NYC National Tournament schedule reveal: Two title-winning regions face off
Up until August 21, we’ll be releasing the pool play schedule for the 2019 New York City National Tournament. Here is the ninth game of the tournament, set to take place at 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 24.
RTG (NY) vs. DMV Ballers (MD)
The only two regions to ever win the New York National Tournament will face off in the penultimate game of pool play.
RTG is representing Syosset, the same region the 2017 champion Thundercats hailed from. The region has championship pedigree, but the only player on RTG’s roster that won that 2017 title is Chris Cox. A few of their players played against the Thundercats in that all Syosset championship in 2017, so only the tournament debutants won’t have any experience of making a deep run in this tournament.
The DMV Ballers are bringing back an almost identical roster from last year, with eight of their nine championship-winning players coming back to defend their title. The only new player on their roster is Dante Seraile, who will be making his national tournament debut. He is replacing Tim Harwood, who averaged 3.3 points in the three games he played in last tournament.
Chris Cox (RTG) vs. Shelby Jupiter (DMV Ballers)
I’d predict there’s a slim chance that these two guard each other. I’m more looking forward to seeing who both of these guards will end up guarding for the other team.
My guess for Cox would be Brandon Allen. Allen is a dynamic scorer that uses his 3-point shot to open up the rest of his game. Cox is one of the best perimeter defenders in the tournament, so I could see RTG wanting to stick him on Allen, play him tight, and not let him get good looks early in the game to throw off his rhythm. Cox could also guard a smaller player in JJ Epps, who’s listed at 5’7” but is lightning quick. Cox is quick enough laterally to stay in front of him and turn his day into a nightmare. Cox is also a freak athlete with a lot of strength, so he might even take turns guarding Byron Mouton in the post. Cox is one of those players that makes watching defense fun, and I’m intrigued to see who RTG wants him on.
Jupiter is a similar player that is a little smaller in stature and lacking some on the athleticism. That certainly doesn’t mean he’s not athletic, he very much is, just not as athletic as Cox, who might not be human. I’m not as familiar with RTG’s roster as DMV Ballers’, mostly because RTG has four players making their national debuts in this tournament. My guess would be that Jupiter will guard Brandon Wilson. Wilson would have a two-inch advantage, but I’m confident Jupiter would be able to make up for that with his stifling defense, especially if he gets help defense from Mouton or Martrez Marshall in the paint. The Ballers have multiple defenders who can guard multiple positions. That’s one of the reasons why they only allowed 57.6 points per game in last year, the second fewest in the tournament. They’re a fun team to watch defend, and Jupiter is their anchor when it comes to stopping players on the perimeter.
RTG are up to seven players on their roster, so I’m feeling better about their chances in this tournament. The lack of familiarity is tough for me to overcome, and it doesn’t help that they’re facing the defending champs.
I absolutely love that the DMV Ballers are bringing back their core from last summer, as I think that will be extremely beneficial when they’re playing teams with newer players and less chemistry. I predict the DMV Ballers will go 2-0 in pool play again this year, which would extend their New York winning streak to seven games. I’ll take the DMV Ballers by 10 points.