1100 Vine St #404
Philadelphia, PA 19107
The Philadelphia Fast Belles hosted our Fall 2010 Asian Womens Basketball Invitational Tournament on Sunday November 7, 2010 at Northern Liberties Recreation Center. Five teams participated, and all money was donated to the WBCA Pink Zone. This tournament looks to be the Fast Belles marquee event each year as we hope to raise the awareness of Breast Cancer and remind all of our participants to stay informed. Thank you for making this such an outstanding day, and we look forward to doing this again next year! After all costs, $585.65 was donated to the WBCA Pink Zone!
The format of the tournament was 1 pool of 5 teams, where each team would meet each other in a round robin format with the top 3 teams advancing to the single elimination portion of the tournament. The top seed would receive a bye into the Championship game, where it would be awaiting the winner of the #2 and #3 seeds.
The battle for the #1 seed and the all important bye game ended up being an OT game between the NY/Toronto Pink Dragons and the hostess Phila Fast Belles. The Dragons were easily the more experienced team as they seemed to score on command out of their halfcourt sets and at least get high percentage looks when they didn't score. You could see the potential of the Fast Belles, but their lack of familiarity with one another was apparent as they were a little bit unsure about what role each player should take on. Lee Anne Chong was picking apart the Fast Belles with timely cuts to the hoop, and Angie Leung was typical Angie as she hit drives, dished for dimes, and hit a huge trifecta late in regulation. Meanwhile, 5-10 Chelsea Luhta (9 pts, 1-6 ft) was the #1 option for Philly. Once it went into OT, Angie popped a three and Danby Wong made 2/2 free throws to give NY/Toronto a 38-35 W.
Also of note in pool play was the performance of the Flightz and their young Chris Paul-like PG Carol Yu. This team is very young and quite raw but they really do leave it all on the floor.
Once 1st and 2nd place were pretty locked down, it became a wild card chase for 3rd. It just so happened that the deciding game between Boston MASAE and the Philly Lady Suns would be the 10th and final game of Round Robin play so it was just like another playoff game. MASAE came in with the better roster of talented players, but the Suns were really on a roll today. The Lady Suns, having practiced at the gym since 2003, had home court advantage, as they were used to the rims, the court dimensions, and the lighting in the gym. Philly had stayed within 5 of the Fast Belles, and lost by only 4 to the Dragons as former All-NACBA F/C Taylor Lee and low to the ground PG Emily Chen had been playing the 2-man game to perfection all Sunday long. Their 3-2 defense and isolation style offense had slowed the game down enough to keep teams from getting out on the break against them. MASAE would be looking for PG Phibe Castilo Pham to find Michelle Le and Angela Say on the wings, and Tia Nelson down low. But MASAE would be at a major disadvantage since Angela had twisted her ankle earlier in the day, and her penetrationology was probably the most crucial element of their offense. No one else on their roster would be able to fill that void, so her untimely injury would end up costing the team. Once the game started, it was clear that Boston wanted to stop the Stockton to Malone/Chen to Lee duet from beating them. They held Taylor to only 3 points, and Emily (6 pts, 2 steals) didn't do anything until the second half. Michelle Le was getting to the line (8-8 ft) and Fiona Tang provided some early support at both ends. You would think that MASAE would be up by a comfy margin, but out of nowhere, Suns G Jenny Leung (14 pts, 2-3 ft) sank 4 three pointers from deep. There was no way Boston could have gameplanned any better as Leung had come into the game averaging only 3.3 ppg thus far. Philly led 17-12 at the half thanks to the Leung game of a lifetime. But Beantown fought back, with Tia Nelson (10 pts) stepping out when it counted to nail 2 treys. After Taylor Lee got T'd up, Boston was right there in position to take the lead but Castillo-Pham missed back to back free throws and Emily Chen came back with a crucial bucket on the far end as the Suns won 30-28 in a really tight game.
The Semifinal game between the #2 Fast Belles and the #3 Lady Suns would be yet another rivalry match as everybody knows the story between these 2 teams. Like any teams from the same city, they relish the opportunity to play each other with the chance to prove that they are the best in the region. The big question would be simple- which team's style would win out? The Fast Belles love to get out and run the floor as they attack the hoop, while the Lady Suns prefer to keep it old school. The pool play version resulted in a 26-21 Fast Belles victory, but the Lady Suns had shown that they could throw a legit scare into the FB's if they kept the pace down. In the 1st half here, the Suns clearly dictated the pace and the Fast Belles were content to sit back in a zone as they rested up for their upcoming Ninja style sneak attack. The halftime score was only 8-7, Fast Belles. But after the half, the Fast Belles let out what they had been holding back as their gameplan all day. They went to their man to man defense, and extended the ball pressure. Every two minutes, they subbed in 5 players at a time as they got a 20 point lead within 7 minutes. The Suns could not answer the sheer depth and speed. All-Tourney G Shannon Yu (11 pts, 3 treys) was sharking it up from Timbuktu and the Fast Belles kept their starters fresh for the rest of the game. Taylor Lee led the Suns with 5. Fast Belles 41, Lady Suns 14 as they ended up with Bizarro World mirror image scores.
The Championship game between the Fast Belles and the Toronto/NY Pink Dragons would be a rematch of the 38-35 OT win by the Pink Dragons. Here, it would appear that both teams could lay legitimate claim to favored team status. The Pink Dragons had proven they could beat the Belles if they played their own game and were patient on offense. On the other hand the Belles knew they they hadn't played their best game either in the earlier game, and they were drooling as they looked across the court at the shorthanded Pink Dragons (6 players). So even though this would be the Fast Belles' 6th game in 8 hours, their 12 woman roster gave them a pretty good edge against the Iron 6 (playing their 5th game). The Fast Belles started off by attacking on defense and forcing the tempo. They did their best to keep the rock out of Angie Leung's paws by throwing constant traps and schemes at her. Chelsea Luhta (22 pts, 7 rebs, 4 assists, 3 blocks, 11-13 ft) demonstrated why she was granted superstar status, and Philly was up 20-7 at the midpoint. The Fast Belles started to empty the bench a little bit too early in the 2nd half, as they thought a 16 point margin would let them cruise to the title. But these Pink Dragons don't know the word QUIT, and they certainly don't ever surrender. They play with unmatched pride, especially NACBA Top 10'er Angie Leung. Angie (17 pts, 2-2 ft, 6 assists) refused to give up as she put on a fireworks show. The game was within 7 points and the Fast Belles scurried to get their starters back in the mix. After Lee Anne Chong and Mindi Tsoi scored for Toronto, it was a 2 point game. The Black Dragons had to start fouling, but Phila iced the game by nailing down 13-16 FT's in the half to keep the lead. Fatigued legs became the story as the miracle comeback attempt fell short. Michelle Chan and MVP Chelsea Luhta had a couple big steals down the stretch and the Fast Belles captured their first Title 40-34.
Fast Belles- Tournament Champions
Boston MASAE: This team keeps getting better every time they show up to a tournament. So in a few years, they should be contending for the Chip every time. When they first started out, most teams could probably sleepwalk their way to a W. But through their hard work at practice, they are clearly now one of the more dangerous teams. Beantown could pull out upsets at any moment, as their 3-point shooting might be lights out at any given time. Phibe Castillo Pham is a do it all type at the PG slot. As the captain and leader, she directs everyone to their proper spot on the floor. She can pop the midrange and penetrate the lane. Fiona Tang is the team's fastest player and plays the wing. This explosively athletic young lady slashes to the cup as aggressively as anyone. Swingman Angela Say is a solid rebounder with 3-point range. Expect Vinny's team to provide some thrilling moments throughout the day.
NY Flightz: A new team coached by NACBA Top 10 player Angie Leung, expect this weekend to serve as a learning experience for this group of young girls. They play with some determination and do some positive things at the defensive end. The scouting report on this team is that they really hustle and have some girls who could develop into real players.
Philadelphia Fast Belles: This looks to be a coming out party for the Fast Belles as the recently formed team appears to have finally rounded out their roster to form a competitive unit. If the new additions can mesh with the returnees, then this is a team that could compete for hardware sooner than expected. With the regular core of players- SG Ling Lai (NACBA Top 10), SF Sandy Yu (2009 All-NACBA, PSU Abington), PG Shannon Yu (2007 All-NACBA), this team is a threat to score from long range. Michelle Chan provides defense, and Melissa Belonia (Rutgers Camden) will provide some offensive pop from the high post. Marie Belonia (Burlington CC) is a combo guard with the skills to shoot the rock as well as dish it to the open player. Kim Moro Williams (Bloomfield) is coming off a recent delivery of her beautiful baby boy, and hasn't touched a ball in awhile, but when she gets going, she can really light it up. Dr. Tracy Ng (2007, 2009, 2010 All-NACBA) joins the team to provide some support to their post game with her 5-9 frame. Chelsea Luhta (Widener, Vaerlose - Denmark) is a high scoring all around talent. Megan Griffith (Columbia, professional in Netherlands & Finland) could show up late and if she makes an appearance, then suddenly we would consider the Fast Belles the favorites.
Philadelphia Lady Suns: Coached by Suns guard Danh Diep, the Lady Suns will have home court advantage as this team has used Northern Liberties Rec Center as its practice location since 2003. Coach Diep will have a couple of nice weapons at his disposal, with 5-6 PF Taylor Lee (2006 All-NACBA) being the clear cut first option. Her ability to use her backside to gather great position on the block, as well as her willingness to step out and hit the jumper is key. Eunice Jung has 3-point range, makes FT's, and will handle the ball. 5-4 F Rebecca Chin has returned to the Suns from her Cruisers-Rockits days and will be able to do a little bit of everything for the team. The keys for this team will probably be whether or not they can consistently put the ball in the hoop, so secondary options like Jenny Leung and Buntha Chan will need to step up their game if they want to make the playoffs. The Lady Suns could create standings pandemonium this Sunday if they stay focused on their task.
Pink Dragons (NY/Toronto): With a fab combination of experienced veterans and highly skilled players, this is probably the team to beat. Most of the team was part of the 2010 NACBAIT Champion Black Dragons, so they know how to win big games. Plus, since they usually come to tournaments with only 5 girls, having subs this time around will only fortify their chances. It all starts with the 2 longest tenured Dragons- F Danby Wong and SF Lee Anne Chong. They are the 2 most elder players in the tournament, but they can still bring it once they step on the court. Danby has guard skills, is unselfish, hits the boards and plays lock down D. Lee Anne (2002, 2008 All-NACBA) is an absolutely pure shooter who knows how to get open and takes good shots. She's like butter cuz she's always on a roll. Former St John's Univ PG Angie Leung will also be here, with her ability to get by defenders, finish with either hand, and steal the ball from opposing PG's. Viola Cheung was another member of that Championship team, and she could be the Pink Dragons X-factor here as she'll be asked to fill in whatever gaps there are on the court. Mindi & Marsha also make a return to the Hoops scene after a few tourneys out of the loop. They know how to play. With no weak links on the team, the Pink Dragons look to emerge as this weekend's Top Dogs.
Pink Dragons (NY/Toronto) 4-0, Phila Fast Belles 3-1, Philly Lady Suns 2-2, Boston MASAE 1-3, NY Flightz 0-4.
Fast Belles 26, Lady Suns 21
Pink Dragons 38, Fast Belles 35 (OT)
MASAE 28, Flightz 10
Pink Dragons 29, MASAE 22
Lady Suns 22, Flightz 12
Fast Belles 32, MASAE 17
Pink Dragons 34, Lady Suns 30
Fast Belles 40, Flightz 22
Pink Dragons 56, Flightz 39
Lady Suns 30, MASAE 28
Phila Fast Belles 41, Philly Lady Suns 14
Phila Fast Belles 40, Pink Dragons (NY -Toronto) 34
1100 Vine St #404
Philadelphia, PA 19107