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MPBA: Chicago Blues earn the title (Photo:thempba.com)

MPBA Standings
 1. Pontiac 66ers 12-4 
 2. Chicago WCG 9-5 
 3. Chicago B. 8-6 
 4. St.Louis RS 7-6 
 5. Lima E. 5-9 
 6. Champaign S. 5-11 
 7. Gateway S. 4-9 
 8. Bloomington E.. 0-0 
 9. Eureka B. 0-0 
 10. Jacksonville G. 0-0 
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 1 Michael Rogers27.6 
 2 Dion Cooksey26.8 
 3 Cordaryl Ballard26.6 
 4 Justin Bocot26.3 
 5 Alfonzo Houston25.6 
Rebounds Per Game
 1 Isiah Martin9.4 
 2 Al Rapier9.3 
 3 Johnny Elliott8.6 
 4 Marcus Hammonds7.7 
 5 Connell Crossland7.7 
Assists Per Game
 1 Cordaryl Ballard5.4 
 2 Dion Cooksey4.8 
 3 Jordan Walker4.4 
 4 Oliver McGlade4.0 
 5 Johnny Elliott3.4 
Steals Per Game
 1 Jordan Walker2.2 
 2 Dion Cooksey1.6 
 2 C.J. Hampton1.6 
 4 Terrell Williams1.5 
 5 Ed Jenkins1.4 
Blocks Per Game
 1 Jordan Walker2.0 
 2 Shakir Johnson1.5 
 3 Isiah Martin1.4 
 4 3 tied at1.3 
Articles
Interviews

MPBA Playoff Preview - New champion to be crowned Saturday - Mar 30, 2016


POSTED BY:
CRAIG FATA
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Vance
Cooksey
March 30, 2016

ST. LOUIS - A new Midwest Professional Basketball Association champion will be crowned on Saturday, but first, four teams that have never before experienced playoff basketball must prevail in Friday's semi-final games.

The 2016 MPBA Championship Tournament will get under way Friday as the Windy City Groove and Chicago Blues, a combined 8-32 in 2015, tangle in the first semi-final, while the Lima Express, which narrowly missed the playoffs in another league in 2015, take on the expansion Pontiac 66ers in the second semi-final. The championship game will take place Saturday, as all three games will be held at historic Pontiac High School, in Pontiac, Illinois, home to the nation's oldest holiday basketball tournament.

The first semi-final tips off at 5:05 p.m. C.D.T. Friday, and features two teams that are very familiar with each other. The #2 seed Windy City Groove (9-5) and the #3 seed Chicago Blues (8-6) have shared a home court at the Kroc Center in Chicago the past two seasons and each boast a number of players that grew up playing against each other locally.

MVP candidate Dion Vance Cooksey (6'0''-PG-87, college: Pikeville) leads Windy City at 23.1 points and 4.9 assists per game. While Cooksey's assist average is second in the league, his .908 (109 of 120) free-throw percentage not only led the MPBA, but set a new league record as well. C.J. Hampton (6'4''-G, college: William Penn) averages 16.3 points per game off the bench, while Isiah Martin (6'8''-F-89, college: Indiana St.) tallies 11.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. And Ray Miller (6'8''-F/C, college: CS Fullerton), who joined the team halfway through the season, has averaged 9.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.

Chicago, meanwhile, doesn't have a single 20-point-per-game scorer-but what they do have is an offense that is possibly the league's most versatile. The Blues can bang inside, shoot from outside, or drive to the bucket with equal ease. Tremell Adams (6'1''-G, college: Robert Morris), one of the most dangerous three-point shooters in the league, leads the Blues from the bench, averaging 14.7 points per game. Alexandre Rapier (6'7''-F-89, college: Stony Brook, agency: Dynamics Global Management) pitches in 13.3 points per game and pulls down a team-leading 7.6 rebounds per game. Defensively, Jakeem Hill (6'5''-F-89, college: Webber Intern.) and Shakir Johnson (6'9''-C-87, college: Metro St.) are the league's best shot-blockers, as the two combined for 42 blocks on the season.

The second semi-final Friday is scheduled for an 8:05 p.m. C.D.T. start, as the top-seeded Pontiac 66ers (12-4) host the #4 seed Lima Express (5-9).

Lima might seem to be the heavy underdog based on its record, but the Express encountered a string of bad luck in 2016 that was nothing short of astonishing. The Express, at one point, lost seven of eight games with none of the losses by more than nine points. In that stretch, which featured two one-point losses, the average margin of defeat was just 4.4 points. And on March 13, Lima led the 66ers 118-116 with 2.3 seconds left when Pontiac's Kyle Anderson (6'3''-G, college: Delaware), with two defenders in his face, hit a 30-foot miracle to win the game.

Relentless forward Kyle Meyer (6'6''-F-88, college: Ohio Northern) leads the Express with 21.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Cordaryl Ballard (6'5''-G-87, college: USC Aiken) adds 19.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and a league-record 5.3 assists per game. Jody Hill (6'2''-G-91, college: Livingstone), who re-joined the team after playing in Iraq, averaged 28.7 points per game over six games, and shot 23 of 47 (.489) from three-point range.

Despite losing four players to foreign contracts, the Pontiac 66ers still managed to finish with the league's top record. Pontiac is led by MVP candidate and league-leading scorer Alfonzo Houston (6'3''-G-92, college: N.C.Central) at 27.7 points per game, and top overall rebounder Marcus Hammonds (6'5''-F/G-87, college: Texas A&M-CC). Alex Marzette (6'5''-G, college: Robert Morris) and Khion Sankey (6'5''-G, college: Lipscomb), who joined the team mid-season, have also had a huge impact. Marzette averages 19.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, while Sankey, a stout defender, averages 13.9 points and 6.3 boards per contest. Hammonds, Trent Thomas (6'4''-G) and Kyle Anderson all average double figures in scoring.

Both semi-final games, as well as the 1:05 p.m. Championship Game on Saturday, can be seen live and free of charge on the league's high-definition broadcast portal, MPBA.tv. Craig Fata will handle play-by-play, while Tim Scott will provide color commentary, and Ted Rutan will cover the sidelines.   



MPBA launches 2017 summer league - 8 months ago
January 9, 2017 ST. LOUIS - The Midwest Professional Basketball Association has decided to move its upcoming season from a traditional winter start to the summer of 2017, in an effort to determine whether playing closer to the autumn overseas signing period will result in more foreign advancements for MPBA players. The MPBA, which began play in January of 2015, has sent 60 players to overseas teams or the NBA D-League. "Doing a summer league has been in the works since our inception in...   [read more]
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Sergio
McClain
MPBA - Former Illini star McClain to coach Champaign Swarm - 10 months ago
November 1, 2016 ST. LOUIS - A player who led Peoria Manual High School to four straight state championships and the University of Illinois to an Elite 8 appearance has been named the head coach of the Midwest Professional Basketball Association's Champaign Swarm. Sergio McClain (6'4''-F-78, college: Illinois) has agreed to helm the Swarm for the 2017 season, set to begin in January. "I'm looking forward to working with a credible league, the Champaign Swarm organization, and my suppor...   [read more]


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