While the Toronto Raptors opened their Las Vegas Summer League campaign with a win over the New Orleans Pelicans, the Crown League did its best to entertain those looking for hoops action in the 6ix.
Word is clearly getting around about the third edition of the league, and the burgeoning local talent on display did not disappoint in its second week. Negus Webster-Chan, sporting a serious tan after a trip to Hawaii, led the Northern Kings to a thrilling 74-71 victory over last year’s runner-up M.A.D.E. with 21 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.
He came out aggressive early on to help the Northern Kings to an early 20-9 lead, and when M.A.D.E. cut the lead to just three with under a minute remaining in the half, he came back with a tough and-1 drive to the bucket, and a three-pointer that pushed their lead back up to nine heading into the break.
Even after M.A.D.E. put together another run to tie the game in the second half, it was Webster-Chan again who provided the calming influence with a message to the team.
“Those are a lot of vets on M.A.D.E., just play hard and give it all you got,” he said. “I wanna see guys diving on the floor — I don’t care if it’s Pro-am or Summer League — we want everybody just working hard and showing the crowd that we’re not just here to have fun, we want to win.”
This is perhaps some of the maturity and confidence that comes with winning an NBA G-League title with the Raptors 905, and it helped him earn ‘Player of the Week’ honors.
Another player who showed his desire to win was Markham’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Representing CIA Bounce in the final game of the night, Rathan-Mayes finished with a 10 point, 11 rebound, 10 assist triple-double to guide his team to a 67-57 victory over 1 Love T.O. Rathan-Mayes is fresh off an Orlando Pro Summer League campaign with the New York Knicks, and those reps clearly helped him maintain a rhythm in this one. Missing tonight’s contest for 1 Love T.O. was Brady Heslip, who is with the Chicago Bulls Summer League squad in Las Vegas.
The first game of the night featured defending champion ACE and 6Man, with ACE bouncing back from their Week 1 defeat at the hands of M.A.D.E. with a 72-59 victory. After a tight first half that saw Johnny Berhanemeskel and Ammanuel Diressa match each other shot-for-shot, it was Berhanemeskel who maintained the hot hand in the second half to help ACE pull away. The Ottawa native finished with 25 points that included six 3-point makes, while Toronto’s Diressa finished with 18 points and five 3-pointers.
If you missed out on all this free entertainment, there are still three more Fridays to get in on the action. Simple click here to sign up, and you can look forward to Canadian talent hooping, DJs and MCs providing entertainment, and much more. The night lasts around five hours beginning at 6:30pm.
— Nike Toronto (@NikeToronto) July 8, 2017