A Moral Victory: Raptors Uprising GC fights back but falls short in 3v3 opener

Despite an inspiring comeback to win Games 3 and 4, Raptors Uprising GC were bested by 76ers GC in Game 5 of their opening series of 3v3 group play (20-23, 20-23, 24-20, 21-19, 15-22).

While each game could have gone either way, Toronto will now look to refocus ahead of their next series against the Basketball Godz.

Much of the pre-match build-up was dominated by talk of the Fanta-Dre matchup, as well as the fact that the 76ers had just eliminated Raptors Uprising in the first round of bracket play of THE TIPOFF.

On the court, the boys were back following a week break and raring to go. FantaSZN, Kenny Got Work and Big Saint are Toronto’s trio, and from the start, they looked fired up and hungry for revenge.

Game 1 saw Fanta immediately take control, as the rookie guard played with a swagger that dazzled many in the livestream chat.

We knew this series was going to be a tight one, and Game 1 went right down to the wire with Philadelphia winning it 23-20. If you thought this was going to be the only close game in the series, think again.

It was a similar story in Game 2: Fanta dominating, Saint and Kenny playing aggressive defence, and the game going to 20-20. Ultimately, the 76ers would win it 23-20 once again, leaving Toronto on the brink of an opening series loss in Game 3.

In spite of the pressure, Toronto played with the same intensity they showed during Games 1 and 2 and came away with a 24-20 victory courtesy of a Fanta game-winner from three-point land.

The guard shot a perfect 8/8 in the game and steered his team to a much-needed victory ahead of Game 4. In addition, the tenacity of Saint and Kenny on defence was yet again critical to Toronto ensuring the carried momentum throughout.

In Game 4, Raptors Uprising did not take their foot off the gas, coming into it ready to force a Game 5. The 76ers may have put some late pressure on Toronto, but a clutch game winner from Saint meant we were getting a Game 5.

Yet, it was Philly who took Game 5 and ultimately the series, winning 22-15 to seal a 3-2 victory. Toronto may have lost on paper, but boy did the squad put on quite the performance.

Following the series, Fanta spoke about how pleased he was with the team’s display despite defeat.

“I feel like we played amazing. Even the first two games we dropped, it’s not like we were playing badly,” said Fanta.

“It’s the perfect way to start even though we lost. If I’m scoring the way I’m scoring and we go up against any team, I love our chances.”

Given how this series went, Fanta also described just how important momentum is when playing 3v3.

“It’s everything, momentum is everything. It all comes down to momentum.”

“Either team could have gained momentum if the other team didn’t score one of those possessions, but we both scored back to back to back to back when it came down to the final stretches.”

The 2K world knows how much Fanta loves 3v3, and the guard was loving the fact that he’s playing 3v3 in the NBA 2K League.

“It feels great,” said the ‘Money Guard.’

“It’s the same thing I’ve always done, except it’s on a bigger platform and for a lot more money.”

Ahead of Raptors Uprising’s second series of group play against the Basketball Godz, Fanta said that he is treating the matchup like he would treat any other 2K League game.

“We’re not going into it underestimating anybody just because they’re not in the League. We’re going into it ready to hoop.”

Raptors Uprising faces off against the Basketball Godz on Thursday, April 28th, with Game 1 of the series scheduled for 7:00 pm EST.