East Bay defeated Bay City on July 24th to a final score of 116-108. After East Bay trailed by as many as 18 points in the first half, former Don Jerome Gumbs joined future Dons Kruize Pinkins and Uche Ofoegbu to lead East Bay to a roaring 10 point lead early in the third quarter. Bay City tied the game with less than five minutes in regulation but ultimately could not keep up with East Bay’s play. This win assures East Bay one of the top five spots in the 2013 Pro-Am, clinching their ticket to the playoffs in early August.
What makes team East Bay so interesting is that there is a strong Green & Gold presence on the floor. USF alums Jerome Gumbs (Europe, 2006 alum) and 2008 SF Pro-Am MVP Jovon Harris (Mexico, 2004 alum) have played throughout the entire season. Newcomers to USF on East Bay include Kruize Pinkins (Chipitola College transfer) and Uche Ofoegbu (SMU transfer). Current Dons include Cole Dickerson and Tim Derksen. Tim Derksen has rarely found time off the bench and only has one start for East Bay. Both Cole and Tim have been absent the previous two games, but Pinkins and Ofoegbu have really found a groove with Gumbs and Harris down the stretch.
The top five teams in the Pro-Am advance to the playoffs. These games usually get huge following including standing room only crowds in Kezar’s lower bowl during championship play. This is the closest these players will get to a full NCAA atmosphere during the summer. With one game remaining for each team, East Bay is two games ahead of the sixth spot and one game out of the top spot. Other teams that have already clinched a playoff spot are SF City and the Bay Raiders led by De’ End Parker. The regular season league winner will have a bye until the SF Pro-Am Championship Series starting on August 12th – a best of three games match-up. Seeds 2 through 4 will have a playoff to determine who gets to play the league winner in the championship series.
East Bay still holds an outside chance to finish the season as the league winner. They would first have to defeat South Bay, often led by Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets, on Monday, August 29th. Easy Bay would also need a loss from both the Bay Raiders and SF City to overtake the top spot. East Bay has taken the SF Pro-Am crown four times before (1999, 2004, 2005, 2009). Gumbs, Harris and Angelo Caloiaro were on the 2009 Championship squad but Jovan was the only former Don on the 2005 Championship team.
SF Pro-Am playoffs start on August 5th with the Championship series being played August 12th – 16th. More information on the SF-Pro Am may be found here.
One for the Road
A look into the 2011 SF Pro-Am Championship series.