GSB S2 Finals: Game 1 Preview
The finals are upon us in the GSB. The place that all the teams dream of reaching every season. Only 2 out of the 16 teams get to the Finals, and only 1 win it. The Portland Pioneers and Oakland Otters will face off in the second ever GSB Finals after winning their respective first and second round matchups. Both of these teams are from the pacific division, and have already become rivals. Game 1 will take place in the Bay Area where the Pioneers travel to Oakland to take on the Otters.
The Pioneers are coming off a up and down season, but a late surge has propelled them to the GSB Finals. Portland finished the season 9-5, and had a long path to the Finals. First, they faced a hungry New York Skyliners team in the first round. Portland took care of business as Devan Davis and Quan Wulong-Chi could not be stopped. Portland won by a sizable margin in both games. The Pioneers would then face the Seattle Orcas in the second round. The Orcas, another team from the pacific division, were also 9-5. Portland would end up winning game 1, but dropping game 2, and then winning game 3 to get to the Finals. The Pioneers have a ton of weapons at their disposal on the offensive side of the ball, as well as some big time defenders like Milton Francis-Heinkel. Wulong-Chi, Davis, and Savage will need to set the tone on the offensive side of the ball as the Otters have one of the best defenses in the league.
The Oakland Otters road to the Finals was a bit different than the Pioneers. The Otters were never an underdog like the Pioneers were. Oakland finished the season 11-3, granting them the 1 seed as this was the best record in the league. Oakland squared off with the Dallas Flying Stallions in round 1. This was the only series that went to 3 games, as the Flying Stallions put up a great fight. Although, in Game 3, Colakovic and Stank were too much for the Dallas squad. The Otters would move on to the second round and face the Michigan Killer Beez. This was a tough task, as the Beez had talent all over their roster, including the S1 MVP Truck Turner. But, that doesn’t matter when you have Stank and Colakovic, as they combined for 57 points in Game 1. Game 2 saw Stank put in another master class, and the series was over. Michigan put up a good fight, but it wasn’t enough for this loaded Otters team led by the possible S2 MVP in Stank. Now, the Otters host the Pioneers in Game 1 as they hope to continue plowing through their competition.
This will be a defensive game. It won’t be high scoring in other words. Expect Francis-Heinkel to do lots of work on the glass, and for the Otters defense to get many steals. Stank should still have a big game as always, but that’s who the Pioneers need to stop if they want to win. They need to play defense. All in all, it’s doubtful that the Pioneers will be able to stop Stank and Colakovic on the offensive end, and that leads me to believe the Otters take Game 1. Although, these 2 teams split the season series at 1-1, so it could go either way.
86-78 Oakland Wins