by Zagrieb Zano
Some GM’s would look at their divisional opponents, and once they realized they would be fighting against Cancun every year, they simply know at least they are playing for second. Adrian Arceo is not that kind of GM. He has taken up the challenge and every season has gotten closer to their Mexican opponents. Is this the year that they finally overtake the outlaws? When you have Abdiel Gordan who is an emerging star down low. The key to the Zulus success is really that of team play. They don’t have guys who are scoring 20-30 points per game. But rather an entire team that is scoring 9-12 points each game. So while they won’t run most teams out of the gym, their team defense will keep them in every game. And as a team they are likely to come out on top. On paper, the Zulus look like an average team, and perhaps that is the beauty of it. You can’t just try to shut down one player, because they don’t stand out like that you have to shut down the whole team, and that is a very tall order. Capetown is for real. And they are putting Cancun on notice.
Simon Drapeau has really done a masterful job year in and year out. Signing key Free Agents to come play of a team, where none of them actually knows where Gabon is (Extensive research via Google has taught me that it is in Africa). Gabon has been competitive every year for as long as I can remember. But they have never been able to get over the hump. They have a mix of veterans and young players. One such young player is John Devine. If you didn’t know about his before, well you will. As he throws down 25/10 every night. He is a complete work horse, and he opens up the whole offense. His partner in crime Charlie Meyers is the kind of duo that is in the conversation with Gonzales/Stein. Both Devine and Meyers are going to be Giants for the next few years. This is the kind of corner stone that any team would love to have. While they remain healthy, the Giants are a team to respect. They are missing some support cast that probably prevent them from making that next step towards a championship.
Mexico City Hellcats
The hellcats are a team on the rise. They have methodically setup their future with a slew of picks in the next three years. They have no “bad” contracts, at least once George Holt falls off after this season. They have a future start PG in Casey Pointer. This kid is going to be sought after by every other team in the league, and his current contract pays him only 2 million a year. If Mexico City is able to hold onto him and build around him. They have a chance of being a perennial playoff team. They just are not there yet. Oryn Dasing is a nice PF, but he’s not a long term answer. Chad Nolan is also serviceable on the wing. But these are essentially place holder players until some legitimate WBA players can be found. Mexico could sneak into the playoffs, but the key is going to be what they do in the future. If they can convince players to team up with Casey Pointer, this team will be a major destination spot during the free agency.
What can be said about Cancun that hasn’t already been said before? Patrick Fullum is without question one of the savviest GM’s in the league. The championships and consistent domination from his team is hard to compete against. There isn’t an executive in the WBA that doesn’t respect Pat on how he guilds his team and perhaps more importantly, how he deals with other teams. He simply does it the right way. And this year’s team is no different. Like most quality teams, Cancun features a dynamic duo. Kent Mercer and Ahmed Dougherty. Both players were drafted by the Outlaws and have been there for their entire careers. They will both average around 25 points per game. Which one would think, there would be very little scoring for the rest of the team. That is the genius of Mr. Fullum. He has solid support with Reed Moses, Luke Benner and Frank Rose. Quite a few members of the squad been playing in Cancun for quite a few years. Apparently, free agents like the idea of living there? Go figure. While this division is getting tougher each year, for the Outlaws, the world is not enough. They play for championships PERIOD. And this year they are primed for another run at the title. The Zulu’s may be closing in, but until you dethrone the best, you are only part of the rest.
In the World division you have an incredible amount of talented executives and players. You also have the Budapest Tigers which do not fit into that first statement. They have some decent players in Zalera and Cress. However, they simply don’t have enough pieces of the puzzle. Jalen Bell and Paul Wright along with Gordon Whitehouse are simply getting old. With their best years behind them it will be difficult for the Tigers to make the next step towards making the playoffs. It may be difficult to really get a good idea of how good this team is should they improve due to the strength of their division. The world division is arguably the most competitive from top to bottom.
1: Cancun Outlaws 62-20
2: Captown Zulus 61-21
3: Gabon Giants 50-32
4: Mexico City Hellcats 39-43
5: Budapest Tigers 28-54