Boasters League semi finals~~
It was a rather curious night of Boasters League matches. I say that because when these teams played each other in the regular season, the results were noticeably one-sided. I did not expect such a repeated crooked score line on Wednesday, but it was intriguing to see the higher seeded teams – and the favorites – struggle to keep themselves alive. Of course, when the teams are going head-to-head every point is vital, and subs and bonus points can make a significant difference. Let’s see who survived the carnage…
Butter Nutz v Winky-Dinks
Their round 7 meeting ended in a 15 point drubbing where the Butter Nutz won most of the matches and also scored more bonus points. So, predictably, the belief would be this time around the Butter Nutz would have the upper hand as well. Unfortunately, I am sorry to say for the Butter Nutz, that whenever I make any type of prognostication, there is very high chance I have totally butchered their chances of success. If I prophesized the sun would come up tomorrow, we would live the day in total darkness.
This time around, the Winky-Dinks won the bonus point battle and collected 2 more than the Butter Nutz. All 17 matches were played (yay!) and although the Winky-Dinks did perform better than what they did earlier in the season, they still lost more matches than they won. The difference though was that back in round 4, they had six losses with a 3-0 score line, whereas this time, they had only two. The Butter Nutz, on the other hand only suffered three 3-0 losses the first time around, but had six of them on Wednesday.
Six of the Winky-Dinks players improved on their previous scores, the biggest turnaround being John Mann who turned a 0-3 loss into a 2-1 victory. I did get to watch a couple of games and although these results did end up 3-0, the spirited contests were fun to witness. Vikram Chopra is favorite to win just about every time he steps on court at the DAC, and it was no different against Sante Fratarcangeli. Sante did manage to take a game off Vikram earlier in the season, but Vikram was determined not to let that happen again. Sante busted his backside through the match – a great effort – and scored many points with his gritty retrieval. In the end, exhaustion caught up with the Butter Nutz captain and Vikram succeeded in his mission, but he certainly had to sweat for it! Another special mention to Bob Rogers and Tom Fabbri. Bob also took this match 3-0 but many times though the match that result was in doubt. Tom is more successful when his length is controlled and consistent, and had Bob bouncing around the back corners when he achieved it, but it wasn’t consistent enough. Three close scores, all in Bob’s favor.
Winky-Dinks stepped it up at the right time. Picking up those extra games is really a 2 point turnaround when going head-to-head. In an upset, they knocked off the Butter Nutz and advance to the final next week with a 44-35 win.
Wardogs v Fire Birds
The Wardogs won this previous meeting by 11 points. Back then, they won 11 of the 16 matches played and had the upper hand in bonus points. They still scored more bonus point this time, but by a lesser margin, and with 5 subs needed between the two teams, the match-ups were somewhat different.
Of the matches that were the same… Colin Bayer (Fire Birds) reversed his 1-2 loss to Jay Bonahoom in round 4 to take the 2-1 win this time, and in probably the biggest about-face so far for the finals, Anthony Kalorgeridis (Fire Birds) pilfered all 3 games against Curt Pedersen, a complete opposite from their round 4 result. Nick Petcoff for the Fire Birds also changed his fortune swapping his previous 2-1 loss into a 2-1 win over Andy Combs.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Wardogs, though, as Shaun Dillon was desperate not to fall victim once again to Ashley Thibodeau like he did in their last meeting 3-0. It was an entertaining match, plenty of scrambling rallies, momentum runs. Shaun looked as if he was ready to collapse – or quickly chug a couple of beers – as they walked off the court after the third game and by the looks of Ashley who appeared she was just warming up and ready to run a marathon, one would have thought Ashley had got him again. But, it wasn’t the case – Shaun picked up the win 2-1.
Pat Hughes (Wardogs) also managed to defy the eye as he tackled the (lot!) younger Blake Roller. You could hear Pat’s huffing and puffing from my office with the door closed and music pumping just after the first game, the hands on his knees, internal organ meltdown cries of pain… However, maybe it was a charade, because it didn’t stop Pat from taking all 3 games and leave Blake wondering how it all just happened. It also didn’t stop Pat from guzzling the beer afterwards. It the best cure for organ failure.
This one was a lot closer. With 3 matches to play, only 3 points separated the teams. Fire Birds held the slim advantage, but the Wardogs had more bonus points – the tie breaker in case the scores were even. And slowly, the Wardogs edged closer. After two of the three scores came in, the Wardogs were now only 1 point behind and they had their biggest ace to play – Jed. All he needed to do was beat Robin Basil, a 2-1 would be sufficient. Could Robin defy the odds? In short - No. He couldn’t. Although, he did almost take the first game getting to 13, as he had Jed moving around the court well. And maybe if he did take the first, it may have affected the rest of the match. But Jed held strong and finished the match 3-0, pushing the Wardogs over the finish line and avoiding the upset with a 39-37 victory.
Which brings us to the final: Wardogs v Winky-Dinks. Should I dare predict a winner…? Sure: Wardogs... “jinx!” These 2 teams played each other in round 8 and – believe it or not – it was a tie. Each team had the same amount of bonus points, but 5 matches weren’t completed. It should be close.