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Welcome back NCBL family hope the little break gave players, teams and fans a chance to recharge and get ready for the playoff push. Although teams have competed for the majority of their games, some teams used those experiences as a learning curve for the playoffs. You see just playing an opponent doesn't mean when you face them again the outcome would be the same, all it means is how well can each team make adjustments moving forward. This time of year it's one and done, if you lose you go fishing and if you win you move on, so the stakes are very high for every team. You can't take a night off in the playoffs because you feel you are playing an opponent that is lesser than you or you've dominated in the past. Those teams that lost in the past could be the teams that are successful in the present. Do not under estimate an opponent because you beat them before or their record is worse than your team, just prepare as if it was one of the top teams in the league so you don't lose focus or under prepare. We have some intriguing games this week and for some teams it's a warm up while for other its life or death. No one knows what to expect, but I feel we will be in for some surprises. We have the River of Life sustainers battling the Horeb Hustlers; Bethany ballers against Sharon Shockers; Corona Crusaders against Ebenezer Sharpshooters; and Christian Fellowship Hawks against New Jerusalem Juggernauts. Some of these teams squared off during the regular season so it's going to be interesting, but let’s see what Milo thinks about this week games which would be do or die all day. Let’s go.

River of Life Sustainers vs Horeb Hustlers
Battle in the west as the River of Life Sustainers try and out hustle the Horeb Hustlers and send them fishing for the summer. Both teams squared off back in January and the game was closer than the score indicated. Horeb ended up out lasting the sustainers by 9 points but the game was very competitive. Now they face off again and this time it's for all the marbles. Both teams are familiar with each other especially being in the same division, however, Horeb knows they can't sleep on this team because that is exactly what ROL is hoping. What are the keys to victory for both teams? ROL must play solid defense, shoot well from the field, attack the paint, and minimize the turnovers. Horeb on the other hand must play solid defense, shoot well from the line, out rebound their opponent, and get bench contributions. I expect to see a close game throughout but in all honesty I feel ROL would put up a valiant fight but Horeb will hit them with the knockout punch. Horeb wins this match up by 8 points sending the sustainers fishing and elevating themselves to the next round.

Bethany Ballers vs Sharon Shockers
Battle in the east and rematch from February as the Bethany Ballers try and start the playoffs with a bang and send the Sharon Shockers fishing. Runner up last year left a bitter taste in the baller's mouths. Now they look to take on the world and show everyone that last year wasn't a fluke. Sharon despite their losing record has been playing better down the final stretch of the season. Back in February the shockers almost shocked the ballers losing to them by 9 points in what could have been the upset of the season. Now with everything on the line both teams would be in attack mode. What are the keys to victory for both teams? Bethany must play solid defense, shoot well from the field, minimize the turnovers, and pressure the guards of Sharon into turnovers. Sharon on the other hand must come prepared and play loose, shoot well from everywhere, attack the paint, and out rebound their opponent. As much as I would like to see this game come down to the final seconds reality is Bethany is the superior team. Maybe the basketball would bounce in their favor and they get most of the breaks but if that doesn't happen they would still lose but not blow out style. Bethany balls all day and blows out the shockers of Sharon sending them fishing.

Corona Crusaders vs Ebenezer Sharp Shooters
West meets east as the Corona Crusaders try and take down the Ebenezer Sharpshooters and send them on their merry way. Considering both teams didn't square off this season, they are familiar with each other. Corona played hard most of the times but the end results left them 2 games below 500. Ebenezer on the other hand have the capability to play with any team but it's their focus ad resolve that sometimes come into question. This is the only game this week that both teams didn't battle during the regular season so it will be interesting. What are the keys to victory for both teams? Corona must push the rock, play solid defense, shoot well from the field, and attack the paint area. Ebenezer on the other hand must out rebound their opponent, shoot well from the field, attack the paint and minimize the turnovers. Look for a close game throughout because of the magnitude of the moment, but in the end I feel the sharp shooters would have their way inside and for that reason I'm picking them to win this match up by at least 8 points as they move on to the next round.

Christian Fellowship Hawks vs New Jerusalem Juggernauts
East meets west as the hawks of Fellowship try and soar pass the juggernauts of NJ and send them fishing. NJ played Fellowship earlier in the regular season and defeated them by 14 points. Now as they say “pay back is a dish best served cold" and that is exactly what I expect to see the hawks try and do. NJ although they didn't get a higher seed this team could be dangerous if they click on all cylinders. What are the keys to victory for both teams? Fellowship must play solid defense, out rebound their opponent, shoot well from the field, and minimize the turnovers. NJ on the other hand must attack the rim, shoot well from the line, get bench contributions, and push the rock. Look for a close game throughout because I expect to see coaches making lots of adjustments. However, I feel the early loss to the juggernauts and the fact that Fellowship was playing with some key injuries led to their loss. This time however, all is good and for that reason I'm picking Fellowship to win this match up and soar higher than the juggernauts could reach. Fellowship wins this game by 4 points as they send the Juggernauts of NJ fishing for the summer.

Well that's all for Milo's Playoffs Picks, players come out and give the fans a show, fans come out and support your teams, and lets fellowship together. God has been good to us and we need to appreciate all the blessing that is bestowed upon us. The devil knows too well what is coming and he will try everything in his power to keep us down. Don't get grounded by bad habits, or pressure from peers and friends trust in the Lord always and you will find joy. God is the author and finisher of our faith so all we need to do is follow his example and stand up for him so when he comes he would stand up for us. Until next time this is Milo signing out. God Bless.