Any team that is playing in a game to determine which lowest ranked team gets to advance to the next round obviously didn’t have the ideal season. Yet there might not be any two teams that had more of a disappointing season than Uptempo and Terminator. No more so than for Uptempo, a team that just last year was in first place and on the road to another championship title. They now find themselves battling just to make it out of the first round. Terminator also had an underwhelming season. After getting out to an impressive 2-0 start they promptly went on an even more impressive 5 game losing streak. None of that matters now though as the Downtown Conference rivals are set to square off this week to see who plays Delta Force in week 2.
With arguably one of the best backcourts in the NRF you have to expect Terminator to come out firing. Triggerman Eric Raymundo has been putting up MVP like numbers all year which have helped to keep Terminator in the hunt in some of the close games they’ve played this year. When Raymundo isn’t hitting from deep Terminator has been getting points from Omar Grant who has been fearlessly driving the lane at will. Add in the consistent play of veteran Dan Gladstone, big man Al Reyes and Tony “I WILL EAT YOUR FAMILY” Forte and you start to wonder why Terminator is one of the bottom teams instead of an elite one. But like many NRF teams before them Terminator too has been plagued by the attendance curse. Terminator has lost their entire bench to attendance and whether the cause be injury or professional it’s hard to win with 5 guys. Unfortunately the news for Team Term gets worse as brick layer and all around hustle man Lucian Dickson will miss the entire playoffs due to a foolish off court chankle injury. They’ll be short staffed but a win is still possible if Terminator can keep the turnovers down and the intensity up for the full 40 minutes.
No stranger to Chintensity Uptempo knows what to do come playoffs. They’ve looked shaky at times this season but the core group of this team has been to the top before and best believe they know what it takes to get there again. In any Uptempo game the offense is always going to be run through Scott Williams. The awkwardly graceful Williams sets the tone for his team with his passion and hustle. And he also puts up buckets. If Williams can get things started early and start drawing a double team that makes the team game easier as he can dish to Nick Blatchford for his patented spot up three. Uptempo needs to take advantage of their depth and use quick, frequent subs to get fresh legs in to tire the typically undermanned Terminator squad. With a rookie guard roster consisting of Jeff Chen, Greg Kubie and Nate Jaffe expect Chen Master Terrence Chin to find the perfect lineup to slow down the Terminator attack.
Eric Raymundo vs. Nick Blatchford
Blatchford and Raymundo are two of the premier shooters in NRF and their individual success have huge impacts on their team’s performance. You know Raymundo will pull up from just about anywhere, it’s up to Blatchford to answer back.