2016 FBA Season/16.06.24/ALB@SEA/Capsule

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Game 3 of the FBA Finals and the Seattle Summit were at home, this virtually being a must-win game for them, and the Albany Alphas were looking to keep them on the run. The first quarter, though, was more of a chess match between the two teams, as the chances were spread around, the strategies a little more diverse than usual. Seattle didn't just get in the ball to Big Jake and Albany didn't just lean on their resident coffee addict. Several different players scored on each team and the best play was from the unlikeliest source for flair. Daniel Quvianuq (Polar Bear, C) got himself back last as usual as Niko McNamara (Meerkat, F/G) launched a shot to beat the play clock. It missed, but before the ball could bounce up high enough, Big DQ caught it and slammed it home, sending the home fans into a tizzy. He and Apiatan Redmane (Water Buffalo, G) led their teams with six points each at the end of one.

The Alphas decided to use the second quarter to up the pressure on the Summit and it was seemingly working. While Seattle was managing to keep the pressure on the visitors as well, the Alphas used the closing minutes to put on the real show, going on an 11-4 run to end the period. The pink-haired Redmane added a couple of critical buckets during that stretch and the underrated but vital Jeri Naranjo (Cacomistle, G) also had some buckets too as both players finished the half with 11 points each, while Timur Tomilin (Mammoth, C) led both teams with 6 rebounds. What was surprising is how Jake Turner (Red Fox, C/F) and Rodger Umaechi (Husky, F) were seemingly taking a back seat as they had been front and center for almost the entire series so far.

Well, that all changed after halftime break. The Summit managed to fight their way back into the game as DQ and seven-foot-everything Jake Turner made their presences felt with just monster blocks on consecutive possessions. Christine Harfurd (Puma, G) and Viran Kivar (Jaguar, F) weren't about to forget those for a while. The recently-named league MVP also stormed his way through the quarter with team-leading baskets. Not to be outdone, the Alphas' former league MVP pretty much did the same thing, repelling the counterattack by the home team and keeping them from taking the lead going into the fourth, with the visitors holding a three-point edge.

As the fourth quarter started, one could almost see the determination in both team's superstar's eyes as each one wanted to close this game out. And to the delight of the home team, it was Seattle that landed the first blows. Naranjo, who had been in control of Seattle's offense for almost the entire game continued to do it with her direction of the offense and clutch baskets in the final frame. Kivar helped step up the Alphas' scoring to supplement Umaechi, and Albany maintained their the lead up to the middle of the period. But it was the seven-foot-everything and coffee show once more as Turner and Umaechi going back and forth throughout the remainder of the game. With Seattle finally grabbing the lead, Turner made sure that they stayed there by simply out-heighting Tomilin late, who also played a great game himself. One could almost sense relief on Jake's face when the final buzzer sounded and the home team was victorious by six. Umaechi finished with 25 points and Turner 26 but the big star of the game arguably was Naranjo who finished with a double-double of 20 points and 10 assists.

-A. Stanton

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