AHBA - Asacan HoopBall Association: 2012 Season: ABHA Playoffs/Finals

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I think you've got a winner there with the lighter blue and the gold unis. Drop the darker blue. I like it, but the lighter blue just looks better as much as I hate to admit it. The two tone stripe is a good element to use, especially on the alternative uni, so I understand wanting to keep it. Good update here!

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59 minutes ago, Balu the Bare said:

I think you've got a winner there with the lighter blue and the gold unis. Drop the darker blue. I like it, but the lighter blue just looks better as much as I hate to admit it. The two tone stripe is a good element to use, especially on the alternative uni, so I understand wanting to keep it. Good update here!

Thanks, I'll repost them properly later on when I put the final two schools up.

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Here we finally have the final two schools, plus a proper re-post of Golden Sands High/University. 


Port City High/University

In some form, a school has existed in Turrif for as long as Roeburgh Hub has existed, but due to Turrif's hard working nature, the focus was put squarely on the port. In 2008, it was decided that the second dual school (High School/University) would be opened in Turrif, allowing the students living in the greater Turrif area to attend school and university at a reasonable price. Compared to the other dual school (and other schools) Port City finds itself disadvantaged academically, being largely down to the lack of importance of schooling in the area. Neither the University or the High School have uniforms, which for most schools would create attendance issues, but at Port City, it seems to help attendance. The school's HoopBall team is known for its toughness and determination, a cornerstone of life in Turrif. 






Seiichi Hoshino High

Founded in the early 1970's, Seiichi Hoshino High originally opened as Jarran High School, but the name was quickly changed after the school's founder and first principal died in a car accident just 3 months after the school's opening. To this day the school still operates to Hoshino's vision: Allowing students from all walks of life to have a fair and proper education. The school's colours of orange and black were originally chosen by Hoshino, as his favourite animal was a tiger. Aesthetically, not much has changed at the school since 1973 in terms of uniforms and sports uniforms, but after recently (2009) going through a huge renovation, the school itself looks new. The HoopBall team has been consistently the worst team in the ASHBA, but often finishes above Chibihasa High when they have a bad year. The uniforms are supplied by a local Jarran company, who have never been named, but have supplied the team's uniforms in an extremely similar design since 1973. 




Golden Sands High/University

Following a friendly game between the High School and University, students in the HoopBall program spoke up about the difficulties seeing all the details on their uniforms. In response to this Golden Valley worked with SB to fix the uniforms, and when introduced to the players and school community, many positive messages were sent in reply. The previous uniforms have been redesignated as practice uniforms.







Well that's all for now, the next time I return will likely mean results for Weeks 21 - 31 in the AHBA!


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And after simulating the last 11 weeks and quite a large amount of procrastination... we finally get to see who has made it to the playoffs, and who gets the first pick.


AHBA Season Results:

Weeks 21 - 26


Weeks 27 - 31


Standings after Week 31




Finishing last with a record of 8 - 23 (6 - 9 Home, 2 - 14 Away), is the Jarran Jaguars. Not much was expected from the Jaguars, considering their lack of talent compared to the other teams. The Jaguars will be able to continue improving thanks to the first pick in next year's draft. 2nd overall pick Gracie Warren was exceptional as the leader for the Jaguars, posting attractive stats throughout the season, earning her the team's MVP. Home games were a positive for the Jaguars, winning 6 of their 8 total games at home, 2 of which came in the last 11 weeks. In the last 11 weeks, the Jaguars went 4 - 7, which was the best 10 weeks for them all season. This end to the season shows that the Jaguars could be a force to be reckoned with late in the season in the future.  Their 4 wins came in Week 24, Week 25, where they beat the Queens off 21 points from Gracie Warren, Week 27 and Week 30, where they beat a Lions squad that looked destroyed after being eliminated from the Playoffs the week before. The Jaguars should also look to lure a O1 in free agency to improve their ball movement, which seemed to be lacking throughout the season. Overall, a decent inaugural season, equal to that of the Queens 2010 season, which isn't a bad team to follow in the footsteps of, considering the Queens record this season...


Finishing just above their expansion cousins, with a record of 11 - 20 (5 - 10 home, 6 - 10 away), is the Honnaro Flight. The Flight's season was a surprise to many, being an expansion team. At one point during the season, it looked as if they might have been making their first playoffs appearance, over the heavily favoured Lightning. Whilst the Lightning did move past them in the last 11 weeks, matching Asuka's record is an impressive feat on its own. Team MVP and Rookie of the Year, Brooke Douglas was the catalyst for this, with her incredible defensive ability pushing the rest of the defence along. Another interesting note, is Honnaro's almost identical record home and away. This shows that the team should be good enough in the future to win important games, both at home and on the road. The last 11 weeks bought the Flight home just 2 wins, which is part of the reason both Asuka and Chibihasa jumped them in the standings. These wins came in Week 25, in a close game against the Heat and Week 31 against the Magic. If the Flight can bring in a star on the offensive end, then they pose a real threat to beat the Lightning for the second spot in the Northern Conference Finals in 2013.


Asuka find themselves in a familiar position close to the bottom of the table. With a record of 11 - 20 (7 - 9 home, 4 - 11 away), it's no surprise to see them 6th. Lacklustre defence for most of the season didn't help their chances, but by the time they finally got it together, it was too late to make the Playoffs. Their lack of offence didn't help that cause either, but can be forgiven, at least with Asuka's average bench. Captain and Team MVP Nana Tomita was by far the best player on the team defensively, putting up numbers that likely would have won her league MVP had this been any other season. Asuka will again have the 3rd pick in the draft, which should be used to bolster their offence off the bench. The last 11 weeks for the Magic included 4 wins, the first of which in Week 22, against the Lions by 1, Week 23, against the Flight, Week 26, against Jarran, and Week 30, again against Honnaro. Asuka's rebuild is still in motion, despite being damaged by league expansion. 


5th place and 2nd in the Northern Conference is the Chibihasa Lightning. With a record of 14 - 17 (10 - 6 home, 4 - 11 away), it seems strange that a team with a negative record could make the playoffs, but due the Southern Conference being the stronger out of the two, the Lightning scrape in. Their record sits just below .500, which comes mostly from their offence. This season has made it clear that Suzuka Gibbons is undoubtedly a high caliber player, the team captain once again won Team MVP and was 3rd in league MVP voting, despite putting up better numbers than her MVP season last year. The rest of the offence clicks around her, but more help off the bench would be a help, considering the minutes Gibbons plays. A slight improvement defensively would also improve the -60 PD, and push the Lightning closer to championship contention. Chibihasa's last 11 weeks were fantastic, with 7 wins vaulting them past Asuka and Honnaro. These wins came in: Week 21, Week 22, Week 24, Week 26, where Gibbons once again broke her career high in points, this time scoring 43 again against Honnaro, Week 28, where O1 Madison Enomoto recorded 11 assists most of which went to bench O2 Molly Powell, who was starting in place of Gibbons after she tweaked her ankle the week before, Week 29 and Week 31. Chibihasa look to be primed and ready for their matchup against the Heat in the Conference Finals, but Suzuka Gibbons knows she can't do it alone.


4th and unfortunately missing the Playoffs and the chance to defend their championship, is the Rondelle Lions. A lacklustre final 11 weeks really hurt the Lions, finishing just 2 games back from the Raiders. Their record of 16 - 15 (11 - 5 home, 5 - 10 away) is just over .500, and if they had lost any more games in the last 11 weeks, they would have found themselves behind the Lighting. The Lions seemed to be playing much too casually in the last 11 games, and let their chance slip. The whole team was visibly frustrated and disappointed after a week 29 loss to the Raiders, which put them out of playoffs contention and then even more so in Week 30 where they lost to the Jaguars in Jarran in a poor effort. Rookie Sophie Yoshizawa summed it up best after the Week 30 loss saying: "It's been a disappointing end to the year for us, all the girls are absolutely gutted that we can't defend last year's championship. But that's the way it has to be and I know we will all work extremely hard in the offseason to make sure this doesn't happen next year.." Just 3 wins came in the last 11 games, coming in Weeks 23, 25 and 27. Team MVP went to Megan Murata, which comes as a slight surprise to many outside of the organisation.


3rd place, and 2nd in the Southern Conference, with a record of 18 - 13 (10 - 5 home, 8 - 8 away) is the Turrif Raiders. After last year's horrible season, it comes as a surprise to see Turrif in the top 3. The Raiders did become a much better team offensively this season but still retained their defensive mindset. An interesting side note is that they finished with a PD of 0, which is worse than the 4th placed Lions. The Raiders are much different team offensively compared to the Lions, which is likely the reason behind the lower PD. The last 11 weeks were pretty average for the Raiders, going 6 - 5. The six wins came in; Week 21, Week 25, Week 26, Week 28, Week 29, where they eliminated the Lions from Playoff contention, off an excellent defensive effort from captain Samantha Tokuta, and Week 31. Bench D1 Jodie Thornton's suspension didn't seem to hurt the team much, with Leah Fujikawa doing an excellent job in her absence. Team MVP went to O1 Chiho Clayton, after averaging 8.9 assists per game along with 9.3 points. The Raiders have a tough task ahead, facing off against an extremely strong looking Queens team in the Southern Conference Finals.


2nd place, and 1st in the Northern Conference are last year's Northern Conference Champions, the Hikaru Heat. The Heat have had another great year,  finishing just 2 games back from the Queens. Their record of 22 - 9 (13 - 2 home, 9 - 7 away), is impressive and actually almost equals the Lions record last year. The continued success of the Heat has caused even the casual fan to notice how good they really are. The last 11 weeks were kind to the Heat, with 8 wins coming in two 4 game win streaks. Wins in Week 21, 22 , 23 and 24 made up the first 4 wins, and wins in Week 27, 28, 29 and 30 made up the second 4. Team MVP went to team captain Abby Mitchell, largely due to her continued skill at leading the team on and off the court. The Heat look poised to once again win the Northern Conference, and make it to the Finals for the 3rd straight season. The main concern for the Heat after this season is keeping as much of this team together as possible.


1st overall and in the Southern Conference is the Rondelle Queens. After last year's drastic improvement, the Queens have gone from strength to strength, to the point where they are now the favourites to win the championship. A record of 24 - 7 (16 - 0 home, 8 - 7  away) this season has propelled them to the top of the AHBA. Their perfect home record is also a major achievement, and is something the Lions were close to achieving last season, which gives the Queens the leg up in popularity. The dual O5 lineup has proved to be fruitful for the Queens, and the addition of "Showpony" Gaudenzia Dironi has been beneficial for the Queens' bench. Weeks 21, 22, 23 and 24 brought the Queens 4 wins, with a close 1 point victory against the Lions being the lone scare. The final 5 weeks (Weeks 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31) brought 5 more wins for the Queens, bringing their record for the final 11 weeks to 9 - 2. Team MVP went to captain Yumemi Koyama, who also earned league MVP for her stellar defensive play throughout the season, averaging 3 steals a game, along with countless shows of  excellent defence in close games. Dironi earned Sixth Woman of the Year for her exciting play off the bench, but was surprising that she was not in the conversation for Rookie of the Year. The Queens look to be ready for the Finals already, but they first have the gritty Raiders in their way. 


Season Awards:

Most Valuable Player: #78, Yumemi Koyama, D1, Rondelle Queens

Sixth Woman of the Year: #10, Gaudenzia Dironi, O1, Rondelle Queens

Rookie of the Year: #61, Brooke Douglas, D2, Honnaro Flight


Other News:

"Rumors continue to swirl around Heat O3 Sanako Shinohara and her eminent free agency. Shinohara has been heard many times saying to media that she "isn't interested in focusing on it right now". The Lightning seem to be interested in bringing her on board to play alongside former teammate Suzuka Gibbons, who would likely appreciate Shinohara's presence." October 15, 2012


Press Release: AHBA Commissioner Karen Raito & AHBA Deputy Commissioner Freya Faulkner

"Congratulations to everyone on yet another great season.  Freya and I are excited to see what the first ABHA Playoffs brings us, with the two of us going to be courtside during various games throughout the Conference Finals and Finals. The Conference Finals begin October 29, with the finals beginning on November 19 and finishing December 1st should there be seven games." "Karen and I hope that you all enjoy the Playoffs just as much as we will, and I can't wait to see packed arenas for every Northern Conference Finals and Finals game!




That's all for now, but the full AHBA Playoffs will be put up soon, considering they have already been simmed. If you want to know more about any team and or city, I'm happy to tell you more. 

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Finally, I can be bothered to put up the Playoffs! These will only be a short writeup, much the same as the Finals have been previously.


2012 AHBA Southern Conference Finals


Only two games were won away from home in the Queens 7 game win over the Raiders, showing that both teams could hold home court extremely well. This series was unexpectedly long, with many counting out the Raiders early. Aside from Games 1, 2 & 5, the weren't that many close games, making the series much more intense. Great efforts from various Queens throughout the series, including Gaudenzia Dironi's playoff record 13 assists in game 7 pushed the Queens over the line, and into the Finals.


2012 AHBA Northern Conference Finals

The Northern Conference Finals were Hikaru's to lose, and they pulled out a 4 - 1 series win over Chibihasa. Chibihasa looked over matched throughout the series, considering their lack of Playoff/Finals experience. As usual, Suzuka Gibbons was incredible, but none of her team seemed to step up when needed. The team still seemed lost even during their Game 4 win, where Gibbons dropped 33 points, 3 of which came with just 2 seconds to go. Hikaru were just too good for the Lightning's defence, earning themselves their 3rd straight Northern Conference title. 

2012 AHBA Finals


 And after the second seven game series of the Playoffs, the Rondelle Queens have won the 2012 AHBA Championship.  For the 3rd year straight, the Heat have made the Finals and lost to their Southern Conference foe. The series seemed close no matter the score on the scoreboard at the end of the game, considering that after Game 4, the series was tied 2 - 2, with two home games left for the Queens, The Heat were once again just one game away from winning after Game 5 but were unable to match the Queens 4th quarter run in Game 7, which ultimately led to them falling at the final hurdle. The Queens win their first AHBA Championship, after winning 2 of the last 3 games by very slim margins. Finals MVP (and Season MVP) Yumemi Koyama was a big part of those wins, after holding Sanako Shinohara to just 13 points over the last 3 games. The rest of the team also pitched in, with the Dual O5's Natasha Barber and Emma Suga putting up big numbers in both points and rebounds.  



Other News:

Press Release: AHBA Commissioner Karen Raito & AHBA Deputy Commissioner Freya Faulkner

"Congratulations to the Rondelle Queens for winning the AHBA Championship. A congratulations should also be given to the Hikaru Heat, who, after reaching this years finals, have made 3 straight Finals appearances." "It was an amazing series to watch, and I know that Karen and I, and all of you are excited to see if the Queens can defend their title next season!" 


"After the Heat's 3rd straight finals loss, many question how many of the 3 time Northern Conference Champion's players are going to stay through free agency. Captain Abby Mitchell isn't so sure herself, after being asked at the press conference after Game 7: "I wouldn't be too surprised to see some of our girls go. With the amount of money they could get elsewhere, I can see the allure of leaving. But I want to keep as much of this team together as possible. We have unfinished buisness." With the many rumours swirling around, the Heat will likely not be the only team looking different next season." - Burning Bright, a Heat HB Nation Blog, December 3, 2012


"According to sources close to SB, there will be a few uniform and logo changes next season, with the Asuka Magic receiving a new Alt 2, the Rondelle Queens unveiling new logos, updated home, away and alternate uniforms, as well as the obligatory Championship alt, the Rondelle Lions receiving an updated home, away and alternate, as well as the Honnaro Flight, who will be getting updated away and alt 1 uniforms.", December 15, 2012







That is all for now, next up will be the offseason, and possibly the 2013 AHBA Draft...but that's a bit later on...   

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