About the NCBL

If last week playoff games wasn't an indication of whats to come then folks were not paying attention. Although I went 3-1 in my picks I was a bit surprised at the poor execution and selfish play of some teams better players. Basketball is a team sport, especially during the playoffs. A team’s performance matters more than individual achievements because every possession matters. I observed panic, bad habits, and lack of cohesion from teams that had been cruising all season. We had the ballers of Bethany destroy the shockers of Sharon defeating them by 36; Ebenezer sharp shooters shot the lights out defeating the crusaders of Corona by 18; Fellowship Hawks soared high and defeated the juggernauts of NJ by 6; and the surprise of the weekend was River of Life sustainers out hustled the hustlers of Horeb defeating them by 11.
Now the stage is set this week for some epic battles but before I get into my picks we have to do our traditional send off to the teams that lost last week. So to the Corona crusaders, Horeb hustlers, Sharon shockers, and the New Jerusalem juggernauts sorry fellas but it just wasn't meant to be. You tried your best but your best wasn't good enough. Try and relax and blow off some steam because next year could be your year. I rented a huge boat to accommodate all the players, coaches, families, and fans. So bring some blankets and lots of bait because you are going fishing for Bass on the Jersey Shore. Enjoy the cool breeze and sunshine and try and get your mind right for next season. With that said we have some exciting match-ups this week and the question I'll ask is can another underdog come out on top or would teams perform to their capabilities. Only time will tell but let’s see what Milo thinks about this week games if you win you're in and if you lose you snooze. Let's go.

Ebenezer Sharp Shooters vs New Life Rejuvenators
East meets west as the 7th seed Ebenezer sharp shooters try and stop the 3rd seed New Life and keep them from rejuvenating. Ebenezer played a complete game last week in beating Corona by 18. Now they have their hands full with the rejuvenators of New Life. Remember both teams faced off back in March and New Life defeated them by 9. Now the stage is set and to the victor goes the spoils. New Life knows what's coming and I expect to see a high scoring game. What are the keys to victory for both teams. Ebenezer must play solid defense, shoot well from the field, out rebound their opponent, and minimize the turnovers. New Life on the other hand must attack the paint, get bench contributions, get stops, and push the rock. I expect to see a close game throughout because both teams are familiar with each other. However, I feel teams that played the week before especially in one and done situations have the edge the following week. This game would come down to adjustments and coaching. I like the way Ebenezer played last week but I feel this is the year that New Life gets at least to the final 4 round. New Life wins this match-up by 8 points as they prove their worth.

River of Life Sustainers vs White Plains Professors
East meets west as the 11 seed River of Life sustainers look to repeat their performance from last week and take down the 1 seed professors of White Plains and send them fishing. River of Life rolled last week and surprised the hustlers of Horeb who was a higher seed. Now they face a daunting task of battling the top seed WP and need to be on point from tip off. Both teams faced each other during the regular season and the end result was WP blowing them out by 32. This time however, River of Life is on a roll and they are confident in their approach to this game. What are the keys to victory for both teams. River of Life must play their style and attack the rim, shoot well from the field, out rebound their opponent, and minimize the turnovers. White Plains on the other hand must play their style pressure the opposing guards, shoot well from the line, minimize the turnovers, and get bench contributions. I know most folks would say this is a blowout game but try asking Horeb that after last week. I expect to see a close game but in the end I feel White Plains is on a mission to prove they are still top dog and for that reason I'm picking them to win this match-up by 8 points as they move on to the next round.

Bethany Ballers vs Triumphant Tabernacle Kings
Rematch from last year championship game as the Bethany Ballers tries and stops the Triumphant Tabernacle Kings to finally get over the hump. Last year they met in the championship game, and this year they meet in the elite 8 games. These teams have been seeing each other quite often and the results seem to be the same. T&T out executed the ballers in last year championship game, and this year when they battled back in March T&T won by 3. Bethany must be frustrated because it seems like this team is the main reason they haven't won a championship yet. Bethany played last week and blew the lid off the shockers of Sharon. Now the stage is set and this time the ballers can't make any excuses. Both teams will have all players on deck and coaching would be critical this game. What are the keys to victory for both teams? Bethany must play solid defense, make in game adjustments, shoot well from the field, and minimize the turnovers. T&T on the other hand must play stingy defense, shoot well from the field, out rebound their opponent, and attack the paint. Look for a close game throughout because both teams are elite, however, until Bethany proves to me that they can successfully attack and make end of game adjustments I have to ride with the defending champs. T&T pulls off this game by 2 points in overtime and break the hearts and souls of the players, fans and followers. Bethany goes fishing for the summer.

Christian Fellowship Hawks vs Bronx Hawks Express
Battle of the angry birds continues. East meets west as the hawks of Fellowship try and stop the Bronx Hawks from running express and send them fishing. This is a rematch from last year first round when Bronx ran express and sent Fellowship fishing. This game could be the game with an upset because I saw how hungry Fellowship looked last week and if they continue this game would be up for grabs. Bronx is the 2 seed for a reason and they will have a target on their backs when it comes to other opponents preparing for them. What are the keys to victory for both teams? Fellowship must play solid defense, shoot well from the field, attack the rim, and get bench contributions. Bronx on the other hand must minimize the turnovers, shoot well from the field, out rebound their opponent, and play solid defense. I expect to see lots of score changes and lots of intensity from both teams. Bronx has the pedigree but Fellowship have the determination. Which would win out this game would be key to both teams success. I like what I saw from Fellowship last week and playing against another team that they know could beat them would make them focus that much harder. Fellowship finally gets over the hump and defeat Bronx by 4 points not only sending them fishing for the summer but winning the battle of the angry birds.

Well that's all for Milo's Elite 8 picks. Players come out and give the fans a show, fans come out and support your teams and lets fellowship together. Pray that God continue to mold and fashion us in his image because when he comes if we aren't recognizable it means we are lost. God wants us all to be saved but the devil has his own plans. Keep praying for strength, keep praying for guidance, keep praying for family, and keep praying for the churches because without God in our lives we are as empty vessels. God is the author and finisher of our faith and if we allow him to work through us we can change the world. Each one teach one and the chain would never be broken. Until next time, this is Milo signing out. God Bless.