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Tri-State InvAsian 61, New York Fury 59


THRILLAS FROM MANILA SEND INVASIAN TO FOURTH WIN

Brothers Ian and Chris Hit Money Jumpers in Final Minute to Wrest Victory from Fired Up Fury

March 12, 2008 - New York, NY (DL) - This is what the Tri-State coaching staff has been waiting for all season. With the college season over and done with, Ian Clemente returned to action in the Dream League after leading his collegiate team to a semifinal conference tourney finish. Before suiting up in the Tri-State red-and-black, however, Ian would first don the red-and-black uniform of his original TLC team and together with TSIV teammates Jiang Yu and Jon Llave they would capture the title in the Hoopsville USA League in stirring fashion the week earlier.


As any good beat reporter would, I was on hand at that game (quietly, incognito in the stands) to scout out what a grueling season of D3 college play had done to Ian’s game. It was evident that playing point in college had honed his ball-handling and passing skills. On one jaw-dropping play, he would come flying in from behind the three point line to grab a teammate’s missed free throw…doubleteamed against the baseline, he would go behind the back to split the doubleteam, then go behind the back once again to completely juke out a third defender before spinning 360 and going reverse to beat the final two defenders for the bucket. The gym simply exploded, and this reporter got a quick display of where Ian gets his hops; sitting in the bleachers next to Papa Clemente and looking over to see the bottoms of his dress shoes as he jumped up in unmitigated joy at the sheer excitement generated by his son’s play.

Older brother Chris, who along with Da Bien’s Shawn De Los Reyes has been playing at a level that can only be described as stratospheric (at the conclusion of this game, Chris would appear on the leader board of every single positive statistical category and none of the negative ones, an incredible mid-season feat), would be the recipient of many of Ian’s passes for wide-open jumpers, as the two played with a familiarity that can only be forged from playing together from the time they were in diapers. While Ian would experience an off day shooting (5/16, and occasional frustration betraying his newfound familiarity to the more stringent interpretation of the foul rules by college refs), brother Chris would continue his absolute torrid play with a sublime 10/14 performance, hitting pull-up jumpers from all spots on the court with equal aplomb, and powering his way in against Fury defenders for layups in transition. The Tri-State triangle would be anchored by center Justice Jiang Yu, contributing 11 points and 13 rebounds as the InvAsian’s lone big man on this night (with Akshat Tewary/Leo Yanagocio stuck at work and Migs Noble away for personal reasons).

For their part in all of this, the NY Fury were missing their top scorer and rebounder Christian Stevens along with captain Ren Hsieh, yet played the entire game with passion and relentlessness that was somehow reminiscent of the Spartans…no coincidence, as they were led by ex-Spartan guard James Choi, who seemingly had an answer for everything that Tri-State could throw at his team. Choi scored 12 huge points, snatched up 6 rebounds while dishing out 5 dimes and snaring 3 steals...truly a difference-maker in this game. He was joined by three other Furies in double-digits: veteran Jeff Moy with 11, irrepressible Bang Takenouchi with 10, and big Andrew DeLeon with 10.

Late in the fourth and the game tied, Chris Youn would slide his way into the interior of the TSIV defense and corral a huge offensive rebound and putback that put the Fury up by two, with under a minute to go in the game. Tri-State would answer with a clutch, high-arcing corner three from Ian Clemente, TSIV up by one. Choi would take it strong to the hole and draw the foul, but only be able to split his free throws to tie the game with 20 seconds left, setting the stage for the final act. Chris Clemente wasted no time, catching the ball up top, taking one dribble and pulling up for a contested 19-footer…nothing but net and the TSIV bench going wild…with 8 seconds left, the Fury got a couple of looks – a tough midrange jumper from De Leon and a desperate follow up attempt by Redhead before Ian Clemente was able to tip the ball away and the clock ran out.

Although neither team was at full strength, it was still a measure of revenge for TSIV as they defeated the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season. Tri-State next faces the reigning champion Cruisers, while the Fury are scheduled to meet the unpredictable M&A 101.
Score by Quarters
TeamQ1Q2Q3Q4OTTotal
New York Fury 14 14 15 16 - 59
Tri-State InvAsian 17 13 19 12 - 61
Boxscore
New York Fury - 59
PlayerFG3PTFTREBASTSTLBLKTO F PTS
Chang, Rich0 / 1 [0.000]0 / 0 [0.000]2 / 2 [1.000]0010112
Choi, James5 / 9 [0.556]0 / 0 [0.000]2 / 4 [0.500]65303012
De Leon, Andrew3 / 10 [0.300]0 / 1 [0.000]4 / 6 [0.667]50110310
Hsieh, RenDNP
Kwok, JasonDNP
Moy, Jeff4 / 11 [0.364]1 / 4 [0.250]2 / 2 [1.000]42001511
Parekh, RamDNP
Redhead, Roger 3 / 12 [0.250]2 / 10 [0.200]0 / 0 [0.000]0130108
Stevens, ChristianDNP
Takenouchi, Banglee4 / 7 [0.571]2 / 4 [0.500]0 / 0 [0.000]61000110
Wang, AlvinDNP
Youn, Chris2 / 7 [0.286]1 / 4 [0.250]1 / 3 [0.333]9110126
 21 / 57 [0.368]6 / 23 [0.261]11 / 17 [0.647]30109171259

Tri-State InvAsian - 61
PlayerFG3PTFTREBASTSTLBLKTO F PTS
Aguillo, Eljay3 / 8 [0.375]2 / 5 [0.400]0 / 0 [0.000]2100128
Clemente, Chris10 / 14 [0.714]3 / 5 [0.600]3 / 6 [0.500]32114226
Clemente, CurtisDNP
Clemente, Ian5 / 16 [0.313]4 / 11 [0.364]0 / 0 [0.000]77101014
Liu, Andre0 / 0 [0.000]0 / 0 [0.000]0 / 0 [0.000]2100120
Llave, Jon1 / 4 [0.250]0 / 1 [0.000]0 / 1 [0.000]0320452
Noble, MiguelDNP
Salazar, Mario0 / 1 [0.000]0 / 1 [0.000]0 / 0 [0.000]1010000
Tewary, AkshatDNP
Wong, DavidDNP
Yanagocio, LeoDNP
Yu, Jiang5 / 10 [0.500]1 / 1 [1.000]0 / 4 [0.000]130104411
 24 / 53 [0.453]10 / 24 [0.417]3 / 11 [0.273]281461151561

Referees
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Rock Bunce:  Rate Me



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