By Rahsaan Thomas
The Asian/Pacific Islanders formed teams by housing units for a Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament where the prizes were promoting unity and a trophy called Becky with the Good Hair. North Block defeated H-Unit in the finals, 28-21.
“They played a good game; we played a good game. They came out on top,” said H-Unit’s Blu Vue. “This tournament means bragging rights and unity amongst ourselves.”
North Block’s leading scorer, Adnan Khan, jokingly disagreed. “It’s not about unity; it’s about winning and bragging, and most of all it’s about Becky. Tell me how West Block can go 0-4 and still be united. They are in the showers arguing right now.”
West Block’s Rafael Cuevas responded, “We take our losses like we take our wins.”
In a previous Labor Day tournament, North Block beat West Block and was the first to receive Becky, which has two tiers wrapped in glossy-gold paper and is topped with a ping-pong sized ball painted to resemble a miniature basketball.
“It has gold teeth,” joked North Block’s Juan Meza.
“We’re gonna come back and win Becky from them”
The trophy went back up for grabs in the Nov. 24 tournament with the agreement that a new tier would be added for each new winner.
Tournament organizer and North Block point guard Chau Vi said he and another player, Damon Cooke, came up with the name Becky for the trophy.
“Me and Damon were talking about it and went with Becky because it’s funny,” Vi said.
Six games scheduled for North Block, West Block and H-Unit had them play each other twice to decide who goes to the finals. West Block lost four games, eliminating a need for game six and sending North Block and H-Unit to the finals.
“Hopefully we learn something in this sweep right here,” said West Block’s Phirank Kim. “We needed Coach Nick Lopez back.”
In the final full-court game, the first team to score 28 won. North Block jumped out to an early 7-2 lead. H-Unit tied the score up at 7-7 on a three-pointer by Elijah Fejeran.
North Block’s center Upu Ama retook the lead with a power move in the paint. Ama started in the place of Cooke, who led North Block to victory in a previous tournament for Labor Day, scoring 10 points with six rebounds.
Khan heated up, scoring five straight points, making the score 15-7.
Wilson Nguyen gave H-Unit the lead with a three-pointer at 20-19. Nguyen led H-Unit with 10 points.
Khan answered with back-to-back buckets taking the lead right back, followed by teammate Vi with a highlight reel up and under layup, making the score 25-21.
H-Unit defended well for a few possessions, but failed to score again.
Khan nailed a three-pointer for the winning basket. He finished with 15 points.
The winning team members were: Khan, Jonathan Chiu, Eddie Dela Pena, Danny Thongsy, Moua Vue, Dahvee Sophal, Upu Ama, Juan Meza, Jerome Hermosura and Chau Vi.
“Every player gets to spend a night with Becky,” said Khan. “It rotates.”
“We’re gonna go back to the drawing board,” said H-Unit’s Patang. “Get more offensive. We’re gonna come back and win that (Becky) from them.”