After a first week of solid showings from several Pitt men’s basketball players, the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Summer Pro-Am league returned to action on June 25 at the Greentree SportsPlex with two matchups featuring dominant performances by current and future Panthers. After a first week of solid showings from several Pitt men’s basketball players, the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Summer Pro-Am league returned to action on June 25 at the Greentree SportsPlex with two matchups featuring dominant performances by current and future Panthers.
PGT Trucking 67, SPK Law 66
In his debut last week, Steven Adams, Pitt’s highly-rated incoming recruit from New Zealand, showed flashes of the talent that has the attention of NBA scouts as he registered six points and 18 rebounds.
But on Monday night, the 7-foot tall Adams put his full arsenal on display.
Showing off a slick hook shot, Adams scored 15 points and added 13 rebounds to lead a comeback for PGT Trucking.
“We were down early, but it was good that we started fighting and were able to come back,” Adams said following the game.
After a first half featuring sloppy play by both teams, PGT Trucking trailed SPK Law heading into the break. But midway through the second half, Adams and fellow Pitt newcomer Trey Zeigler, who recently transferred to Pitt from Central Michigan, sparked an 8-0 run for PGT Trucking that changed the game.
On SPK Law’s next possession, Adams registered two of his eight blocks against fellow Panther Talib Zanna, leading to an alley-oop pass from Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate Ashton Smith to Zeigler.
After a miss by SPK Law on its next possession, incoming Pitt freshman point guard James Robinson then launched an impressive full-court pass to Zeigler for another easy bucket.
Robinson, who played in his first game with his Pitt teammates last night after winning a gold medal with the United States U-18 team in Brazil, said the game was an opportunity to bond with teammates in a game environment.
“It was kind of like a pickup game, but as you saw, when the game got tight, everybody picked up the intensity, and we’re just trying to win,” Robinson said.
Adams, who said it was his first time playing with Robinson, was impressed with his future Pitt teammate’s performance.
“Everyone seems to be more confident with [Robinson] around because he always makes the right decisions with the ball,” Adams said.
Zeigler scored the game’s decisive basket, converting a clutch hoop after a steal. He finished with 14 points and seven rebounds in his second game of the league.
Pitt sophomore guard John Johnson led the way for SPK Law with 14 points and four assists.
SPK Law, which now holds a 0-2 record in the league, will face South Hills Audi on June 27 at 7 p.m., while the 2-0 PGT Trucking face fellow undefeated squad GNC that same day at 9 p.m.
UPMC 89, Steel City Tickets 60
After posting a solid offensive performance in his team’s opening game last week against Oliverio’s Peppers, Pitt redshirt sophomore guard Cameron Wright said he spent the last few months improving his offensive game, particularly his mid-range jump shot.
On Monday night, it was clear that Wright’s work had begun paying off.
Wright scored a league-leading 25 points against a depleted Steel City Tickets squad as he led UPMC to its second victory of the summer league. Playing both guard positions, he added seven assists in a dominant performance for both Wright and UPMC.
Feeding off Wright’s strong showing, Pitt sophomore center Malcolm Gilbert posted a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds in his most impressive offensive performance since his arrival in Pittsburgh last year. Gilbert displayed an effective scoring touch on the offensive end, adding to his already-formidable defensive presence.
Wright said that he and Gilbert, along with the rest of his Pitt teammates, relish the opportunity to play on the same team during the summer league because of the chemistry gained during the college basketball season.
“I love playing with Malcolm [Gilbert] as well as I love playing with all of my other teammates,” Wright said. “For us to just come out here — all of us Pitt Panthers playing together — it’s great.”
Pitt senior forward Dante Taylor and redshirt freshman guard Durand Johnson didn’t play for the Steel City Tickets this week because of minor injuries. With Taylor and West Virginia University sophomore Pat Forsythe out with injuries, Steel City Tickets struggled to match Gilbert’s height.
UPMC, which holds a 2-1 record, faces GNC on July 2 at 8 p.m., while the 0-3 Steel City Tickets play Oliverio’s Peppers at 8 p.m. on June 27.