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Fall Playoff Recap

By Austin Ruby, 11/24/17, 3:45PM PST

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Oath defends their Title and MLB picks up their first WFA championship!

Workforce Athletics, the "NCAA for the workforce" wrapped up their second official basketball season at the Ultimate Fieldhouse on Nov. 19 with  8 teams and coaches (Oath, Google Logitech, Sojern, MLB, Tesla, Salesforce) looking to take home a championship trophy and company pride. The day was filled with ups and downs, heart, hustle, great teamwork and epic plays but in the end Oath and MLB prevailed! 

Div II Final (MLB vs Google II)
Even without big man Andrew Spock, MLB brought an offensive onslaught to the Division 2 championship game that Google II couldn’t contain, earning a  40-27 victory and the division title.

Google may have felt they had an advantage going into this game, but it didn’t play out that way. Stephen Mueller set the tone immediately for MLB’s offense by attacking the basket with reckless abandon. On the other end of the floor, Bid Marenco filled the Andrew Spock-sized hole in MLB’s front line and helped the defense live long, and prosper. Google would not go down without a fight, though. Carl Reyes and Aaron Madfes peppered in a few baskets to keep Google in the game and the first quarter ended with MLB leading, 16-8.

Madfes led the charge for Google to start the second quarter, and the entire team fed off of his aggression. Raymond Wong was especially fiery on both ends of the floor. He attacked the basket from the perimeter to complement Reyes and Madfes on the offensive end, and did his best to shut down Mueller on defense. With Mueller somewhat contained for MLB, Jeff Paulo stepped up to the plate and knocked down a few threes that killed Google’s momentum. MLB’s backcourt tandem makes them incredibly hard to stop. If Paulo has an off game, Mueller is there to pick up the slack and vice versa. With Paulo doing his part in the second quarter, MLB managed to extend their lead to 26-17.

The title was still anyone’s for the taking to start the second half, but MLB was simply too good to be stopped. Google threw everything but the kitchen sink at them on defense, and yet they managed to keep scoring. Justin Lucas was the linchpin of this victory for MLB as he added an unexpected offensive element that Google wasn’t ready for. He hit tough shot after tough shot, and Google couldn’t keep up.

Down by 11 to start the fourth, it was desperation time for Google. They came out in a full court press that forced quite a few turnovers, but they struggled to turn those turnovers into points, and that’s where they fell short in this game. MLB certainly earned their title in this game that was played much closer than the final score suggests.

Div I Final (Salesforce vs Oath) 
In a nail-biter that went down the the final seconds, Oath snuck past Salesforce to defend their title, 49-48.

These two teams have such different styles that no one could know how the game would play out, but everyone knew it’d be closely contested. Oath always establishes themselves down low and uses their perimeter weapons to complement the post game and stretch the defense. Salesforce is as good a passing team as there is in this league. Led by point guard Stephen Tee, they spread the love and look for weaknesses to attack the defense. Adonis Allen got Oath off to a fast start with two early threes. Salesforce started the game a bit slow, not really attacking as they have so well all season. The first quarter ended with Oath ahead 15-10.

The dormant Salesforce giant awoke in the second quarter, stirred by Ahmad Samady and Will Lee off the bench. The pair of them cranked up the pressure on defense and turned steals into transition buckets. In their halfcourt offense Thomas Joyce threw his weight around down low to combat Oath’s deep frontcourt and helped Salesforce take a 29-25 lead into halftime.

The third quarter was a sloppy one for both teams. Neither team looked comfortable and struggled to get into a groove. When titans clash, it isn’t always a pretty sight. Salesforce maintained their lead on the back of a strong quarter from Hudson Blake, and led 39-34 after three.

When Allen Reitter gets fired up, there isn’t much anyone can do to stop him, and he got fired up in the fourth quarter. He abandoned the outside shot that he’d been reliant upon the entire game, opting instead to put his head down and get to the basket no matter who was standing in his way. With such a physical attack on offense, he helped get Salesforce into foul trouble and put his team in the bonus with two minutes left in the game. After Oath split a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left to play, Salesforce took possession of the ball down by one. They ran a pick and pop with their top two offensive players, Tee and Blake, but Oath’s swarming defense nearly forced Tee to throw the ball out of bounds. Instead it fell in the ready hands of Samson Ly, who launched a deep three-pointer as time expired. Not one person in the gym breathed and all eyes were transfixed on the ball as it traveled through the air in seemingly slow motion, tracking right on line with the basket only to miss just left. The clock showed zeroes and Oath had earned a second WFA title with a thrilling comeback victory.

Salesforce highlights here: https://storage.googleapis.com/peeq-event-highlights/WFA/WFAFinalsSalesforceHiglights.mp4
Oath highlights here: https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=http://video.peeqdata.com/WFAFinalOath&source=gmail&ust=1511653112200000&usg=AFQjCNGp6RxSR0yyq07Np1JhwpIFxAeCoA

WFA would like to extend a special thank you to Strike MVMNT, PEEQ and to the Golden State Warriors for donating tickets to the WFA 3-point champion. 

Want to register a company team in the upcoming spring 2018 basketball league? Contact sheena@workforceathletics.com for more information.