Game 1 Panthers vs Volvanico
The first game in Praia league history was between the Achada Panthers and the Achada Grande Volcanico. The highly anticipated backcourt matchup between the Panther's duo Nick manor Hall and Taras Carter versus the Volcanico duo of Jawan Stepney and Nasir Core did not disappoint. Both teams got off to a steady start with Manor-Hall firing off on all cylinders. However, the two-man tandem for the Volcanico began to heat up before the end of the first half building a substantial lead. The second half is where the clear lack of will and stamina became a crucial factor for the panthers. Manor-Hall had to carry the Lionshare of the points responsibility as his counterpart Carter seemed to be fatigued throughout the second half. The Volcanico then smelled blood in the water pushing the lead 22 thanks to a huge 3rd quarter by Core. The fourth quarter enhanced that energy bringing the final score to 96-57. The dominant duo of Juwan Stepney and Nasir Core accounted for more than half of the Volcanicos 96 total points.
Game 2 Gorillas vs CB
The second game of the day was between CB Cidadela and the Ponta D’Agua Gorillas. This matchup was a star-studded game with high interest in the talent on both teams. Nuimber 1 pick in the draft, Paris Collins, started off slow but didn’t let that effect his energy and team leadership. The Gorillas lengthy duo is known for its scoring ability lead by Rodriques Palmer and Mario Williams. They quickly proved this theory scoring half of the teams points in the first quarter. Cidadela saw an aggressive 2-3 zone for majority of the first half which forced them to shoot perimeter shots that weren't falling. Thanks to a huge lift by Colby Reves intense defense and energy, Cidadela began to knock down shots and go on a 13-1 run. Coming out of the first half the Gorillas duo quickly evolved into a dominate big 3 with Allex Austin providing huge buckets and high energy highlight plays. This allowed the Gorillas to stay within fighting distance. However, fatigue was a clear factor in the Gorillas starting lineup as they played majority of the minutes leading up to the fourth. Standout big man Zoran Talley was consistently a dominant force throughout the entire game which wore down on the undersized Gorillas. Along with outplaying the Gorillas bench Cidadela clicked on all levels due to the vocal leadership and energy of Collins. The fatigue battle paired with being severely outscored by the bench lead to the Gorillas falling short with a final score of 91-82.
Game 3 Warriors vs Sharks
The final game of the day was between the Plateau Warriors and the Palmarejo Sharks. In what many thought would be a blowout win for the fan favorite Sharks ended up being the game of the day in many people's eyes. Lead by crafty guard play from the Warriors Joshua York-Frazier and dominant paint presence from Andre Jackson. The tight contest went back and forth trading blows throughout. The Sharks number 2 overall pick Malik Miller wasn’t his usual cardinal self but his teammates picked up the slack keeping the game close in the first half. Starting off the third York-Frazier played like a man on a mission, in complete control of the offense and hitting 4 3s while scoring in any fashion he chose. Andre Jackson began to expose the lack of help Malik Miller has protecting the rim pouring in a plethora of buckets inside and outside of the paint. The Sharks young gunner Alwyn Slyva had a quiet performance and couldn’t to get his shot to fall for majority of the night along with guard Charles Boozer. Combined with a player of the day performance from York-Frazier and the lack of game planning by the Sharks, they lost a closely contested matchup with a final score of 83-77.