A trip to the winning drive: Toyota Bacoor out to challenge Toyota Quezon Avenue for the TFS Basketball crown

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By John Mark Herrera - Published December 6, 2019
 

Two teams riding a nine-game winning streak in the 2019 season of the Toyota Financial Services Basketball League---will tussle for the title as Toyota Quezon Avenue (TQA) looks to defend their crown against a fromidable challenger in Toyota Bacoor (TBR), in a a battle of two unscathed squads.

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The memories of a forgettable 2017 season served as fuel for Toyota Bacoor's emergence as a title contender this year. A painful exit in the round of six created a mission for the Cavite-based ballers to come back stronger, better, and more relentless in their bid to redeem themselves and cap it off with a title.

After running over all six of their opponents in the South bracket, TBR continued wreaking havoc in the playoffs with wire-to-wire victories over TMP GT in the round-of-16, a 73 - 59 rout of TBP in the quarterfinals, and a 101 - 55 masterful performance against TDM in the semis to finally book a ticket to the championship round of the tournament.



Roaring stats:

TBR not only notched the status as the top-ranked squad among the 16 teams who made to the playoffs, but they also dominated statistical categories such as field goal shooting (48.9%), 33.9% from down town, and 64.0% from the charity stripe en route to an average scoring output of 104.4 points per contest.

The well-oiled offense is orchestrated by a passing clinic (23.8 apg) displayed by the team in every game they played this season. Controlling the game was made possible not only with their out of this world capability to dominate the offensive end, but more importantly with their 61.2 rebounds per contest that the team hauls down.

Players to look out for:

A league-newbie served as a consistent supply of leadership, formidable numbers, and winning ways. Mj Rosales' high level of play catapulted him to the top of the MVP race and is assured to rack up multiple awards at the end of the season.

Mj Rosales - 22.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 2.7 steals per game

Kim Yoneyama - 19.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.0 steals per game

Kiel Abudawood - 9.0 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.2 steals, and blocks 1.2 per game

John Sales - 11.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.0 steals per game

Miko Del Rosario - 16.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists per game 


Owner of a clean slate so far this season, TQA concurrently owns the TFS Basketball League throne after reigning over the 2017 season behind the fine play of their core group, who played a giant role in bringing home the bacon for the Quezon City-based squad.

The reigning titlists finished the elimination round with a clean 6-0 ramp against the northern Toyota teams in their bracket. Their bid for back-to-back titles got tougher as they entered the playoff where they got a real test against TSR--pulling off a slim 78 - 74 victory. The team played without last year's finals MVP, Lesver Susi, but still came up victorious against the hosts TFS-A via 66 - 62 score in the quarterfinals. TMB became their latest victim, as they booked their finals ticket with a 95 - 87 win in their semis clash.

Championship level numbers:

Sustaining a formidable production from their core wasn't so much of a challenge for TQA this season. Ranked as the second seed in the team rankings, the defending champs averaged 87.5 points, 50.2 rebounds, 20.2 assists, 13.2 steals, and 4.2 blocks in six elimination games and maintained these numbers in the playoff round.


Players to look out for:

Consistency is the key, if a team wants to repeat as champions. Ironically, TQA's key yo their well-oiled engine has always been Lesver Susi, who continues to live up to his surname. In all but one game in their campaign, wherever he goes, the team follows.

Lesver Susi - 24.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals per game

Richard Amanse - 18.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.8 steals per game

John Gran - 10.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.2 steals per game

Andre Romero - 5.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists per game

Raymond Cruz - 5.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists per game

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This could go either way. It’s unpredictable given the leveled field. Can Susi lead TQA to a second straight title? or will MJ Rosales emerge as a legit premier player who will lift TBR to the throne? No one knows.

It may take us more than four quarters of basketball to find out. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to who wants it more come December 8, 2019 (Sunday) at 4:00pm at Kerry Sports Manila in BGC, Taguig.