The 2019 ACVB playoffs is under way with big games being played last weekend at North Middle School in Brockton, Ma. The first match was an instant classic between the conference rivals Campana Lança and Bairro. In their first meeting during the regular season, chippy play led to tempers flaring and players being ejected and later suspended for a game. The tension was clearly still present during this past Sunday gameplay months later. Both teams played in what is being considered the best game so far this season in ACVB. Anthony Petrilli led Campana Lança with 29 points shooting 4 of 7 in 3point attempts. Brendan Campbell was bruising in the paint with his post game dropping 22 points. However, Bairro was able to make all the right adjustments defensively and hit all the timely big shots. Brian Rudolph scored 31 points for Bairro creating his own shot at will. Bairro had an opportunity to close out the game in regulation but Dre Barbosa missed a tough contested shot as time expired. Bairro was able to edge Campana Lança won the game in overtime 88 to 86.
The first round was filled with overtime drama and stunning upsets, in particular to the number one seed in Sotavento, Lenfer, losing to Brava Magic at the end of the game. Lenfer led most of the game by even a double digit score for periods of the game. towards the end of the second half Lenfer let Brava crawl back into the game where they later made them pay. Lenfer lost with a missed opportunity to still when then game when Clayton Moreno Timas missed a shot in the paint off an inbounds play with 1.2 seconds left in the game. Sayvonn Houston led the game with 21 points, 8 Rebs, and shot 40% in 3pt FG. Lavonte Azor and Chris Green contributed to big plays down the stretch to put an early end to Lenfer’s season. Maurice Taylor had a double double for Lenfer with 18 points and 15 rebounds, but the team fell short in closing out Brava.
Lenfer closed the season out with a battle for the first place in the conference with Volcanic. Lenfer defeated Volcanic, convincingly, and was set to face Brava Magic in the first round as New Bedford was able to move up a spot with their statement victory in their last regular season matchup against Terra Branca winning 97-89. Volcanic showed up flat in their match up against New Bedford in the first round. Avery Cardoza returned from El Salvador to finish the season. He led the team with 18 points last Sunday. But the team showed up flat shooting 5 for 32 from 3 point land, and that was not going to get it done against the seasoned veteran team of New Bedford. AJ Tavares led New Bedford with 21 points making 4 of 7 in 3point attempts. New Bedford had 5 players in double digits, and with Lenfer out of the picture, it’s Brava Magic who stands in the way of their first finals appearance.
The defending champions Terra Branca Pitbulls played against the league expansion team Kaiada. Kaiada is the youngest team in the league with the players averaging around 23 years old. Terra Branca and Kaiada had split the season series one game a piece, but Terra Branca won the last regular season matchup by 20 points on February 3, 2019. However, Kaiada came out with great poise and control the entire game. Terra Branca struggled at times to get into their rhythm. They were in the game the whole time with a chance to win but was playing from behind many of the times. Kwame Lee scored 24 points with 11 rebounds, but his team fell short 73-68. There will be a new ACVB champion this season. Kwame Lee is a likely candidate to win his second ACVB MVP award in back to back seasons. Kaiada had four players in double figures. Tyree Gross, Mondo Botsio, and Jeduan Langston each had 17 points in their victory over the defending champions.
This weekend is the conference finals. Bairro will play Kaiada for the Barlavento championships. And New Bedford Vets will play Brava Magic for the Sotavento championships and strip to the finals. The games will be held at North Middle School in Brockton.
For updates, stats, and schedules visit ACVBLeague.com