Tuesday , Jul , 18 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

EBC Day Sixteen: Crusaders vs. Terror Squad

Even with the summer sun now hidden behind a sheet of cloud, it’s hot enough in the park that I could fry an egg on my forehead. The hellish temperatures have apparently scared the Terror Squad off tonight, and at 7:05 it’s announced that the officials have started the five-minute forfeit clock. Not looking to lose before they’ve started, they take the court with four minutes left before they’re handed an automatic L.

When the game finally does tip off, the extreme weather seems to be having a greater effect on TS than Crusaders, who grab the game by the horns and put the early championship favourites behind with a quartet of long jumpers. Sprightly point guard “PlayStation” converts an acrobatic and-one to maintain the lead, but Terror Squad’s Kareem Reid answers right back with a coast-to-coast layup and a pull-up jumper around consecutive buckets by teammate “Sweets” to pull ahead.

EBC Day Sixteen: Crusaders vs. Terror Squad

As so often in the EBC, it’s the little man match-ups that largely determine the score, and with Crusaders’ guards continuing to find the net on their jumpers, they manage to grab a four-point advantage with five minutes left in the half. The well runs dry for them shortly thereafter, though, and a string of transition baskets by Terror Squad gives them a 38-32 lead going into the half.
The early part of the second period sees a continuation of this theme, and the TS lead soon swells to ten. A timeout by Crusaders gives them a chance to catch their breath, however, and they punish the Squad’s overconfidence with a dunk and three layups in quick succession to make it a two-point game with a quarter of an hour to go. Easy buckets at both ends keep the difference roughly constant between the fifteen- and the ten-minute marks, until an intended lob pass by Kareem Reid accidentally swishes through for three points. When he knocks down another triple on his next touch – this time on purpose – the run is on, and five more from the pint-sized point give his team a comfortable lead once again.

While the game is essentially over with five minutes to go, a Mohawk-sporting guard Boobie Smooth is calling “Puffy” is inserted for Terror Squad due to crowd pressure, and it’s generally expected that PlayStation is going to break him in half with the first cross he pulls out of his extensive repertoire. Surprisingly, Diddy is embarrassed only once in a series of head-to-heads in which he beats his opposite number on three occasions, much to the delight of the fans. The game ends moments following the last of these – a quick cross and reverse layup – with Terror Squad taking the game 81-71.