple occasions to pull ahead, but three separate shots from Mange couldn’t go in, giving Brazil a chance to win the game which they also let slip through their fingers when Cunha’s shot ended on the rim and was grabbed by Poulletier, effectively bringing the game to the tournament’s first overtime.

Luzolo opened the extra time with an easy shot that brought France ahead by two, 74 to 72. A steal from Cross-Kiraly seemed to give the edge to the European team, but the saluki couldn’t find the lioness as his pass flew into the stands. That gave Brazil a chance to regroup and Julia Cunha wasted no time in finding the basket with a mid-range jumper. With three minutes on the clock Cross-Kiraly brought France ahead yet again, to which Brazil couldn’t answer properly when Braz managed to score a single free throw after being fouled. Shortly after Caro fouled out of the game, forcing Coach Demaux to put Dutrieux back in. Mange couldn’t find his way out of his cold streak, though, and the Brazilian giant otter drove in yet again with all of his might to give his team the edge, 77-76 with 31 seconds on the clock. France took their time to set up the following play, banking on their captain’s skill to make the shot when it counted – and the white wolf didn’t disappoint, putting France ahead by one after being served in deep post just as the 24-second clock ran out. With just 7 seconds left, Brazil called a timeout to get ready for their final play. Trabuco inbounded the ball to Juniper Hill, who finding herself unguarded tried a desperate drive the basket – the Typhoons’ maned wolf scoring the game winner over a shocked Dutrieux. Moments later, the game ended before Mange could even attempt to shoot, the Brazilian crowd exploding to a roar that shook the entire arena from the foundations as the Brazilian players celebrated their first Olympic win.

Juniper Hill was elected PotG after her game-winning shot, but in the post-game all the spotlights were on Pèricles Braz da Silva, leading his team with 22 points and 5 rebounds – the young otter from Iranduba collapsing on the floor in total shock and tears as the entirety of what he’d been able to accomplish dawned upon him. Later on in the night, Braz recounted in his native tongue (he could barely speak a few words in English) how it was only the second time for him outside the state of Amazonas, and how blessed he felt to represent his country for the first time on such a big stage. Despite a strong showing from both Blanc Mange (20 points, 9 rebounds) and guards Cross-Kiraly and Luzolo (23 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists combined between the two) France couldn’t repeat their early feat against Australia, and should now look with apprehension at the next match-up against the United States.

FRA (1-1) – 20 23 12 17 OT1 6 – 78
Points: Blanc Mange 20, Rebounds: Blanc Mange 9, Assists: Pierre-Guèlor Caro Bouanga Copa 4
BRA (1-1) – 22 20 14 16 OT1 7 – 79
Points: Pèricles Braz da Silva 22, Rebounds: Caio Calheiros 9, Assists: Juniper Hill 4


Referees: Raphael Axell Jackson Cazarez (PUR), Mizue Yamakawa (JPN), Ellis Youngblood (GBR)
Player of the Game: Juniper Hill (BRA)

Image

Image

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY FOUR

Postby qovapryi » August 10th, 2016, 12:17 am

Japan and Russia were heavily touted as the dreaded "wildcard last qualifying spot", and they both wanted to make sure they'd be in that Top 4.

Newly-crowned champion Timur Tomilin got the tipoff and debuted the scoreboard for the Russians, but the Asian team was not to be outdone. Focusing their main power in their FBA brethen, it was bound to be a hotly contested game and a key victory would be had for any of these two. Zhidkov took defensive charge, catching most rebounds from the lackluster shots made by Hirose and Maeda, sending them off to Kasa most of the time. Nevertheless it was a constant power struggle with these two, Japan closing the first quarters by the tiniest of leads, giving them hope to climb up the ranks.

Russia tried to take over the lead on the third quarter, but Japan was there, ready to reply with a shot of their own. Maeda played a key role in getting the rebounds and setting the plays for Inoue, Kurosaki or Masaru, who opted to wait far back and sink threes. Russia was ahead by one point at the last two seconds of the quarter, but Japan's strategic thinking got the leg-up with Inoue reclaiming the lead 58 to 56 before the last quarter started up. But just as that, Russia managed to find the cracks on the nippon team's last stretch. Not wanting to be outdone or show the age she was criticized about, Yalenchka got a Three-Point game of her own on the last sprint, managing to shift the balance to their favor. Their mad run gained them several fouls, but destiny was on their side as Japan couldn't capitalize their shots on the line. A one-basket lead at 10 seconds before closure became a three-basket lead after a great display by Tomilin and Konstantinov, sealing the Eurasians an important victory. Yalenchka brougth back the days of her stellar gaming, netting her the PotG for this run. Will this win be an omen for any of these two teams' chances?

JPN (0-2) – 24 19 15 19 – 77
Points: Ren Inoue 22, Rebounds: Masahiro Maeda 13, Assists: Shou Masaru 6
RUS (1-1) – 23 15 18 27 – 83
Points: Kasa Yalenchka 24, Rebounds: Vladimir Zhidkov 9, Assists: Kasa Yalenchka 5


Referees: Stevie Maxwell (USA), Abid Aissaoui (TUN), Sara Vidmar (SLO)
Player of the Game: Kasa Yalenchka (RUS)

Image

Talk about an omen, ladies and gentlefurs. While the US is classified as the dream team, the Canadians managed to claim something to themselves on this Olympic run that the Americans will have a hard time matching: The most convincing jumpstart to date. It's hard to gauge what exactly happened and where the reason lied, but the numbers didn't lie. Outside of one shot by Vega and two freethrows by De La Rosa when he was fouled by Lachs, there was nothing happening on the "Albiceleste" team. On the other paw, team Canada decided to spread around and let each player score their fair share, strategy that stuck with them on the entirety of the game and reaped its profits, with 7 players managing double-digits. This feat only magnified Argentina's funk. Sabatini left hsi sharpshooting at hime and, outside Montenegro, everyone was subpar in comparision to their last victory against Japan.

As the game was drawing to its destined fate, frustration ran amok on Argentina, most notably when Paul Driscoll started arguing and insulting referee Nayde Perez (rumored that was told to "do her job right, woman") after Captain Gerry Cross managed to foul the Pudú after a missed layup, mishap that the mink took advantage off to get two extra points for Canada. Everyone knew the result way before the final buzzer beater rang, the Canadians winning convincingly with a 30 point lead and Argentina only managing to sink around one out of every three shots attempted. Arguably, since the overall effort was so good, determining the POTG was not easy at first, but the final honors went for the rookie Francois Martineau, who managed the feat of producing over every feat at least once while keeping the turnover rate low. Time would tell if the Canadians could mantain this level of skill and secure the first spot in their Group.

CAN (2-0) – 29 23 18 26 - 96
Points: Brax Trenor 15, Rebounds: Nereus/Carbonneau 9, Assists: François Martineau 4

ARG (1-1) – 4 15 26 24 – 69
Points: Valentin Montenegro 15, Rebounds: Montenegro/Vega 4, Assists: Arturo de la Rosa 5

Referees: Anneliese Brandes (GER), Furkan Ulusoy (TUR), Nayde Perez (PER)
Player of the Game: François Martineau (CAN)

Image

What was predicted to be a steamroll turned out to be actually a very surprising display. South Africa was recognized of having one of the brashest games of the tournament and they were sure to showcase it against one of the favorites to win it all. Turner won the tip off and had them win the early advantage, followed almost mehcanically by great shots by Norwich and Durby. The Lion Bros started working in getting the shots in, finding much more sucess with layups than in the woods. But to backup this weakness were Goulten and Zuberi, who lit up the South African woods very decently. on the other hand, the Brits kept away from the woods at all costs. After Slade and McQikilin failed shots turned into threes for South Africa, the team decided in a timeout that there were no three pointes to be made, as it was easier to force their rivals in a close-to-hoop battle, where they would have the upper hand. Being down by two against the underdogs meant a cahnge had to be implemented pronto. Meanwhile on the other side, there was a clear strategy on the African side.

Get the Fox.

Strategy that backfired spectacularly. Attempts to physically bring down Turner were futile, with Chiwetelu getting expelled from the game for constant technicals, and putting the vulpine on the free throw line almost constantly, where he built up 6 easy points on the third quarter. It was a show of the Two Towers, as Durby and Turner teamed up to take the Africans down. The fourth quarter was opened by the deer getting the bucket and the final foul on Pretorius, whose time was forced out early. Being down two players sent them in a haywire, trying to take down their opponents in anyway possible. While they managed to stomp Norwich's foot enough to sit the furious rat off, the damange was done, as Turner kept the team alive in the free throw line as if nothing happened and Durby fended off with impressive layups. A rather showoffy three from Stoat sealed the deal on this closer than expected game, the Brits escaping any major injury and leaving the rowdy South Africans in a predicament. It was time to channel that energy into a win instead of a battle come next time.

GBR (2-0) – 25 20 22 29 – 96
Points: Jake Turner 35, Rebounds: Benjamin Durby 12, Assists: Ambrose Slade 8

RSA (0-2) – 18 29 15 27 – 89
Points: Meine Zuberi 18, Rebounds: Nompumelelo Molefi 7, Assists: Leonardo De Hugo 5

Referees: Ashley Wearing (AUS), Cody McBroom (AUS), Wilfrid Denis (FRA)
Player of the Game: Jake Turner (GBR)

Image

Image
Last edited by qovapryi on September 5th, 2016, 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY FIVE

Postby qovapryi » August 10th, 2016, 11:59 pm

After a convincing win against Brazil and a narrow loss against USA, Germany took the court against South Korea hoping to put a second W in their strongbox. The scrappy Asian team, still to win in the tournament, mounted to an early lead thanks to the input of their FBA stars – but Germany took no time in catching up and then running away with a lead of their own. More than Klaus Korber, one of the tournament’s best player so far, it fell on EFBL star Stephanie Pfeilschifter to take on the German offense’s reins, feeding crisp assists to their bigfurs Romanoren and von Stryker which clearly overpowered the Korean frontcourt. It was pretty clear that Dresden’s gameplan involved giving more power to her bigs, in order to exploit to the maximum the Korean’s weak point – a strategy she perfected back in the FBA with the Lorain’s “Mink Trio” of Cross, Melbourne and Haber, the first two of which are curiously Dresden’s opponents in the tournament. The Koreans’ fighting spirit and the sheer talent of Lee Jing-Sung brought the Asians within scoring distance, as the first half ended with Germany leading South Korea 36 to 34.

Germany tried to pull away early in the third quarter by putting Klaus Korber back in, but couldn’t ever do it as the Dobermann guard had a poor shooting day (he closed the game with 4/16 from the field and 1/8 from outside, numbers not fitting for a champion like him). South Korea stayed on Germany’s tail for the entire quarter and finally got in the lead at the beginning of the fourth, when Lee J.S. demonstrated his skills from outside with a flawless three from the left wing. It was clearly a good moment for the EFBLers to prove their might as substitute Heiko Adlersflugel kept Germany in the game when their starters went on a cold streak – the tall Black Forest horse from Freiburg scoring six points in rapid succession. Korea was still in the game with just four minutes on the clock, and that’s where Korber showed his worth as a true team leader, acknowledging his poor shooting day and serving his teammates instead of taking the responsibility to take difficult shots. As the Koreans missed some vital shots later in the game, the canine point guard served von Stryker on two consecutive layups, allowing the giant bunny to put his team ahead by a considerable margin which they led on until the final buzzer. Germany took their second victory in the tournament, edging South Korea by a 10-point margin, 79 to 69.

Despite his poor shooting performance, Klaus Korber was still able to work his way to a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, with teammate Pfeilschifter performing about the same feat with just one point more than the Typhoons’ canine. The true stars of the match, though, were Germany’s bigs – and it fell on former #1 pick Siegfried Romanoren to collect PotG honors, the white lion finishing the game with 19 points and 5 rebounds. Black bear Lee Jin-Sung led Korea in all the three main categories with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, while unheralded power forward Park Han-Min was not far behind the FBA rising star with 21 points to his name.

GER (2-1) – 19 17 22 21 – 79
Points: Siegfried Romanoren 19, Rebounds: Heiko Adlersflugel 8, Assists: Pfeilschifter/Korber 10

KOR (0-3) – 11 23 20 15 – 69
Points: Lee Jin-Sung 24, Rebounds: Choi S.W./Lee J.S. 5, Assists: Lee Jin-Sung 5

Referees: Ellis Youngblood (GBR), Angelica Pacciardi (ITA), Juan Alberto Araque (ESP)
Player of the Game: Siegfried Romanoren (GER)

Image

After their historic first win against France, local fans were anxiously waiting for Brazil to repeat their feet against Australia. However, since the first minutes of the game, the home team clearly showed a step back from their last match, the Aussies quickly mounting to a 16-4 lead by the end of the first quarter as Brazil kept conceding turnovers and missed shots. Things got marginally better during the second quarter thanks to the impact of Caio Calheiros, the cougar immigrate to Spain showing yet again to be the best conditioned player on the home team. Even Jorge Vilata was able to demonstrate he hadn’t lost his touch from outside, four years after his FBA experience with the Spokane Rapids. Australia led by fourteen at the end of the first half, 37 to 24.

There wasn’t much to say, however, as Brazil threw in the towel shortly after the beginning of the third quarter – Australia revealing themselves as a far superior threat than France or Germany could be as Kirkpatrick and Jazz turned on the heat, being in total control as they drained shot after shot against an underpowered Brazilian defense. Coach Foster wisely decided to put in the reserves for the best part of the final quarter, Australia’s second win being practically assured as they cracked 20 points of lead with a few minutes to play in the third. Vilata drained in other two shots from outside, giving the Brazilian fans something to cheer about as the game ended on a predictable Australian win, 71 to 50.

“Early mishaps with accommodation didn’t hamper our preparation (…) we now look forward to the game against US, which we need to win to get first place in our group,” commented PotG Wayne Kirkpatrick (15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) to the FSPN microphones, the Tasmanian devil showing a newfound confidence rather than his usual, cocky bravado. It was little more than a training game for the Aussies, with their best players barely cracking double digits and most of the team getting minutes, Coach Foster undoubtedly getting his stars to rest in order to further their chances in future games. Brazil disappointed from every perspective: combined, the starters were able to score 22 measly points, rising star center Pèricles Braz da Silva being the shadow of the otter who dominated France just two days ago (2 points, 2 rebounds). Caio Calheiros predictably led Brazil with 10 points and 7 rebounds.

BRA (1-2) – 4 19 12 15 – 50
Points: Caio Calheiros 10, Rebounds: Gonçalo Trabuco 10, Assists: Trabuco/Cunha 2
AUS (2-1) – 16 21 19 15 – 71
Points: Wayne Kirkpatrick 15, Rebounds: Aisha Melbourne 9, Assists: Christian Ashbury 5


Referees: Furkan Ulusoy (TUR), Evgeniya Goncharova (RUS), Mizue Yamakawa (JPN)
Player of the Game: Wayne Kirkpatrick (AUS)

Image

Up 2-0 but having failed to fully convince in the first two games, Team US stepped on the court ready to show France why they’re considered the best team in the world. It was their Euro opponents to score first, though, when saluki SG Julian Cross-Kiraly sank his first three of the night out of an assist from Georges Poulletier. However, US took the lead shortly after and never relinquished throughout the first quarter. Team captain Xavier Knutten was the real protagonist – the squirrel from Texas showing all his experience when he was served by Barrett outside the left corner to bury a fadeaway 3-pointer that got the entire crowd on their feet. In the second half the gap widened even more, with France managing to pull ahead but going then on a 4-18 run. An uncontested drive by Valencia Zeraus with ten seconds on the clock seemed to ring the final bell on France’s chances, USA going into the tunnel up by fourteen, 53 to 39.

One player on the French team was anything but done, though. When Julian Cross-Kiraly stepped back on the court, he was a saluki on a mission – and he showed all his potential in the beginning of the third quarter, dunking in an alley-oop from Mange, assisting Luzolo for a quick two and forcing a 5-second violation on American behemoth Daniel Quvianuq in quick succession. On the other side of the court, his Kahuna team-mate Scoonie Barrett didn’t want to be outdone, reclaiming his stake on the game as he eluded Pierre Caro’s guard to score a difficult mid-range jumper. Seconds later though, Blanc Mange loudly blocked the otter on a similar attempt – the white wolf surely having made the most of Cross-Kiraly’s pointers. Mange returned the favor seconds later, serving his fellow canine for a three-pointer that cut the American lead back to five points with one quarter left to play.

US reserves were still on the court and when rough collie Chantal Panechou showed her sniper skills by making yet another trey (her straight fourth in the game) it started to look like the momentum had shifted in France’s direction. But it took a quick change of the American rotation to put the USA back in control, with linsang Adam Tevela showing his dunking skills when Zack Tate generously served him despite being open, then shortly after draining two free throws after Dutrieux had fouled him on an inside jumper. To make matters worse on France’s side, Poulletier fouled out during the final quarter, with Mange and Cross-Kiraly being one foul away from ejection for a long stretch of play. Despite late-game heroics from 20-year-old takin Valère Desrochers, whose three pointer briefly gave France a glimmer of hope, the Americans were able to hold on to they lead they built and won a hard-fought game 100 to 92.

Five players on the US side cracked double digits, Scoonie Barrett getting PotG honors after posting 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists. Team captain Xavier Knutten was extremely consistent (12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists) and Adam Tevela put a valid claim on a starting spot by scoring 15 in fourteen minutes of play. The French were elated with their performance but disappointed for having been unable to make the final push to what would have been an historic win – Julian Cross-Kiraly had his best game yet with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists, the saluki being nearly followed by fellow canine Mange (18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) and sharpshooter Panechou who scored 14 (4/4 from outside) in just 12 minutes on the court.

USA (3-0) – 30 23 22 25 – 100
Points: Scoonie Barrett 18, Rebounds: Scoonie Barrett 7, Assists: Valencia Zeraus 5

FRA (1-2) – 23 16 31 22 – 92
Points: Julian Cross-Kiraly 20, Rebounds: Pierre-Guèlor Caro Bouanga Copa 11, Assists: Georges Poulletier 5

Referees: Satria Jusoh (SIN), Alex Trenor (CAN), Jorge Athirson Vergara (VEN)
Player of the Game: Scoonie Barrett (USA)

Image

Image

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY SIX

Postby qovapryi » August 12th, 2016, 1:10 am

First quarter between Canada and Japan was pretty uneventful, but both teams hit their stride in the second thanks to some skill play by their own stars. As in the first two games, Ren Inoue clearly was the strongest player on Japan’s side, while Canada mostly relied on their core group of starters. Midway through the second quarter, Inoue and Akanishi helped the Japanese stretching their lead to a maximum of five points, but Canada fought back to reach them at 32 on a buzzer hook shot off an offensive rebound by veteran hare Brax Trenor.

The second half opened with some fast-pacing action on both sides: Japanese forward Keitaro Kurosaki made a three from the left wing, only to be mimicked by Canadian wonder boy François Martineau bare seconds after. Like the warriors they showed to be so far in the tournament, the Asian players tried their best to keep up with the seemingly stronger Canadians, but they collapsed after their opponent scored three shots from outside in a row – one each coming from Martineau, Carbonneau and Lachs, bringing Canada up by twelve with four minutes to play in the third quarter. Coming in from a much needed timeout, Japan lost possession when Inoue failed to notice the shot clock winding down – Lachs getting to inbound on the next play and finding Martineau on the left corner for yet another three-pointer.

Japan had a reaction around the last few minutes of the third quarter, spurred by their backcourt’s heroics as Inoue and Masaru took more and more risks to find their way around the towering Canadian bigs. It seemed to work, with Japan erasing a 17-point deficit with just 6:34 to play in the fourth quarter after Kurosaki flawlessly converted two free throws. However, they had lost a lot of energies to get back in the game, while Canada had been able to rest their starters to put them back in with four minutes on the clock. Rookie lynx Connor Caracal, briefly replacing Malka at SF, looked every bit his brother as he sank a three from a few steps behind the line, bringing Canada up by 7 even though a technical foul was called against him when he went to taunt Kurosaki after the ball had sunk in – much to the disappointment of the crowd, which because of the large number of Japanese immigrates in Brazil, was clearly behind the Asian team against the Canadians. With 1:25 on the clock and Canada up by eight, Iemoshi Tokugawa had one last chance to bring Japan back in the game, but it all vanished when the ball off his shot briefly danced on the rim before being scooped up by Malka. The pangolin was quick to get another rebound off a desperate 3-pointer attempt from Inoue one minute later, with Malka serving Nereus on the free throw line – the sturgeon serving Martineau on the left corner only for the retriever to score one last three-pointer, the fifth of his game, giving Canada a well-deserved win 84 to 73.

Martineau himself led Canada in both points (21) and most surprisingly, rebounds (9). Carbonneau and Trenor followed him at 16, but the PotG award was assigned to salmon power forward Wesley Lachs who barely missed on a triple-double with a dazzling performance of 15 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Ren Inoue was again the best player on Japan with 24 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists – his teammates Kurosaki, Masaru and Maeda all cracking double digits and losing just because of the two benches’ mismatch (the Japanese reserves scored 7 points to Canada’s 23). To move on in the competition, Japan needs to win both remaining games and hope Argentina loses against Russia and South Africa.

CAN (3-0) – 13 19 32 20 – 84
Points: François Martineau 21, Rebounds: Lachs/Martineau 9, Assists: Wesley Lachs 8

JPN (0-3) – 11 21 24 17 – 73
Points: Ren Inoue 24, Rebounds: Maeda/Kurosaki 9, Assists: Inoue/Masaru 5

Referees: Cody McBroom (AUS), Fred Kimteech (USA), Jayson Chowdhury (IND)
Player of the Game: François Martineau (CAN)

Image

After narrowly losing against the two powerhouses of Group B (Canada and GB), the South African team was chomping at the bit to show they could overcome favored Russia, and they showed it right off the bat when lion forward Gerrit-Jan Pretorius dazzled the crowd with a backhand slam dunk that got everyone on their feet. Seconds later, his “Lion Brother” Leonardo De Hugo equally stunned by scoring a tough three-pointer in Kasa Yalenchka’s face, the Russian’s paw just inches from the lion’s muzzle. The feline went on to silence the Russian bench – bruisers Konstantinov and Smolov noisily challenging the referee’s call, convinced that De Hugo had shot his three with a foot on the line – by putting a finger over his mouth as he ran back, which prompted a technical foul in Russia’s favor when Norwegian referee Klingsheim got wind of De Hugo’s taunt. The basket scored by Yalenchka gave the Russians some confidence, and they were able to quickly close the 5-point deficit in SA’s favor, only to run away with a sizable lead during the second half – the South African reserves looking everything but ready to stop the twofold scoring menace of Drake and Yalenchka. Russia headed back in the locker room up by fourteen, 41 to 27.

Coach Wa-Tenza’ s pep talk beared its fruits, with South Africa coming back on the hardwood ready to fight for their life. Spring hare guard Youssef Goulten had an amazing run as he scored eleven points in quick succession, just as Russia went cold here and there. However, although the African champions were able to bring the game back to single digits, they were never able to get within a single possession from the Russians – and once Tomilin and Yalenchka stepped back on the court, the deficit began to widen again in the European team’s favor, the veteran snow leopard from Chelyabinsk burying the dagger into the South Africans’ back by scoring a decisive three with about three minutes on the clock. Russia walked off the court as the victors, having defeated South Africa by a fifteen points margin – 83 to 68.

With 26 points (6/9 from outside), 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, Kasa Yalenchka was a no-brainer pick for PotG, her second in a row showing yet again the excellent condition of the 30-year-old snow leopard. Timur Tomilin had another good game with 14 points and 6 rebounds, but his defensive performance was overshadowed by that of Vladimir Zhidkov, the quiet bruiser from Vladivostok posting one point and two rebounds more than the huge mammoth.

RSA (0-3) – 17 10 24 17 – 68
Points: Leonardo De Hugo 20, Rebounds: Meine Zuberi 8, Assists: Meine Zuberi 6
RUS (2-1) – 19 22 21 21 – 83
Points: Kasa Yalenchka 26, Rebounds: Vladimir Zhidkov 8, Assists: Iver Drake 9


Referees: Ashley Wearing (AUS), Dave Möthrath (GER), Ragnar Klingsheim (NOR)
Player of the Game: Kasa Yalenchka (RUS)

Image

What could have been an interesting match-up between Great Britain and Argentina quickly assumed the appearances of a blowout as the British furs took the lead after a few minutes of play and never looked back, ending the first half with a 17-point lead. More than the much-awaited frontcourt of Durby and Turner, it was veteran lynx shooting guard Ambrose Slade to wreak havoc within Argentina’s lines, easily scoring three-pointers and mid-range jumpers over Cajeta whose game soon took the connotations of a nightmare. Emil O’Rourke added to the scoring fest when he stepped on the court, the Scottish gecko banking a three within seconds after he replaced Alphonse Norwich – the street rat having managed to rack up a couple fouls in the first quarter alone.

The second half didn’t add anything to a game that never looked the least bit open. GB’s lead extended through the third and fourth quarter, Coach Newell giving considerable playing time to his reserves and veteran sharpshooter John Stoat replaying with two straight bombs from outside in just five minutes on the court. In order to keep him fresh for the upcoming match-up, Turner was quickly replaced by 5-year FBA veteran Clyde Moerke, while Sarah Dunbar replaced MacQuilkin at point guard and Richard Maxwell was tried at center to replace Benjamin Durby. The game ended 83-48 in GB’s favor, ratifying the Britons’ qualification to the knockout phase.

Ambrose Slade was nominated PotG as he led GB with 22 points (8/12 from outside), 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. Turner and Durby pooled 25 points despite being on the court for 17 and 23 minutes respectively, with Norwich IV also ending in double digits in what was probably his best outing so far. Conversely, the only Argentinean player who managed to avoid his country’s abysmal showing was Sebastian Kosciusko – the toucan led Argentina with 18 points, with Sabatini and Montenegro closing in with just 8 apiece. Argentina’s shooting was nothing short of disastrous with 29% FG and just 7% from outside.

ARG (1-2) – 11 15 13 9 – 48
Points: Sebastiàn Kosciusko 18, Rebounds: Nathan Spinner 7, Assists: Arturo de la Rosa 4
GBR (3-0) – 18 25 26 14 – 83
Points: Ambrose Slade 22, Rebounds: MacQuilkin/O’Rourke 7, Assists: D’Angelo MacQuilkin 7


Referees: Anneliese Brandes (GER), Piotr Drozdowicz (SWE), Sara Vidmar (SLO)
Player of the Game: Ambrose Slade (GBR)

Image

Image

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY SEVEN

Postby qovapryi » August 13th, 2016, 11:26 am

It was the last call for the two outsiders of Group A as Brazil and South Korea faced in the first match-up of Day 7 – the home team still holding on to their fourth position in the group after their OT win against France, while the Asians desperately needed to win to maintain a slim chance to progress in the tournament. Korea’s methodical, straight-forward gameplay gave them an early lead, black bear forward Lee Jin-Sung being in the middle of it yet again with six points in the first quarter. Brazil fought back in the second half thanks to the extensive work of their back court, cougar Caio Calheiros scooping up every missed shot he could reach with his long, feline limbs and Amazonian giant otter Pèricles Braz da Silva slamming down powerful rim-rattlers – much to the helplessness of his Korean counterpart. At halftime, South Korea held on a 2-point lead, 29 to 27.

It was the third quarter when the gap between the two teams was mostly felt, as South Korea went on a 10-0 run that highlighted Brazil’s lack of a dependable bench. Despite the game being run at a slow pace by both sides, the home team couldn’t keep up with the double power of Lee and Derek Kim – both FBA stars lighting up the court with 16 points apiece despite the avian’s poor showing from outside (1/7 at the end of the game). Braz and Calheiros’s late-game efforts couldn’t prevent Brazil’s 61-51 loss to South Korea, the Asians getting their first win in the tournament and a real shot at moving on in the tournament should they take their last game against France.

KOR (1-3) – 15 14 20 12 – 61
Points: Lee J.S./Kim D.R. 16, Rebounds: Lee Jin-Sung 9, Assists: Kim Dae-Ryuk 5

BRA (1-3) – 11 16 12 12 – 51
Points: Pèricles Braz da Silva 12, Rebounds: Caio Calheiros 8, Assists: Andrè Luiz França 4

Referees: Raphael Axell Jackson Cazarez (PUR), Ragnar Klingsheim (NOR), Evgeniya Goncharova (RUS)
Player of the Game: Lee Jin-Sung (KOR)

Image

Klaus Korber’s performance has been the talk of the tournament so far, and the dobermann team captain stepped on court ready to put his mark on another game against one of Germany’s toughest European rivals – the French team of Blanc Mange and Julian Cross-Kiraly, which performance so far has been rather inconstant. The first quarter was played in relative balance, with two different battles fought under the basket and outside the arc – both teams standing their ground in each department. Midway through the second quarter, though, Korber decided to ramp up the intensity of Germany’s game as he scored a 3-pointer, a mid-range jumper from the free throw line and a lay-up over Dutrieux’s head with seemingly little effort. When he wasn’t terrorizing France’s defense, he found Dirk von Stryker and Siegfried Romanoren under the rim with sharp, crisp passes – a play Germany has been running over and over throughout the tournament, no matter the opponent. Despite the quality of the German offensive game, France managed to stay in the game thanks to their unity – every member of the team making up for what turned out to be a bad day for Blanc Mange, the white wolf clearly being outmatched by the stellar German frontcourt and not as on-point with his shooting as he was in his earlier outings. The first half ended with the guys in white up by nine points, 55 to 46.

Korber kept ruling the roost early in the second half, bringing Germany in double digit zone and allowing them to never look back when France tried to come back into contention. When Poulletier and Cross-Kiraly finally got their act together, the gap was too big for France to pull a convincing comeback – which they tried nonetheless, exploiting a weak moment from the German offense late in the fourth. Like the leader he was, 2K closed the game in Germany’s favor by serving Frans Richter on a fast break, the wolf guard pumping his fist in celebration as he came down from his dunk. 96 to 86 was the final results, with Korber posting a double-double of 28 points and 13 assists (plus 5 rebounds). 22 points from von Stryker and 18 from Pfeilschifter added to the dobermann’s stellar performance.

Four different players (Caro Bouanga, Poulletier, Cross-Kiraly and Luzolo) led France with fourteen points each, showcasing the unity and compactness of the French team despite their close loss. The saluki led in all three main categories, ending just three rebounds and four assists short of a triple-double with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. To keep up France’s hopes of moving to the knockout phase, he’ll have to repeat himself in the upcoming winner-take-all game against South Korea.

FRA (1-3) – 18 28 16 24 – 86
Points: four players 14, Rebounds: Julian Cross-Kiraly 7, Assists: Poulletier/Cross-Kiraly 6
GER (3-1) – 20 35 23 18 – 96
Points: Klaus Korber 28, Rebounds: von Stryker/Romanoren 8, Assists: Klaus Korber 13


Referees: Alex Trenor (CAN), Jayson Chowdhury (IND), Savva Karatzakou (GRE)
Player of the Game: Klaus Korber (GER)

Image

Team US went into their game against Australia knowing a win would give them first place in Group A, and their strategy didn’t really change much from their previous game as they mercilessly attacked the Australians from the first second. For once, lights were pointed towards Daniel Quvianuq – the polar bear behemoth proving to be the toughest opponent for the Australian team by dominating the game in the post with precise layups and shots from the baseline. The Aussies trailed by two after the first quarter, but recovered in the second thanks to two back-to-back three-pointers from EFBL star Sammy Perkins (a valid sixth fur for Australia so far in the tournament) and Wayne Kirkpatrick, yet again the best player for the team from Down Under. The Tasmanian devil has surprised most people with getting rid of his usual selfishness and establishing himself as a dominant force in both scoring and passing.

With the American starters back on the court, the game’s momentum began to shift towards Team US back again. Barrett and Umaechi, so far partners in crime in what’s been the strongest pair of forwards in the tournament, were flawless from inside the arc – although Australia was able to keep the deficit within a possession for most of the third quarter. With just a minute left, the husky from Akron sank a perfect three off a difficult pass from Zack Tate, the zorilla once again demonstrating his worth as a dependable backup center. Australia tried to respond, but with just nine seconds on the clock Terrence Tolliver managed to steal a pass from Bobby-Rae Brine’s paws, serving Kresta Renstill for the three-pointer that sealed the deal in the Americans’ favor with one quarter still left to play. Australia could not pull a comeback attempt as Team US got their fourth victory in the tournament, 92 to 85. Daniel Quvianuq won his first Olympic PotG with 23 points and 8 rebounds, while Wayne Kirkpatrick led Australia in both points (24) and assists (6).

AUS (2-2) – 23 21 19 22 – 85
Points: Wayne Kirkpatrick 24, Rebounds: Alan Murphy 8, Assists: Wayne Kirkpatrick 6
USA (4-0) – 25 19 26 22 – 92
Points: Daniel Quvianuq 23, Rebounds: Daniel Quvianuq 8, Assists: Rodger Umaechi 5


Referees: Abid Aissaoui (TUN), Mizue Yamakawa (JPN), Furkan Ulusoy (TUR)
Player of the Game: Daniel Quvianuq (USA)

Image

Image

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY EIGHT

Postby qovapryi » August 14th, 2016, 11:25 am

Group B’s last two winless teams faced up in the first match of the day, both teams hoping in a win and an Argentinean loss to keep hope alive. Inoue opened up the Japanese scoring with his mid-range jumpers, but “Lion Brothers” Pretorius and De Hugo showed to be tighter than ever – the young forward dazzling with his athletic dunks as the Firestorm veteran sunk three-pointers and second shot opportunities. As in the previous games, the South African bench turned out to be the weak link for Wa-Tenza’s team, and the Asian team exploited their moment of down to run away with a slight lead. The first half ended 31-27 in Japan’s favor.

The second half saw South Africa stepping up to a late charge with both De Hugo and 2-year FBA veteran Youssef Goulten bringing the team ahead by means of a perfectly effective three-point attack. 39-year-old Rudo Baas made way for the youngest player in the tournament, defassa waterbuck Belonwu Chiwetelu. An extremely raw prospect coming in from the small city of Babanango, 18-year-old Chiwetelu committed a few ingenuities but didn’t fail to show a great deal of potential in his eighteen minutes on the court. South Africa had a great moment, leading Japan by eleven at one point in the third quarter, but Inoue and his guys pulled off a great comeback thanks to some crucial three-pointers from EFBL Chiyori Hirose and most importantly, deep bench player Susumu Yamashita – the lanky akita scoring thirteen points in just eleven minutes on the court. A mistake from Chiwetelu himself – the young buck attempting a three-pointer from almost half court instead of using the few seconds he still had to come up with a better play – allowed Japan to jump out with a 5-point lead when Inoue drove in a layup off a perfect pass from teammate Shou Masaru. South Africa could never come back, and eventually bowed out of the tournament after the game ended in a Japanese win, 84 to 75.

Ren Inoue led Japan with 21 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists, earning himself his first PotG pick in the tournament. Five Japanese players scored double digits, including reserve guards Hirose and Yamashita. Masaru lied way behind with 9 points, but the dog’s contribution was seen in other categories as he led Japan in assists (7) and steals (4). De Hugo had the best game on the South African side, the lion scoring 26 points while Goulten had 21 and Pretorius had 12. “It wasn’t the best outcome but we had a good run,” De Hugo said about South Africa’s elimination. “If I’m to say so, I’m gonna say we were a bit unlucky in that we had no blowouts but could never bring home a single W. Still, we brought here a number of young, valid contributors which built some valuable international experience in order to be our team’s future leaders at the next Olympics in four years. SA’s best is definitely yet to come.”

JPN (1-3) – 12 19 25 28 – 84
Points: Ren Inoue 21, Rebounds: Maeda/Kurosaki 8, Assists: Shou Masaru 7

RSA (0-4) – 16 11 30 18 – 75
Points: Leonardo De Hugo 26, Rebounds: Baas/Zuberi 5, Assists: Goulten/De Hugo 5

Referees: Satria Jusoh (SIN), Juan Alberto Araque (ESP), Silvio Luiz Lupinari (BRA)
Player of the Game: Ren Inoue (JPN)

Image

The game between Canada and Great Britain had Group B’s supremacy at stake, since the winner would mathematically end up winner of their group. Canada clearly knew this as they attacked UK right off the bat, their backcourt working hard to neutralize Turner’s menace and doing that in a much more effective way than anything being tried so far in the tournament. The Quebecois guards, Martineau and Carbonneau, had a clear edge on their British counterparts and showed their potential by putting in shot after shot – Canada ending the first half with a surprising 16-point lead against the dazzled Brits.

Maybe an excess of overconfidence took Coach Joncas’ guys, maybe Newell’s locker room pointers had a better effect on the guys in blue. None of that mattered much when Jake Turner decide to turn the Canada-GB game into the Firefox Show.

Shot after shot after shot, the fox from London answered pound for pound the beating Team GB had gotten from the Canadians in the first quarter, doing as he pleased in the low post as he outmuscled and outplayed Lachs and Nereus – the piscine bigfurs having clearly lost the edge they’d showed in the first half. It literally seemed like Turner couldn’t ever miss: Canada could only watch in disbelief as their sizable lead vanished in a single quarter’s time. Shortly into the fourth, Turner got a rebound off a missed three from Lachs, but instead of running the usual play he decided to serve Ambrose Slade, who put Britain ahead with a mid-range dagger. Shortly after, Canada answered with a three-pointer from unlikely sniper Kevin Malka, the pangolin pumping his fist in the air after the miraculous shot and urging his teammates to not give up to Great Britain’s push. Malka’s teammates took his incitement to heart, keeping the game close by exploiting a rare cold streak of the British offense. With one minute to play and GB being up by 9, the result seemed to be set in stone – but Wesley Lachs sank not one, but two vital three-pointers, allowing Canada to cut the deficit back to four points. Being down meant the Canadians had to foul in order to keep GB from playing keep-away, and they paid the price for it as Nereus, Lachs and Malka fouled out in quick succession. The Britons couldn’t exploit Canada’s foul trouble, though – when Alphonse Norwich missed four free throws in a row, while Martineau scored a tough lay-up on the other side, the North Americans found themselves with a legitimate chance to tie the game, being down by 3 with just four seconds to play. Caracal Jr. inbounded to Bobby Baylor, who had just the time to let fly his shot from outside – not realizing his giant paws were on the line as his basket counted just for two points, ratifying Great Britain’s win 91 to 90.

An elated Jake Turner was elected Player of the Game after scoring a tournament high of 39 points and 8 rebounds - MacQuilkin had 12 (despite going 0/3 from outside) while Slade and Durby followed in third position with 10. Canada was led yet again by François Martineau, the golden retriever scoring 18 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. Lachs and Nereus pooled together a grand total of 33 points, while Yves Carbonneau posted a double-double of 12 points plus 10 assists, and Kevin Malka kept up his defensive numbers with 7 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks.

GBR (4-0) – 13 18 34 26 – 91
Points: Jake Turner 39, Rebounds: Jake Turner 8, Assists: D’Angelo MacQuilkin 6

CAN (3-1) – 28 19 22 21 – 90
Points: François Martineau 18, Rebounds: Malka/Martineau 9, Assists: Yves Carbonneau 10

Referees: Stevie Maxwell (USA), Dave Möthrath (GER), Nayde Perez (PER)
Player of the Game: Jake Turner (GBR)

Image

Both Argentina and Russia stumbled out of the gate as the game’s first basket came just after one minute and a half. Not surprisingly, the Argentineans build their strategy around Kosciusko – their best player so far – but from the very first minutes EFBL coati sharpshooter Fabian Sabatini showed he was having a great day. His three-pointers allowed Argentina to pull ahead, especially with Yalenchka somewhat faltering from outside the arc and Tomilin not as dominant as in the earlier games. At the end of the first quarter, Argentina was shockingly ahead by seven points, 35 to 28.

When everyone anxiously awaited the Argentineans’ collapse and Russia’s comeback, the exact opposite happened in the third quarter as the South Americans built on the lead they had amassed in the first half – just as the Russians could never find their usual winning stride. Kosciusko was the star of the match, the toucan ending just one point and three assists short of a triple-double, but also Cajeta and Garza showed up, both players ending in double digits – and when the team hit a predictable slump in the middle of last quarter, Sabatini put in yet another three, putting his final mark onto a surprising victory that qualified both Argentina and Russia to the next round, thus putting an end to the dreams of Japan and South Africa. By winning against the African champions in the final game, the Argentineans have a chance of putting themselves into a seemingly unforeseeable third place as Russia has to face a way stronger challenger in Canada.

RUS (2-2) – 15 13 20 21 – 69
Points: Timur Tomilin 15, Rebounds: Sasha Ivanovich 6, Assists: Kasa Yalenchka 6
ARG (2-2) – 16 19 27 20 – 82
Points: Fabian Sabatini 24, Rebounds: Kosciusko/de la Rosa 9, Assists: Sebastiàn Kosciusko 7


Referees: Anneliese Brandes (GER), Jade Katherine McKop (ZIM); Wilfrid Denis (FRA)
Player of the Game: Sebastiàn Kosciusko (ARG)

Image

Image
Last edited by qovapryi on August 15th, 2016, 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY NINE

Postby qovapryi » August 15th, 2016, 12:23 am

With Team US already qualified for the next round, Coach O’Malley decided to rotate his starters in order to preserve his best furs for the knockout phase. It wasn’t an issue for the Americans who jumped up effortlessly to a quick lead, with red deer forward Dylan Redfield making the most of his floor time and showing O’Malley his value, after the grizzly coach had never trusted him with a starting spot so far in the tournament. Zack Tate didn’t make fans regret Quvianuq in the low post and Kresta Renstill was flawless from outside the arc, allowing USA to go on a 15-2 run and ousting Brazil from the win they needed just five minutes into the game. When Team US’ top players finally hit the court, their work was already cut out for them as Brazil had seemingly lost their will to fight, allowing the favorites to head back into the tunnel leading by twenty-three – 49 to 26.

Of course Team US’ game relented in the third quarter, with O’Malley wisely requiring his guys to defend the less they could to avoid contacts and possible injuries. The Americans let the home team play for the entire third quarter, never going to contest the Brazilians’ shots from outside, but as soon as it was clear what they intended to do, the local crowd started booing Team US every time they got the ball. During a timeout late in the third, people at home could here Captain Knutten spurring his teammates to do their best: “These guys came here to get the real American experience, in front of their public no less,” the squirrel told his compatriots. “The less we can do is to give ‘em a true taste of the real deal. They’d expect nothing less from us.”

Then, Team US went back on the court and proceeded to give Brazil a taste of the real deal.

Redfield sunk a few of his patented fadeaway daggers. Barrett swatted a shot from de Andrade so hard the slap on the ball was heard even in the cheapest seats. Umaechi went up for a slam dunk in front of Kiesevetter, taking so much air with his jump the howler monkey couldn’t escape getting a face full of husky crotch. Tevela let fly a three-pointer a couple steps behind the IFBA line, making the motion look as effortless as if he was doing it during training.

When the game was over, the entire crowd was on their feet, applauding both the Americans for having shown respect to their opponents by playing them as hard as they would have done with any other team, and the Brazilians for having stood their ground to what clearly were far superior opponents. Brazil bowed out of the tournament with a 91-60 loss, Caio Calheiros leading them with 14 points and 5 rebounds while FBA draftee Ladislao Almeida had his best game so far with 10 points and 4 assists. On the American side, Dylan Redfield won his first PotG by means of posting 18 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists; Tate and Fiora led in rebounds with 8, while L.V. McDyess exploited his first true outing by posting six assists. Six players scored double digits, including reserves Umaechi and Barrett.

USA (5-0) – 26 23 15 27 – 91
Points: Dylan Redfield 18, Rebounds: Tate/Fiora 8, Assists: L.V. McDyess 6

BRA (1-4) – 16 10 19 15 – 60
Points: Caio Calheiros 14, Rebounds: Calheiros/Trabuco 5, Assists: Ladislao Almeida 4

Referees: Jade Katherine McKop (ZIM), Mizue Yamakawa (JPN), Savva Karatzakou (GRE)
Player of the Game: Dylan Redfield (USA)

Image

Despite both Germany and Australia being qualified for the next phase, much was at stake in their final game as the winner would get to take second place in the tournament, most probably getting an easier path to the medals by playing either Russia or Argentina in the quarter-finals rather than Canada. Both teams started off strong, the stakes of the game clear in their minds even though both teams were already assured of a spot in the knockout phase. That prompted a heated exchange of blows and bruises under the basket, with peacock mantis shrimp Christian Ashbury pulling a muscle early in the game but deciding to stay on the court – mostly focusing on assists and passes rather than trying to directly confront his opponents. Germany was slightly better in the first quarter, Australia had an edge in the second – both teams setting the halftime result to a 2-point Aussie lead, 48 to 46, all but promising an exciting and tense second half.

However, this never happened as Wayne Kirkpatrick and Alan Murphy led Australia on a 12-0 run in the middle of third quarter, giving the Aussie a clear lead from which they never needed to look back. Germany suffered poor shooting from their captain Klaus Korber – the Doberman clearly feeling the effort of the past few games’ heroics – and not much support from Romanoren and von Stryker, both clearly overpowered in the post by Jazz and a surprising Alan Murphy. Just like Wayne Kirkpatrick – another player that came into the US with multiple accolades but was put somewhat at the margins of the league – Murphy chose the Olympic tournament as a showcase of his true potential, making good work of his Keystone connection to the Tasmanian devil. Both he and Kirkpatrick were extremely effective from inside the arc, the sizable lead they’d helped to build leading Australia to a shockingly easy 87-67 win, Coach Foster even putting in the reserves for the last few minutes of play.

Wayne Kirkpatrick was an easy choice as PotG with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals. Jazz and Murphy were right behind the tazzy’s tail with 18 and 17 points respectively, with Sammy Perkins and Bobby-Rae Brine also cracking the 10-point barrier. On the German side, Korber still led in both points and assists (15 and 4) but his performance was nowhere as close as the one he’d showed against France just two days ago. Dirk von Stryker had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while small forward Stephanie Pfeilschifter had another good game from outside (4/7 from the 3-point line) capping his performance at 14 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.

GER (3-2) – 20 26 11 10 – 67
Points: Klaus Korber 15, Rebounds: Dirk von Stryker 10, Assists: Klaus Korber 4
AUS (3-2) – 17 31 20 19 – 87
Points: Wayne Kirkpatrick 19, Rebounds: Barnaby Jazz 7, Assists: Christian Ashbury 9


Referees: Angelica Pacciardi (ITA), Abid Aissaoui (TUN), Ragnar Klingsheim (NOR)
Player of the Game: Wayne Kirkpatrick (AUS)

Image

As luck would have it, the game that held the destiny of both France and South Korea – the two contenders for the last spot in the knockout phase – was kept for last. The winners of this game would move on in the tournament, while the losers would put an end to their Olympic adventure – stakes were never higher as the two teams took the hardwood in front of a packed crowd.

South Korea trailed for most of the first quarter, to take the lead with a few seconds to spare when Lee Jin-Sung converted a crisp pass from giant mottled eel Lee Young-Soo. Chantal Panechou gave France back the lead with a 3-pointer early in the second, which was mimicked shortly later by another three by saluki sharpshooter Julian Cross-Kiraly. Korea was kept afloat by a combined effort of Lee Jin-Sung and Derek Kim, this time assisted by hybrid sixth fur Jasper Lee who proved to be more than a match for the French shooters. Blanc Mange was also in top form, him and Pierre-Guèlor Caro proving their worth against Choi and Park as first half ended 39-35 in France’s favor.

The two teams were evenly matched in the third quarter – France seemed to have the potential to take the game, but South Korea never gave them the chance to, even getting within one point from the European team thanks to a 6-0 run late in the quarter. Early in the fourth, they pulled ahead by two when Park grabbed a rebound off a missed three from Poulletier, serving Jasper Lee on the subsequent play only for the hybrid to score an easy shot from the left baseline. Panechou was quick to re-establish a French lead with a 3-point shot, and shortly after, South Korea couldn’t exploit a shot clock violation from their opponents as Choi put up a terrible shot that ended directly into Valère Desrochers’ paws. Shortly after, though, they tied the game at 67 apiece thanks to yet another 3-pointer from Jasper Lee; not to be outdone by the hybrid baller though, Cross-Kiraly went to score a three of his own from about the same position, and then served Panechou for an easy lay-up in the following play. Blanc Mange added to the shooting fest with yet another three, helping France to build a 11-0 run as Korea couldn’t pull their act together when they needed the most. The only thing keeping them in the game was their shooters, both Lees scoring a three-pointer each late in the fourth – but that wasn’t nearly enough as they went into penalty trouble shortly after, not being able to pull a comeback as Caro sank two flawless free throws in a row to end the game on a 84-78 French win.

The French team was elated with making it through to the next round, Coach Demaux abandoning his usual composure to jump into the court with glee as the final buzzer sounded. Despite some people believing the PotG honors should go to Julian Cross-Kiraly, the FBA free agent no doubt grabbing attention of many GMs after a 17 points (5/6 from outside the arc), 8 rebounds and 5 assists performance when it mattered the most, PotG honors went to team captain Blanc Mange – the white wolf from Mont-Saint-Michel leading France with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. South Korea was led by the two Lees – Jin-Sung and Jasper both posting 17 points, while Park Han-Min had 13 and Derek Kim 10; the avian corroborating his score with 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steal.
This game established the final hierarchy of Group A, with France being already poised to face the UK in the quarter-finals while the other three teams will have to wait for the results of Argentina-South Africa and Canada-Russia to know who their next opponent will be.

FRA (2-3) – 13 26 19 26 – 84
Points: Blanc Mange 20, Rebounds: Julian Cross-Kiraly 8, Assists: Julian Cross-Kiraly 5

KOR (1-4) – 14 21 21 22 – 78
Points: Lee J.S./Lee J. 17, Rebounds: Park Han-Min 7, Assists: Park H.M./Kim D.R. 6

Referees: Ellis Youngblood (GBR), Evgeniya Goncharova (RUS), Piotr Drozdowicz (SWE)
Player of the Game: Blanc Mange (FRA)

Image

Image

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY TEN

Postby qovapryi » August 16th, 2016, 11:22 am

While Durby won the tip-off, the British team found that their opponents were going full gear from the get go, as the Japanese star Ren Inoue cashed in on a very sloppy pass McQuikilin attempted, showcasing his excellent passing ability by feeding Kurosaki's for an easy basket. And for a while we all saw the spark the Asian team that did not relent at all for the first minutes of the first quarter, stealing the rock from the Brits when it wasn;t on their paws. The British team managed to score their first point when their rivals already had 10 above them, when they were on the line for one free throw as Inoue was charged with taunting the defender. Nevertheless, they managed to build an enormous lead against the British team, closing the first quarter with a staggering 20-point lead. Emil O'Rourke debuted the British second quarter with a flawless shot from the right baseline, and from there it was a crazy game of catch-up. Great Britain tried to get some points, but Japan was there ready to cash in on the opportunities. It was two steps forward, one step back. A great Firefox layup was followed by Sakai getting an extra point due to Durby getting a technical. While they closed with a great 18-point lead, the loss of Sakai due to an injury caused a shift in the team's mood.

A shift that the British took by storm. It all started with a bad pass by Shou Masaru that was capitalized in extra two points by Durby soon after. The Union Jack team found its groove, and startign catching up, no short feat by Turner, who wilded up the crowd with a flashy dunk made from McQuilikin's failed attempt at a 3 and not long after, stealing Masaru's pass. But the other side was not yet done, as Inoue replied his best to the unwaanted British progress with a set of flawless threes. Stress was taking effect in Japan thouhg, calling for timeouts to rearrange more than once in this quarter, which saw their lead finighed, as Great Britain was up by one basket. It was do or die for this last quarter.

The lead was regained by Japan as Yamashita's only 3 points came from a faraway shot, a lead extended by Keitaro Kurosaki soon after. The British slowly crept up the lead, while Japan tried its hardest to grasp at whatever chance it got. A chain of shots by Singh, Turner and Dunbar tied it up, putting the pressure on Japan again. It looked dim for the Japanese as Great Britain had the slim lead by the last minute, but the Tosa Inu managed to sneak in one last shot to tie things up 96 a piece,assuring this game to go overtime. Everything was at stake. But from the beggining of the overtime period, we saw the Asian team feeling the heat, as the Europeans lobbed shot by shot, Inoue and Masaru tried to combo and make the most points they can, but could not compare to the British stamina, with Norwich sealing the deal with two last great free throws that not even Masaru's great three could match. The game ended 112-106.

Jake Turner kept the GB alive with 32 points and 9 assists, his partner-in-crime Durby with the rebounds. On the other side, Inoue showed why is he considered the star in the Japanese team, with 28 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds and Masaru's staggering 14 assists. While this was the final curtain for Japan, they can held their head up high for being a tough as nails team until the last breath, as the British consolidated their first place in their group.

GBR (5-0) – 16 24 35 21 OT1 16 – 112
Points: Jake Turner 32, Rebounds: Benjamin Durby 6, Assists: Jake Turner 9

JPN (1-4) – 32 26 16 22 OT2 10 – 106
Points: Ren Inoue 28, Rebounds: Ren Inoue 7, Assists: Shou Masaru 14

Referees: Ashley Wearing (AUS), Anneliese Brandes (GER), Nayde Perez (PER)
Player of the Game: Jake Turner (GBR)

Image

With Group B qualifiers already decided, the only thing left up in the air was the placement of Canada, Russia and Argentina – which would effectively design the knockout phase’s match-ups. From the three, the Argentineans had the seemingly easiest ordeal, having to face the still winless South African team. It seemed an easy feat for most of the first half – though Coach Oca decided to mostly preserve Kosciusko for the next game, Cajeta and Sabatini took up scoring duty, also helped by an on-form Valentin Montenegro. Wa-Tenza’s boys, though, weren’t going to leave Rio without a fight, and pulled ahead thanks to a 3-pointer from Gerrit-Jan Pretorius and a mid-range jumper from rising star Belonwu Chiwetelu, the 18-year-old defassa waterbuck filling in for a tired Rudo Baas. At the end of the first quarter, South Africa led Argentina 33-31.

Despite the Argentineans knowing they needed to win to make sure they’d end third in their group (thus avoiding the US in the quarter-finals), they couldn’t keep up with the combined force of the “Lion Bros” Pretorius and De Hugo, who have been the South Africans’ offensive force throughout this tournament. A particularly dazzling play was when the two felines went on a fast break, passing the ball between them three times before De Hugo put in the easy lay-up. Argentina had a late surge in the 4th quarter thanks to Valentin Montenegro, showing how his skills weren’t lost with his retirement from the FBA – but eventually, South Africa just wanted it the most, going on to win 67-64 thanks to a late dunk from Pretorius and a last-second jumper from De Hugo. It was the oldest of the two lions who got PotG honors from the game, although both ended with a double-double (20 points and 11 rebounds for De Hugo, 18 and 10 for Pretorius) while llama Valentin Montenegro led Argentina from the bench with 15 points and 7 rebounds.

After all was said and done, the South Africans ended the game with a tight huddle, the two star lions celebrating South Africa’s first Olympic win by roaring at the top of their lungs to the Brazilian crowd’s delight. Nicolas Heyns, the president of the South African Furry Olympic Committee who had been attending the game from the authorities’ stage, was elated with the team’s approach to the competition, even going as far as stating South Africa can be in the world’s top 8 in four years, and that his players should be proud of what they did in Rio de Janeiro.

ARG (2-3) – 17 14 16 17 – 64
Points: Valentin Montenegro 15, Rebounds: Valentin Montenegro 7, Assists: Arturo de la Rosa 6
RSA (1-4) – 11 22 22 12 – 67
Points: Leonardo De Hugo 20, Rebounds: Leonardo De Hugo 11, Assists: Youssef Goulten 4


Referees: Jorge Athirson Vergara (VEN), Juan Alberto Araque (ESP), Sara Vidmar (SLO)
Player of the Game: Leonardo De Hugo (RSA)

Image

Having just witnessed Argentina’s collapse against South Africa, Russia went into their game against Canada with a solid chance of taking 2nd place in Group B should they take down the North American side. However, Quebecois guards Yves Carbonneau and François Martineau took no time in asserting their dominance from outside, making it clear Canada wouldn’t give the Russians any edge. Small forward Kevin Malka showed to be at ease in his new position, extending his shooting range to the closer 3-point line and generally looking more confident with his offensive game than he ever did in his two seasons with Winnipeg’s jersey – something many FBA GMs will be bound to notice as the pangolin heads into free-agency. Russia was kept afloat throughout the first quarter by Yalenchka and Drake, but predictably collapsed in the second half, certainly not benefitting by Mikhail Lobochevski having to sit the game out. The first half ended 54-41 in Canada’s favor.

Early in the second half, a 3-pointer from Iver Drake and a cold streak from the Canadian offense brought Russia back in the game, the European team lingering behind for a long time before finally pulling ahead with 7:58 to play in the fourth thanks to a layup from EFBL promise Valeriy Smolov. Coach Joncas called a timeout right after the shot, and one minute later Canada returned on the court determined to pull back ahead – which they did when Malka served Wesley Lachs for a perfect shot from outside. The North Americans suffered some bad luck when a shot from Martineau danced around the rim to fall into Smolov’s paws, allowing the Russians to regain the upper hand as the Tiny Tiger himself, Iver Drake sunk yet another three. Canada’s hopes seemed to be dashed when Yalenchka stole the ball from Carbonneau’s hand and served mammoth center Timur Tomilin, who brought Russia ahead by one with less than one minute to play. But a late foul by Drake on a 3-point shot from Yves Carbonneau brought the arctic fox on the line for three free throws, of which he sank two. Seconds later, Sasha Ivanovich failed a desperate shot from the left wing, the buzzer sounding shortly after to celebrate Canada’s narrow win 93 to 92.

Despite Yves Carbonneau having a stellar game with 27 points and 6 assists, PotG honors were offered to Kevin Malka – the pangolin having one of the biggest games of his career with 21 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, but most importantly doing putting himself at the service of his teammates as the true heart and soul of the Canadian team – recovering loose balls and rebounds but even trying himself at shooting from both in and outside the arc. On the Russian side, Iver Drake surprised with a 21 points/10 rebounds double-double (corroborated by going 2/3 from outside), with all the five starters posting double digits (Ivanovich 18, Yalenchka and Tomilin 16, Zhidkov 14).

All in all, Argentina’s lost against South Africa didn’t matter much as Russia remained behind the South Americans in the standings – their loss against Oca’s boys being the main discriminant. Russia will have to face the United States in the next round, while Argentina will be pitted against Australia. From their second place in the group, Canada will meet Germany in the quarter-finals, while Great Britain will round up the four match-ups by playing France.

CAN (4-1) – 31 23 21 18 – 93
Points: Yves Carbonneau 27, Rebounds: Nereus/Lachs 6, Assists: Yves Carbonneau 6

RUS (2-3) – 28 13 29 22 – 92
Points: Iver Drake 21, Rebounds: Sasha Ivanovich 8, Assists: Iver Drake 10

Referees: Stevie Maxwell (USA), Fred Kimteech (USA), Silvio Luiz Lupinari (BRA)
Player of the Game: Kevin Malka (CAN)

Image

Image

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY ELEVEN

Postby qovapryi » August 17th, 2016, 7:30 am

How do you stop the American Dream Team? The question everybody has been asking during the first few days of the Olympic tournament still lingered in the air as Russia and the United States took the floor for the first game of the quarter-finals. Two minutes after the quarter had begun, American center Daniel Quvianuq had already answered for the players in red – if there was a team who could stop the US, it wasn’t Russia.

The polar bear opened up strongly with three straight lay-ups, Tomilin and Ivanovich being unable to guard the ursine behemoth as he stormed through the post. So far in the tournament, Quvianuq’s sheer strength has proven to be a great fit to partner with Barrett’s athleticism, both players complementing each other like no other frontcourt in the tournament could (save maybe for UK’s Durby and Turner). When Quvianuq exhausted his push, it was time for the otter to take over – the lutrine forward scoring from just about anywhere in the paint, and going to serve Knutten and Zeraus in the rare instances Timur Tomilin was able to guard him. The duty to keep Russia in the contest mostly fell on the mammoth’s wide shoulders – and with the team’s two best shooters not being at the top of their game, that clearly wasn’t enough. At halftime, US was up by seventeen, and judging by the offensive solidity displayed by the Americans it didn’t look like that gap would close anytime soon.

The music didn’t change in the second quarter: US captain Knutten exploited his little time on the court to show the world he still had hit from the 3-point line (he went 3-for-5), Barrett and mostly Umaechi lit the game under the US basket. By the time Coach O’Malley decided to put in the reserves and put an end to Russia’s misery, his players had already racked up a 25-point winning margin. The last quarter was played at a slower pace, Russia managing to recover a bit but never really managing to get the Americans to worry. As the final buzzer sounded to seal the deal on Team US’ triumph, the players’ minds were already going to the semifinal against the winners of the game between Canada and Germany.

With both Barrett and Umaechi leading US with 22 points each, the PotG award was a clear tossup. Eventually it went to the otter bigfur, him having stopped shy of two rebounds from yet another double-double. “We’re right where we want to be,” Barrett said to FSPN’s microphones minutes after the game ended, the big lutrine not even panting from the exertion. “We all got along swimmingly – I cannot think of a single player on our team I wouldn’t want to be share this moment with. No matter who we got next, we’re gunning for gold.”

Russia bowed out of the tournament with what probably was their weakest showing so far. Timur Tomilin confirmed his newfound status as one of the best centers in the world with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Yalenchka had 18 (just 4/10 from outside) while EFBL star Valeriy Smolov scored 12 in 22 minutes from the bench.

RUS – 19 21 18 26 – 84
Points: Timur Tomilin 22, Rebounds: Timur Tomilin 8, Assists: Iver Drake 9
USA – 30 27 26 22 – 105
Points: Barrett/Umaechi 22, Rebounds: Scoonie Barrett 8, Assists: Valencia Zeraus 8


Referees: Silvio Luiz Lupinari (BRA), Piotr Drozdowicz (SWE), Wilfrid Denis (FRA)
Player of the Game: Scoonie Barrett (USA)

Image

Before the tournament begun, most insiders thought Argentina had no chance to reach the quarter-finals, let alone doing that by getting third in their group. Yet thanks to Sebastián Kosciusko’s strong performances and a healthy dose of luck here they were, playing for a spot in the semifinals against an extremely solid opponent such as Australia.
The Aussies weren’t in their best condition, Christian Ashbury being kept out of the starting line-up after getting a slight injury in the game against Germany. Coach Foster had to replace him with Sammy Perkins, whose showing so far in the tournament had gone mostly up and down. Nevertheless, Australia could count on Barnaby Jazz and Wayne Kirkpatrick, the Tasmanian devil having killed it so far for his team - though it was mostly because of high-flyer kangaroo forward Alan Murphy that Australia could jump to an early lead. Argentina answered the best they could with Kosciusko and Antonio Garza, toucan and locust putting in some great shots from under the basket but being rather ineffective from outside the arc, as was Argentina’s resident sharpshooter Fabian Sabatini (0-for-6 from behind the arc, with the entire team shooting 17% from 3-point range). They could still exploit some indecisions from Australia’s offense, ending the first twenty minutes of play 39-37 in their favor.

Early in the second half, after Argentina went up by seven thanks to a couple of clean inside shots by Garza and two perfect free throws from Arturo de la Rosa, it seemed Australia had gone into panic mode and could legitimately be on the verge of elimination for the first time since the game started. However, Argentina was unable to capitalize on their mistakes in order to close the deal, and Barnaby Jazz took the responsibility of bringing Australia back in the game by taking a difficult shot from outside the line, which found the net under Kosciusko’s astonished gaze. Soon the Aussies looked again in control of the game, taking the lead early in the last quarter and never once relinquishing it until the final buzzer, despite the Argentineans trying for late fortune from outside the arc (but to no avail). However, the South Americans managed to keep the Australian on their feet until the dying minutes of the game: Coach Foster rotated just eight players to win 82-77, not trusting his reserves to take over even against the supposedly weaker Argentineans.

With 22 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists, Wayne Kirkpatrick won his third PotG award so far in the tournament, establishing himself more and more as the huge surprise of the Furry Olympics. Jazz was not far with 18 points of his own, while Alan Murphy had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Argentina was led by Antonio Garza, the big bug having his best performance so far with 17 points and 5 rebounds – while also Kosciusko and Sabatini managed to crack double digits. Despite having to leave the tournament, Argentina had a strong if a little inconsistent Olympic run, and can look forward with anticipation to their future in international furry basketball.

ARG – 22 17 20 18 - 77
Points: Antonio Garza 17, Rebounds: Antonio Garza 5, Assists: Sebastián Kosciusko 6
AUS – 20 17 23 22 - 82
Points: Wayne Kirkpatrick 22, Rebounds: Alan Murphy 12, Assists: Alan Murphy 7


Referees: Abid Aissaoui (TUN), Ellis Youngblood (GBR), Juan Alberto Araque (ESP)
Player of the Game: Wayne Kirkpatrick (AUS)

Image

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY TWELVE (QUARTER FINALS)

Postby qovapryi » August 18th, 2016, 9:57 am

Canada’s unity and teamwork against Germany’s individualities: this was the leitmotiv of the first game in program on Day 12 of the Olympic tournament. Klaus Korber stepped on court on a mission to lead the Germans to medal zone, but it was clear he wouldn’t be able to best the Canadians as he’d done with weaker opponents such as South Korea and Brazil.

Nevertheless, Germany opened to a strong lead as the Doberman took the court by storm, a black-and-white lightning dashing through Canada’s defenders. With giant rabbit Dirk von Stryker being not his usual self under the rim, the canine captain seemed to be Germany’s best hope against the Canadians: he was clearly aware of the responsibility falling onto his shoulders as he took the odd shot here and there, sinking three consecutive three-pointers to give Germany their maximum lead at the end of the first quarter. The players in red didn’t panic but decided to bit their time, pulling close in the second half as Korber and the bigs were briefly put to rest – hare forward Brax Trenor putting in a strong performance and perfecting one of the best plays of the Games as he dunked an alley-oop from Kevin Malka with a reverse tomahawk.

At halftime, Canada still trailed by one, but it was clear the game’s momentum had shifted towards them. They kept the momentum going early in the third quarter, exploiting a rare miss from Korber to rack in some easy points in the post, at one point stealing a possession from the Germans as the refereed called a half-court violation on the canine. They quickly brought their range into double-digit zone, only to see it slowly being eaten by the Germans as Korber led the team on a late-game push – giving it everything he had with his excellent shooting (a clutch three-pointer late in the fourth was saluted by a roaring cheer by the many German furs attending the game), but also assisting Romanoren and von Stryker with deadly passes when Martineau and Carbonneau opted to double on him. With a minute on the clock, Germany was trailing by a single point, 81-80 when the Typhoons’ dobermann took a difficult shot from behind the arc to prevent the shot clock from running to zero. The ball briefly bounced on the rim, before being scooped by Wesley Lachs, who launched Martineau on a fast break only for the golden retriever to put his mark on Canada’s victory.

As the final buzzer sounded, Canada getting through to the next round by defeating Germany 87-83, the German captain stood in the middle of centre court, paws on his knees and tears streaming down his muzzle as he saw his dream of an Olympic medal ending in the worst possible way. His dazzling performance of 32 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists wasn’t enough to defeat Canada, especially as Romanoren was the only other German able to crack double digits with 17 points and 4 rebounds. Canada’s Wesley Lachs won PotG for both his decisive rebound and his performance of 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks – the sturgeon proving to be efficient in all the main five categories making up the stat sheet.

GER – 22 26 14 21 – 83
Points: Klaus Korber 32, Rebounds: Pfeilschifter/Korber 6, Assists: Klaus Korber 5
CAN – 14 33 24 16 – 87
Points: Wesley Lachs 25, Rebounds: Nereus/Lachs 7, Assists: Kevin Malka 4


Referees: Mizue Yamakawa (JPN), Savva Karatzakou (GRE), Nayde Perez (PER)
Player of the Game: Wesley Lachs (CAN)

Image

Being the only team to deal two heavy defeats to the United States in the recent past, it was clear Great Britain’s quarter-final against France was perceived by the Britons as a mere hindrance in their quest to the Furry Olympic gold. However, the French weren’t going to let them have it easy, looking forward to surprise again after their early win in the tournament against Australia.
Team GB took the lead early on, exploiting the French frontcourt’s troubles as Turner and Durby literally played circles around fossa center Pierre Caro. Red fox and deer were the perfect partners in crime to bring havoc among the opposing team, doing whatever they pleased in the small area without a lot of opposition. France tended to resolve more to both Blanc Mange as a force to contrast the UK bigs in the post, and their shooters which were a fair match to the British ones, at least on paper – Slade and Stoat have played well so far in the tournament, yet they seem to have both taken a backseat to Turner’s talent when it comes to Team UK’s offensive game. Seeing his main bigfur overpowered in the paint, Coach Demaux let red wolf Christian Dutrieux loose at center to replace Caro – the fossa already being troubled by three fouls racked up in the first ten minutes. What seemed a ballsy move on Demaux’s part proved to be a very good intuition, as the aggressive canine went down in the pits not afraid to deal blows and annoy the living hell out of Turner. With the tall fox’s game slightly hampered by Dutrieux’s impact, France was able to recover and even get ahead late in the second quarter, ending the first half 43-42 in their favor much to the entire arena’s amazement.

The second half opened like the first had ended – France could keep afloat on Dutrieux’s raw aggressivity and scoring power as well as the talent of his three FBAers, while Great Britain did their best to answer by exploiting Turner and Durby’s dominance under the rim – but much less effectively than they’d been able to do in the group phase. Luckily, two unexpected forces came in their help: rabbit point guard Sarah Michelle Dunbar, who had a good run from the bench by scoring 10 points in just thirteen minutes, and most importantly rat forward Alphonse Norwich IV. After having been slightly overshadowed by his teammates in his first Olympic appearances (which was no easy feat, given the rodent’s character), Norwich finally found his stride against France, his aggressiveness surely being stimulated by Dutrieux’s streetball techniques. Street rat and red wolf played the contest on a highly physical level, trying to outdo each other in dunks and lay-ups as much as dealing low blows whenever the circumstances allowed it, the two wild characters not being afraid to go at each other’s throat like true madbeasts – to the point Turkish referee Furkan Ulusoy had to physically set them apart at one point, when a heated confrontation in the post threatened to turn into a more serious affair as Dutrieux was seen whispering in the rat’s ear some words he certainly did not take lightly.

At the beginning of the last quarter, GB was leading by one, with France holding up well against their attack and looking poised to give the crowd a nail biting finish. However, that’s where Jake Turner decided to turn the heat on – just about like he’d done earlier in the tournament against Canada, he started putting in a shot after another with seemingly laughable ease, just when the French shooters started to struggle from outside the 3-point arc. Caro fouled out early in the fourth and Mange went into foul trouble (although both Turner and Norwich got there as well) with the game threatening to turn into a full-blown brawl at times. Only the prowess of the international referees could keep it going, especially in the tight final minutes when France seemed to be able to recover from a 10-point deficit thanks to two late threes from Cross-Kiraly and substitute Charbonneau – only to lose it all again as Emil O’Rourke put in the only British three-pointer of the entire game, Team GB finally defeating France 90-82 to get to the next round.

Despite the loss being touch on the French players, having risked it all only to fall just short of a historic win against a much stronger team, the Olympic spirit won out over the tough battle that had taken place in the basketball arena as the two rivals Norwich and Dutrieux ended the game with a mid-court brohug, the shirtless rat patting the wolf on the back before giving him his jersey as a sign of respect – just minutes after taunting the “blanka” in the attack zone.

Turner predictably led GB with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, and was elected PotG despite great games from both Norwich IV (17 points, 4 rebounds) and Benjamin Durby (13 points, 15 rebounds). On the French side, Christian Dutrieux had his best game with 19 points and 6 rebounds, while the much awaited Mange couldn’t do better than 15 points and 8 rebounds – Caro Bouanga and Cross-Kiraly also hitting double-digits. The French shooters had mostly a day off, going just 7-for-27 from behind the 3-point line.

FRA – 14 29 18 21 – 82
Points: Christian Dutrieux 19, Rebounds: Blanc Mange 8, Assists: Victoire Luzolo 6
GBR – 19 23 20 28 – 90
Points: Jake Turner 24, Rebounds: Benjamin Durby 15, Assists: Ambrose Slade 7


Referees: Furkan Ulusoy (TUR), Evgeniya Goncharova (RUS), Cody McBroom (AUS)
Player of the Game: Jake Turner (GBR)

Image

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY FOURTEEN (SEMIFINALS)

Postby qovapryi » August 20th, 2016, 7:30 am

The Onça Arena was packed to the brim with 18,500 rowdy fur ready to see the world’s best basketball players battling for a spot in the Olympic Final, USA against Canada being the first match-up of tonight’s program. With all twenty-four furs on the stat sheet being on a FBA roster, there was nowhere to hide for either team, with each player knowing everything about each of his opponents and ready to give everything he had for his nation’s pride. Team US’ Big Three – Daniel Quvianuq, Scoonie Barrett and Rodger Umaechi – stepped on the court with a confident swagger in their stride, but everybody could see it was mostly an act to dissimulate the pressure even they could feel at the thought of going against what would be their toughest opposition so far in the tournament. The Canadians took the floor shortly after, doing their warm-up routine with practiced ease, their eyes never turning once to the players in blue. It was clear to everybody that the Olympic knockout phase was no place for the weak-minded – the time for shortcuts and free passes was definitely over. A single mistake on each side could mean goodbye to an entire nation’s Olympic dream.

The game started off with a bang as the Big Three immediately sprang into action – Quvianuq finding Umaechi for the husky’s first basket mere seconds after the jump shot. One minute later, the polar bear itself went up for a successful layup, 450 pounds of muscular ursine center nearly cracking the floor as he went down hard after the shot. But Canada was not to be outplayed, and they showed it as Yves Carbonneau eluded the American defense to score the first three-pointer of the game, the Quebecois fox pumping his fist in celebration as he ran back. The early minutes’ balance set a tone for the entire first half, neither team being able to escape with a lead of more than a couple points. Canada led the US by two at the end of first quarter, a deficit that the Americans were able to tie up in the second – ending the first half at 38 apiece.

Nereus and Lachs opened the second quarter with a perfectly executed play, the salmon assisting the sturgeon for a clear shot from the left wing – the cameras then captured the two big fish celebrating with a fistbump, before Scoonie Barrett’s impenetrable game face. The otter had to repeat that same expression a minute later, when Kevin Malka exploited a mistake from the US’ defense to sink a lucky three-pointer – bringing Canada up by 5 and putting the Americans in a very tough spot for the first time since the beginning of the tournament. Quvianuq and Barrett, though, weren’t ready to give up yet – otter and bear mimicking the piscine friends in skill and finesse as they sank a chain of four consecutive shots, even prompting cheers of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” from the local crowd as the ursine behemoth sank a free throw and put Team US in the lead. Canada stayed on their tails, though, even surpassing them at times only to be caught up with shortly after. Other two free throws from Dan Q tied the game again, 60-60, with a single quarter to be played.

It was fascinating to look at the two coaches’ different approaches to pump their players before they got back on the court for the last ten minutes of play: Joncas barked words of encouragement to the already pumped Canucks, while O’Malley quietly reminded the Americans to stay calm, play to the best of their skills, and let the win come to them. Briefly replacing the tired Umaechi on the floor, Dylan Redfield showed his competitive fire as he drilled in a clutch shot mere seconds before the shot clock ran out, to open the quarter on a 2-point US lead. The Canadians went briefly down, but managed to catch up thanks to their superior shooters – François Martineau snapping silk from the 3-point arc on two consecutive possessions, the golden retriever acting as a true veteran as he took the responsibility to shoot and bring home those vital baskets. A terrible pass from Renstill to Tate gave the Canadians an unexpected possession, which they turned into a new lead when Carbonneau found Malka under the basket, the pangolin absolutely free to extend his arm and sling the ball down the drain. With 2:45 to play and Canada ahead by one, Team US was forced to call an emergency time out.

Sadly, the floor microphones weren’t able to catch what O’Malley said to his players - but whatever the grizzly bear coach told his Big Three, they stepped back on the court with a competitive fire in their eyes they lacked early on. As captain Knutten missed a three-pointer from the right corner, Barrett was quick to extend his arm to grab the rebound, eluding Lachs’ defense to score a crucial basket with a seemingly effortless hook shot. Moments later, Quvianuq exploited a critical possession to bring home a jumper from the free throw line, and Umaechi threw down a monster dunk on a surgically precise alley-oop pass from Zeraus. With fifty-six seconds left and USA ahead by three (82-79) it was clear the tides had turned, and a missed three-pointer from Carbonneau sealed Canada’s fate. The players in red couldn’t score again for the reminder of the game, while Zeraus and Knutten put in the last four points of the night to send US to their third straight Olympic final.
The Canadian players looked dejected for having let the game slip from their paws in the final minutes, but they still went on to congratulate the winners in true Olympic spirit. The US Big Three were the clear winners of the night – Scoonie Barrett was picked again as PotG with 18 points and 8 rebounds, but having Quvianuq and Umaechi posted similar numbers to the lutrine’s, it was clear each of the three would have been deserving of the award. On Canada’s side, five different players cracked double digits: Nereus led the team with 17 points while Trenor scored 14 from the bench. Kevin Malka (12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals) and Martineau (11 points, 8 rebounds) added to what was a valiant Olympic showing from this emerging team.

CAN – 20 18 22 19 – 79
Points: Ahti Nereus 17, Rebounds: François Martineau 8, Assists: Lachs/Carbonneau 3
USA – 18 20 22 26 – 86
Points: Scoonie Barrett 18, Rebounds: Rodger Umaechi 10, Assists: Valencia Zeraus 7


Referees: Ragnar Klingsheim (NOR), Savva Karatzakou (GRE), Nayde Perez (PER)
Player of the Game: Scoonie Barrett (USA)

Image

After the first game was laid to rest, it was time for Australia and Great Britain to play for the second spot in the 2016 Furry Olympics’ finals. While the Britons have dominated Group B, Jake Turner and Benjamin Durby repeatedly cracking 30 points in a game with practiced ease, the Aussies have faltered in their first game against France only to win every subsequent match to classify 2nd in Group A. The match-up was sure to spark emotions, and both teams held true to the hype surrounding the game.

As usual, Team GB opened to a strong lead – Turner being fouled by Barnaby Jazz on his first shot of the night, and sinking the two free throws that followed. The Britons quickly put together a safety margin as Australia struggled right off the gate, Wayne Kirkpatrick being the only one to shade his team from Turner’s fury. However, veteran lynx sharpshooter Ambrose Slade managed to steal the scene from the Firefox – the experienced feline sinking a few daggers from the arc with zen-like accuracy, seemingly untouched by the stress and tension of such a nervous match-up. Great Britain ended the first quarter up by 11, but something seemed to crack in the second as the British reserves couldn’t keep up with the high pace set mostly by Christian Ashbury – the mantis shrimp returning to the court after pulling a muscle against Germany – and shark center Barnaby Jazz, staying in until late in the second and helping Australia to bounce back with a string of successful dunks and layups. Coach Newell was forced to put the starters back in, but they clearly were surprised by the Aussie’s initiative and couldn’t answer at the best of their skills. When the first quarter was over, GB’s double digit lead was reduced to a single point – 49 to 48.

However, the Europeans seemed to catch a lucky break as Alan Murphy took the time to argue with german shepherd referee Dave Möthrath for a dubious foul call, which prompted the German canine to charge him with a technical that Slade took no time to convert into a successful free throw. Turner seemed to be at the best of his game, the red fox being unstoppable in the low post – and even Alphonse Norwich barged in with a vicious windmill dunk on a fast break, which the rat followed by hoisting himself up on the rim, as if he was performing a pull-up, before letting himself go. The Aussies weren’t impressed by the rodent’s antics, as stingray guard Bobby-Rae Brine showed when he drilled home a 3-ball on the following play. Kirkpatrick and Jazz then made an offensive push just as GB’s shooters went cold, Tasmanian devil and shark setting the crowd wild as they railed shot after shot. When the final quarter started, Australia was up by two points, being on the verge of pulling off the impossible and kicking the Brits from the tournament.

A big issue was plaguing Foster’s team though, one they still probably hadn’t caught on. All of their starters were in foul trouble, as opposed to Norwich being the only one to – predictably – having racked up three or more among the Brits. Turner and his teammates braced themselves on Australia’s struggles to close up on the deficit, succeeding in getting Jazz out of the game (the shark fouled out with five minutes left on the clock). Slade banked in yet another three-pointer and MacQuilkin scored a mid-range jumper from the right wing, letting GB pull ahead for the first time since early in the third. Minutes later, it was time for reserve Rikki Singh to earn the spotlight – the young mongoose putting up two crucial shots as he took over for Slade at SG, bringing Britain’s lead to eight points 83-75 with 1:33 left to play.

Australia had one last chance to get back in the game when Benjamin Durby fouled Aisha Melbourne on a 3-point shot, which Turner immediately contested earning himself a technical foul of his own – the fallow deer almost having to restrain the young fox from lashing at the referee even more. Melbourne scored all three free throws and Perkins added a fourth one for the technical, allowing Australia to halve their deficit to just four points and briefly re-opening the contest. However, the Aussies soon entered into foul penalty – and as they’d predicted earlier, the Britons were able to exploit the situation by scoring all but one of the eight free throws they earned in the last minute, never giving Australia a chance to come back. Turner scored the final two points with just thirteen seconds on the clock, sealing the deal on GB’s win and qualification to the grand final against the United States – a perfect rematch of the 2015 World Jam title match and IFBA World Championship semifinal the Brits both happened to win.

Just as Canada had done three hours earlier against the US, Australia bowed out of the tournament with a courageous performance against a stronger opponent – their breakout star Wayne Kirkpatrick’s 24 points not being enough to put an end to Great Britain’s winning streak. On GB’s side, Ambrose Slade had a strong game with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals, and even D’Angelo MacQuilkin seemed to have finally found his stride as the big cat had his best game yet with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists of his own. As expected, Jake Turner mimicked Scoonie Barrett’s string of PotG awards in both quarter-finals and semifinals, leading GB with 24 points and 6 rebounds in what was another domineering performance for one of the Games’ brightest stars.

When asked by FSPN’s interviewer about whether he wanted to say something to Barrett in anticipation of Sunday’s final, the red fox had only two words for the American lutrine still standing in the way between himself and an Olympic gold medal.

“Bring it.”

AUS – 21 27 17 18 – 83
Points: Wayne Kirkpatrick 24, Rebounds: Barnaby Jazz 8, Assists: Alan Murphy 7
GBR – 32 17 14 27 – 90
Points: Jake Turner 26, Rebounds: D’Angelo MacQuilkin 7, Assists: Ambrose Slade 6


Referees: Dave Möthrath (GER), Angelica Pacciardi (ITA), Sara Vidmar (SLO)
Player of the Game: Jake Turner (GBR)

Image

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY SIXTEEN (BRONZE MEDAL MATCH)

Postby qovapryi » August 21st, 2016, 10:07 pm

Third place finals are often a somber affair, mostly overshadowed by the main event to come. Yet at the Olympics, nobody is going to pass on a chance to get a bronze medal – Australia and Canada made no exception, the two teams stepping on the court willing to do everything to bring the (albeit smaller) prize home.

Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, the game happened to be a bit of an anticlimax within the anticlimax. Australia stormed off to a 12-2 run early in the first quarter, the Canadians looking tired after their defeat against USA and generally a shadow of their former self. The only exception was François Martineau – the young golden retriever did everything he could to keep the gap from opening and become insurmountable, nailing a couple three-pointers but conceding a few turnovers in his ardor to pull an early comeback. After mostly deferring to Wayne Kirkpatrick throughout the tournament, center Barnaby Jazz finally took the spotlight – the shark from Tasmania showing all the tricks in his repertoire as he killed it both under his rim and Canada’s. The second half was the perfect stage for Jazz – Canada kept missing shot after shot, both because of bad luck and desperation, while the shark was relentless in the low post, even hitting a huge slam dunk on a 2-on-1 break after a steal on Nereus. At the end of the first half, the game was all but over – Australia leading Canada 56-32, the biggest lead of the tournament at that point.

Canada never tried to stifle a serious reaction until late in the fourth quarter, all of their players mostly resigned to losing on a medal after having been dominated by the Aussies in the first half. They were at least able to finish strong, honoring their Olympic run until the very last second – an attitude that the Canadian team never lacked during the tournament, every single player on the roster battling it out for the group and living up to the expectations. It was a bit sad that this game wasn’t just meant to be for them, but even the Canadian fans in the stands got to their feet when Coach Joncas, seeing the game was definitely over for his team, decided to homage his veterans Rocky Caracal, Bobby Baylor and Gerry Cross with some minutes on the court in what was probably their last Olympic appearance. The polar bear left his mark with a skilled free throw line jumper and a thunderous dunk off a loose pass from Silvia Windcreek, Spirits’ lapine guard having her glory moment a few seconds later as she sunk one of her patented 3-point shots. Despite relenting a bit in the last quarter, Australia won bronze medal after defeating Canada 88-67.

The Aussie players were quick to congratulate each other and their coach Alan Foster, the dingo leading Australia to a rather surprising podium finish after what was perceived by insiders as a rocky start (their early defeat against France in the group stage). Barnaby Jazz was elected PotG of this match, earning his bronze by posting 23 points and 9 rebounds. Stingray guard Bobby-Rae Brine was right behind him with 17 points, while Wayne Kirkpatrick faltered a bit in the decisive game with just 14 points and 3 rebounds. Over at Canada, Ahti Nereus led the team with 14 points, while Martineau ended with 13 and Windcreek had 11.

AUS – 21 35 17 15 – 88
Points: Barnaby Jazz 23, Rebounds: Jazz/Brine 9, Assists: Murphy/Ashbury 3

CAN – 13 19 13 22 – 67
Points: Ahti Nereus 14, Rebounds: Ahti Nereus 7, Assists: François Martineau 4

Referees: Juan Alberto Araque (ESP), Satria Jusoh (SIN), Mizue Yamakawa (JPN)
Player of the Game: Barnaby Jazz (AUS)

Image

qovapryi
Forum Rookie
Posts: 57
Joined: May 19th, 2014, 6:04 am
Location: Vicenza, Italy

DAY SIXTEEN (GOLD MEDAL MATCH)

Postby qovapryi » August 22nd, 2016, 2:20 am

United States versus Great Britain. To a degree, that’s the match-up everybody was waiting for.

There were so many interpretations anybody could give to this battle. The revenge factor: having Team US lost in their two last games against the Brits, the American team was ready to give it all to affirm their hold onto furry basketball supremacy, while Team GB had no intention to let it go. The battle of the rising guns: after having led their respective teams through the knockout phase with two PotG each, 24-year-old otter Scoonie Barrett and 20-year-old red fox Jake Turner were finally going to face each other in what was one of the most hyped match-ups of the night. The FBA bonds across the board: with Hawaii’s Barrett and Tate on one side and Alfie Norwich on the other, as well as Turner going up against his Summit frontcourt partner Daniel Quvianuq, the closest of friends would have to turn against each other for the entire duration of the game, an Olympic gold medal being on the line as they’d battle it out against their own trusted teammates.

The Onça Arena was buzzing with excitement as tipoff grew nearer, every seat packed with rowdy furs wearing their favorite team’s colors. In the courtside seats, many known faces were there to support their FBA teammates and friends: Alphas’ rising star Apiatan Redmane (Water Buffalo, G); Morgan McCarthy (Bighorn Sheep, C) with his boyfriend, Irish archer and Olympic gold medalist Iomher Quirk (Irish Drum Horse); FBA superstar Buck Hopper (Rabbit, G) there to support his girlfriend Val in her Olympic quest; Phil Gale (Skunk, G) along with teammate Klaus Korber (Doberman, G), the canine still in Rio after Germany’s premature elimination; American-Brazilian sports legend Paul Teronura (Otter, C, retired), who the International Furry Olympic had bestowed the honor to officiate the award ceremony; Julian Cross-Kiraly (Saluki, G), cheering for his Kahuna team-mates in a snazzy suit and his regular piercings; 2016 draft hopefuls Akiak Pratt (Husky, G) and Lee Baraquin (Raccoon, C/F), having flown in at the last moment together with a number of Dan Q’s college teammates to provide the polar bear with some much needed support; Micah Davenport (Border Collie, F/G), together with his father Scott and Victor Vos (Red Fox, G), throwing in some support for Newark’s Adam Tevela; and many more.

Team GB was the first to step on the court, starting their warm-up routine still in their training suits, the cameras quickly panning on Jake Turner as the red fox indulged in some lay-ups and inside jumpers – his vulpine face a mask of concentration. Veterans Ambrose Slade and John Stoat exchanged some last pointers while Alphonse Norwich performed a few pull-ups on the rim, his mohawk gelled up and painted in the Union Jack’s blue, white and red. The Americans walked in right after, making a big show out of their pre-game rituals to dissimulate the tension that clearly lingered in the air – team captain Xavier Knutten ate his familiar black walnut, put his headband on and slicked back his freshly cut hair with a flick of his paw, while Scoonie Barrett turned to the crowd and loudly thumped the ground with his tattooed rudder, the audience matching his rhythm by clapping their paws. Rodger Umaechi drew the biggest cheer, though, as he slipped on a special shooting sleeve adorned with the colors of the American flag.

Then, both teams joined the referee and the two umpires in the middle of the court as their national anthems were played. Both God Save The Queen and The Star-Spangled Banner were met by a salve of applauses, ending in a huge cheer as the players got ready for the tipoff. As Quvianuq snatched the ball from Benjamin Durby’s paws, the Furry Olympic basketball final had truly begun.

USA took just five seconds to draw first blood, Dan Q assisting Barrett for the lutrine’s first basket of the night. The Britons answered right after, with Benjamin Durby missing a jumper, grabbing the offensive rebound and then going to dunk over the polar bear’s head. The game seemed to be shaping up to be an exciting one – and that was confirmed by the stellar level of play both teams put in right off the bat. Despite his relative inexperience when it came to big matches, Turner showed no hesitations as he went on to truly dominate the post – either by scoring or assisting his free teammates, such as it happened when he generously dealt a pass to D’Angelo MacQuilkin for the British lion to score a huge 3-pointer. US tried to react, but suffered a few avoidable turnovers – both Umaechi and Barrett were called for traveling – and seemed to get panicky at times, not taking the time to find better shot opportunities because of their eagerness to cut the deficit. The gap between the two teams surpassed the fifteen point mark as Slade nailed another 3-point shot out of an assist from Emil O’Rourke, the lynx taunting the opposing bench by pointing his finger to the basket as he ran back. That seemed to spark a reaction from the American players, as Rodger Umaechi outmatched the Scottish gecko by scoring six straight points off a few easy lay-ups. Britain also took little time to go into foul penalty zone – Norwich having racked three fouls alone in the first six minutes of play – which allowed the US to slowly work their way back as both Scoonie, Val and Kresta Renstill were flawless in their attemps. At the end of the first quarter, GB’s lead had reduced to just nine points, 36 to 27.

Coach O’Malley encouraged his players to turn the heat on in the second quarter, knowing he had to make up some ground by exploiting his reserves’ superiority on the British ones before Turner could come back in and steal the show. It worked to a degree – Kresta Renstill matched GB’s sharpshooting feats with a deep three of her own from the right wing, while Dylan Redfield threw down a one-paw dunk mere seconds after having stepped on the court. Backup center Zack Tate was having an especially good night, the huge zorilla easily finding the basket with lay-ups and shoots off the glass while at the same time considerably limiting Durby’s impact on the game – which he demonstrated as he denied a shot from the fallow deer with one of his trademark blocks. With Quvianuq already being in foul trouble and Tate being on his way to one of the best games of his career, Coach O’Malley took a gamble and let the zorilla on court to pair up with Barrett after the otter had gotten a breather – trusting the Kahunas’ well-proven frontcourt to make up for Turner and Durby’s tremendous offensive strength with their mutual understanding and synergy. The crowd was pleased as well: Tate was a huge fan favorite throughout the tournament, the zorilla having played an exhibition tournament in Rio a couple years ago. The gamble paid off as the Americans were able to limit the red fox’ overflowing drive, ending the quarter on a high note and going back into the tunnel down by just three points, Great Britain still leading 57 to 54.

The second half opened with another three-pointer from MacQuilkin, but the momentum seemed to quickly slip from British paws as GB went on a 2-8 run – allowing the US to tie the game at 64 apiece as Umaechi drove to the hoop with astounding force and put the ball into the net over Norwich’s helpless paws. Dasher went white-hot in the third quarter: luck assisted the husky when his 3-point shoot bounced on the rim before finding the silk, but then he went to show why he still shall be considered the best basketball player in the world, first throwing down a massive block on the far taller Durby, then going up for a huge reverse slam dunk among the cheers of the home crowd. The game was balanced throughout the third quarter, neither team being able to gain an advantage of more than a couple points until Umaechi tipped the scale in Team US’ favor with yet another three, which was shortly matched by another from Captain Knutten. After sitting back and letting the US Big Three shine in the early phases of the tournament, the squirrel guard finally found his stride when it mattered the most, hitting most of his shots and being the dominant force that had torn the league apart in the second half of the 2000’s.

At the end of the third quarter, US was up by seven, and seemed to have the upper hand going into the final stretch. However, just as Team GB looked ready to collapse, Turner flat out refused to quit holding the fort – as everyone pretty much expected. The vulpine went into the last quarter ready to take the entire team onto his shoulders as he procured himself increasingly difficult shots, alternatively sinking and missing them but managing to get fouled by his opponents and bank all his free throws under a pressure that would have crushed anyone else. The Americans didn’t relent once: Knutten scored another three and Tate brought the deficit back to double digits with a clever shot from just outside the paint. Seconds later, O’Rourke missed his attempt, Redfield got the rebound and launched Tate for an exact replica of his previous shot, which the zorilla scored in mock disbelief after having being left free to shoot in the same exact way. With 3:21 on the clock and USA ahead 106-92, Benjamin Durby failed a crucial free throw which was rebounded by a stellar Umaechi, the husky finding Scoonie Barrett on the other side of the court with a majestic pass for a two-pawed dunk that brought all the crowd on their feet and the entire bench jumping up with joy.

Coach Newell called a timeout for GB, having realized they were going towards what could become a huge loss. When they got back on the court, Norwich was back on the court (the rat having just replaced O’Rourke who had fouled out) and looked ready to kill, while Turner’s body was shaking in anticipation as he longed to get the ball in his paws and throw it down the net with all his might. The vulpine managed to get a shot mere seconds after the game restarted, but failed the next one offering GB’s side to another US possession, which ended with other two free throws from Barrett and the American lead still at sixteen points. The Brits turned to their sharpshooters, but a series of longballs couldn’t find the net while Kresta Renstill was able to do the same for the United States. Seconds later, Adam Tevela put the end word on a hardly-fought game as he shot off the glass the last two points just as the buzzer scored – the entire American bench storming the court in celebration as the United States won the Olympic basketball tournament, defeating Great Britain on a final score of 117-95.

There was reason for commotion as the American players hugged each other and danced in the middle of the court, howling their excitement high into the stands as Tate and Barrett lifted Coach O’Malley on their shoulders (much to the grizzly bear’s disapproval) for a victory lap around the stadium. The cameras caught Umaechi pumping his fist in the air towards the audience as the streamers fell from the ceiling, his American-tinted sleeve matching the many American flags in the crowd. The players then streamed back into the tunnel, heartily patting each other’s back for a job well done as the Brits stayed on the court, dejected, for many minutes after the game was over.
When it was all said done a big stage was wheeled onto the court, both the American and British players returning onto the field to accept their medals along with the Australian team, who had defeated Canada early on in the night to get the bronze medal. After every player got his medal from Teronura and IFOC representative, New Zealander kiwi Sirius Orchiston, Rodger Umaechi was named PotG of the final, the husky having posted 27 points (4/4 from outside) and 7 rebound to lead the United States to the gold. Jake Turner, who had led Great Britain with an outstanding double-double of 36 points and 11 rebounds, narrowly missing the 40-point mark for the third time in these Games, was awarded an even bigger honor – the vulpine was unanimously elected Best Player of the Tournament by a commission of nine members of the IFBA and IFOC.

As the familiar notes of The Star-Spangled Banner filled the entirety of the arena once again and the American flag was hoisted along with the British and Australian over the podium, tears could be seen freely flowing down the faces of the members of Team USA, no matter how toughly they’d acted on the court just a hour before. With many of the players still fairly unaccomplished when it came to FBA accolades, the gold medal around their necks felt like the best thing in the world as they filed down, head held up high, already getting ready to head over the stadium for the much-awaited closing ceremony.

To everyone in the building, that was one nice, last reminder of the Olympics’ magic.

GBR – 36 21 23 15 – 95
Points: Jake Turner 36, Rebounds: Jake Turner 11, Assists: D’Angelo MacQuilkin 5
USA – 27 27 33 30 – 117
Points: Rodger Umaechi 27, Rebounds: four players 7, Assists: Valencia Zeraus 6


Referees: Furkan Ulusoy (TUR), Piotr Drozdowicz (SWE), Abid Aissaoui (TUN)
Player of the Game: Rodger Umaechi (USA)

Image


Return to “Scheduled Events”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest