2015 FBA Season/15.05.07/ALK@SEA/Capsule
Daniel Quvianuq steals one for Seattle with last-second overtime game-winner.
Seattle Washington - While Seattle stood tall as a three seed, many experts have been predicting the Arctics could give the young club team a hard time, and with nights like tonight, it's easy to see why.
Not only did the game go into an extra period, but it also took a last-second buzzer-beater for the Summit to take game 1.
With 35 seconds remaining in overtime, Cliff Matthiews (Canadian Lynx, G, ALK) inbounded a hard pass to Ambrose Slade (Eurasian Lynx, G, ALK). Down 1 to the Summit 103-102, Slade wasted little time in driving to the rim, trying to leave Seattle with less than 24 seconds left on the clock in case they missed. The quick move drew the attention of both of the 'Twin-towers', Daniel Quvianuq (Polar Bear, C, SEA) and Jake Turner (Red Fox, C/F, SEA). Slade then kicked a no-look pass to a mid-range Bobby Baylor (Polar Bear, F/C, ALK) who sank in an easy 2 to put Alaska up 1 with 26 seconds remaining.
After a timeout to regroup, Seattle inbounded to Jeri Naranjo (Cacomistle, G, SEA) - the team's best free throw shooter who had gone 3/3 for the night- as if daring Alaska to foul. Jeri carefully counted the seconds down, knowing that if the team couldn't have the final shot, they'd at least give Alaska as little time as possible. With 10 seconds remaining, Jeri passed over to their rookie phenom Turner, who leaned back into defending Power Forward Bobby Baylor. Jake shifted his weight, and tried a drop-step (A post up move where the ball handler picks up his dribble and at the same time extends a leg back on one side of his defender and then turns toward the basket, using that leg as leverage to get between his defender and the basket -Ed.) Bobby, a 11 year veteran who's been in the league since Jake was in elementary school, saw right through it and pushed back against the lighter fox. With time running out, Jake awkwardly took a step back and aimed for a fadeaway jumper, but changed his mind mid-shot making a risky mid-air pass to Quvianuq. The giant eight-foot polar bear caught the pass at it's apex and tapped it in over the outstretched lanky arms of Zack Tate (Zorilla, C, ALK). The ball rolled around the rim, eating away at the game’s final seconds, then fell in as time expired, giving Seattle a walk-off winner and taking game 1 of the series.
Turner earned the Player of the Game award, putting up 23 points along with 12 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 assists, but drew ire from many analysts on his reluctance to take the final shot despite getting a game-winning dime.
“It’s nothing like that - Dan’s a beast and we’ve rehearsed that Alley-oop all year. Never thought we’d get to use it like that.”
Dan responded more coy than anything else. “I grew up watching Alaska as a cub, never thought I’d get a game winner over them. Especially not like that. Sorry Mom!”
Meanwhile on the Alaska side......
After the amazing play from the rookie star and powerful center, the Alaska squad actually wasn’t very disappointed in tonight’s loss. Even after losing the first game, they believe that they have proved themselves that they are able to do some damage and perhaps win this series as a whole. With the amazing performance from the 2nd year player Zack Tate (23 pts, 8 reb, 5 blk) and the three-guard experiment -- Alessandro Serra (Weasel, G) with 12 pts, Cliff Matthiews with 17 pts, and Ambrose Slade with 15 pts -- still holding strong, this Arctics team is very able to shock quite a few people.
“I feel like we did good today.”, Slade said with confidence in his British accent. “Seattle is one hell of a team, but I think we definitely held our own. We just need a couple of tweaks here and there. Just know that we’ll be busting our tails to take the next game, I guarantee you that.”
There’s no doubt that the Alaska Arctics have the ability to steal game 2, as there really isn’t a whole lot to be fixing at all for this team. This could be one of those series that might take 7 games to decide who goes on. Expect another very exciting performance from both sides in a game that can go straight down to the wire like before.