August 25, 2016
Slam has sights set on “four-peat” this weekend
The Bellingham Slam will be shooting for a fourth straight league championship this weekend as the Seattle Pro-Am playoffs continue on Saturday.
The Slam, competing in the Seattle Pro-Am for the first time following seven seasons as a member of the International Basketball League, posted a 6-2 regular season record and advanced to the semi-finals with a 129-90 win against Guard Up in the quarter-finals on August 21.
The Slam is heading into the Pro-Am’s Final Four weekend as the league’s hottest team, victors of six straight games. During the streak, Bellingham has been winning by an average of 18 points per game.
While the Slam was relying on contributions from younger players like forward Anye Turner early on, with Turner now competing overseas in Germany the Slam’s veterans have re-emerged as the team’s most important pieces. Forward Tyler Amaya and guards Paul Hafford and Mo Anderson have all stepped up to provide scoring depth as of late, and each of the trio has tallied a triple-double on the scoresheets in the last two games. Since Turner’s departure, forward Nick Moore has averaged 24.5 points and 7 rebounds a game as a starter in the post, and has risen to become the Slam’s most efficient scorer, hitting 57.5 percent of his shots from the floor.
But the Slam has a sizeable road block between them and Sunday’s Seattle Pro-Am Championship game, in the form of NBA Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford. His squad, Brand Black, will be Bellingham’s opponent in Saturday’s semi-final after they upset the top-seeded Kitsap Admirals last weekend. Brand Black’s roster also includes former NBA first round draft pick Terrance Williams along with former Western Washington players Robert Harris, Jr. and Shedrick Nelson.
Saturday’s semi-final contest versus Brand Black is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Seattle Pacific University’s Royal Brougham Pavilion. If the Slam is victorious, they will advance to the Pro-Am Championship game set for 3 p.m. on Sunday.
A title win on Sunday would give the Slam four straight league championships, after winning the last three IBL titles from 2012 until the league folded following the 2014 season.