Overseas Elite uses a different formula once again on way to victory


Travis Bader left the Orlando Summer League, hopped on a plane and landed in Atlanta just 40 minutes prior to Overseas Elite’s first round game in South Regional on July 10, ensuring that his team would have five players to open The Basketball Tournament.  And, since the opening tip of the tournament, Overseas Elite has been winning in unconventional ways, a trend that continued on Saturday afternoon.

Paris Horne and Myck Kabongo had 16 points apiece, and Errick McCollum II chipped in with 15 points of his own to lead Overseas Elite into the $1,000,00 championship game with an 84-71 victory over Team City of GodsOverseas Elite, which started the South Region as the three-seed, shot 69% (9-for-13) from three-point land in the first half and led by as many as 18 points en route to the victory.

“The big difference was having our big [guys],” said McCollum II of his team’s quick start.  “We were able to run the pick-and-roll a lot, and take their big men out of the game.  Today was more of a team game.  The ball was always moving, and that was the biggest difference.”

Last weekend in the Super 17, Overseas Elite was without Jhondre JeffersonTodd O'Brien and Shane Lawal, leaving D.J. Kennedy, who missed the first three games, as the de facto center at 6'6". The small-ball lineup suited a team built around quick guards, as Overseas Elite knocked off the Sean Bell All Stars and Dirty South to claim the South Regional title.

Xavier Silas finished his strong tournament for City of Gods, scoring a game-high 22 points in the losing effort.

“It’s devastating,” said City of Gods coach Joe Connelly III, who led his team to a Northeast Region title.  “It’s simply devastating to get this far and lose.”

Guard Phil Goss, who had 15 points, looked ahead to 2016.

“We’re looking forward to coming back next year,” said Goss.  “We’re going to come out here and try to finish some unfinished business.”

For today, the unfinished business belongs to Overseas Elite, and coach Colin Curtin knows what it will take to come away with the prize on Sunday.

“There’s $1,000,000 at stake,” said Curtin. “If you don’t want to play defense, you’re not going to win $1,000,000.  It’s win-or-go home.”

Overseas Elite faces Team 23 at 3 p.m. live on ESPN on Sunday.