CRUISERS CLAIM 4TH CHAMPIONSHIP
|UPDATE: ALL-LEAGUE LIST UNVEILED!|
Ever since they’ve been kids, and that’s going back about 15 years ago now, wherever Tony Hu has gone, there too was George Chan.
Tony and George. George and Tony. Inextricably linked. Not as sexy and Michael and Scottie, different from Stockton and Malone, perhaps a poor man’s version of Hakeem and Ralph.
Apropos that the Houston Rockets' twin towers are mentioned for it’s the Houston Rockets (circa mid 1990’s) the RL Cruisers were most like after laying claim to the chip again against the Fury, 53-46, for their fourth title in six seasons.
In a season when the defending champions were doubted, they Rudy T’d it up, won it and left the pundits never again to “underestimate the heart of a champion.”
And while for 15 years, Tony has primarily overshadowed George ever since they were grade schoolers taken in by Rob Lee when Lee founded a team called the New York Cruisers, after this season, never again will we say first Tony, then George.
George Chan was always an all-league player in his own right over the years, but if you thought of one guy who was the face of the Cruisers, that face belonged to Tony Hu. Hu could score from virtually anywhere, had the higher averages, and usually got the most accolades as a result in whatever tournaments and leagues the team ran in.
Here’s the thing however – while Tony Hu has years and years of great basketball left in him, he may be playing at his peak. He’s so good at getting to the line, so good at hitting free throws, so good with his head fakes and drives, so good at the free-throw line jumper and anywhere out to 15 feet for that matter, the only thing he could stand to work on is maybe his 3-pointer which he will shoot if you let him.
Tony & George or is that George & Tony?
George, on the other hand, may just be coming into his own.
Chan, who was born and bred to play the post, has slowly but surely developed his game in the last few seasons to extend out to 15, 16 feet. His turnaround jumper is now deadly, he is not afraid to spot up, even off the break, and, hey, he even hit a trey this season – his first since the inaugural DL season back in the Summer of ’04.
No, Geo is not suddenly an outside shooter – he makes his money in the post still – but the point here is that Chan has constantly been adding to his game. So much so that for the first time in 5 DL seasons together, Chan put up bigger numbers than Hu this season.
Prior to this season, 3 Cruiser seasons and one season when they ran together with the now defunct Renegades (the season after Lee passed away and RL understandably took it off), Hu’s numbers were 13.3 ppg/8.4 rpg, 12.5 pgg/9.4 rpg, 8.3 ppg/8.2 rpg (the Gade season when they weren’t the focus of the offense), and 17.4 ppg/8.3 rpg. Chan’s were: 13.0/8.7, 11.0/10.5, 8.1/8.5, and 13.1/7.4. Usually, the rebounding averages were higher, but always, Hu scored more.
Until this season.
This season, while Hu averaged 13.1 ppg and 7.8 rpg, Chan had career highs of 14.1 ppg and 9.5 rpg. It was a watershed season and it was not lost upon the Cruisers, Chan, or Hu who was the happiest for Chan after it was announced Geo had won MVP.
Chan, who has lost roughly 20 pounds or so in the last year (or so it seems), has gotten svelte, but his game has done the opposite – it’s swelled. And really, the sky’s the limit with him as he continues to develop on both ends of the floor.
While this all culminated with Chan winning the MVP this season – giving the Cruisers three MVPs on their roster now (Hu and CB Liu have also been MVPs), this isn’t to suggest that Chan is better than Hu, or that Hu is better than Chan.
As much as these two are on the same side and have a history that runs deeper than deep, they also constantly are pushing each other to be better. In practices, the two go at it like Russell and Chamberlain. One is the yin to the other’s yang. It’s almost as if one cannot be without the other.
While they are often thought of as a combo package, luckily for the Cruisers, they are two different players. They complement each other oh so well. Stan Yeung has two fail proof options to dish to down low. Dave Cheng and Quincy Tso know they can let fly with the 3-ball since either stand a great chance of grabbing an offensive board if it’s a miss. Howie Chu knows he has big shoes to fill when he comes in to sub for one or the other. CB, Garry Yeung, and Leon Chu…they’ve never had, nor will they ever find, better screeners to rub off of for open jumpers – not at Haverford, not in the United Kingdom, and not from any bigger brothers.
Tony and George. George and Tony. Inextricably linked. Not as sexy and Michael and Scottie, different from Stockton and Malone, perhaps just best left as Tony and George.
Or, in the case of this season, George and Tony.
RL CRUISERS - 4 X CHAMPS (Top L to R: W Cheung, H Chu, T Hu, G Chan, C Liu, Coach X; Bottom L to R: S Yeung, Q Tso, G Yeung, L Chu, D Cheng.)
DL Nation - A BIG thanks for all those who participated in our bone marrow drive last week at LFNY and last night at POLY! We had a great turnout and hope to continue to build off of that momentum in our race to help find a match for Michelle Maykin. A couple of other NYC local drives have been organized as well for this weekend, check out the deets on the pic below. (Btw, if you are reading this and you happen to have any other good ideas (your fraternity, an Asian-American organization you work with, a church) on how to set up some drives soon in the coming weeks, please contact Chuck Leung asap!)
This comes from a player in the DL:
We have a good friend from Cal, Michelle Maykin, who was diagnosed in February 2007 with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. After undergoing chemo and several months of being cancer-free, the cancer relapsed on May 7 and she needs a bone marrow transplant by June 21, 2008 to save her life. She just turned 26 years old and there's lots of info about her at Project Michelle.
Michelle is Chinese-Vietnamese and so her chances of finding a match will most likely be someone of any or both of these ethnic backgrounds. There are about 7 million Americans in the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry but only 7% are of any Asian ethnicity and only .01% are of Vietnamese ethnicity, so the numbers are not good. Because time is running out, we'll be organizing bone marrow registry drives within the next few weeks.
To register, all you have to do is have your cheek swabbed with a q-tip. It is 0% invasive and if there's a match, 70% of all bone marrow transplants can be done via blood transfusion, which is basically not very different than getting blood drawn.
Any Chinese, Vietnamese, or any Asian players reading this, please, please spread the word out on this and please try to get out yourself to one of these drives. Let's pay it forward as we play it forward.
The 3rd Annual Korean Basketball Tournament - 6.28.08
- 5 on 5 game held at Queens College
- Players MUST be of Korean descent
- $200 entry fee by 6/13, $250 if by 6/23
- Get team shirts with numbers
- CASH prize for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams!
- Check out Facebook profile: CK B-BALL
- Email email@example.com for more info!
Order your's now!
Remember! Jerry Ma at Epic Props has brewed up a hawt Yao Tribute T that we're exclusively bring to you! They haven’t even been produced yet, but Epic offers a first time to the public peek at what the shirt looks like. If you like what you see, PREORDER your American Apparel shirt now. $25 for this limited edition tee that is based on the Chinese God of War. Email firstname.lastname@example.org today to place your order (send size and quantity.) After we take all orders it will take approximately one month for the shirts to be manufactured and they will be available for pick-up at your next game, or by special arrangement with the league so as to save on any annoying shipping costs.