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July 26, 2005

EBO takes adidas Super 64 again

LAS VEGAS, NEV. - For the second year in a year, EBO won the adidas Super 64 tournament. It was just too much of Robin Lopez and Brook Lopez inside and the hot shooting of Trevon Willis for Philly MJC to stop at the Cox Pavilion on the campus of UNLV on Tuesday afternoon.

As a group of underclassmen last year, EBO worked it's way to the title of last year's event. This year was a little harder but a little sweeter this year says Brook Lopez.

"The second time feels the best," the Stanford bound big man said. "I feel like we had to earn the respect this year because last year was so much easier."

This year wasn't easy. At least not in the first half. Philly MJC hit just about every shot they threw up from the perimeter and managed to match the even hotter shooting of Willis.

Willis went off in the first half for 20 of EBO's 34 points. The 6-foot-3 from Fresno's Washington Union High hit for four three pointers and driving layups. With the hot hand, he knew he was going to hear it from his coaches.

"A lot of my coaches joke with me and call me Mr. Gameday. They say I really shine when the big game is on. That's fine with me," Willis said. "I want the ball in my hands and I want that pressure on me."

He succeeded. Willis had a game high 29 points. By the way, he said UNLV is one of the schools he's considering. Rebels head coach Lon Kruger has to like the fact that Willis is on campus and had one of his biggest games of his career.

If it weren't for the hot shooting of guys like Ronald Moore and Dan Geriot, MJC not only made it close but made it one heck of a first half. You can always guarantee a full effort from Lonnie Lowry's guys. They aren't going to go down easy.

The second half was a different story, though, as Robin Lopez continued to protect the basket and finished with eight blocks. His twin brother Brook came alive on the offensive end and showed some nice moves in the post to get EBO rolling inside against the much smaller and thinner MJC squad.

The Lopez twins each played great in their own right. Robin Lopez had a great game with 14 points, nine rebounds and eight blocked shots. Brook Lopez finished with 16 points and six rebounds. Stanford head coach Trent Johnson, who was watching the Lopez twins, might just be the happiest man in America if he can land Spencer Hawes, who he has been shadowing all week in Vegas.

Not to be left out, Derrick Jasper had a quiet but very effective championship game. The 6-foot-4 combo guard snatched a team high 11 boards. He was also named as the tournament MVP.

With the Lopez twins, Willis, Jasper and Quincy Pondexter all graduating, you have to wonder if a three-peat possible for the boys from the West Coast?

"I think they'll be ready. We've got a lot of young guys that got a chance to play a lot of games and get that experience. I'm not that worried about it," Brook Lopez said.

Philly MJC had to be proud of the effort they gave over the last five days in the desert. They marched through pool play, beat some tough squads to get to the championship game and fought tooth and nail with the eventual champs.

Ronald Moore had 17 points while Tyrone Lewis added 16. Villanova bound Reggie Reading had 15 and big man Dan Geroit finished with 12.


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