By Mike Begley
Somewhere in the Yucatan peninsula, a poor village is frequently looted by armed bandits losing their rice crop year after year. The villagers succeed in hiring a wandering outlaw, Parker Mason to defend their village – Mason advises they need six other outlaws to protect their lands. He recruits the necessary gun slingers, the stout sharpshooter Ahmed Dougherty, the brave Lonnie Gerson, the reliable Kent Mercer, the brilliant Paul Carroll, the intimidating Reed Moses, the astute Frank Rose. Together they plot a defense strategy and the outlaws start training the villagers how to defend their lands for the battle that approaches. When the attack arrives they are prepared but suffer many losses. The village survives, the outlaws, well, we’ll have to wait and see what happens to them… or you can rent the classic Kurosawa flick Seven Samurai, or the Magnificent 7 for you Western aficionados, or you can wait and see how this WBA season unfolds.
Under the guidance of GM Patrick Fullum, the Cancun Outlaws currently sit atop the Western conference led by impenetrable team defense, allowing a league best 87 points per game. The tone is set by stalwart leader Parker Mason, averaging an astonishing two steals for every foul. That’s the best two for one special I’ve ever seen. But it’s not so much the steals or the blocks, though the Outlaws are in the top ten in each category, it’s something about how it all just fits together which causes other team’s to simply miss shots. Call it a combination of grit with skill and talent, the results speak for themselves, as a team they have successfully repelled the toughest invaders and invaded the toughest defenders, though they have suffered heavy losses they continue to plug away.
I witnessed this display in action at the recent Zulu’s home loss to this band of Outlaws. Watching Lonnie Gerson take the floor as a power forward all 6’7’’ 214 pounds of him matching up against Abdiel Gordon I thought to myself there is no chance, Outlaws though they are, they will not be able to hang for 48 minutes. Well I ate my words as the Outlaws outscored the Zulus in both quarters of the second half with over three players playing over 40 minutes. That’s heart.
Not even injuries nor shuffled lineups have appeared to slow them down – playing only a 7-man rotation in only this last week they defeated the Extreme, the Zulus, and the Giants. These three times combine for 79 wins! Yet all share recent losses to this rag tag group. Valiant warriors though they are they eventually fell to the Fanatics after pulling off 5 straight while juggling over 5 injuries. Talk about putting forth their best when their best is called, when the chips are down this team steps up to the challenge. Now plugging ahead with no Mercer, no Zarra, no Moses, no Gerson – though the Outlaws may suffer heavy losses, ladies and gentlemen get the popcorn ready my bet is this village will survive!