On Friday, Team Brotherly Love (12) bowed out of the 2020 edition of The Basketball Tournament, or TBT with a tough 83-76 loss to the Golden Eagles (4) in a quarterfinal contest.
For context, TBT is a 24 team, single elimination basketball tournament that consists of former NBA players, former NCAAB players and overseas professional basketball players. The winning team of the tournament receives a cash prize of $1 million. TBT was the first men’s live team sports event to return, with the MLS being the first professional men’s league to return to live play. The NBA, NHL and MLB all look to make returns to play at the end of July.
All players, coaches, and personnel are quarantined in a specific hotel in Columbus, OH, and all games are being played at Nationwide Arena. This system is similar to the “the bubble” that the NBA players and staff will be staying at in Orlando for their resumed season. Players are only allowed to leave the hotel in the event of walking to the arena for their respective contests. Any violation results in disqualification from the tournament, showing the true severity of TBT’s determination to keep players and staff safe in these unprecedented times.
Team Brotherly Love consists of locally based athletes who played college hoops at Temple, Penn State, Drexel, and other local schools. Most notable are former Sixer G Khalif Wyatt, G Ramone Moore, G Semaj Inge, and C Wayne Marshall, all of whom are Temple men’s basketball alum. The team is head coached by Kyle Sample, a West Chester alum.
Now to the quarterfinal contest, Team Brotherly Love made it to the quarterfinals after a dominant 87-71 win in the first round against the Stillwater Stars. On Friday, they were matched up with the 4th seeded Golden Eagles team consisting of Marquette alumni.
The game started with a slow pace, until both teams started to trade baskets back and forth in the first quarter. Drexel alum Samme Givens got the scoring started with consecutive field goals, and it was the aforementioned C Marshall that scored the last four for Brotherly Love in the quarter to end the 1st with the lead, 20-19.
In the second quarter, it would be almost two minutes until the first points were scored by way of free throws from Givens. Afterwards, the see-saw battle would continue. The Golden Eagles at one point in the quarter led by 6, until Brotherly Love eventually tied it back up, with the help of Khalif Wyatt, who had gone on a 6 point tear of his own. At the end of the half, Brotherly Love were the ones trailing by a point, 41-40.
The third quarter was the turning point of the game, and not a good way for Brotherly Love, getting out-scored 24-9. After two Ramone Moore free throws, the Golden Eagles would go off on a 14-0 run in the quarter with Brotherly Love simply having no answer. The score was a discouraging 65-49 after three periods. Brotherly Love would attempt a 4th quarter comeback, outscoring the Marquette alum 27-18. However, their efforts were not enough as the Golden Eagles held on to move on to the semifinals, winning 83-76 as Brotherly Love is eliminated from competition. Wyatt and Moore combined for 23 points as Givens led the team with 22 and 13 rebounds.
It was a tough outcome for the local alum players, but it is a welcome sight to know that basketball, in a sense is back for now, and that all of our familiar pro leagues are on the verge of making their returns as well. For Brotherly Love, the hope is to come back in 2021, and make Philadelphia proud.