Fresh off the heels of a thrilling two-point win over Boston’s Celtics Crossover Gaming, Raptors Uprising GC found themselves engaged in another tight back-and-forth affair against a fifth-seeded Warriors Gaming Squad that came down to the wire.
Unfortunately for Toronto this time, who were seeded 13th heading in this weekend’s tournament, they were on the losing end of a BSmoove jump shot with 0.8 seconds left on the clock that put Golden State up by two and this quarter-final matchup at The Ticket essentially to bed.
“Bsmoove was able to get [TsJosh] behind him as he curled down to the midrange and got an open shot,” explained Coach Ognjen Micic after the game. “Type, standing on the block for the standing lob pass, prevented [KingQuai614] from helping out. Movement like that is tough to guard; you have to choose what you give up if your defender ends up behind the shooter. I knew that shot was good as soon as he caught the ball.”
— Raptors Uprising GC (@RaptorsGC) June 15, 2019
Warriors Gaming Squad’s high-volume shooter ended Saturday’s contest with a game-high 25 points on 10-on-19 shooting from the field, including that dagger jumper at the end for Golden State.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s matchup saw several lead changes in a well-rounded team effort for Toronto, despite coming up just short in the end. TsJosh, on a pure lockdown defender archetype at shooting guard, finished with 12 points on an effective five-of-six shooting from the field, while Sick x 973 chipped in with 14 — including another late long two-point jumper to tie the game before BSmoove’s winner.
The team also elected to once again shake up their lineup — the third different look in three games — as Doza shifted back to his natural point guard position and Kenny Got Work moved to small forward. The two took a bit to find their groove, but finished strong with a combined 26 points.
“Simply put, we come out ready to play,” said Raptors Uprising Coach Ogi on his team. “It doesn’t matter who is on the floor for our side.”
With the win, Warriors Gaming Squad will advance to the semifinals where they’ll take on the hometown Magic Gaming, while Knicks Gaming and Pacers Gaming make up the other side of the bracket at The Ticket, with a playoff spot and a better portion of $180,000 USD on the line Saturday night.
Meanwhile, for their efforts, Raptors Uprising (5-6) will take home $7,200 USD in prize money, as the team from the North will turn their attention to the regular season with only five games to play and work left to do if they want to make the playoffs for the second-straight season. With an uphill battle facing them — and experience on their side — Coach Ogi believes his team is up to the task.
“We’re going to come out prepared and the rest is going to take care of itself,” said Coach Ogi. “The goal is to win the last five games. It won’t be an easy task but the only thing we can do is control what we can, and we’ve been in this position before.”
A season ago, Raptors Uprising strung together five straight wins at the end of the year to go on to capture the fourth seed heading into the 2018 NBA 2K League Playoffs. They’ll look to replicate last year’s regular-season success, with three players (Kenny Got Work, TsJosh, and Kingquai614) still on the roster.
UP NEXT: The team from Toronto will be shifting their focus back to the NBA 2K League regular season, as they currently sit in 12th place — 1.5 games back of a playoff spot and five games to play. That being said, they play no teams who are above .500, so another late run for this Raptors Uprising team could once see them in playoff contention at the end of the year. They have a bye week in Week 9, but will come out gearing to go in Week 10 when they take Celtics Crossover Gaming and Jazz Gaming.