2018 El Clásico

NOVEMBER 10-11, 2018


The Alliance’s DB Hoops ran a great event in the El Clásico that took place in Hialeah. An added benefit to the teams was every facility was within 6 miles of each other. DB Hoops is led by Delwin Liranzo & Daniel Garcia. The entire organization did a phenomenal job organizing this event and The Alliance is very proud to have DB Hoops as a member of the Alliance family! In case you missed it, the El Clásico was en fuego! Here’s a small recap of every division:
Breakdown’s Ezra Gelin! That’s all you need to know. This is my second tournament watching Ezra who by the way, is a true 3rd grader! I already knew the kid can flat out play, however, I’m never sold after just one tournament. I purposely wanted to see once again if Gelin could dominate as he did in the Slamfest in October. Well, just in case I needed a reason to say Gelin has to be one of the best 3rd graders in the state, I now have the validation to tell you he is! Easy to write about this guy, he can do it all. Scoring is way too easy for him. His skill set is far superior to most players his age and one year older. On the defensive side, he just plays hard and can defend 94 feet. Gelin is as calm as they come under pressure or in the natural flow of the game.
Breakdown’s Mathew Shedd, not to be outdone, is a solid player as well. Shedd will make his presence known at both ends of the court. Rebounding, no problem, steals, he does that too. Offensively, Shedd is a solid all-around scorer.
BBD’s Aidan Field is an all-around player with exceptional skills. As a rebounder he's not afraid to mix it up with the big boys. He's an offensive minded athlete that can get hot at any given time. He put up 19 points in one game. Yes, he is a threat from behind the arc.
40 BBD -VS- 36 SOH
BBD finished the tournament as the 5th Grade Champions while going 3-1 for the weekend. Trent Jeffers had himself a very productive weekend. Jeffers could very well be one of the best 3 point shooters in the 5th grade division. Jeffers is an all-around player leading almost every statistical category on his team. Lukas Jakopin is another shooter with range. Lukas had a game high 14 points in one game along with shooting 50% from beyond the arc. Add Jayden Smith & Arron Powers and you have a team that’s always capable of making a deep run on Championship Sunday.
SOH, the runner-up,  gave BBD all they could handle in the championship game by coming up 4 points shorts of the win. Jonas Ferguson saved his best performance for the championship and his 9 points kept SOH in the game. Jonas hit some big shots at the right time to keep the game close. His 4 rebounds and 2 steals weren’t enough to pull off the victory, however, his effort is definitely something that needs to be mentioned. SOH was solid at the line going 14 for 22, 64%. Keep in mind we are talking about 5th graders. Defensively the team recorded 7 steals. Overall, a solid performance!
BBD is probably the most complete team of the weekend. What I mean by that is they have 6-8 players that can carry the load. Their unselfish approach allows them to settle into a nice flowing offense. Defensively, Mason Fuentas controls the boards along with a nice offensive game. As a team they shot over 50% from the field! Randy Livingston, another superb scorer, takes care of business from beyond the arc.
Despite going 3-0 in pool play, Thunder Select ran into a BBD team that wasn’t going to be denied a championship. This was a highly anticipated game as Thunder Select looked extremely good in pool play and beat BBD by 3 points earlier in the weekend. Although the rematch didn’t live up to what I expected it was still a very good game between 2 very good teams. Anthony De La Portilla and Alex Villamil carried the team in pool play, however, never really found their rhythm in the Championship Game with a combined 10 points. In the previous meeting they collectively scored 20 points! Nevertheless both Anthony and Alex played their hearts out. Mateo Baron had a nice game throughout scoring a team high 7 points. I look forward to a rematch of these two games very soon. 


The 5-Star Raiders definitely made a name for themselves while going undefeated and winning the 6th Grade  DII Championship. A myriad of standouts from top to bottom makes this young team a team to watch as we approach the upcoming travel season. MVP Jacob Marquez is a multifaceted skilled player. Marquez has the ability to score at will while at the same time controlling his team with his leadership and intelligent feel for the game. Marquez has the unique ability to put his players in position to make easy buckets. His unselfish style of play is rarely seen by a such a young player. An absolute joy to watch. Despite his willingness to be a facilitator, young Marquez can put up some numbers as well. His game high 23 points and double-digit points per game average solidified his MVP selection.
Xachary Bloom is responsible to apply the defensive pressure on all opposing guards. Bloom is a full-court defender with the knowledge to play angles and passing lanes with natural instincts. Offensively, Bloom can score from beyond the arc with regularity. In 2 of his 3 games he averaged double digits in scoring.
Luke Mansfield is your typical grind it out player. Although a bit undersized compared to most post players, Mansfield can hold his own on the glass and in the paint. Marquez and Mansfield have a smooth feel for each other while executing their pick and roll offense.
DB Hoops Green features an entire team of talent. David Haro runs the point and does it very well. Offensively, Haro can get the job done against defensive pressure while at the same time maintaining his composure. From a defensive standpoint, Haro has the knack to create turnovers while racking up multiple steals in the process.
Beltran Walthour is a rebounding specialist! He continuously outworked the opposition while leading his team and the entire 6th grade division in rebounds. Walthour is also an offensive threat and scored his weekend high of 14 points.
Thunder Select went 4-0 taking home the hardware and the title of champions! Thunder Select really never had a competitive game. They continuously outplayed their opponents in all facets. Thunder Select features a young man by the name of TJ Capers. As a first time witness to TJ I have to tell you, TJ’s the real deal! In the championship game TJ left no doubt about who owns the title of MVP! His 28 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals solidified Capers as the man! During my observation I saw Capers finish with contact, displayed point guard skills in big man’s body, and show why he is the definition of a skilled athlete.
Carlos Santana, your all-around point guard, compliments the play of Capers. Santana in his own rights owns the point guard position. Averaging double digits offensively and controlling this fast paced team coupled with his ability to get in the passing lanes for deflections or steals rounds out his game. I forgot to mention, yes, he’s also a threat from beyond the arc! What more could you ask for?
Ramiro Pando is a skilled big man with a great attitude! Takes high percentage shots, plays under control and will drive to the lane and drop dimes with ease. His unselfish style of play definitely compliments his teammates. Pando is a player I’m looking forward to watching over the season. I see a huge upside to this already talented player!
Offensively, Thunder Select can execute effectively in the half court. Their ability to share the ball while maintaining the patience to wait for the high percentage shot is what impressed me. I would like to see this team play up an age group just to see how they respond. Congratulations to the coaching staff as well!
Although DB Hoops White went 3-0 in pool play they eventually fell short of the championship. DB Hoops has a talented duo of Maximus Johnson and Jayden Knowles. Johnson is an all-around player. Johnson hit the biggest shot of the weekend to secure a spot in the championship. His buzzer beater at the end of regulation sent the crowd into a frenzy. It was at the exact moment it reminded me of how sports brings out the kid in all of us!
Jayden Knowles is a machine! Rebounds, scores, plays defense and makes his presence known in the paint. His game high 17 points and 10 rebounds in a pool play game says it all. What I like about Jayden is his ability to take a good high percentage shot.
Team Venom Red fell just short of making it to the championship game but they showed they're a team to watch in the upcoming season.  Team Venom is led by a versatile player in Nathan Cadet. Cadet has the skillset to play all 5 positions extremely well. He’s your prototype athlete that does everything! His 27, 23, and 17 points don’t tell the complete story. His game high 12 rebounds, defensive intensity, multiple steals and most noteworthy, his shot selection tell the rest of the story.
Ian Rodriguez, a crafty PG,  showed some nice fundamentals as well. Rodriguez has mastered his mid-range game and sees the court exceptionally well with his precision passing. Although his stats really don’t show his value to the team, I know Ian is a big part of Team Venom’s success. Overall a great showing by Team Venom going 2-1!


With a 4-0 record and a championship under their belt you may initially think Havoc Hoops breezed their way throughout the weekend but no.  Havoc won 3 of their 4 games by a combined 12 points. That averages out to three 4 point victories. From a coach's standpoint that’s exactly what you want when you enter a competitive tournament. Havoc Hoops has 4-5 players that can easily average double digits in scoring. Take your pick, Jaylon Boneli, Maurice Stephens Jr., Brendon Armenteros, Jeremyah Smith or Samuel Carmona. All 5 players had standout games throughout the weekend.
Let’s start with the 8th grade event leading scorer, Jaylon Boneli who averaged 21.3 points per game! A game high of 26 in the championship was too much for DB Hoops Green to overcome. Boneli is an all-around player that plays both ends of the floor and is a major factor in the paint. He was definitely the best outside shooting 8th grader I watched this weekend.
Brendon Armenteros had a monster game against Team Breakdown scoring a game high 22 points. His most impressive stat, shooting 10 for 12 from the field, because the event is the El Clasico, let’s just say he was en fuego!
DB Hoops Green had to fight their way to the championship game, nevertheless they overcame their 9 point pool play loss to the TDT. Jeremy Fullwood Jr. & Lester Gonzalez did everything possible, however, their 39 combined points were 4 points short of getting the W.  Samuel Carmona added 9 points and came up with some clutch baskets. Lester controlled the boards along with his team high 22 points. Samuel Carmona ran the defense and made his presence know with his shot blocking ability. When it was all said and done both teams represented their organizations with the utmost respect.


MJ Hoops is loaded with talent! Unfortunately, their roster doesn’t have complete names so I won’t be able to share individual accomplishments. This is a perfect example of why rosters should be completed with complete names. MJ Hoops went 5-0 for the weekend and had standout performances by KB, Blast, Jimel & Tyric. Blast is their deep threat while KB is their defensive specialist!
Havoc Hoops has a deep squad with an abundance of talent. Coach Diaz has multiple lineups to choose from with his deep talented roster. Alan Touze is good for double digits along with shooting a high percentage from the floor. Touze also displayed his defensive pressure when needed. A really nice all-around player. Brenden Richardson, another player that caught my eye had a solid game in the semis while scoring 12 points and grabbing 4 boards. Brenden is a monster in the paint! In the end MJ Hoops was too much for the Havoc Hoops Squad!


While the Victory 9th grade team came up short of making it to the finals, they did have some impressive talent. 
Jeremyah Spencer showed he is a lightning quick guard that can defend and get to the basket. His offensive arsenal includes a really nice teardrop floater! Offensively he can break his defender down with his crazy handles and exceptional first step. Your typical 94 ft. high energy player.
Patrick Maciejowski is a very deceptive player that gets the job done. Not your flashy presence, however, more of your Mr. Fundamental game. He’s automatic in their offense from the free throw line with his mid-range shooting. A patient player that lets the game come to him in the flow of the game. In the paint, yes he controls it! I really like this kid!


Well, there you have it, another superb Alliance event!  Congrats to DB Hoops for putting on a quality tournament! 
On behalf of Ben Bridges and the rest of The Alliance family,  I would like to say thank you for choosing The Alliance and we look forward to hosting you and your families throughout the upcoming season! Please check out the 2018-2019 schedule on the tournament page and feel free to email me (sfyba123@gmail.com) or text me (954-559-2708) if you have any questions.
Respectfully,  Adrian Sosa